Below you can find an introduction to the best Phuket Dive Sites all within easy travelling distance from Chalong Pier
Phuket Dive Sites:
Local Phuket Dive Sites are all within 1-2 hour’s from Chalong
The local Dive Sites can be divided roughly into three categories based primarily on location:
To the South
First of all we have 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". These Phuket Dive Sites lie only 12-15 miles / 1 hr 20 min – 1hr 45 min South of Phuket. In fact these are probably 2 of the most dived and consequently best known dive sites. These Phuket dive sites are generally considered “easy diving.” The dive sites here offer fantastic snorkeling characterized by great visability, crystal clear water and beautiful white sandy bays. Most of all they are teeming with tropical marine life with stunning reefs sloping off from 3m to over 25m.
Racha Yai is the nearest and is a 90 minute cruise from Chalong, and has several dive sites unique in their own way. Not only do you have Bay 1 with its ship wrecks and even an underwater motor bike, but also Siam Bay with it’s underwater elephants! The Phuket dive sites are perfect for PADI Open Water Course, PADI Discover Scuba Diving and PADI Advanced Open Water . This is because of the near perfect dive conditions found at these Phuket dive sites. Those taking PADI Poseidon Rebreather Course will also be coming here for your first dives. Again, this is because the island's dive sites present shallow dives within sheltered bays.
Racha Noi the smaller sister of Racha Yai lying about another 50 minutes past Racha Yai. One the favourite Phuket dive sites for return customers doing their first days diving. Much more rugged and untamed than Racha Yai and consequently the currents can be stronger and therefore the fish are bigger. Of note here is you get to dive the famous Manta Point, Camera Bay and Marita’s Rock! The most likely Phuket dive sites to see pelagic fish like Manta Rays and a variety of rays and sharks.
To the South East
In addition, to the South East, we also have a string of beautiful Phuket dive sites. The nearest of these dive sites 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 you will also find the famous underwater pinnacles of Shark Point and Anemone Reef. Two of the most famous Phuket Dive Sites. These are followed by The King Cruiser Ship Wreck around 1 hr 45 min away.
The furthest Phuket dive sites are the Phi Phi dive sites which are around 2 1/2 hours away. Day trips will start here, and as a result you will dive some of the well-known dive sites like Bida Nok or Bida Nai. Finally, on the way back you will take the opportunity to dive one or more of the closer Phuket dive sites mentioned above.
Because these dive sites are mid-ocean they are therefore deeper in general than the Racha Islands. Also because of this they are more prone to current and changes in weather conditions. As a consequence this can make more challenging dives. These Phuket Dive Sites are where you will most likely be going for some of your PADI Advanced Open Water and Specialty Diver Course training dives. We also come to these Phuket dive sites for the PADI Advanced Rebreather Course dives. PADI IDC Candidates will also be diving these Phuket dive sites on a 3 dive day because this 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 PADI Digital Underwater Photography dive.
On Phuket itself:
Dive sites on Phuket Island itself consists of beach dives, with most popular being at Kata Beach. Easy access makes this a popular local 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 great for Phuket scuba divers and snorkelers. Our PADI IDC Open Water Teaching presentations often take place here. We have some nice house reefs on our local Phuket dive sites.
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 no matter which Phuket dive sites you dive. Transfers are usually inclusive however some hotels and resorts have a surcharge due to their location.
Hotel transfer pick up times vary due to location. Because of this pick up times in the morning vary from 07:00 - 08:00 am. Regular traveling times from resorts such as Kala, Patong, Karon and Kata are probably no more than 15-25 minutes for arrival at Chalong Pier.
Dive Trip travel times vary and are depend upon the wind and speed of the Day Trip Boat you are on:
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
In conclusion, please try to book your Day Trip as early as possible to avoid disappointment. This is because dive trips get booked up early especially during the Peak Season months.