Ko Racha Yai (Raya island)

Trip Start Jan 26, 2012
Trip End May 20, 2012

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Flag of Thailand  , Phuket Province,
Monday, May 21, 2012

I wanted to see another beautiful Thai island before leaving so arrange with a tour company to go on tour to Raya Island and stay overnight, giving me 2 days on the island. I was collected by mini bus at 8.30am, driven to the south of Phuket then went to Raya Yai Island via 30minute speed boat.  

The tours first stop was Ao Lha beach where we snorkelled for 1hour. The water visibility was excellent, with no jelly fish and a great selection of fish (at least 20 different varieties). This was the best snorkelling I have done in Thailand and I saw varieties of fish I'd never seen before. Really enjoyed swimming in the ocean for an hour.

After this the tour went onto the island and we had a nice Thai lunch, including an amazing lemon grass/seafood soup. I was the only person on the tour staying overnight so I went and checked into my hotel, the Raya Resort. My bunglow room was right on the sea front, overlooking Ao Patok beach. It was great staying overnight as at 3pm all the day-time tours left and the beaches became empty. It also gave me more time to explore the island, without being rushed to get back to the tour boat. 

I took a walk to Ao Siam beach and found an amazing white sand beach with only 4people on it. I dozed in the high sun then cooled off in the sea and had a drink in the bar. I then took a walk to Ao Lha cove, where we'd snorkelled in the morning and back to Ao Patok beach to find it empty. Special to have such a beautiful beach to yourself.  

With only blue skies the heat was intense, even sitting in the shade at 4pm I couldn't stop sweating. It must have been 35+ degree still at 4pm as I sat on my balcony writing my blog and editing the days pictures.

I found Raya island the perfect place to relax for 2 days. It was not built up like Ko Phi Phi Don, instead there was just a few scattered resorts and restaurants across a number of beautiful bays. It was also small enough that you could just walk between beaches, with east to west taking only 15minutes. As the island wasn't covered in concrete the wildlife was great too. I saw my first gaint lizard, a 5foot monitor lizard that gave me quiet a shock when I say him 30cm
from my feet and above 30meters from my bungalow. There were also huge millipede, tropical frogs and butterflies as large as your hand. 

At the end of the first day I went to the beach at 5pm and waited till 6.20pm for the amazing sunset out of the cove over the ocean. It was very peaceful to sit and watch. 
On the second day I had morning tea overlooking Ao Patok beach, then relaxed on the quiet Ao Siam beach until 3pm, where I went back to Phuket with the day tour speedboat. With only 6 days left of this 4month adventure, I was glad I could spend 2 days of them in such a
beautiful place. Raya Island, along with Rai Leh was the Thai beaches I'd be dreaming off. 
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