Phuket Thailand's best scuba diving (+66) 076 688 113
What is the Underwater Visibility Like in Phuket?

What is the Underwater Visibility Like in Phuket?

“Is the Visibility Good in Phuket”

A question that we often get asked here is “Is the visibility good?”

Good visibility and bad visibility is a subjective thing and people when commenting should be giving an example of what level of visibility they are comparing it too or with.

For example, a diver that regularly dives in lake or quarries and they compare to that, may think the visibility is good. Those that regularly dive in deep waters may think that that the visibility is poor. We regularly have divers from both spectrums and then can arrive back from the same dive trip and one saying the visibility is good and the other saying it is not good.

There are a number of factors that can affect visibility and they include: particles in the water (turbidity), salinity gradients (haloclines), temperature gradients (thermoclines) and dissolved organic matter.

Exploring King Cruiser Wreck Phuket Thailand

Exploring King Cruiser Wreck Phuket Thailand

The visibility in and around the Phuket dive sites is forever changing. We do not have bad visibility seasons and good visibility seasons. For that reason we neither have go or bad visibility, but Changing Visibility.

Our biggest issue pertaining to visibility here is that we have shallow waters compared to a lot of places in the world. If you depart on a boat from the bay in Chalong and head toward Phi Phi (42km away) the waters will not be any deeper than 40m and in most cases about 30 m.

As with virtually all places in the world, the best time to scuba dive is slack high tide. This is because there is minimal water movement. With minimal water movement less sediment gets pushed around and the water is clearer. Phuket has two high tides a day, one generally at night and one in daylight hours. The times are forever changing and are basically controlled by the moon cycle. There is more water movement around Full Moon and New Moon and less water movement around ¼ moon and ¾ moons .

The greatest influence on visibility here is by upwelling currents. These upward pushing currents are virtually unpredictable. They are caused when certain winds hit each other forcing the bottom water up bringing typically colder rich nutrients from below. This is the main cause of visibility changes here and can create changes in visibility quite quickly.

At dive sites like Phi Phi these changes can occur within a short period of time and often less than an hour. A diver can dive at Phi Phi at 10:00am and have 25m visibility and another can dive at 11:00am and it will be 5m.

The statement that the visibility is “not great ” at Phi Phi is incorrect and it can be “good and bad” is much more accurate. This also goes for Shark Point, Koh Doc Mai and Anemone Reef.

Racha Yai and Racha Noi are slightly different as the waters are generally deeper around those islands. The waters around Racha Noi can be 50 – 60m and that makes the visibility there a lot better. The general visibility there is about 20 – 25m and as the water is deeper it is less likely to change because of upwelling currents. The visibility there is more stable and a lot better. They do have some not so good days there but in most cases it is around the 20 metre.

Around the Racha Islands we do tend to get some regular thermoclines. These can interrupt visibility in different places at different depths. They are something that you can physically see and touch and actually swim away from is they are not moving very quickly. Again, some divers on the same dive site may run into a thermocline and others may not. The visibility according to one diver may be good and another may be bad.

Anemone Reef Scuba Diving Day Trip Aussie Divers Phuket Best

Anemone Reef Scuba Diving Day Trip Aussie Divers Phuket Best

The Similan Island have deeper waters again and the liveaboard trips can provide some of the best visibility in the region. Having said that, Richelieu Rock is in shallower water and that site can have some dramatic changes in visibility.

The last issue we have is diver’s expectations. Some people have an unrealistic idea that we have permanent crystal clear waters here. They accept their local dives as what they are however, understandably when travelling and on holidays and paying good money to dive they expect or want it to be excellent. With this though process divers sometimes end up disappointed not because the visibility was particularly poor but because their expectations were so high.

We all take a gamble when we dive and we hope and pray for good visibility. We are however at the lap of the gods to what they decide to dive us.

We will however try our best to give you an accurate answer. We can let you know what it was but we cannot tell you what it is going to be. Often the answer will be “we don’t know”. Having something to compare to will be helpful.

Lastly, we all know the saying “The worst day scuba diving is better than the best day at work”.

Take care and happy scuba diving.

As about diving with Aussie Divers Phuket

Hi, was This Page Helpful?
(2 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

Posted in Everything Else on .

A Diving Community In Phuket

Here at Aussie Divers we don't just consider ourselves a dive shop, we think of it as more, a big family of like minded individuals coming together to enjoy the marine environment here in Phuket & Thailand. We are always happy to chat with new divers or old, so please drop by the office anytime to see what is going on and if you have dived with us or want to dive with us than feel free to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, read our community Dive Blog and generally stay in touch & stay informed.

Free Pool Try Scuba Diver Aussie Divers Phuket Helpful Diving Info

Do I Need to Know How To Swim to Scuba Dive?

This is a question that I often get asked, and really it is not as simple as YES or NO. If you want to become a certified scuba diver by doing the PADI Open Water Diver Course then the answer is yes. In the PADI Open Water Diver Course it is specified that you have to be able to swim 200 metres with any stroke and also have to be able to tread water or float for at least 10 minutes. The reason for this is not for the fact that scuba diving requires you to swim, but rather it is for yours and your groups safety. In the unlikely event that your BCD (Buoyancy Control Device) was to falter then there would be no device to keep you afloa [...]

Read The Story
PADI courses Phuket Thailand with Aussie Divers Helpful Diving Info

What is PADI? Why Should I Learn with Them?

PADI began in 1966 by John Cronin and Ralph Erickson after they felt a need to allow everyone to have to opportunity to enjoy scuba diving. They also saw a need to introduce professionalism into the scuba diving. PADI now boasts over 135,000 professional scuba diving instructors and divemasters. These instructors and divemasters are employed by over 6000 scuba diving dive centres and resorts. PADI has offices based in over 170 different countries which makes it possible to experience scuba diving almost anywhere in the world. PADI strives to be the world’s leading and most respected organization for recreational scuba diving. P [...]

Read The Story
Aussie Divers Phuket ADEX Giveaway Tshirt Promotion Everything Else

Aussie Divers Phuket – Wear Your Aussie Divers T-shirt to ADEX Singapore and Win

Wear Your Aussie Divers T-shirt to ADEX 2018 and Win Going to ADEX Singapore this year? If so, sadly for the first time in many years Aussie Divers Phuket will not be there. We love our extended Singapore family and we hope that you love Aussie Divers Phuket as well. To show our mutual respect we are having a special promotion for all those going to ADEX 2018. Wear you Aussie Divers Phuket, take a photo of you wearing your t-shirt at ADEX, post it on our Aussie Divers Phuket page or post it on you page and tag Aussie Divers Phuket and go into the draw to win a fantastic Similan Islands Liveaboard trip worth THB 27,000. Here [...]

Read The Story
Ornate Ghost Pipefish Similan Islands Liveaboard Phuket Scuba Diving Helpful Diving Info

What are the Best Dive Sites in Phuket? Aussie Divers Staff Top 5

Aussie Divers Phuket Staff - Top 5 Phuket Dive Spots Between the dive sites in the day trip region of Phuket, the Southern Andaman and the Northern Andaman dive areas of the Similan and Surin Islands there are more than 100 different dive sites. Here are some of the Aussie Divers Phuket staff with their views on what their favorite dive sites are. Darren Gaspari 1. Koh Bida Nok – Phi Phi: Just for the marine life. There is too much there to see. 2. Bay 1 & 2 - Racha Yai: OK, Call me crazy. I learnt to dive in these bays and they have a special place in my heart. It is a bit like my first girl friend, she doesn’t look like sh [...]

Read The Story