Diving is everywhere on this Thai island – Phuket is the gateway to some of the most astounding dive sites in Thailand and the rest of Asia. Find out the best places to dive in Phuket, when to dive, and some expert tips for enjoying the best diving experience on your next Phuket vacation.
Diving Phuket: Short and Long Trips
The destination of Phuket is ideal for divers looking for both short day dives, and longer liveaboard trips. From Phuket you can take a multi-day liveaboard trip up the west coast to visit some of the most interesting sites the Andaman Sea has to offer. Or you can stay closer to your resort on Phuket island and enjoy some day trips to local dive sites. Additionally, there are many different PADI dive schools to choose from so beginner divers can learn the ropes easily in Phuket.
Phuket Island Local Dive Sites
If you choose to dive close to Phuket itself you have a wealth of choice. Here are a few popular dive sites close to Phuket that can be visited on a day trip.
Anemone Reef – You’ll understand how this site gets its name when you see the clusters of amazing anemones that cover the limestone rock. The Thai name for this site is Hin Jom – submerged rock – and this is exactly what Anemone Reef is. The tip of the rock is located just below the surface of the ocean and it extends down for 30 meters so the diving here is understandably exciting. Apart from the waving anemones you will also spot clownfish, snapper, grouper, bannerfish, parrotfish, soldierfish, lionfish, and even some seahorses. Sometimes a leopard shark will cruise by, or you will spot a hawksbill turtle. Whatever you see, you will be surprised as this is a popular spot for the sheer diversity of its marine life.
Racha Noi Island – The lovely, peaceful tropical island called Racha Noi is a prime dive site, surrounded by hard coral and immense underwater boulders that provide the perfect conditions for seeing manta rays and whale sharks. Racha Noi is the place to spot schools of tuna, and also reef sharks and stingrays at the deeper levels of a dive on this site. You may even be lucky enough to spot a cruising whale. You can go here on a day trip or take a liveaboard trip there for two days or more.
Kingcruiser Wreck – The wreck of the passenger ferry called King Cruiser has its final resting place on Anemone Reef. The Kingcruiser sank in 1997 and now provides an interesting dive site surrounded by coral and plenty of colorful fishes.
Shark Point – For many, Shark Point is a must-dive site due to the presence of the leopard sharks that rest on the sand at the bottom of the ocean. Shark Point makes up part of one of Thailand’s marine sanctuaries and it is a perennially popular site for beginners and more experienced divers. Shark Point is not only popular for the glimpse of sharks but also for the excellent coral that is home to an abundance of marine species.
Koh Doc Mai – This site is considered to be one of the best places to wall dive on the island. Located in the ocean going towards Shark Point, Koh Doc Mai is a tiny island covered with vegetation. Under the water, coral clings to the surface of the rock and you will see a huge diversity of sea life on a dive at this popular Phuket site.
Racha Yai Island – The granite island of Racha Yai is surrounded by layers of hard coral and there are some lovely little shallow bays surrounding the island that are great for snorkeling or learning to dive. The diving here is excellent for beginners and you can see plenty as the visibility is usually good.
How to Dive on Phuket
Book day trips for local dives with one of the experienced operators that work out of Phuket. You won’t find it difficult to pick up a trip. You can also hire a private guide if you do not want to go out in a larger group. If you want to go further and explore sites like Phi Phi then you will need to get on a liveaboard boat that will take you on a multi-day trip to diving sites further afield.
When is the Phuket Diving Season?
You can scuba dive all year round but the ideal conditions for diving occur in the Phuket tourist high season which is between November and April. During low season you can still dive but the sea is less calm and there is more rain.
Find out more about where to stay, where to go, and what to do on Phuket – visit PhuketOn. More information and inspiration about the island at PhuketOn.