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Top 10 Creatures to See Scuba Diving Around Phuket

Top 10 Creatures to See Scuba Diving Around Phuket

The Best 10 Creatures to See Scuba Diving Around Phuket

1. Manta Rays

Giant Manta Ray In Phuket, Thailand - Aussie Divers

Giant Manta Ray In Phuket, Thailand – Aussie Divers

By far my favorite creatures to see whist scuba diving around Phuket is the Giant Manta Ray. Often compared with the Whale Shark as the most sort after underwater creature to see whilst scuba diving. I consider these majestic creatures as number one because they are more regularly sighted and interact better with scuba divers. Manta Rays often come very close to scuba divers, circling divers and can come within a metre of lucky divers. There is nothing more exhilarating than making eye contact with a massive 6-metre creature. Phuket is blessed with the Giant Manta Rays, the biggest of the two breeds of manta rays

Where are they?

South Tip Racha Noi, Koh Tachai, Koh Bon, Racha Yai, Hin Daeng, Hin Muang

Who will see them?
South Tip, Koh Tachai, Koh Bon – PADI Advanced Open Water and above,
Racha Noi, Racha Yai – PADI Discover Scuba Diving, PADI Open Water Divers and above.

2. Whale Sharks

Whale Shark In Phuket, Thailand While Scuba Diving With Aussie Divers

Whale Shark In Phuket, Thailand While Scuba Diving With Aussie Divers

Probably the most talked about sea creature in the area. Considered the hold grail of scuba diving. In second place because of it elusiveness and rarity, many scuba divers have never seen one even after decades of diving and 1000’s of dives. They are often found around 12 metres in length and have been reported to have reached up to 18 metres in size and weight more 21 metric tons. They appear in Thailand with no regularity which make planning a dive with them impossible and to see one is just plain luck.

Where are they?
They do make random appearances all over the area. Places with more common sighting are Hin Daeng, Hin Muang and Phi Phi mid year and it has been reported that they are more common around Koh Bon, /similan-islands/dive-site/koh-tachai/, Richelieu Rock during the last two weeks of March and the first two weeks of April.

Who can see them?
Just the lucky few. They stick close to the surface so they are there for every one. I know an instructor that saw his first after 43 years of diving and I know two men that saw one five minutes into their first PADI Discover Scuba Dive. God luck to you all.

3. Leopard Sharks

Leopard Shark Scuba Diving Hin Bida Phuket Thailand

Leopard Shark Scuba Diving Hin Bida Phuket Thailand

The Leopard shark has to be one of the best creatures to be regularly found in the Phuket area whilst scuba diving. They typically measure between around 2 metres in length and can be found in most areas of Phuket. As long as they are approached correctly and calmly they are comfortable with having scuba divers around them and often interact with divers very well. They can be found both in deep and shallow water, which makes them accessible to all levels of scuba divers in the Phuket area.

Where are they?
Phi Phi, Shark Point, Hin Bida, Anemone Reef, Racha Noi, Similan Islands, Koh Tachai, Richelieu Rock.

Who can see them?
Often they are found in deeper waters (over 20 metres) making them only accessible to PADI Advance Open Water Divers and above however they do like the sandy reef bottoms and it is not unusual for a first time diver such as the PADI Discover Scuba Diver or PADI Open Water students to see them, especially around Phi Phi.

4. Turtles

Turtle Anemone Reef Phuket Day Trips Scuba Diving

Turtle Anemone Reef Phuket Day Trips Scuba Diving

Another fantastic sea creature. There are two breeds of turtle found in and around the Phuket area. The Hawksbill Turtle, which is commonly found in the southern areas, and Green turtle that is found up north. The Hawksbill grows to about a metre long, can weigh up to 100kgs and live to between 30 to 50 years. The Green turtles are larger growing to 1.5 metres and have been known to weigh well over 300kg and can live up to 80 years old. They are not perturbed by scuba divers and they are loved by young and old.

Where can they be found?
Just about everywhere in the local Phuket, Phi Phi and Similan Islands scuba diving sites.

Who can see them?
All levels of scuba divers and snorkelers. Seen often by PADI Discover Scuba Divers.

5. Black Tip Reef Sharks

The beauty of the Black tip reef sharks is the have the body shape of the bigger sharks that are commonly showed in the medias portrayal of sharks. They do have that fearsome shark shape but that is about where their fearsome ends. Their temperament is that of a scared rabbit and they really don’t like the presence of scuba divers, often fleeing to quieter water. They can grow to around 2 metres in length, and can be found in very shallow water providing thrills to scuba divers of all levels and snorkelers as well.

Where can you find them?
By far the most common place is at Phi Phi with both Koh Bida Nok and Phi Phi Ley having numerous sighting.

Who can see them?
All levers of divers can see them and it is not unusual for first time divers to see them during their PADI Discover Scuba Diving or PADI Open Water Course.

6. Eels

Honeycomb Moray Eel Found Scuba Diving On Padi Open Water Course With Aussie Divers Phuket

Honeycomb Moray Eel Found Scuba Diving On Padi Open Water Course With Aussie Divers Phuket

Phuket and the surrounding area is blessed with a large variety of Eels. By far the most common is the giant and white eyed moray eels. Other species include the Honeycomb, Zebra, Fimbrilated, Yellow Edged, Snowflake and Barred Moray Eels along with the banded snake, garden, Ribbon and Crocodile Snake Eel. The giant moray eels are by far the largest reaching over 3 metres in length.

Where can they be found?
Everywhere.

Who can see them?
Hardly a scuba dive goes by without a diver at all levels seeing at least one type of eel.

7. Clown Anemone Fish

Beautiful Anemonefish at Phi Phi the best place learn scuba diving Phuket Thailand

Beautiful Anemonefish at Phi Phi the best place learn scuba diving Phuket Thailand

Everyone knows the clown anemone fish AKA Nemo. They are common to all scuba diving sites throughout the Phuket area with large numbers at Phi Phi, and Shark Point. I never get tired at looking at these beautiful fish.

Where can they be found?
Just about everywhere.

Who can find them?
They are accessible to all levels of scuba divers. PADI Discover Scuba Diving and PADI Open Water Course and above. They are also great subjects for the PADI Digital Underwater Photography Course as well.

8. Harlequin Shrimp

Harliquin Shrimp Richelieu Rock Liveaboard Scuba Diving Phuket Thailand

Harliquin Shrimp Richelieu Rock Liveaboard Scuba Diving Phuket Thailand

Arguably the most stunning and beautiful of the shrimp family. These stunningly coloured crustaceans are not easy to find however there are out there. These shrimp are almost exclusively found in pairs. In 2014 there was a release around Phuket of some 300 pairs making them a little less rare than what they were in previous years. Their favourite food is the brightly coloured sea stars. Look for a partially eaten sea star and good chances there are a pair of harlequin ships close by.

Where can they be found?
They have been turning up in most dive sites. Most recently Racha Yai, Phi Phi (Koh Bida Nok) and Richelieu Rock.

Who can find them?
They are usually creatures that can be found at most depths and can be found anywhere where there are sea stars and have known to be found between 5 metres and 25 metres.

9. Ornate Ghost Pipe Fish

Ornate Ghost Pipefish Similan Islands Liveaboard Phuket Scuba Diving

Ornate Ghost Pipefish Similan Islands Liveaboard Phuket Scuba Diving

Stunning in appearance and very difficult to find. They are believe to have the almost a perfect camouflage system. They grow to about 12 cm in length, often found in pairs and come in a variety of colours.

Where can they be found?
They can show up on just about any dive site in the are however they are not common and very difficult to find. They have more regular sightings in the Similan Islands and further north to the Surin Islands, Richelieu Rock and Koh Doc Mai.

Who can see them?
They are definitely not a beginner’s diver fish. Even when pointed directly at them often they are not recognizable. More for your experienced scuba divers, PADI Advanced Open Water and above.

10. Clown Trigger Fish

Clown Triggerfish Phi Phi Thailand Phuket Scuba Diving

Clown Triggerfish Phi Phi Thailand Phuket Scuba Diving

One of the coolest patterned fish you will ever see. They stand out even in the poorest of visibility and just seeing them brings a smile to my face. Not common but well worth the wait when you see them. They make for great digital underwater pictures as well. They can grow to 50cm and can be found anywhere from 1 metre to 75 metres in depth.

Where can they be found?
Technically they can turn up anywhere however there is a better chance of seeing them at the Phi Phi Islands and the Similan Islands on a liveaboard adventure.

Who can see them?
Just about all levels of scuba divers, PADI Open Water Course and above.

Please comment if you agree or disagree.

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