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Thailand Dive Sites

Phuket, The Phi Phi Islands, Koh Ha, Hin Daeng, Hin Muang

Andaman MapThailands West Coast has some spectacular diving. The Andaman Sea south-east of Phuket is sheltered and offers virtually year round access to the dive sites. The sites here are dived by a select few liveaboard boats that head as far south as Koh Lipe in some cases. Do not assume that the Similan Islands is all Thailand has to offer. Although the Similans are the most well known the far south sites of Hin Muang, Hin Daeng, Koh Ha and the sites closer to Phi Phi are all excellent diving spots.

The sites such as Anenome Reef, Shark Point, King Cruiser & Koh Doc Mai are all popular for day trips and also for liveaboards returning from the further afield areas south of Phi Phi. They offer some excellent diving and are a short distance from Phuket, Phi Phi and Krabi. Racha Yai and Racha Noi are also the domain of Phuket operators as they are closer to Chalong than the majority of other sites. The depths at these sites do not attract the larger pelagics as much but the reef life is still abundant, colorful and spectacular.

The most likely way of spotting large pelagics such as Whalesharks and Mantas however is by diving Hin Daeng & Hin Muang, Koh Ha and to a lesser extent the Bida Islands around Phi Phi. These sites are a considerable distance south of Phi Phi and are accesible from Phuket via liveaboard trips virtually all year around. If you are visiting Thailand from May to October then it is these sites that you will visit on a liveaboard as the weather and regulations close the Similan Marine Park. If you are visiting in the remaining 6 months then you have the freedom of choice.

Phi Phi MapThe dive sites around Koh Phi Phi are too numerous to talk about in detail here. Suffice to say that they offer excellent easy diving in the main and the topside scenery of the Phi Phi Islands is also breathtaking. Sheer limestone cliffs plunge into the azure waters offering both fantastic snorkeling and equally scenic diving. They didn't choose to film the Leonardo DiCaprio movie "The Beach" here for nothing. . . The limestone formations form numerous underwater caverns, caves and swimthroughs which makes diving here extremely interesting. Any liveaboard diving the southern sites will stop and let you dive at some sites around Phi Phi.

Moving further south from Phi Phi, Koh Ha (Five Islands in Thai) beckons with it's famous "Twin Cathedral" and internal lagoon. This is unlike any other diving area Thailand has to offer. It is dived far less extensively than the Similan Islands and well worth a visit.

Finally the main dive sites furthest south (and certainly not to be missed or dismissed) are Hin Daeng and Hin Muang (Red Rock and Purple Rock respectively in Thai). These sites are covered in purple and red corals and sea fans and attract the big fish due to the depth of water. If you have enough time and the budget and you are here in the Similans diving season then do not dismiss the Southern Sites. If you wish we can find you some excellent week long trips that cover it all. Trust us when we say whenever you choose to visit Thailand to dive you are unlikely to be disappointed. . .

Anemone Reef

A Popular Site With Phuket Daytrips

Anemone Reef LocationThis unique dive-site is a huge lime-stone pinnacle that soars 30 meters up from the ocean floor to sit 4 meters beneath the surface where it abruptly ends and drops back to a sandy bottom. The barely submerged reef is a well-known shipping hazard (see King Cruiser Wreck) and is located less than a mile north of Shark Point. The Thai name for this site is Hin Jom which means underwater rock and although not as colorful as Shark Point, the site is famous for its vast fields of sea anemones that cling to every conceivable surface and swing and sway with the current. 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 tropicals, Snappers, Groupers and colorful Clown fish, along with larger game-fish like Tuna and Barracuda as well as the occasional Leopard shark can be seen here.

  • Limestone Pinnacle
  • Gardens of Hard & Soft Corals
  • Tropicals, Clownfish, Lionfish
  • Moderate Currents
  • 10 to 20 Meters Visibilty
  • All Levels Of Diver
Anemone Reef Map

King Cruiser

Phukets Wreck Dive

King Cruiser LocationOn the 4th of May 1997 the 85 meter passenger ferry 'King Cruiser' on a routine run to the Phi-Phi Islands made history by straying several kilometres off course and hitting the Anemone Reef. With a huge hole ripped through her belly the ship went down in less than an hour and provided the Phuket Diving community, at long last, with their own artificial reef. At 25 meters you'll find the engine room and car deck. Moving up to 18 meters you'll find the passenger section which has the heads, bar and lots of tables and chairs. The superstructure and decks have collapsed considerably now and penetration is not recommended for all but experienced wreck divers. At 15 meters you'll find the captain's cabin and wheel house. The reef is teeming with life and its proximity to Shark Point and Anemone Reef has undoubtedly had a lot to do with it's rapid population growth. The Wreck is an extremely popular dive and considered one of the best in location.

  • Car Ferry Wreck
  • Assorted Hard & Soft Corals
  • Numerous Tropicals, Barracuda
  • Mild to Strong Currents
  • 10 to 20 Meters Visibilty
  • Supervised Beginners Up
King Cruiser Map

Shark Point

Leopard Sharks Galore

Shark Point LocationShark Point (Hin Musang in Thai) is a marine sanctuary that derives its name from the Leopard Sharks that are encountered resting on the sandy bottom. The reef comprises three pinnacles, the largest breaking the surface and appearing as a barren rock outcropping. Beneath the surface it's a different story as this amazingly multicolored reef offers the diver vast schools of tropicals, colorful soft corals and vibrant sea fans that decorate the limestone pinnacles. Currents can be brisk at this site but they tend to run parallel to the reef sections and allow for an excellent drift dive back to the dive boat. To protect Shark Points fragile ecosystem the Thai government declared this site a marine sanctuary in 1992 and as such have preserved it for one and all. All forms of commercial fishing, marine life collection or other forms of harmful activity (spear-fishing) are prohibited.

  • 3 Limestone Pinnacles
  • Assorted Hard & Soft Corals
  • Leopard Sharks, Tropicals, Clown Fish
  • Moderate Currents
  • 10 to 20 Meters Visibilty
  • All Levels of Diver
Shark Point Map

Koh Doc Mai

A Popular Phuket Daytrip Dive

Racha Yai & Racha Noi LocationKoh Doc Mai is a limestone island that rises vertically from the seabed. Some say it looks like a muffin with the jungle clad top flowing out over the sheer cliffs. Although the visibility at this site is generally not as good as others, this dive is noted for the variety of reef fish and as such you might be lucky enough to encounter Leopard Sharks, Moray Eels, Octopus and Turtles. The east-side of the island consists of a vibrant garden of yellow tube corals as well as two small caverns. Koh Doc Mai is located on the way to Shark Point and offers an interesting alternative to the pinnacle dives as it is one of the best wall dives in the area. The dive is usually included as the second dive on many of the day-trips to Shark Point and/or Anemone Reef.

  • Limestone Island
  • Assorted Hard & Soft Corals
  • Sharks, Numerous Tropicals, Moray Eels
  • Moderate Currents
  • 10 to 15 Meters Visibilty
  • All Levels of Diver
Koh Doc Mai Map

Racha Yai & Bungalow Bay

Ideal For Novices

Racha Yai & Racha Noi LocationWith its 10 dive sites Racha Yai offers some of the best year around diving in the Phuket area. On the west side of the island is beautiful Bungalow Bay famous for its clear waters and soft coral gardens. The best diving at Racha Yai, however, is along the East Coast where good visibility and prevailing currents allow for a gentle drift dive along sloping rocky reefs that are abundant in hard coral forests. For more advanced divers, off the Ter Bay there is an interesting wreck dive in depths of 25-35 meters. You'll find large schools of false barracudas hovering over the reef while on the reef itself expect to find octopus, cuttlefish and the more common tropicals. Divers of all levels and experience can visit Racha Yai as the diving is easy and gentle.

  • Granite Island
  • Assorted Hard & Soft Corals
  • Tropicals, Turtles, Stingrays, Moray Eels
  • Moderate Currents
  • 10 to 15 Meters Visibilty
  • Good For Beginners
Bungalow Bay Map

Racha Noi

One Of Phukets Closest Dive Sites

Racha Yai & Racha Noi LocationFurther south than Racha Yai is a popular dive site for the more experienced divers where the depths are generally greater and the currents stronger than at its sister island. The underwater topography is also remarkably different as you will encounter huge granite boulders that offer good opportunities to see Manta Rays and Whale Sharks. The northern tip of the island offers multilevel diving along a large pinnacle where you're likely to encounter Reef Sharks and Stingrays. Off the southern point is a nice drift dive along with some spectacular scenery as you find yourself on top of large rock formations surrounded by deep water. On the southwest side there is a wooden ship-wreck at 27m that draws a lot of interesting reef fish. The diving here is definitely more challenging than Racha Yai but the rewards are much greater.

  • Granite Islands
  • Assorted Hard & Soft Corals
  • Sharks, Manta Rays, Pelagics
  • Moderate Currents
  • 10 to 25 Meters Visibilty
  • Recommended for Advanced Divers
Racha Yai & Racha Noi Map

Shark Point Phi Phi (Hin Bida)

One of Phi Phi's Favourite Dive Sites

Shark Point Phi Phi LocationShark Point Phi Phi (Hin Bida) is a large rocky outcrop marked at low tide by the tip of the pinnacle sticking out of the water. Only around 45 minutes from Phi Phi Don it's highly varied marine life makes it a very interesting dive site. Leopard Sharks are often seen, plus large rays, and the occasional Whale Shark when the plankton conditions are correct. If you aren't lucky enough to come across a Whaleshark then there are also plenty of nooks and crevices to look in for Octopi and Lobster.

  • Rocky Pinnacle
  • Assorted Hard & Soft Corals
  • Leopard Sharks, Octopus, Cuttlefish
  • Moderate to Strong Currents
  • 10 to 20 Meters Visibilty
  • All Levels of Diver
Shark Point Phi Phi

The Bida Islands

Two of Phi Phi's Closest Dive Sites

Shark Point Phi Phi Location Some of the most popular sites are located around the two islands of Bida Nai and Bida Nok at the Southern tip of Phi Phi Le where you'll find huge gardens of Staghorn and Star corals and incredible numbers of colorful reef fish. You'll also find an amazing environment of rugged caves, overhangs and swim-throughs in the soft rock. Other dives include sheer walls that plunge from the surface to over 25 meters. These walls contain a profusion of soft corals, large orange-colored fans, black corals, and long stringy sea whips.The Phi-Phi Islands offer a remarkable variety of dive sites within the island group.

  • Limestone Islands
  • Gardens of Hard & Soft Corals
  • Tropicals, Octopus, Leapord Sharks
  • Moderate Currents
  • 10 to 20 Meters Visibilty
  • Good for Novices
Bida Islands

Hin Daeng & Hin Muang

Whalesharks & Mantas. . .

Hin Daeng LocationHin Daeng is 3m clear of the surface with the southern side dropping to 60m plus. This is the steepest & deepest drop in Thailand's waters. The rock itself is quite barren but offers the opportunity to see large pelagics and fantastic underwater gardens on the shallower shelving eastern side where two ridges descend to 40m plus.

Hin Muang is only a few hundred meters from Hin Daeng and is completely submerged. The rock, shaped like Ayres Rock (central Australia) is 20m wide and 200m long. It is covered with purple soft corals and anemones, hence it's name (Muang is purple in Thai). Many sea fans of varying colors decorate the steep sides and it has a remarkable amount of life on it compared to its neighbor.

  • Large Pinnacles
  • Assorted Hard & Soft Corals
  • Whale Sharks, Mantas, Barracuda
  • Moderate Currents
  • 10 to 30 Meters Visibilty
  • Recommended for Advanced Divers
Hin Muang

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