Dive sites around Phuket

Dive sites around Phuket in Thailand

The best diving sites in Phuket – The southern Andaman region, embracing the islands off the Burma coast, province of Phang Nga Bay and Phuket, is indeed considered one of the main dive sites in the world. Some of the most famous sites such as Richelieu Rock, Koh Phi Phi, and Similan will be familiar to most scuba diving fans, but there are many more diving destinations, most within a few hours of Phuket and many others open in the Mergui Archipelago in Burma. Happy diving!

Anemone Reef (Hin Jon)

A small underwater pinnacle, sitting on a relatively flat, rubble sand bottom, entirely covered in anemones, offering a perfect hideout for small porcelain crabs, commensal shrimps, and countless anemone fish.

The profusion of sea anemones and the nutrient rich water are a magnet to a constant parade of reef fish seeking food and shelter. Enormous schools of snappers, mackerels, and jacks along with larger game-fish like tuna and even wahoo, as well as the occasional zebra shark, can be seen here. Currents can vary from mild to pretty strong.

King Cruiser wreck

King Cruiser was car ferry that sank in 1997 on the way to Phi Phi after colliding with anemone reef. The wreck has now evolved into a fantastic natural reef and is home to a huge variety of marine life, who seek shelter within it.

Although the steel twin hulls are still intact the aluminium superstructure is mostly collapsed. Its still a fantastic wreck to dive however and at 80 meters long there is plenty to see. There are trips to the King Cruiser every day of the week as its such a popular site.

Koh Doc Mai

A single limestone outcrop is what in thai is called “The flower island”, with sheer cliffs dropping down to the waterline and carrying on as a beautiful wall below the surface with small caves and lots of cracks and crevices to explore.

The wall of this underwater cliff is encrusted with invertebrate marine life, soft corals, sea fans, zigzag oysters and colonies of other bivalves, sponges and rich colored encrusting coralline. Unexpected stingrays, bambou sharks and morays are some of the inhabitants of this site. One of the best sites for nudibranch lovers.

Phi Phi Islands

These two rocky outcrops offer various dive sceneries, from walls over series of pinnacles to sloping, fringing reefs and reef patches, spread out over a sandy bottom covered in loose mushroom coral. Both these outcrops can be dived all around, making it a very variable dive site.

Racha Noi

Racha Noi, compared to Racha Yai, is an uninhabited island. The waters are clear and deep with moderate to fairly strong currents. It is a good place to spot larger fish such as barracudas, jacks, manta rays and zebra sharks.

The topography is spectacular with a sandy bottom from which rise large boulders encrusted with sponges and various colorful hard and soft corals. There are also many species of nudibranchs and flatworms.

Racha Yai

The clear and tranquil waters of Racha Yai are surrounded by fringing, rocky, first hard coral reefs, which taper off into the sand, rubble sand seabed. Its proximity to Phuket, generally natural conditions and diversity of dive sites make it a favorite day trip spot. Currents can be stiff at times, but drift diving is the way to go here.

Marine life is great and includes lots of moray eels, schools of small barracudas, twinspot snappers and fusiliers, trumpet fish, juvenile boxfish and even critters like cockatoo waspish, frogfish, sea moth and pipefish can be found here. Titan triggerfish take care about some entertainment too.

Sharkpoint (Hin Musan)

This is certainly one of the most popular and most diverse dive sites. This series of threes pinnacles and several rocky outcrops makes for amazing underwater photo opportunities. Here, one of the richest marine ecosystems in this whole area is on display, due to the incredible amount of dendronephthya soft coral, sea whips, sea fans, barrel sponges, whip and wire coral.

Next to a wide range of smaller critters like the seahorse, pipefish, scorpion fish and nudis, there is great schooling fish life too, including snappers, bigmouth mackerels, barracudas, queen fish, tunas and oriental bonitos. Occasional glimpses of zebra sharks, which gave the site its name are highlights.

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