Scuba Diving in Phuket – Day Trip Dive Sites
Phuket has an impressive variety of day trip diving available, and the marine life is truly outstanding. There are dive sites for all levels of diver and to suit all tastes from easy shallow reef dives to wreck and wall dives. Racha Yai is perfect for training or gentle drift dives, while Racha Noi further south has some dive sites with deeper waters and currents – it’s not uncommon to find Manta rays there. Shark Point & Anemone Reef offer colourful soft corals and leopard sharks. The King Cruiser Wreck adds spice to our menu, while Phi Phi is within reach of a day trip, and can also be dived on a short liveaboard.
Koh Racha Yai
Racha Yai, about 90 minutes by day trip boat South of Phuket is a beautiful tropical island with plenty of hard coral reefs, colourful shallow water coral gardens, and a great opportunity for some enjoyable and easy drift diving. There are several excellent dive sites suitable for the beginner and for snorkeling, with depths from 2 – 20m, and even a couple of small wrecks making this island a favourite destination for everyone. Plenty of life here including lionfish, scorpionfish, barracuda, damselfish, puffers, triggerfish, moray eels and more. There are several dive sites around the island which allow year round diving as you can always dive on the sheltered side on a windy day.
Some species of marine life that inhabit the area are scorpionfish, lionfish, pufferfish, blue-ringed angelfish, snappers, groupers and a few types of eels. On the rock and between corals look of colorful nudibranches, durban dancing shrimp and also cute little juvenile fish like the cube boxfish and harlequin sweetlips. Above the reef there are also schools of fish like the yellowtail barracuda, yellowline snapper and soldierfish.
When diving from one pinnacle to the the other plan your time wisely so you do not have to swim over in mid water.
This submerged reef, located not far from Shark Point is similar in character and you will be amazed at the extensive fields of sea anemones covering the shallower areas of the reef. Harmless leopard sharks are also to be found together with some massive schools of smaller fish and some larger pelagics such as tuna, jacks and barracudas which come to hunt the small fish that try to seek shelter here.
King Cruiser Wreck
Koh Doc Mai
This small, jungle topped limestone island lies halfway between Shark Point and Phuket. It provides some of the best wall diving in the area with sea fans, soft corals and colourful sea life decorating its underwater cliffs. Look out for white eyed morays, nudibranchs and rarities such as seahorses and ghost pipefish. Depths from 5-25m make this a perfect multilevel dive. There are also several caverns on the East side – don’t go too far in without special training. Most often dived as a 3rd dive of the day after King Cruiser and Shark Point or Anemone Reef.
Koh Racha Noi
Racha Noi, another 45 minutes South of Koh Racha Yai, offers some truly spectacular dive sites with giant underwater boulders, great visibility and scenery almost like the Similan Islands. Currents here can be strong, and some of the dives are recommended for advanced divers only. There is deep water around the island, so you often see large pelagic visitors such as barracudas, eagle rays, marbled stingrays and there is a chance of encounters with manta rays. But there are also shallow areas and sheltered bays, so the island is suitable for all divers.