The Racha Islands

The Racha Islands

Diving Into the Clearest Waters In Phuket Can Sometimes Produce Big Rewards

Racha Noi & Yai are two idyllic tropical islands lying directly South from Phuket. Neither island gets affected by the river run off in Phang Nha Bay so the waters remain clear all year around. Racha Noi boasts white sand beaches, fantastic underwater topography, the best staghorn reefs in the area and regular visits by giant manta rays. Racha Yai has five wrecks, thousands of reef building cubes and a habit of turning up rare and unusual creatures. Even in low season the water is clear and it's where we highly recommend you dive between May and October

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Racha Noi – Banana Rock

Banana Rock is just outside the large bay where you'll probably take your first dive of the day. The topography is completely different from the bay, the shallowest depth is around 7m where the rocks and hard coral reef meet the sand. There's a small patch reef at the start of the dive where we can sometimes find octopus hiding in the corals. Swimming deeper across the sand, keep a look out for sea moths and juvenile cockatoo waspfish and explore the few bommies for moray eels and reef stonefish. The deeper areas of this dive site (16+) have the healthiest and largest staghorn beds in the region, many species of damsel and wrasse dart in and out of the corals, it's a very pretty part [...]

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Racha Noi – North Tip

A picturesque little bay sits on the Northern most tip of Phuket's Racha Noi island, granite boulders topped by lush tropical vegetation make a great setting for diving. Boulders reach out from the island on either side of the bay and continue underwater giving the dive site a 'Similan Island' feel. The shallow area of the bay is composed of sand interspersed with small hard coral bommies, leaves from the island gather here attracting the perfectly camouflaged robust ghost pipefish at certain times of year. The hard coral reef gradually slopes to about 20m and is home to lots of reef fish, giant morays and octopus. In the deeper areas along the granite boulders we can sometimes fin [...]

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Racha Yai

If you're looking for stunning coral reefs then to be perfectly honest this is not the place to go but to replace the coral damage from the bleaching event that occurred in 2010 the Thai government has placed a whole heap of artificial reef structures to attract marine life and take the pressure off the remaining corals. This is where most of the structures lie, there's 5 small wrecks and countless concrete cubes. This maze of shelters attracts creatures that are hard to find elsewhere around Phuket. Longfin batfish have become permanent residents in the cubes and harruby wreck, freckled frogfish, reef stonefish, snake eels, indian ocean walkman and psychedelic nudibranch's all take [...]

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Racha Noi – West Side

This side of the island is exposed to the low season weather making the topography completely different from the east side. Any sand gets washed away exposing the granite rocks that tumble down to meet the usually clear water. Both of our regular dive sites are quite similar and easy to manage if there is current. We'll always start the dive in the sheltered bay and if you're participating in a PADI Discover Scuba Diving or Open Water course you'll probably stay in the calm water. For certified divers you'll descend near the rocks and make your way out of the bay. There's usually small schools of twin spot snapper and fusiliers around the beginning of the dive and occasionally [...]

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Racha Noi – South Tip

Quite honestly we wish we could get here every trip but the converging currents from either side of Racha Noi make the South Tip a challenging dive even on weak tides. Only once or twice a month the current is low enough for us to get there but it's a real treat when we can, even the guides are queuing up for this trip! The dive site consists of a series of huge granite boulders that have been washed smooth by the strong currents, corals have a hard time establishing colonies in these conditions so you won't find too much here apart from in a few sheltered areas but that's not really what we come here for.... The site is the only manta cleaning station for miles around so any giant ma [...]

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Racha Noi – Banana Bay South

For many students this will be part of your first Phuket diving experience. This clear shallow bay is often devoid of current making it an ideal dive site for first timers and more experienced divers who haven't got wet for a while. That's not to say it's a bad dive site, just a very safe one. The dive will begin near the very beautiful coral gardens at around 4-5 meters. Many species of jewel like damselfish, butterfly fish and quite often a hawksbill turtle make a pretty start to the dive before you move off to deeper water. There's a bit of a barren looking patch that although not very picturesque it's a great place to look for cuttlefish, octopus and reef stonefish as well as the [...]

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Local Guides, Local Knowledge, Local Experiences

Don't trust your diving to amateurs or freshly minted dive guides, dive with local experienced experts from Local Dive Thailand. Our Scuba Diving Phuket Tours will take you to see the rarest of the rare critters, you will be amazed by the macro life our guides can find, in the secret places only they know. To put it in perspective, if you were going to climb Mount Everest you would certainly hire a local sherpa to lead the way & keep you safe. Diving is similar because there is absolutely no substitute for local experience & local knowledge, Local Dive Thailand's guides are Phuket's Sherpa's of the Andaman Sea!

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Scuba Diving Tours Phuket, Phi Phi & Thailand

When talking about Scuba Diving Phuket Tours, you should believe the hype, this season we have had Whale Sharks grace us on our regular easy to reach dive sites almost monthly and on a good day you can add Sea Horses, Sea Moths, Snake Eels, Frog Fish & Octopus to what you can see on any given dive, plus much more. If we are heading to Phi Phi Island for the day, you can possibly see Hawksbill Sea Turtles and Black Tip Reef Sharks, also don't forget the King Cruiser, 84 meters of sleeping wreck and the most amazing artificial reef and nursery for fish and nudibranch. Local Dive Thailand day trip tours to these locations are not to be missed when you are scuba diving in Phuket, get in touch with us and book an awesome day of diving.

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Let’s Talk About Light & Diving

In various scuba diving courses, such as PADI Advanced Open Water Diver, Deep Diver and Underwater Digital Photographer you are taught about light (about colours). The concept is quite easy to grasp as your visual experience while diving is directly liked to it. In a nutshell, light is affected by the distance it travels underwater (depth and subject distance) and topside conditions (time of day, weather and surface conditions). So it is all about how much light goes in, and how far it has to go. The following graphic from Dive Photo Guide illustrates this concept nicely. You can see that some colours, such as red and orange, rapidly disappear when going through water. So, y [...]

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The Stonefish

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Phuket Elephant Sanctuary

The recently opened Phuket Elephant Sanctuary promises to be a new kind of tourist attraction for Phuket. Not only will it house rescued elephants from the tourist and logging industries, it will also be a much needed point of education for tourists and the local community. Thailand has long used elephants for construction, logging and even warfare but in more recent years the national symbol is more likely to be found working in jungle trekking camps rather than charging into battle. Eventually the elephants become too old or disabled to work and need somewhere to go. You can't just simply turn a 3 ton animal loose - somebody will notice. Montri Todtane (a former Phuket elephant camp [...]

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