Racha Noi South Tip is One Of The Very best Diving Sites In Phuket But Oh So Frustratingly Difficult To Get To…
Quite honestly we wish we could get to Racha Noi South Tip every trip but the converging currents from either side of Racha Noi make it 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 on the current exposed areas. But in the few sheltered areas the nutrient rich current feeds stunning soft and hard corals. The site is the only manta cleaning station for miles around so any giant manta’s in the area are sure to pay it a visit. They’re not always there but even if they’re not it’s still a spectacular dive site.
How To Dive Racha Noi South Tip
The drop is usually made away from the island so as soon as you hit the water we look down to make sure we see the top of the dive site and descend immediately. The shallowest part of the dive site is at 12-14 depending on the tide. If there is a bit of current (preferable) then look for some shelter and slowly work your way around the boulders. A wall on the southern side drops off to 50m+ and is a great place to look for leopard sharks and eagle rays.
Colourful schools of fusiliers and other small fish feed on the plankton washed down from the current. Which in turn attracts small groups of marauding bluefin trevally and some very large yellowtail barracuda. All of the predators seem a little larger than usual at the south tip than on our other Phuket dive sites, a reflection of the amount of food that is available.
The manta cleaning station is at the top of the dive site so the beginning and the end of the dive is when you’re most likely to get an encounter with these wonderful creatures. Making the required safety stop potentially a very special one. It’s possible to see them at any point of the dive so always look up and out. You may also spot a school of large chevron barracuda languishing above the rocks just waiting for the current to return so they can begin feasting on the disorientated baitfish.
For safety reasons we can’t go here very often. If we plan to make the dive we’ll announce it on our facebook page.