Just a short boat ride off shore, there are some stunning underwater places to explore inThailand Phuket in particular. It is the main gateway to the underwater sights that rank up there with the best in the world and depending how much time you want to spend underwater, there are several ways to explore it.
With as little as one day up your sleeve forscuba diving Thailand you can still enjoy three different great dive sites – a huge wall dive, a wreck, and a reef – and still be back for happy hour. When diving Phuket most boats leave daily from Chalong Bay, and take in three dive sites with the furthest just a couple of hours cruising. When in Phuket diving the trips really are cruising as the dive boats here are large and very comfortable. They have chefs on board, sun decks, three or more showers plus more deck showers to rinse off after the dive. Power points to charge cameras, shaded eating areas and large saloon.
The first dive of the day, the wreck King Cruiser is on a sunken car transporter ferry, which is so big you won’t get to see all of it on the one dive. The ferry sank in 1997 after hitting Anemone Reef. The boat is sitting with the top around 17 meters and the bottom at 32m. The wreck is approx 90m long, 30m wide and 15 high.
And the reef, called Anemone Reef, for good reason guarantees you some of the cutest Clown fish around. This is also a good location for Tigertail Seahorses which live on the huge sea fans. There are also a good chance to see Leopard Sharks here too around the base of the reef.
The closest is Koh Dok Mai or Flower Island provides a home to many sea creatures.which is also the most characteristic of the region, being a limestone pinnacle that rises steeply from the ocean floor. Underwater it presents as a wall with vertical gutters and crevices and even some caves, home to all sorts of cryptic crevice dwellers. This is normally the last dive of the day as its done on the way back to Phuket.
Keep an eye out for white-collared butterfly fish as well as the many Black tip reef sharks (totally harmless) and Hawks Bill Turtles.
Over the course of the day you could see anything from seahorses to scorpion fish, barracuda to banded coral shrimp, stone fish, sea snakes, many nudibranchs, Ghost pipe fish, painted spiny lobsters, frog fish, Blue spotted sting rays and if lucky the largest fish in the ocean The Whale Shark. This is what makes diving in Thailand so exciting as you just never know what will turn up.
These day boats have all the dive gear you need on board. As well as showers, they provide and serve you a cooked breakfast, large hot buffet lunch and afternoon tea, plus tea, coffee, drinking water. Other soft drinks are available at a very small cost as is ice cold beer for the way back. So all you really need for the day is your dive card, sunscreen and swimmers. A good Phuket dive shop will put as much effort into good food and comfort as well as being blessed with great diving.
Three Days’ Diving
If you have three days spare for diving in Phuket you will be able to cover the three main day trip locations from Phuket.
Koh Phi Phi. The terrain here is also limestone pinnacles made famous by the movie The Beach, starring Leonardo DiCaprio. The range of diving is immense, from Phuket snorkelling tours in Lana Bay on the north-western tip of Koh Phi Phi, to Bida Nok, which offers a most dramatic marine topography: caves, swim throughs, drop-offs and overhangs.
All around Phi Phi Ley are steep walls and coral bomies with an amazing number and diversity of nudibranchs, as well as the usual colourful reef fish like butterflyfish, coralfish and parrotfish.
Phi Phi can also be done during low season (May - Sept) on an overnight live a board which includes a great night dive. Talk to any good Phuket dive center like Thailand Divers who can arrange Phuket liveaboards all year round. But remember in Green season there are far less options to choose from as the national parks are closed.
More than three days, or just if you prefer liveaboards and as the Similan diving is best in the world then this is a great option.
If you have three days or more available, you’d be crazy not to book a liveaboard trip and head out to the similan islands and Surin Islands National Parks – about 1.5 hours from Phuket by speed boat or 3 hours cruising on the dive boat.(which is usually done while you sleep). Here you will be spoilt with some of the best diving in the region and the world if you include Koh Tachai and Richelieu Rock.
The similan island diving is so diverse. Here are massive granite boulders, stacked up long ago by some giant god of the sea, to create a playground for fish and divers alike. Mixed in with white sandy bays and shallow reefs teeming with life. Throw in a turtle breeding ground for good measure. Diving in theSimilans and the surrounding area you may be lucky enough to see manta rays cruising through, but you’ll certainly find turtles, and some of the biggest giant morays I have ever seen. Mix in the powder-blue surgeons, white collar butterflies and black tail angels and you’re in for a visual feast.
The pinnacle, literally, of the trip will be a day diving Richelieu Rock, a rock so famous it even has its own website. A large, horseshoe-shaped rock, completely submerged, Richelieu is home to everything from the smallest ghost pipefish to hordes of batfish, schools of swirling snapper, giant cuttlefish and of course the giant Oceanic Manta ray and Whale Shark.
Even three dives on the rock won’t be enough: you’ll be planning your next trip on the way home.
For more information on Similan island trips just talk to Thailand divers on their live chat and they can give you all the latest information.
The Similan liveaboards have several great options from a one night trip to 10 days or more. The choice is yours. The trips can depart everyday from 15th October till mid May so you can fit the trip to your holiday and not your holiday to fit the trip. The 5 day 4 night trips will get you a full round trip. There is a choice of boats from to be honest very nice boats and accomadation low cost trips to total luxuary. 5* chefs, state rooms and private charter super yachts. When in phuket scuba diving is a must. You will not find a better place for your first ever experience or if its your 10,000th dive. phuket thailand has stunning sights both above and below the water. A chance to go on one of the Similan islands liveaboards is a chance you dont want to miss.