Best Diving sites in Phuket

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If you have dived in Phuket before, please share your experiences: Dive spots you would recommend, which Dive Center you used, Fishes & Diving, Visibility, Currents, etc. Please post your comments in the section below, by doing so you will help fellow divers to plan their next trip ;)

In this page you will find more detailed information about scuba diving in Phuket.

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Best Dive Review

Scuba diving in Phuket is everywhere! You will find dozens of dive centres ready to take you everywhere you want! Diving around Phuket is good but the main force of Phuket is that you can dive the best sites all round the Andaman Sea like around Koh Phi Phi, Ko Lanta.

You can for example go to Hin Daeng and Hin Muang dive sites. They are both listed among the best dive spots in Thailand and in the world. Hin Daeng is famous for its fantastic marine life on a steep wall and Hin Muang for the superb violet coral.

Phuket Beach

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/vinodmurali/4456133241/

Both sites are among the best places in the world for Whale Shark sightings ;-) You can expect to spot grey reef sharks, leopard sharks and large schools of pelagic!

Two interesting local dive sites are Racha Noi and Racha Yai where Manta rays and turtles are often spotted but current can be strong and these spots are better suitable for experienced divers.

There is also good wreck diving with the King Cruiser wreck to explore. This spot can be combined in a day trip with the two other excellent dive sites of Anemone reef and Shark Point.

You can also go diving to the world famous dive site of Richelieu Rock on a day trip, where whales sharks are quite often spotted.

Phuket is the starting point of many liveaboards to Similan Islands and Surin Islands, two world class diving destinations!

Where to stay?

I usually use this website to book in advance my hotels in Phuket as they usually have the lowest rates I find. I like it because it's free to cancel and change the dates.

Best time to dive in Phuket

Climate is tropical on Phuket Island and the weather is mostly hot and humid all year round. There are 2 seasons:

  • The rainy season runs from May to December. From June to October, there is heavy rainfall but rainy days are rare and it is mostly a cooling 2 hour downpour at the end of the day.
  • The dry and hot season runs from January to April is the best time to visit Phuket. Even if it is the dry season, there still can be rain.

The high tourist season runs from November to April with a peak in December and January. It is best to avoid this period as accommodation is often full and prices tend to increase sharply!

Moreover, the main dive sites can be crowded during this season and it can even get crowded underwater! So better to book in advance if you are travelling during this period. Liveaboards are also often fully booked.

The air temperature ranges from 25°C to 32°C and water temperature is around 29°C all year round.

It is possible to dive all year round. However, the best diving period is from November to April when visibility is very good. If you prefer it to be quieter, consider coming after January to avoid the tourist crowds. From April to October, the sea can be choppy and visibility is often reduced.

Liveaboards are running all year round but the main season is between October and May if you want to go diving the magnificent archipelagos of Similans and Surin.

Dive courses

Phuket is a very popular place to pass the Padi Open Water course and take scuba diving lessons. As there are so many dive operators, prices are quite low. Although, always visit several dive centres and ask questions before choosing as they do not all have the same standards. It is sometimes better to spend more money for better service and safety.

Scuba Diving conditions

With so many dive sites, you will find all kind of conditions.

  • Visibility can range from poor to outstanding depending on the location and the season. Visibility is reduced by 30% during the monsoon season. It can also be reduced by the high density of plankton in the water but that’s what attracts Manta Rays and Whale Sharks ;-)
  • Current is not generally an issue but some dive sites have strong currents and are reserved only for experienced divers.
  • Water temperature ranges from 27°C to 31°C and you won’t need any full wet suit.

Note: Don’t expect to be alone underwater! The most popular dive spots are often very crowded during high season…

Phuket Beach

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nlann/2036973794/

Snorkelling in Phuket

You can find good snorkelling spots around Phuket. It is possible to arrange snorkelling tours to take you to the best places around the islands.

A popular spot is Coral Island where the reef is superb and very close to the Banana Bay and long beach. Snorkelling gears can be rented on some beaches but it is better to bring your own equipment if you can.

You can easily spot good reef life in shallow and clear water. However, swimmers should be careful, from May to October when the undertow can be strong and dangerous. The best time of the year runs from November to April when the conditions are excellent.

Diving Safety

If you are planning an upcoming dive trip or travelling to Phuket, it is a really good idea to invest in travel insurance, because you never know what could happen and when you might need it (because accidents do happen!). I recommend this travel insurance as they offer worldwide coverage as they offer worldwide coverage and cover scuba diving up to 50 metres deep, as well as snorkelling and many more water activities.

Fishes

You can spot just about everything you’ve dreamed of seeing in the Andaman Sea. The big stars are the Manta rays, whale sharks and various species of reef sharks. Leopard sharks and turtles are also common. You will spot large schools of pelagic fishes and giant trevallies patrolling the area.

Macro life is also interesting and provides some good opportunities for underwater photographers.

Coral

Coral is very colourful and shallow coral gardens will make your safety stops more than enjoyable!

Travel Guide

Now that you know all about the underwater world, you might want to start planning your scuba holiday! Check out our Phuket Travel Review for information about how to get there, activities and excursions, where to stay, and more.

Diving Reviews for this region

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Dive spots in Phuket

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Ashitol Bay dive site is located in the Racha Islands. It is a great place for drift diving in Phuket but is reserved to...
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The Northern Tip dive site is located on Koh Racha Noi Island about 2 hours by boat from Phuket Island. It is a popular ...
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Crab Island is just a few hundred meters from the shore of Koh Phuket. The dive site is very shallow with a maximum dept...
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Anemone Reef is a very famous and popular dive site of the Andaman Sea. The name comes from the numerous superb anemones...
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Koh Dok Mai is an excellent dive site and may just be the best spot around Phuket Island for macro photography. The mari...
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Lucy's Reef is a nice coral reef slope gently dropping down to 30 meters deep. This spot is a great place for drift divi...
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Karon Beach dive site is located just offshore from the Karon Beach in Phuket. It is a very easy shore dive with a maxim...
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Bungalow Bay is a nice wall dive suitable for beginner divers located on Koh Racha Island. Here you can spot a nice scho...
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Waterfall Wall is an excellent diving site of Phuket. It consists of a steep wall going down to 25 meters deep. The hard...
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The King Cruiser Wreck is one of the most famous and popular dive sites of Phuket and the Andaman Sea. It is a former 85...
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Banana Bay is located on the East side of Racha Noi Island. It is a popular spot for diving courses and for Snorkelling ...
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Ray Bahn dive site is located at the Southern tip of Racha islands about 2h30 minutes by boat from Phuket Island. Here y...
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Home Run Reef is located on the East side of Racha Yai Island. It takes about 2 hours by boat from Phuket to reach Racha...
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Siam Bay Statues dive site is located on the Northwest side of Ko Racha Yai, about 2 hours by boat from Phuket Island. I...
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Coral Island is located south-east of Ao Chalong. The dive site is usually used for Diving courses in Phuket as the cond...
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The Rock dive site is located between the two superb Islands of Ko Racha Noi and Ko Racha Yai. The spot features several...
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Phuket Shark Point is one of the best scuba diving spots around Phuket Island. The site consists of three pinnacles at d...
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Staghorn Reef is located on the East side of Koh Racha Yai, not far from the very good Lucy's Reef dive site. It takes a...
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Kanpela Point is located on the East side of Ko Racha Noi Island, about 2 hours by boat from Phuket Island. It is a nice...

Liveaboard Cruises in this region

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9 dive logs in “Phuket

  1. Hi Divezone,

    Great-looking site and very helpful!

    I’ve been to Phuket before and done some incredible diving in the Similans and Phi Phi Ley, during the local high season.

    I will be in Phuket this August, staying in Patong. Considering it’s off-season, I was wondering if you had some recommendations for local dive companies and/or dive sites for this time of year. I’ll be there with a few friends, and we’d be interested in any decent shore or daytrip boat diving that might be decent! We won’t have a great deal of time for diving so won’t have time for a liveaboard.

    Thanks for the help,
    Kristian
    Canada

    • Hi Kristian,

      As it is the rainy season, the visibility will be reduced but it is possible to dive. If the sea is not too choppy you can have have great diving day trips to the King Cruiser wreck and the Anemone Reef. Shark Point is also great. It will really depends of sea condition at the time of your stay. There are also good local dive spots like Crab Island but don’t expect anything like the Similans and Phi Phi Ley.

  2. Hi,
    Short notice I know but I’m off to Phuket next week, staying near Pa Tong and wanting to get a dive or two in while I’m there. I have an in-experienced diver coming along too.
    Can you recomend any dive sites or shops that will be good?
    Thanks

    • If you want to dive with your in-experienced diver friend I think you will have to stick to local and easy dive sites. Crab Island is an easy dive site usually used for courses or refreshing dives, you can check it out! Bungalow bay is nice too. It is hard for me to advise you a dive center as it changes very quickly, just walk along the beach and choose the one you have the best feeling with ;-) .

  3. Please can you give some advice on good dive sites to dive in Puket.
    We will be on holiday as of the 2nd Sept. We will be in Phuket for 5 days and then to koh Samui for 5 days.
    I desperatley want to make the most of the short time we are there and would therefor like to get some info on the diving sites, prices and charters.
    Many thanks
    Lynette

  4. Hello,
    We’re a bunch paying a trip to a friend who really needs a vaction, so off to Phuket we are sending her. We want to pay her also the Advanced Open Water PADI. I fell on NUDIDIVE.COM that had some good comments, its a french company, the price is 11’000 baht for the Open Water (2 days, 5 diving) + 12’500 baht for the RESCUE DIVE (3 days). Since its a surprise for our friend we want to already organise in advance, so I need some feedback :-)
    Do you happen to know the diving club and does the price seem reasnable?
    + What are the “musts” in and near Phuket?

    * * Thanks / Merci !
    Ariane

  5. Plan a Trip to Phuket or Koh Samui end of August 2013.I’m looking for a nice place to stay with a good dive center for a few days. Organizing day trip on dive site. If any good idea on dive site at this season I don’t mind. My only concern is to have a direct flight not to lose time :-) so both are OK.
    Thanks in advance for any good idea.
    Ariane L

  6. We are bringing are 11 and 9 year old to Thailand for their March Break. They are both interested in learning to dive. What advice would you give us for doing this in Phuket?My husband and I are both certified so just wondering what I should be looking for for my children. Thanks! Have you done any diving off the coast of Zanzibar? Still one of my favourite places – excited though to finally dive in Thailand!

  7. hi,

    am planning to go to Phuket in February, would like to add on to my diving courses. I am an advanced open water diver, but would like to become more,…

    Any suggestions on a good and safe diving centre?

    meany thanks, Inge

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