Racha Noi Banana Rock – Diving In Phuket That Feels Like The Similan Islands
Racha Noi 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. Explore the few bommies for moray eels, lionfish and reef stonefish.
Recently we’ve been fortunate enough to have at least two giant frogfish hanging around on this dive site. The larger one is at depth near the beginning and it’s smaller brethren sits somewhere on the rock itself. They’re a rare find for our area but a very welcome one.
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 so it’s a very pretty part of the dive. The staghorn beds lead you to the huge granite boulders that give the dive site its name. Corals have a hard task colonising the granite so as a result there’s not a great deal covering the rocks. The rocks still attracts plenty of life and is the most likely place on the dive site for encounters with giant manta rays.
After the rocks you’ll head up onto the hard coral and rock reef in the shallows to complete your safety stop. If you’re lucky you may find a hawksbill turtle or two sleeping amongst the rocks.