offers most of Thailand's main diving attractions. The dives
range from breathtaking coral reefs to wrecks and marine life
that's worth the visit. It's closeness to the Andaman sea and
the gulf of Thailand makes it possible to go to all the world
class diving spots in the legendary Andaman Sea.
Regularly departing are livebaords to the famous
Hin Daeng, Similan Islands, Richelieu Rock and even Burma.
Always dive according to your level of training. Check with your dive
center for safety, additional information and level required
for each dive site before entering the water.
Diving is possible all year round although the best
conditions prevail from November to April. Beware about
the Monsoon winds and surface swells in late May to October
which somewhat reduces visibility. However cancellations due
to bad weather are rare. October is the rainy season in the
The water keeps a comfortable temperature of about 27 -
30°C (80°F - 86°F).
For those seeking liveaboard trips, the season
runs from early October to middle of May. There
are a few cruises to the Phi Phi and Similan Islands all year
but the unstable weather conditions from May to October may
result in cancellations.
Most of the diving from Phuket is done in The Andaman Sea which is
only about 15 km (9 miles) away.
Some dive sites visited are:
Racha Yai, where you find a good variety of marine life and
visibility going from 15-30 metres (49-98 feet). The west side
is made up mainly of granite rocks, some coral growth, a good
variety of reef fish and invertebrates.
The diving conditions are easy and the depths go to 20 metres
Shark Point is a marine sanctuary and has abundant marine
life, soft and hard corals.
Tropical and pelagic fish as well as leopard shrks are
seen on this dive, a great opportunity for photographers.
The depths run from 3-25 metres (10 -82 feet) and the visibility
from 10-20 metres (33-65 feet).
Wreck lovers will enjoy King Cruiser, a
steel hulled passenger ferry which sank in 1997. It lies at
approximately 30 metres (98 feet) of depth.
Rocky slopes, huge rock pinnacles and coral gardens make up the dives
on Racha Noi Island. Soft and hard corals cohabite
here as well as a large variety of reef fish. Pelagic
fish is sometimes spotted here.
Koh Doc Mai is on the east side of the island and the wall
has a lot of tube corals and invertebrates. Moray eels,
angelfish and black banded sea snakes
are often seen on this dive.
The chances of spotting the leopard shark are good.
The western side has a steep reef where back-tip
and white-tip reef sharks
have been reportedly encountered.
Anemone reef is a collection of Rocky Plateaus. The upper part
is covered in anemones (from where it's name is derived) and
has resident clown fish, porcelain crabs and
shrimps. With a depth ranging from 4-6 metres (13-20
feet) there are moray eels on the deeper part of this reef.
Phi Phi Islands boast spectacular scenery along with crystal
clear water and abundant reefs. There are
many walls, caves and caverns as well
as sloping reefs and coral gardens.
Fish life is abundant and range from coral reef fish
to leopard shark or whale sharks.
The best time is between November - April.