Where is the best scuba diving in Phuket?
Phuket is a popular tourist destination in Thailand, known for its stunning beaches and crystal-clear waters. It’s also a haven for scuba divers, offering some of the best diving spots in the world. The warm and clear waters around Phuket are home to a diverse range of marine life, including sea turtles, barracudas, and colorful corals.
One of the most popular diving spots in Phuket is the Similan Islands, which are located about 100 kilometers northwest of Phuket. Best done as liveaboard trips the islands boast some of the most impressive underwater landscapes in the region, with granite boulders forming caves, swim-throughs, and pinnacles. The Similan Islands are also home to a wide variety of marine life, including whale sharks, manta rays, and leopard sharks.
Please note that during the monsoon season from May to October each year, the Similan Islands are closed to preserve the national marine park, so you cannot visit Similans during this period.
The Racha Islands
Another popular diving spot is the Racha Islands, which are located just south of Phuket, with good diving all year round. The waters around Racha Yai Island offer excellent visibility and a diverse range of marine life, including moray eels, reef sharks, and schools of colorful fish. The Racha Islands are also known for their impressive underwater rock formations, including swim-throughs and coral gardens.
The dive sites at Racha Islands are accessible all year and can be the better option for diving from Phuket during the monsoon season, with the dive sites more sheltered from the seasonal weather.
Phi Phi & Shark Point
Phi Phi Islands and Shark Point are two popular scuba diving spots in Phuket that are not to be missed. Best dived in the dry season the Phi Phi Islands are located about 40 kilometers southeast of Phuket and offer a range of dive sites, including Bida Nai and Bida Nok.
These sites are known for their clear waters and impressive underwater landscapes, including colorful corals, schools of tropical fish, and even occasional sightings of whale sharks. Shark Point, located just east of Phuket, is known for its abundance of marine life, including leopard sharks, barracudas, and sea turtles. Divers can explore the underwater pinnacle formations and swim-throughs, making for a thrilling and unforgettable experience.
Both Phi Phi Islands and Shark Point are excellent choices for scuba diving enthusiasts visiting Phuket, especially during the dry season when better dive sites like Bida Nok & Bida Nai are accessible.
For those Advanced divers looking for a more unique diving experience, the King Cruiser Wreck can be a nice option. The wreck is located about 30 kilometers southeast of Phuket and was once a passenger ferry before sinking in 1997.
The wreck itself is now mostly broken up and in bad condition and can no longer penetrate inside. It is home to a variety of marine life, including lionfish, snappers, and barracudas, and offers an eerie but fascinating diving experience.
This site can be a challenging dive, especially around the full & new moons when there can be strong currents and limited visibility.
Kata Beach House Reef
Kata Beach Dive Site is a popular & easy diving spot in Phuket, Thailand. This site offers divers a chance to explore an incredible underwater world teeming with diverse marine life and colorful coral reefs. Perfect for beginners doing the PADI Discover Scuba Diving experience and entry-level divers looking for an easy dive site option.
However, it is important to note that access to the site is limited to the dry season, which runs from November to April. During this period, the water is clear, calm, and warm, providing ideal conditions for diving. As a result, this period is the best time to visit the site, as divers can enjoy maximum visibility and encounter a wide range of marine creatures, including sea turtles, octopus, rays and schools of tropical fish.
Koh Haa, Hin Daeng, Hin Muang
In the dry season, Novemeber through to April scuba diving at Koh Haa, Hin Daeng, and Hin Muang is an experience that shouldn’t be missed for diving enthusiasts. As these sites are located away from the coast, taking a private charter from Phuket is the best way to explore them.
These dive sites offer an abundance of marine life, including colorful corals, large schools of fish, and even whale sharks, manta rays, and leopard sharks. The waters surrounding these sites are also known for their exceptional visibility, often exceeding 30 meters, providing divers with an opportunity to see the underwater world in its full glory. With a private charter, divers can have a more personalized experience and can choose to explore multiple sites in one day, ensuring they get the most out of their diving trip.
In conclusion, Phuket is a diver’s paradise, offering a range of world-class diving spots for both beginners and experienced divers. The Similan Islands, Racha Islands, and King Cruiser Wreck are just a few of the top spots to explore in the region. Whether you’re interested in colorful corals, diverse marine life, or unique underwater landscapes, Phuket has something for everyone.
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