Scuba Diving in Phuket – everything you need to know
Planning on a scuba diving holiday in Phuket? Following is essential information on everything there is to know about your Scuba Diving trip in Phuket.
Phuket has some of the best scuba diving sites in the world. People flock here from all corners of the globe to experience fabulous underwater and marine life that you will not find anywhere else. There are dozens of scuba diving schools and resorts catering for this massive tourist market. Read on and enjoy one of the best activities to do while on holiday in Phuket.
Your Complete guide to the best Scuba Diving in Phuket
There are numerous dive operators in Phuket all offering day trips to the famous Phi Phi Islands as well as the popular Racha Islands. Essentially, you can scuba dive here all year round as the waters are calm, clear and the visibility is great. Make sure that these 2 islands are top of your scuba diving list especially the King Cruiser & Shark Point dive sites. The best part about diving here is that it accommodates all levels and abilities. You can be a beginner all the way up to advanced and see the wonders that lie beneath easily. If you’re a beginner and have just got your open water certificate then these 2 islands are perfect to start your scuba journey.
If you are a bit more experienced and fancy a challenge then make head to the Similian Islands where you are going to be absolutely blown away by the array and diversity of fish life. This is a scuba divers dream and should be on your Phuket diving bucket list.
Phi Phi Island for Scuba Diving
If your into dramatic underwater sea life in a sensational location then a trip to Phi Phi Islands is a must. The landscape and scenery is mind blowing with lime green monolith cliffs rising from the sea to incredibly heights of over 400 metres. As soon as these meet the water these rugged cliffs play host to a myriad of colourful fish and coral forms that are unbelievable.
This is an ecosystem where marine life is abundant. There are vertical cliff walls that plunge from various dive sites down to well over 100 metres – your dive instructor will take you to these famous sites. These walls contain a massive amount of marine life hidden in every conceivable nook and cranny. Make sure you bring your underwater camera as you will need it!
The Phi Phi Islands has unusual coral shapes that are unique to these dive sites. Keep a look out for the white coral bush that’s shaped li8ke a Christmas tree. Basically, there are heaps of dive sites around the island. Depending on your length of stay here you wont get to see the all but one place of particular beauty is on the southern tip of the Ko Bida Nok. This is well worth a visit as there are huge numbers of reef fish and star corals. Plus the visibility levels are fantastic.
Quick Phi Phi Island Facts
Distance = 45Km
Time on the boat to get there = 1.5 hours
Water depth = 3-30m
Experience needed = OK for everyone at all levels
Reef Type = Lush coral gardens with limestone walls
Visibility levels = 0- 35 metres
Current = Not so bad but can be strong – good for drift diving
Highlights are sharks, gorgeous underwater landscapes with a variety of tropical fish. It’s seriously amazing and worth the boat ride.
King Cruiser Wreck Dive Site
In 1997 the ferry passenger boat the King Cruiser accidentally went off course and hi the reef. This tragedy has somehow turned into a blessing and created a fantastic ship wreck dive site that has given a massive boost to the Phuket dive scene and community. Previously there were no decent ship wrecks to explore and this has changed everything.
It has multiple decks which are great for exploring as these decks are now home to an array of fish, eels, lobsters and corals. Excellent conditions ripe for peaking into those tiny corners. You never now what you’ll find. If you like wreck diving make sure you come here for 2 dives.
King Cruiser Wreck Dive Facts
Distance from Phuket = 35km
Time on the boat to get there = 1.5 hours
Depth of dive = 4m – 35m
Experience levels = beginners to advanced but beginners should be with a dive master
Reef = lots of ship to explore
Visibility = depending where you are on the shop it can get quite dark
Koh Racha Yai Diving
This site offers splendid diving throughout the entire year but the downside is that visibility can vary depending on the season. On the northern tip of the island you will find 2 sensational bays that are noted for their crystal blue waters that run deep with magnificent coral formations. It’s is like swimming in a wonderful fish tank. The waters are so clear that this makes this dive spot a must see destination. Here the waters are around 15metres deep so it’s ideal for snorkelling as well if you can hold your breath that long to get to the sandy bottom.
The best diving here is given to the area off the east coast where it’s famous from drift diving as current s here can be quite strong. You drift along the cliff face that’s covered with an amazing diversity of corals and marine life. The rich marine currents attract lots of tropical fish so it’s great for advanced divers.
Koh Racha Yai Facts
Boat trip times from Phuket = 90 minutes each way
Dive depth = 2–30 m
Suitable for all levels from beginner to advanced
Visibility = excellent
You will most likely see: whale sharks, manta rays, barracuda, plus a whole range of tropical fish
Shark Point Diving
This is the most popular dive spot in the Phuket area as it is part of the Marine Sanctuary. The name comes from the local inhabitants being the friendly (yes they are) Leopard sharks and people flock here to see them swimming around in their natural habitat. As you approach Shark Point you will probably not notice too much except a rocky outcrop. It’s here beneath the waters that the magic happens. Other attractions include the massive wide array of tropical fish that use this rock as a safe haven and the amount of corals. There are strong currents so you will need to have a fair bit of experience tackling this dive. Alternatively, you can go with an instructor that can take you down and accompany you.
Shark Point Diving Facts
Distance from Phuket = 25 km
Time of the boat each way = 90 minutes
Depth of dive = 8m – 30m
Visibility = 1m-30m