Diving Phuket

Home  |  Locations  |  South-east Asia  |  Thailand  |  Phuket

Phuket, Thailand

Beautiful-world.jpg
124125122123

Beginner Intermediate Expert

Shore Day Trip Live Aboard

Country: Thailand  Area: Thailand

Water Temp: 27 - 31°C (81 - 88°F)

Visibility: 10 - 40m (33 - 131 ft)

Depth Range: 10 - 40m (33 - 131 ft)

Turtle Breeding Season - Oct to Mar

Book A Diving Trip Online
 

Thailand’s largest island and most popular tourist destination provides everything any holiday maker could want, exquisite white sand beaches, warm balmy turquoise sea, a busy nightlife, and more importantly access to the top Thailand diving. 

Book A Dive Center Online

Phuket, also known as “The Pearl of the South” is Thailand largest island is on the Andaman Coast and is joined to the Southern tip of the mainland by a pair of short bridges. Although due to its popularity many areas have been heavily built up and get very crowded during peak season, such as the main resort of Patong, but even so there are still lots of areas to be found that are quieter and unspoilt.

The Andaman coast is home to a huge array of marine life including the chance to dive with two of the biggest plankton feeders of the sea, the Whale Shark and Manta Ray, along with other popular marine life such as Hawksbill Turtles and a variety of Reef Sharks which is why it is known as some of the best diving in Thailand.

Beauty underneath Phuket, Credit

Climate

The climate in this area is tropical so although it is lovely and warm for most of the year it does have a monsoon season from May to late October. During this period there are some rainy days but a lot of the time it is still sunny with just a late afternoon heavy shower. The monsoon does make the Andaman Sea very rough with high winds so the dive liveaboards and shore diving tends to shut down during this period and only run from November to Apri. Although the liveaboards and shore diving capabilities all shut down most dive schools still run day boat trips to local sites such as Racha Noi Island throughout the monsoon season. These are very dependent on the weather and can be interrupted by bad weather conditions.

Refreshing! Credit

It’s advisable to also avoid December and January as this is peak season, accommodation can be hard to find and is more expensive, and the dive sites are very crowded. The best time to visit is from February to April when the weather will be at its best, the seas at their calmest, the dive sites less crowded but also have the highest chance of big pelagic encounters with manta rays and whale sharks. The water temperature is warm and pleasant year round with the coolest temperatures during the monsoon and warmest time being late March to May.

Marine Conservation

Marine Turtles have been legally protected in Thailand for many years. At Thai Muang National Park beach, just north of Phuket, every March there is a seven day event to release young turtle hatchlings. Leatherback and Olive Ridley are the two main nesting turtles on this beach and the young turtles are raised by the Fisheries Department and then the event is used to promote conservation efforts and local awareness of the need to protect marine turtles.

The Royal Thai Navy has an active role in the Turtle protection and patrol the beaches at the Similan and Surin Islands watching for intruders and poachers. They also protect the Green and Hawksbill eggs for natural predators like birds and reptiles and once hatched they collect them up and take them to a protection centre where they are raised for another 6 months to give them the best chance of survival before being released into the ocean.

Yellow fish, Credit

 
Read more…
Hide content

Wildlife Calendar

                           
                       
                       
                                           

Didn't find the information
you we're looking for?

Ask a question

Most questions are answered by our
diving community within 24 hours

See Dive Centers

Shore Diving

Phuket shore dives are mainly along the west coast of the island. This dives are quick and perfect for those who are travelling with a family or non divers and don’t want to be out diving all day. 

Coral i n Phuket, Credit

There are a variety of sites for all levels, but most are shallow sites perfect for beginners or training divers. Although most experienced divers go on trips further afield to more exciting and deeper sites it is worth to take a day to also explore these interesting shore dives. Popular sites ate Kata Reef, Karon rock and Koh Pu. These sites are great for photographers with a diverse macro life such as Ghost Pipefish, Stick Pipefish, Shrimps, nudibranches as well as an abundance of reef fish and corals and sometimes even an some Whitetip Reef Sharks can be spotted feeding near the reefs. The shallowness of the sites means it is also a great place for snorkelers and swimmers to also share in the beauty of the reefs.

Caution must be given to the many long tail boats and Jet skis along the coast. When surfacing bear in mind that you may not be seen so try and always surface underneath a marker buoy, and if possible have surface cover to warn the jet skis and boats that there are divers in the area. Shore dives during the monsoon can be very dangerous due to rough seas and winds and only run November to April.

Diving Phuket's underwater world, Credit

Day Trips

Phuket caters for all levels of diver as there is such a variety of dive sites available. As well as the famous further afield sites visited by liveaboard there are lots of excellent sites local to Phuket such as the Islands of Racha Yai and Racha Noi.

Racha Noi is popular for spotting Manta Rays and occasional Whale Sharks. This site is the best in the local area outside of the Similans and can be dived by divers of all levels. One side has strong currents and only suitable for experienced divers, but around the island there are many sites suitable for beginners.

Racha Yai is a granite island which means it always has great, clear visibility. It has many shallow protected bays which means that it can be dived year round as whatever the winds are up to there is always somewhere protected that can be dived. It has a diverse selection of marine life including Titan Triggerfish, anemonie fish, moray eels, cuttlefish and octopus.

Eel, Credit

Liveaboard Trips

Liveaboards run up the Andaman Coast to the Similan Islands and sites such as Koh Bon and also down towards Koh Phi Phi. These trips only run in peak season and shut down during the monsoon due to high winds and rough seas.

Richelieu Rock is regarded as the best place in Thailand to see Whale Sharks from February to April. This can only be reached by liveaboard boat from Phuket. The site has amazing biodiversity of marine life ranging from lionfish, seahorses, pipefish and moray eels so even without a whale shark it is a wonderful dive and a photographers dream.

School of fish, Credit

One of the best places to see Mantas is Koh Bon, 40km north of the Similan's and included in lots of the liveaboard trips from Phuket. It’s very different to the Similan Islands, as it is a Limestone rock where as the Similan's are granite. This means different underwater colours and nutrients for marine life to feed on. This location is not a dive for inexperienced divers as there can be strong fierce currents, which the mantas love to feed in.

Didn't find the information
you we're looking for?

Ask a question

Most questions are answered by our
diving community within 24 hours

See Dive Centers

How to Get there

Phuket Island is one of the top tourist destinations in Thailand, and is easily accessible with an International Airport providing flights to many destinations around the world and many domestic destinations. It is also very accessible by boat or road from the rest of Thailand.

Phuket, Thailand, Credit

Didn't find the information
you we're looking for?

Ask a question

Most questions are answered by our
diving community within 24 hours

See Dive Centers

Where to Eat & Drink

Phuket is a main tourist destination so has a wide selection of bars and restaurants all over the island offering every type of cuisine.

Crab, Credit

One novel dining experience are Phuket’s floating seafood restaurants which can be found along the east coast and long tails from Laem Hin pier take you out to the restaurants which sit halfway between the coast and Koh Maprow. Within the restaurants there are nets where life fish and crabs are stored. Although the prices in these restaurants are higher than Thai restaurants it’s worth it for the unique experience and beautiful setting.

Didn't find the information
you we're looking for?

Ask a question

Most questions are answered by our
diving community within 24 hours

See Dive Centers

Other Activities

Phuket has a huge choice of water sports other than diving in Thailand. You can whizz around the calm turquoise water on a jet ski or get towed behind a speedboat paragliding to take it the areas amazing scenery from the air.

The beach crowd, Credit

There are also many other activities and sites worth taking time to see from hiking, mountain biking, muay thai boxing or visiting any of the beautifully intricate temples.

Phuket also has a huge range of shops where you can pick up great souvenirs or get some suits or dresses tailor made in thai silk to your exact specifications.

Elephant in Khao Sok National Park, Credit

Elephant Trekking & Abuse

Please do not support Elephant torture and abuse by riding Elephants (or supporting Elephant performance) in Asia;

In Thai culture, the Phajaan or ‘the crush', is the torture method elephants undergo to become a part of the tourism industry. Essentially this involves cruel physical and mental abuse over long periods of time to make the Elephants submissive to humans.
Asian Elephant spines cannot support the weight of people. Carrying people on their backs all day often leads to permanent spinal injuries.
There is responsible Elephant tourism in Thailand - a good rule to remember is that if a tourist outfit offers anything other than getting to spend time with elephants, it is not friendly to them. 
Any outfit that offers riding, circuses or paintings means they have undergone horrific abuse in order to get them to where they are
Please do not support Elephant torture and make your travel companions aware of what lies behind this industry.
  • In Thai culture, the Phajaan or ‘the crush', is the torture method elephants undergo to become a part of the tourism industry. Essentially this involves cruel physical and mental abuse over long periods of time to make the Elephants submissive - starting as a calf
  • Asian Elephant's spines cannot support the weight of people. Carrying people on their backs all day often leads to permanent spinal injuries.
  • There is responsible Elephant tourism in Thailand - a good rule to remember is that if a tourist outfit offers anything other than getting to spend time with elephants, it is not friendly to them.
  • Remember; any outfit that offers riding, circuses or paintings means the Elephants have undergone horrific abuse in order to train the Elephants

You can help these magnificent animals by making your travel companions aware of what lies behind this industry. The main problem is a lack of awareness - most people have no idea! 

Dive Report is committed to raising awareness to the abuse suffered by Elephants used in the tourist industry. If you want to know more you can find out more hereherehere and here. Also see a PETA documentary video here.

Didn't find the information
you we're looking for?

Ask a question

Most questions are answered by our
diving community within 24 hours

See Dive Centers

Tips

Thai vendors can sometimes make some people feel uncomfortable. They can approach you with goods to buy or  to persuade you to enter their shops or restaurant. A calm and clear, “No, thank you,” will usually do the trick.

Hovering alone! Credit

The nearest international hospital is in Phuket which also has two diving recompression chambers.

Dive Reports

X

Write a Dive Report for Phuket

Attached files
No files attached
X

Share a tip about diving in Phuket

X

Ask the dive community a Question

Rating 10/10

Koh Doc Mai

Phuket4 Jan 2012 - 4 Jan 2012

Koh Doc Mai or Flower Island is a rock island about 1 hour from Phuket on the way to Phi Phi. Its sheer rock walls carry on down under the water cresting a fantastic wall dive. It's best dived in the morning when you have more light and can see the amazing macro life. There are many white eyed morays in all the cracks and crevices, which are home to at least 3 different types of cleaner shrimps. Also look for Jens cleaner pipe fish dancing around each other. Ornate ghost pipe fish are frequently found in pairs as are seahorses.

If like many other you love nudibrachs then this is the dive for you, almost every part of the wall has them.

Bamboo sharks are hiding under the rocky outcrops at the base of the wall. Look out for peacock mantis shrimps making their tunnels in the rubble bottom.

If you have good eyes then frog fish are often to be found here. Near the surface look up for for the crocodile needle fish and schools of squid.

A colourful, dive full of life, ideal for photographers who love macro life.

I saw: Seahorses
D303315 D304445 Scuba Adventure 4423 Scuba Adventure 6782 Scuba Adventure 6905
Rating 9/10

King Cruiser

Phuket18 Aug 2012 - 18 Aug 2012 with Scuba Cat Diving

The three dive daytrip departed with 9 divers on board to dive King Cruiser, Shark Point and Koh Doc Mai.

Although it is low season the water was fairly flat with viz around 12m for the sites.

The King Cruiser a large wreck which sank 14 years ago was as always impressive, with schools of Barracuda and snappers, hiding scorpion fish displaying lion fish and many nudibranchs along the side of the vessel.

The resident turtle failed to appear to day but with all the busy life around was not missed too much.

Next dive was Shark point where we had mating cuttle fish, sea horse and a zebra moray. A leopard shark was spotted sleeping on the sandy bottom, with khules stingrays about.

The last dive of Koh Doc Mai did not disappoint either, with the fantastic macro life, free swimming white eye morays, bamboo sharks and ghost pipe fish. Great days diving.

I saw: Seahorses
DSC05869 DSCN1473001 white eyed 220812 Dives 26
slide2

Oliver Whiteley

Amazing picture of Cuttlefish! Looks like a brilliant dive site!

MV Scuba Funthumb

Scuba Cat Diving

Thanks it is great dive day

Wreck Diving Maldives

Adelina De la Luz

More great photos the cuttlefish is my favorite too

Rating 9/10

Liveaboard and more

Phuket19 Mar 2011 - 23 Mar 2011 with Scuba Cat Diving

I joined on a liveaboard as a customer which was very novel for me. Having worked in the industry for many years I am usually the guide and taking care of others, not really diving for myself.

So at the end of one season I decided to take a trip with Scuba Cat on board MV Scuba Adventure.

The boat only carries 12 people so that was great in terms of being flexible with dive schedules, and dive sites were tailored to the divers on board, which was great.

I have dived the Similans, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai and Richelieu many times over the last 11 years, and as always they were great.

Harlequin shrimps in their pairs with juveniles were one of the highlights, along with Manta's at 3 places, white tip reef sharks, sea-horses, ghost pipe fish, and many different varieties of Nudibranchs and shrimps.

I love macro stuff and with this dive center has the time to go slowly and find things.

Cedric Saveuse20090630 43 20110627Racha YaiM0010981 7 noons feb 2007 002 D304445 D303643
Wreck Diving Maldives

Adelina De la Luz

Excellent macro shots! Is the 4th one an ornate pipefish?

MV Scuba Funthumb

Scuba Cat Diving

Ornate Ghost Pipe fish, seen quite a lot around the dive sites here, Richeleiu, Similans, Shark Point, Koh Doc Mai, Phi Phi and many more. They can be different colours depending on where they are as they try to camouflage themselves as corals.

Delete comment?

This will permanently delete the comment. Are you sure?

Your Dive Report has been published.

Would you like to share it on Facebook or Twitter?

Share it on Twitter Share on Twitter

Share it on Facebook Share on Facebook

No thanks - just show me the report

Sign up now and join in!
Sign up now and join in!
Sign up now and join in!