Ko Bida Nok: probably Phi Phi Islands best Dive Site!
Given a day with the right conditions, Ko Bida Nok can rival any of the world’s best scuba diving sites for visibility, beauty and diversity of marine life. Ko Bida Nok is a two and half hour boat ride from Phuket across the serene turquoise waters of the Andaman Ocean and is amazing both above and below the surface and is hugely popular with divers from Phuket, Phi Phi, Koh Lanta and Krabi.
The impressive limestone face of this beautiful island descends into coral rich waters bustling with tropical marine life with everything from tiny seahorses to cruising reef sharks and the underwater topography is diverse. From sandy bottoms, slopping reefs, a great wall, small caverns and large crevices Ko Bida Nok has an awesome selection of both hard and soft corals.
With depths ranging from 1m and 30m Ko Bida Nok is suitable for all levels of diver! And is in fact a popular location to complete the last dive of the PADI Open Water Diver course ...
What do I should I know about Ko Bida Nok Dive Site in Phi Phi?
Ko Bida Nok has two main entry sites with the Northernmost one being most suitable for Advanced and experienced divers. Whereas the Southern entry is suitable for all divers, especially beginner divers. The shallow bay in the South of Ko Bida Nok makes for a nice, easy entry.
Once you are in the water the marine life explodes around you. The East side of Ko Bida Nok slopes down gently to around 20m. Hard coral pinnacles are scattered along an otherwise sandy reef. Be sure to look out for Stingrays resting on the sand, and Seahorses and Ornate Ghost Pipe fish hiding in the corals. Though tricky to spot for beginner divers, your Dive Guide should be able to find some for you. There are several types of Anemone fish here in the soft corals. In addition to all manner of Triggerfish and Puffer fish are to be found in the bay.
If you like taking photos underwater, why not get some tips from a PADI instructor?
Most PADI Instructors now-a-days on Phuket and Phi Phi will have an underwater camera with them. As such, your Indepth Instructor or Dive Guide, will be more than happy to give you some tips. However, the best way to improve your underwater photo skills, is to take a PADI Underwater Photo course. This is great course to take, because whether you a beginner taking underwater photos. Or whether you just want to improve your skills, your PADI Instructor will be able to help you towards your photography goals.
Why go for not that magical shot of the friendly turtle at Ko Bida Nok while taking your Digital Underwater Photo Course?
For the more experienced diver there is another route you could take. As you descend from the Northern entry site, it’s usually best to start from the deepest point on the wall, and gradually ascend following the wall up. The best place is along the west side of Ko Bida Nok where the wall starts to slope. Follow this and it leads to a small coral garden where you will find a magnificent swim-through full of Glassfish.
As you come back around from the swim-through back into the garden, you will be amazed by the corals. The Sea Fans, Anemones and Barrel Sponges can be quite stunning, especially when the visibility is 20m+. There are also the usual residents such as Giant Moray Eels, Emperor Angelfish and Batfish. This is in addition to some large schools of Yellow and Five-lined Snappers which envelop you.
Is there Shark Diving at Ko Bida Nok at Phi Phi?
Following the contour of Ko Bida Nok until you reach a depth of about 18m and there is a sandy area with coral outcroppings dotted around in the sand. Around here you have a good chance of seeing Black Tip Reef Sharks!
This dive site is well known as one of the best Phuket and Phi Phi Dive sites for Black Tip Sharks. As with most sharks at Phi Phih, the Blacktips here are constantly on the move, keep your eyes open as they pass by. Don’t forget to look also outwards into the blue and upwards you not only for Reef Sharks, but also because you’re likely to see Giant Trevally, hopefully hunting the schools of Glass Fish that cover the reef. Turtles and Leopard Sharks are also regular visitors.
As you start your end of ascent up the wall you’ll start finding Durban Dancing Shrimps and Coral-Banded Cleaner Shrimp. Keep following the wall until you come to the cut through which is like a giant cleft in the rock. Ko Bida Nok is famous for this spot. You can’t miss it because of the huge school of yellow Snapper that hang out around the area.
Passing through the school you will now find yourself in the shallow bay, which has a picturesque coral garden at around 6m. This is again full of Snappers and Sea Fans with the occasional shark cruising by.
This is a fantastic place to make a safety stop before the end of the dive at Ko Bida Nok.