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Diving Thailand – Dive Sites Thailand – Scuba Diving Similans
 
Name Banana Bay Racha Noi
Depth 5-31m
Vis 12-50m
Water Temp 26-30c
Level Beginner+
Our Rating 3.8 Stars
Best Time to Visit All Year
GPS 07-29--50N 98-19-28E
   
  Map of Local Dive Sites
Manta Ray Banana Bay

Racha Noi is located about two hours south of Phuket. It usually boasts some of the best scuba diving conditions around Phukets waters. It is named Banana Bay because of the many banana trees that cover the sloping jungle hillside overlooking the bay. On a good day, the visibility here can sometimes reach more than an astounding 50 metres. The turquoise blue water gives rise to an underwater seascape that could rival some dive sites in the Similans. It is a sloping reef that starts at about 5 metres and slopes gently down to a white sandy bottom at a little over 30 metres.                                               

Sandy patches provide resting areas for Leopard Sharks, which are found here on a daily basis. Huge Manta Rays are common here and are usually spotted cruising up and down reef feeding on the krill and jellyfish, that sometimes swarm in with the currents. The Mantas are usually found towards the south end of the bay where the depth is around 20 to 30 metres. It's a good idea to ascend up to 5 metres in the blue for the safety stop at the south end of the bay and you might be rewarded with a fly past.

The reef itself is comprised of mostly hard corals, including vast growths of healthy Staghorn covering areas of the reef. Bommies also permeate the sandy patches giving shelter to blankets of Glassfish and provide homes to predatory Moray Eels and Lionfish. Blue Spotted Stingrays can be found on the sandy patches, especially during late afternoon when they come in shallower to feed. Sadly, expect to see some damage and litter on the reef here. This is due to fishing boats trawling their nets and discarding empty energy drinks bottles and other litter. Kindly remember to pick up small pieces of rubbish you may find and take it back to your dive boat for proper disposal. If all divers manage to do their bit here, it will keep this site as beautiful as it is today.