Monday, 6 April 2009

Koh Racha Islands

I do like a trip to a nice island. If it has a good beach and some decent snorkeling then that is ideal. Hopefully, it will not be too crowded but will have a few restaurants and bars. All the better if we can stay for a night or two to really chill out and appreciate the place. So when a few of our local Thai friends invited us to join them on a trip to Koh Racha, I was more than happy to accept. A couple of them work for one of the major hotels in Phuket and they had a very good deal on a speedboat tour and bungalow resort.

There are two islands, Koh Racha Yai & Noi. They are a fair distance out from Phuket and it takes dive boats well over an hour to get out there. Taking the speedboat really makes a difference. We zipped across from Chalong pier in half an hour and moored at the pier in Patok Bay at Koh Racha Yai. There is a great beach in this bay. There is also a posh 5-star resort and a handful of shops and restaurants.

I have visited Koh Racha a few times before on diving and fishing trips. Obviously, this involves spending most of your time on the water so I had never really had a look inside the island. Looking from the sea, I always assumed there was nothing much within the islands except for jungle. I was therefore quite surprised when our bungalow resort picked us up from the beach (with a tractor and trailer) and whisked us into the island. There are tracks and pathways around the island. Along the tracks are a few rustic little bungalow resorts, restaurants and coconut plantations.

Our bungalows were at the Raya Father Resort. It has pleasant little bungalows for 1000-baht a night (unless you are getting a special deal like us). There is a restaurant, internet shop and a little garden. We settled in and then went back to Patok Bay where our speedboat was waiting to take us for a cruise around Racha Yai. There is some great snorkeling around the Racha islands and we even saw a dolphin jump out the water.

After the cruise, our resort provided lunch (all included) and then we wandered across to the island’s other major beach in Siam Bay for the afternoon. It is a beautiful, quiet and laid back beach. We spent a lazy afternoon swimming and sleeping. We spent the evening at our bungalow resort eating and drinking.

It is all just the sort of stuff I like from an island trip. Good beaches, good snorkeling, friendly locals and relaxing evenings by the bungalow supping a few beers (well quite a lot of beers).

The food and drink prices at the outlying islands are generally a little higher than on Phuket, as they have to bring everything out by boat. We did a trip to Coral Island a few weeks ago where they were massively overcharging and we won’t be going back to that beach again. The prices at Racha Yai are what you would expect to pay at the islands and are reasonable. The Racha Islands are a good option for a few days island getaway.

1 comment:

Sbipk said...

Thank you nice article.
your next trip…Phuket is the best choice for you!!
I love here Surin Beach Hotel This hotel is very nice clean and the people are friendly. VERY nice hotel with helpful staff.
And I really love white sand, crystal clear waters at Surin Beach too.
Thank again.