Phuket Skuba Diving Guide

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Phuket is one of the top ten dive destinations worldwide with colorful reefs surrounded by crystal clear waters. Hundreds of islands and reefs can be explored by day trips or live aboard cruises. Highlights are swimming with a whale shark or manta ray and exploring the King Cruiser wreck. Best time for diving is from end of October till May. Dive shops offering all kind of courses from beginners to dive master can be found everywhere around the island.

The most visited dive sites include:

Depth: Various
This national park in Phang-nga Province 100 kilometers northwest of Phuket consists of nine desert islands whose natural beauty and incredible underwater vistas make them possibly the most loved dive sites in the Andaman Sea. The Similans boast 25 world-class dive venues. They are famous for their dazzling marine life, warm, clear water and mild sea conditions. Visibility is usually between 18 and 25 meters and at times exceeds 40 meters.

There is a huge variety of wildlife under the water, with sites on the west of the islands open to the sea, and sites on the east fringed with hard coral. Larger marine animals that inhabit the waters around the Similans include whale sharks and cow-tail rays. Several sites feature giant coral bommies, covered with soft corals and sea fans rising dramatically from the bottom. Out of the water, the virgin beaches and the flora and fauna beyond are breathtaking. Read more ...

similan map Despite the reputation of the the Similans, some pros argue that for sheer excitement, you can't beat Ko Bon. Divers to this small island 20 kilometers north of the largest Similan should, as they negotiate the vertical walls, be prepared for close encounters with leopard sharks. Here the corals come in unique rich hues; blue, yellow and turquoise. Ko Bon is also renowned for its high number of manta rays, especially at the end of the season in April and May.

A further 25 kilometers north of Ko Bon is Ko Tachai, with a stunning pristine beach straight out of fairytale imaginations. Ko Tachai is famous for its large sea creatures. Divers and snorkelers can expect to see whale sharks, leopard sharks and nurse sharks, as well as rays and hawksbill turtles. The waters around the island are teeming with all kinds of tropical fish and coral.

How to get there
- By boat from Phuket with regular sailings provided by numerous tour and dive operators. One-day excursion and longer tours are available. Tours last from five to 14 days. The longer tours for divers usually include Mu Ko Surin National Park and the much distant Myanmar hanks.
Best time to visit
- December to April is the main tourist season with good weather.
- Island cruising is best between November and April. Great care should be taken in anchoring only on a sandy beach bottom to avoid coral damage.
Accommodation
- Simple bungalows on Ko Miang. Camping is permitted. Advance booking is necessary at the National Parks Division in Bangkok, Tel: (662) 579-4842, 57.9-5269, 579-0529.
- There are also a number of live-aboard provided by tour operators. These range from converted fishing boats with only basic facilities to luxury cruisers.
Facilities
- On Ko Miang, there are visitor and information center, restaurant, toilets and showers, telephone and longtail boat service. surin islands Depth: 25 - 30 meter
3 Only five islands make up this national marine park just south of the Myanmar border and 53 kilometers from mainland Thailand. If you fancy getting lost in an island paradise, you could do no better. The small group of islands contains dozens of beautiful coves and bays, and is choked with thick jungle. The waters around Ko Surin are said to have the most diverse coral in all of Thailand, and seem to attract stranger species of marine life; divers and snorkelers may catch sight of the ghost pipe fish and frog fish.
Richelieu Rock
Richelieu Rock is, it is generally agreed, a world-class dive site. The submerged rock whose tips are just visible at low tide, is 18 kilometers east of Ko Surin and home to the widest diversity of sea life. It is the playground for schools of whale sharks which are so friendly they often pose for photographs.
- How to get there
- The best way is by boat from Phuket with a number of Phuket-based dive and cruise operators running short and long excursions.
- Best time to visit
- The main tourist and diving season is between December and April.
- Accommodation
- Simple dormitory-style bungalows on Ko Surin Nua. Camping is permitted. Advance booking is necessary at the National Parks Division in Bangkok, tel: (662) 579-4842, 579-5269, 579-0529. Two-man tents area available for rent or visitors may bring their own.
- There are also a number of live-a boards provident by tour operators.
- Facilities
- On Ko Sunn Nua, there are park restaurant. Longtail boats and snorkeling equipment available for rent. No shops. Read more...
King Cruiser Wreck (Thai-Tanic)
Depth: 6 - 30 meter

On May 4th, 1997, the 85m long King Cruiser ferry collided with the Anemone Reef on its way from Phuket to the Phi Phi Islands creating an artificial reef divers around Phuket where waiting for years.