Phuket is considered by many to be a top holiday destination. Hundreds of thousands of people travel to the Thai island from all over the world each year. While the natural beauty, local flavors, and culture are all great reasons to visit Phuket, if you’re a scuba diving aficionado, you’ll definitely want to check out some of the amazing dive sites scattered around the island. So, what are you waiting for? Book your Phuket rentals, and be prepared for an amazing dive excursion. Below are the ten dive sites we most recommend.
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1. Koh Tachai Pinnacle
Koh Tachai is part of the Similan National Marine Park and is a favorite with many divers from the area. The main dive site here is Koh Tachai Pinnacle. This is where you’ll find a huge granite plateau covered in anemones, sea fans, and soft coral. Manta rays, sharks, shoals of tuna, and sometimes the elusive whale shark can all be found here, and you’re sure to feel like you’re in a tropical aquarium during your dive. Keep in mind that currents can be quite strong, so this isn’t a site for beginners.
2. King Cruiser Wreck
The King Cruiser Wreck sank during a routine visit to the Phi Phi Islands in 1997. And although it was an unplanned addition to the Anemone Reef, over the last decade, it has become one of the top dive sites in the area. Positioned at an ideal depth between 12 and 30 meters, there are numerous decks and open plan spaces to explore. Now covered in colorful coral, crabs, eels, and a wide array of fish have made the wreck their home.
3. Richelieu Rock
Richelieu Rock lies just north of the Similan Islands and has gained fame with divers in the area for being the most likely dive spot to see a whale shark, with sightings occurring on over half of the excursions that take place. Even if you don’t manage to see this elusive creature, you’ll still get the chance to swim with large manta and eagle rays. February, March, and April are the best months to dive here.
4. Shark Point
Part of a marine sanctuary, Shark Point definitely lives up to its name. Here, divers will get to swim with leopard sharks, which can often be found swimming along the sandy floor. In addition, there’s a multicolored reef that’s teeming with marine life. Vibrant schools of tropical fish all make this their home, and divers could spend many days exploring everything on offer. Especially suited to drift diving, this is a great spot to let the current drag you along.
5. Racha Yai
Racha Yai is a great local dive site, although the visibility here does vary depending on the season. That said, it’s a great place for beginner divers, especially those taking their Open Water courses. The site has an amazing array of hard corals, and the site itself starts off shallow and slopes deeper until it reaches 40 feet. Being located in a cove, its ideal for divers traveling with snorkelers, as the site offers opportunities for both. Barracuda are a particularly nice find here.
6. Racha Noi
Racha Noi is located directly next to Racha Yai and is the smallest of the two islands. The dive sites surrounding Racha Noi, located just south of Phuket, are full of moray eels, octopus, cuttlefish and more. Divers will also have the opportunity to see yellow and blue tail snappers here. Again, it’s a great dive site for beginner scuba divers, and those traveling with snorkellers and kids. Currents are mild and no spot is too deep.
7. Koh Dok Mai
Koh Dok Mai is located between Phuket and Shark Point and is thought by many to be the best wall dive in Phuket. The site consists of a large limestone rock, which rises out from the sea. And, a gently sloping coral reef can be found on three sides of the rock. This is full of little nooks and crannies which many sea creatures, including crabs and moray eels, have chosen to make their home. A fairly short dive, this dive site is offered by many of the dive companies who then continue on to Shark Point.
8. Anemone Reef
A limestone pinnacle, located just a mile away from Shark Point, Anemone Reef is one of the most popular dive tours in the area. Part of the marine park, it has a diverse marine life thanks to the vibrant corals, and divers can expect to see numerous species of anemonefish, clown fish, leopard sharks, sea horses and moray eels on their visit. The deepest part of the reef is 28 meters, making it a great spot for both beginner and intermediate divers.
9. The Similan Islands
Almost every diver has heard of the Similan Islands. Being located so close to Phuket, it’s definitely worth taking an excursion here if you have the chance. A group of nine granite islands, the Similan Islands are home to some of the rarest sea life in the area, including batfish and whale sharks. The lush jungle foliage above water makes them an absolutely gorgeous destination, and the underwater experience just can’t be matched.
10. The Phi Phi Islands
Finally, we have the Phi Phi Islands. These offer everything from wall diving to shallow reefs, and the topography is just as gorgeous as it is at the Similan Islands. Limestone Mountains rise vertically from the sea here, and divers will find a variety of caves, overhangs, and coral reefs to explore. Black tip reef sharks and leopard sharks can often be found swimming around the reefs in the area, and divers will also get to see great barracuda, clown angler fish, honeycomb morays, and devil scorpion fish during their visit. It’s a great spot to complete some of your advanced open water courses.
Phuket truly is a top diving destination. The top ten sites above should definitely be visited at least once!