Access the Best Dive Sites in the Andaman Sea
Nestling like a pearl in the Andaman Sea, Phuket's location sets it apart from and elevates it above Thailand's other diving destinations, and this is one of the reasons why so many visitors come back to dive in Phuket year after year.
Simply put, this island is the only resort area from where you can visit all of Thailand's chief diving attractions, with regular liveaboard tours to the famous Similan Islands, Hin Daeng, Richelieu Rock, as well as Burma.
Diving in Phuket offers a wide range of interesting local adventures too, with its soft coral pinnacles, coral fringed islands, wall diving. Discover the sunken treasures of the King Cruiser wreck, a car ferry sunk in 30 metres of water, an ideal site for deep divers. Then there's the chance to dive with manta rays and view dolphins and occassional whales at Racha Noi South Point.
Or if you are a keen photographer then you can take underwater photos of cuttlefish or the leopard sharks at Shark Point or Koh Phi Phi. Shark Point is a series of pinnacles covered in colourful soft corals and alive with sea life. Nearby is Anemone Reef, another pinnacle carpeted in magnificent anemones and a great place to see clownfish and find turtles.
The Phi Phi Islands are a further distance but still frequently dived on day trips out of Phuket. These ever-popular islands provide splendid wall dives where you might find reef sharks and groupers, schooling reef fish such as fusiliers, as well as smaller marine treasures such as pipefish and squid. The trip to Koh Phi Phi is worth making for the magnificent scenery alone.
With unbeatable access to all of the best diving in Thailand, its own varied and fascinating underwater worlds, plus its legendary topside attractions of fantastic beaches and thumping nightlife, Phuket scuba diving remains very popular with both young holidaymakers and experienced dive travellers alike.
You can visit all of the dive spots in Phuket all of the year round, but the best conditions exist from November through to April.
Late May to October brings monsoon winds and surface swells to the island, sometimes reducing visibility by about 30%, but it's pretty rare that diving trips are cancelled due to bad weather. Indeed some of the sites are just as good, if not better, in the low season. October also brings heavy rains to the Andaman Sea.
The Phuket liveaboard season runs from early October through to mid May. There are also a limited number of liveaboard safari cruises to the Phi Phi Islands and Similan Islands all the year round, although the unpredictable weather patterns during the months from May to October can lead to cancellations.
Great for: Small animals, reef life and health, beginner divers, diving value-for-money, snorkelling and non-diving activities
Not so Great for:
Depth: 5 - 40m
Visibility: 5 - 40m
Currents: Can be strong
Surface Conditions: Calm to moderate
Water Temperature: 27 - 30°C
Experience Level: Beginner - advanced
Number of dive sites: ~30
Access: Phuket liveaboards and day trips
Recommended length of stay: 1 week, or 2 - 3 weeks to dive all destinations that are accessible from here
More detailed information on the Phuket dive sites:
Dive The World Recommendations: Racha Noi and Shark Point.
• Phuket tourist information
• Map of Phuket Island
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