Koh Phi Phi (pronounced Pee Pee) is located about 45km East of Phuket and offers some excellent dive sites for all levels of diver. Day trips are available from Phuket to Phi Phi by speedboat or slower dive boats, but the area is best experienced on the 7 dive Phi Phi special. In many places you find shallow hard coral gardens, making Phi Phi a good spot for snorkeling as well as diving. Koh Bida Nok and Koh Bida Nai, at the South end of the Phi Phi island chain are among the best sites in the region.
Koh Bida Nok & Koh Bida Nai
Koh Bida Nai Divesite Map
At the Southern end of the Phi Phi Islands chain lie two small rocky islands, both of which provide excellent and varied diving suitable for beginners and experienced divers. There are shallow reefs and steep walls, with depths from 8-28m. Leopard sharks are often seen on these sites, usually resting in the sand, but sometimes swimming – a beautiful sight.
Colourful soft corals are mixed with hard coral reefs where moray eels and scorpionfish hide. At Koh Bida Nai there is a beautiful archway filled with tiny baitfish which leads to a shallow hard coral garden. Bida Nok has several swimthroughs of the West side where you find a complex jumble of giant boulders. Turtles are occasionally seen on this reef.
Leopard sharks are quite common in this area, especially on the eastern side of the island. Blacktip reef sharks and whitetip reef sharks have been known to make appearances in the area and be sure not to startle bamboo sharks which may be hiding under rocks or cracks.
Schools of barracuda and trevally are often sighted near the east pinnacle as are snappers, mackerel and other pelagic species. Divers may also see seasnakes, cuttlefich and Kuhl’s stingrays.
Koh Bida Nok and Koh Bida Nai
Loh Samah Bay
Loh Samah Bay is on the East of Koh Phi Phi Le and is a great shallow dive, often used for night dives. Inside the bay is an extensive hard coral garden featuring lots of anemones at depths of 2-12m, which is also ideal for snorkeling. The dive usually follows a small limestone island which lies within the bay. The steep walls of this rock are mirrored underwater, creating a perfect place for soft corals, sea whips and fan corals. On the East side is a long canyon filled with delicate marine life. Seahorses are sometimes found here.
Loh Samah Bay Phi Phi Islands
Located some 6km from Koh Bida, this spot has been called “Phi Phi Shark Point” as leopard sharks are often seen here. The rock breaks the surface at low tide and drops to 18-22m, surrounded by boulders, staghorn corals and sand. Large rays are also sometimes encountered here. The soft corals at the Southern end of the site are particularly beautiful.
Maya Bay – The Beach
The famous setting for “The Beach” movie can be crowded on the surface, but offers some decent diving including a large cavern. The North side of the bay has a sloping reef, some dramatic rock formations and a good chance to find a turtle. Often called “Maya Corner”, the best area is found at about 16 – 18m on the NW point, where there is a great swimthrough and a steep wall. The cavern is found at the SW point, and is one of the largest in the area. Remember not to penetrate caves without special training and equipment.
South Andaman Pocket Divesite
When it comes to diving in Thailand most divers usually think of the Similan Islands. There are however more divesites to the south of the Similan Islands that are often overlooked. Places like Phuket, Phi Phi National Park, Hin Daeng, Hin Muang and others which are beautiful, easily accessible and filled with a magnificent diversity of marine life.
Get your full version of the South Andaman Pocket Divesite here at Sunrise Divers.
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