Phuket Dive Sites: Local Phuket Dive Sites are all within 1-2 hour’s from Chalong
Phuket Dive Sites can be divided roughly into three categories based primarily on location:
South of Phuket:
The “Racha Islands” (sometimes spelt as Raya Islands) consisting of Koh Racha Yai and Noi. Incidentally in Thai “Ko / Koh” means "island" with "Yai" meaning "Large" or "Big" and “Noi” "Small" or "Less". They lie are 12-15 miles / 1 hr 20 min – 1hr 45 min South of Phuket. In fact these are probably two of the most dived and best known Phuket Dive Sites. These Phuket dive sites are generally considered “easy diving.” The Phuket Dive Sites here offer fantastic snorkeling characterized by great viz, crystal clear water and beautiful white sandy bays. They are teeming with tropical marine life with stunning reefs slopping off from 3m to over 25m.
Racha Yai is the nearest and is ~90 minutes cruise from Chalong, and has several Phuket dive sites unique in their own way. Not only do you have Bay 1 with it’s Ship Wrecks and underwater motor bike, but also Siam Bay with it’s underwater elephants. PADI Open Water Course, PADI Discover Scuba Diving and PADI Advanced Open Water students will be coming here. Those taking PADI Poseidon Rebreather Course will be coming here for your first dives on the unit as they present shallow dives within sheltered bays.
Racha Noi is the smaller sister of Racha Yai and lies about another 50 minutes’ past of Racha Yai. Racha Noi is much more rugged and untamed than Racha Yai and consequently the currents can be stronger and the fish are bigger. Then there is the famous Manta Point, Camera Bay and Marita’s Rock! These are the most likely Phuket dive sites to see pelagic like Manta Rays and a variety or reef sharks.
South East of Phuket:
South East we have a string of Phuket dive sites. The nearest is Mai Ton which is similar to Racha Yai in topography. Past this we have Ko Dok Mai with its walls an hour away from Chalong. As you carry on past Ko Dok Mai we find the famous underwater pinnacles of Shark Point and Anemone Reef, followed by The King Cruiser Ship Wreck around 1 hr 45 min away. The furthest Phuket dive sites are the Phi Phi Islands which are around 2 hours away. Day trips here will dive some of the well-known dive sites like Bida Nok or Bida Nai. Then on the way back to Phuket dive one or more of the Phuket dive sites mentioned above.
As these dive sites are mid-ocean they tend to be deeper than the Racha Islands and more prone to current and changes in weather conditions. As a result this can make more challenging dive sites. These Phuket Dive Sites are where you will most likely be going for some of your PADI Advanced Open Water and Specialty Diver training dives. We also like to come here for the PADI Advanced Rebreather Course dives. PADI IDC Candidates will also be diving here on a 3 dive day, that will give you a Deep Dive on Koh Doc Mai followed by a Wreck Dive on the King Cruiser. Lunch and a Surface Interval followed a last dive at Shark Point or Anemone Reef for maybe a Digital Underwater Photography dive!
On Phuket itself:
Phuket Dive Sites on Phuket Island itself consists of beach dives with most popular being at Kata Beach. Easy access makes this a popular Phuket dive site as one can easily do 1 or 2 dives in a half day. Ao Sane is another popular Phuket dive site, deeper than Kata Beach and with a larger variety of marine life. Ao Sane is particularly popular for Night Dives due to the logistics. Another popular beach Ya Nui Beach is also popular with Phuket scuba divers and snorkelers and chances are you will come here for your IDC Open Water Teaching presentations.
Phuket Scuba Diving Day Trips daily schedule:
There are many resorts along the beaches on the West coast of Phuket. These stretch from Nai Harn Beach in the South all the way to Nai Yang Beach in the very North of the island.
Most Phuket Day Trips include a Round Trip Hotel Transfer your hotel or Guest House to Chalong Pier. In fact this is where all the Phuket Scuba Diving Trips leave from and return to. Transfers are usually inclusive however some hotels and resorts have a surcharge due to their location.
Because of this Hotel transfer pick up times vary due to location, pick up times in the morning varies from 07:00-08:00 am. Regular traveling times from resorts such as Kamala, Patong, Karon and Kata taking no more than 15-25 minutes to arrive at Chalong Pier.
In the same way Phuket Day Trip cruise times will vary a little depending on which boat is used:
Racha Yai 1 hour 30 minutes
Racha Noi 2 hours 30 minutes
Koh Doc Mai 1 hour away
Phi Phi Island 2 hours to 2 hrs 30 minutes
Incidentally Please try to book your Day Trip as early as possible to avoid disappointment! Phuket Dive Trips get be booked up early especially during the Peak Season months.