Small Ship Cruises in Ko Racha Noi

A Ko Racha Noi cruise is a diver's dream. Located 22 kilometers south of the main island of Phuket and 10 kilometers from its sister island Ko Racha Yai, you won't find many better dive sites in this section of the Andaman Sea. With beautiful emerald green waters and scores of marine life, such as lionfish, scorpionfish, stingrays, and barracuda, your exploration of the Ko Racha Noi waters will be an unforgettable experience, whether you snorkel or dive and whether you are experienced or a complete newbie.

Top Things to Do in Ko Racha Noi

There really is only one thing to do in Ko Racha Noi: diving! There are plenty of adventure cruises and liveaboards that will stop around the Racha islands for a few dives, while there are also several dive centers in Phuket that will take you there if you're looking for a day trip.

The great thing about diving in Ko Racha Noi is that it is a great site for divers of all skill and experience levels. The near-perfect visibility makes things relatively easy for beginners, whereas more experienced divers can still marvel at the gorgeous corals and aquatic life without having any additional worries. In addition to the previously mentioned lionfish, scorpionfish, stingray, and barracuda, it is also common to encounter bannerfish, morays, damselfish, garden eels, butterflyfish, and pufferfish in the area.

Ko Racha Noi is not really the spot for sunbathing or swimming, as the island formed as a result of coral reef buildup. That means there are more rocks than beaches, both on the island and in the water. It is a good fishing destination, but for those wanting to just lounge about, hopping over to Ko Racha Yai, also known as Raya Island. This island is bigger than Ko Racha Noi but still quite small. It is home to a few luxury resorts and sports beaches to go with it. Patok Beach is where most boats will arrive, but there are no loungers for sun lovers there. Up north, you'll find the smaller Siam Bay, and there is also Ter Bay, a tiny strip of rocky sand lined with palm trees with just a few bars and umbrellas.

Ko Racha Noi and Ko Racha Yai are small and isolated islands, so it will not take too much time to explore them. Because of this, they are usually frequented by liveaboards or as short stops on adventure cruises with larger itineraries around the Andaman Sea, usually including the relatively nearby Phi Phi islands.

Top Tips for Visiting Ko Racha Noi (Where Applicable)

  • Other than the obvious preparations for visiting a tropical island, the main activities in Ko Racha Noi are fishing or exploring marine life. You could bring your own snorkel or even diving gear, but all necessary gear can also be rented on location.
  • If you are spending the night, you might also want to bring a pair of good shoes. All hotels are located on Ko Racha Yai, where you will find a trail that leads you to the top of the hilly island, which provides a spectacular view, especially at dusk or dawn. It is not a particularly long or difficult walk, but you won't be able to do it wearing slippers or sandals.

Best Time to Cruise Ko Racha Noi

Generally, Ko Racha Noi can be visited all year, but the best time to cruise Ko Racha Noi is between November and March. During those months, the weather is generally dry and warm, whereas the relatively low humidity ensures the heat remains pleasant. From March to May, temperatures and humidity rise sharply, which can make the heat pretty hard to bear. May to November is monsoon season, which can mean heavy rainfall. These showers can have a big impact on underwater visibility, and for a few days each year, they make the sea too rough for boat trips and adventure cruises.

Where Do Ko Racha Noi Cruises Depart From?

Ko Racha Noi cruises generally depart from Phuket, the nearest major island about 22 kilometers north of Ko Racha Noi. Most adventure cruises on Phuket will depart from Chalong Pier, near the island's southeastern corner. The harbor is fairly easy to reach, about 20 mins by car from Phuket Town or 45 minutes from Phuket International Airport. If you are arriving from abroad, you will most likely be flying into Phuket International Airport. There are almost no direct flights from Europe at this stage, but you can get there with a layover in Bangkok, Malaysia, or Singapore. Another cheaper option, albeit much more time-consuming, is to take a (night) bus from Bangkok.