The Andaman Sea around Phuket is what sets the island apart from many other tropical destinations. The location of the island also makes it possible to experience some of the best diving in the world! From coral reefs to exotic fish and the beautiful clear water itself, it’s truly something special to explore the underwater geography of Phuket.

The island has many scuba diving sites, schools and instructors that cater to every level of diver, so if you’re an excited newbie, there are plenty of opportunities to learn. Let’s dive in and take a look at the best waters to explore the waters of Phuket.

Where To Dive In Phuket

Phi Phi Islands: Exploring The Underwater Limestone Caves

The Phi Phi Islands remain among the popular diving sites in South-East Asia. The colossal limestone monoliths rising from the sea have helped to create a stunning scenery and even more amazing underwater environment for scuba divers. Especially in Koh Phi Phi, you will find dramatic limestone walls decorated with healthy soft corals, underwater caves and swim-throughs in the limestone rock.

phi phi scubaPhi Phi Scuba via Abhishek Bhalla

As awesome as it is to explore the waters of Phi Phi Islands, the waters can get a little strong. Because of this, scuba instructors have warned against diving here if you are an inexperienced diver. It’s also best to sleepover if you plan on diving here. Resorts & training schools here include Phi Phi Scuba Diving Center, Zeavola Resort, Princess Divers and Beachfront Divers

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Best Time To Dive: February to May, when the waters are at the calmest and warmest.
How To Get There: To get to Phi Phi, there are basically two options: ferries and speedboats. The ferry is by far the most popular method of reaching the islands. Ferries take about two hours from Phuket and 90 minutes from Krabi or Koh Lanta.

Anemone Reef: Swimming In Anemone Heaven

For inexperienced swimmers, the Anemone Reef is considered to be a dangerous shipping hazard, but to adventurous divers, it is paradise. The dive site, which features a large rock protruding from the seabed, is one of the most intriguing diving areas in and around Phuket.

The anemones in the water and on the rock are pretty fascinating but there’s also a large variety of fish found in the water. Some of which resemble ones straight from a Disney animated movie. Resorts & training schools here include Phi Phi Scuba Diving Center and Phuket Dive Tours.

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Best Time To Dive: November to May
How To Get There: Anemone Reef is found in between Phuket and Phi Phi about 28km east of Chalong Bay, Phuket from where all the dive boats depart. Daytime diving trips are scheduled every day, some of which may include the Anemone Reef.

Koh Racha Yai: Marvel At The Underwater Elephant Statues

Just over an hour away from mainland Phuket is the scenic island of Koh Racha Yai, popular among tourists and adventurous divers. Divers exploring the underwater world can expect to see a wide variety of marine life, from tropical fish to exotic stingrays, barracudas and puffer fish.

There’s also a huge chance that you’ll spot the fascinating underwater elephant statues that were put there in 2006. Koh Racha Yai is perfect for both beginners and experienced divers. Main training school here is the Raya Dive Center.

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Best Time to Dive: November to May
How To Get There: Boats to the Racha islands leave from Chalong Pier or Rawai Beach. You can hire a speedboat for a group to Racha from around 8,000-baht for a day trip. At the Pier, you can also find speedboats running a ferry shuttle to the Racha Islands. The speedboat trip to Koh Racha Yai takes 35 minutes.

Shark Point: Swim With The Sharks

Don’t let the name scare you off. This dive site is one of the most popular areas to dive in Phuket. The main attractions at Shark Point aren’t the vicious creatures you’d imagine, but rather docile Leopard Sharks that can be spotted on the seafloor.

Along with sharks, divers can enjoy colourful schools of tropical fish and sand coral, as well as a huge limestone pinnacle. Resorts & training schools here include Phi Phi Scuba Diving Center, Zeavola Resort, Princess Divers and Beachfront Divers.

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Best Time To Dive: November to May
How To Get There: Speedboats usually have day trips that go to and from Shark Point.

King Cruiser Wreck: Discover The Beauty Of An Underwater Wreckage

The King Cruiser wreck was once a reliable passenger ferry but now it is an awesome wreck dive that any diver would love to see in person. The now popular dive site gives divers the opportunity to see this new seabed feature up close.

The wreck is also home to a variety of different life forms from crabs to coral. The King Cruiser Wreck is best for experienced divers. Resorts & training schools here include Phi Phi Scuba Diving Center, Zeavola Resort, Princess Divers, Beachfront Divers and Phuket Dive Tours.

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Best Time To Dive: November to May
How To Get There: Dive boats go to King Cruiser every day of the week as a part of a 3-dive combo with Shark Point and Koh Doc Mai.

Things To Keep In Mind While Diving In Phuket

  • Wherever you are in Phuket, ensure that you select a certified organiSation that offers diving training.
  • Snorkelling is also an option for beginners to enjoy the underwater sites of Phuket and Phi Phi Islands. Ensure that you ask your trainer for snorkelling gear, along with the diving one.
  • Check if your selected organiSation offers diving insurance and transfers from your accommodation.
  • Mention all the details about your health conditions and if you are taking any kind of medicines or have consumed alcohol or drugs in the last 24 hours. This can help your trainer keep you safe in case of emergencies.
  • Keep at least an 18-hour gap between your dive and flight, whether you are landing in Phuket or taking off back home. Flying can dehydrate the body, and diving within 18 hours before a flight can be fatal.
  • Late May to October brings southwesterly monsoon winds and surface swells to the islands lowering the water’s visibility. If you’re not a confident diver, you might want to avoid diving during this season.
  • October, especially, brings heavy rains to the Andaman Sea. Keep this in mind when booking dates for your trip.
  • Keep your itinerary flexible to explore more of underwater Phuket; you are sure to find interesting spots to spend more time at.