Kathu is in the perfect location when it comes to choosing dive sites, and local outfits generally run scheduled trips to the most popular locations either by liveaboard or speedboat. Heading to some of the less well-visited sites can be booked by arrangement, but for first time visitors to the island of Phuket, the choice can already be overwhelming enough.
Kamala Rock, just minutes from the mainland by traditional longtail boat, is a collection of submerged boulders that can occasionally be visible above the surface at low tide. Home to lionfish, fusiliers, and the occasional blacktip reef shark, this location is ideal for beginners and is often mixed with snorkeling trips to extend a half day tour into a full day’s escape.
To the south of the island, the Koh Racha Islands are a good mix between gentle reef diving and strong current drift dives, attracting beginners and advanced divers alike. Easy to get to for full or half-day trips, they offer plenty of quiet and interesting coves and inlets to explore. Probably two of the best-known dive sites in this part of the ocean are where the Andaman Sea meets the Malacca Strait. These small atolls are well known for attracting a variety of colorful sea creatures, including the remarkable titan triggers, toxic puffer fish, and an assortment of colorful moray eels.
Advanced divers can head west, around 180km out of Pa Tong, to the limestone formation of Richelieu Rock. Completely submerged below the waterline, and somewhat hazardous to unprepared navigators, the ‘Rock’ descends the full 50m depth to the seabed below and offers an interesting dive for experienced and competent divers. Strong currents here make the dive site unsuitable during bad weather, but for those who do try it, the experience is worth the long boat journey out. It’s an attractive location, not just for tourists, but for marine life as well, attracting large shoals of pelagic fish like tuna and barracuda, as well as the ever-impressive whale shark.
Decent dive operation but this is not a luxury liveaboard. Tired decor in cabin, mattress on floor and badly leaking pipework in the bathroom. It is very basic. The crew are helpful though, the divemaster good and the dive deck well organised. The sites in Similan Islands are pleasant but average with the exception of Richelieu Rock which is very nice. All sites are very crowded with many boats around.
Been diving around Marine Park, Koh Tao and Sail Rock, Thailand with Dive Point Samui last year after attend my mate's wed in Samui and two week vacation for myself. It was a thrilling experience to dive in such beautiful dive sites and the boat is a very nice, clean and comfortable boat. Dive crew are professional, sociable, cool, fun and serious about divers' safety! Fell in love with the Thai Curry that was prepared on the boat! It is a slow boat but you can actually sleep on the boat as the...