Phuket Diving Guide

11 Jan 2024
×

Error message

Notice: Undefined offset: 0 in eval() (line 52 of /srv/www/dev.phanganist.com/public_html/modules/php/php.module(80) : eval()'d code).

Phuket, Thailand's largest island, is a mosaic of vibrant cultures, stunning landscapes, and azure seas. Its warm, crystal-clear waters are home to some of the most spectacular marine life in the world, making it a diver's paradise. Phuket isn't just a gateway to Thailand's enchanting beauty; it's an underwater haven for scuba divers, from beginners to seasoned enthusiasts. In this article, we'll explore the exhilarating world of scuba diving in Phuket, detailing everything from dive spots to the best times to dive, marine life, certification processes, and why opting for a guided tour can enhance your diving experience.

An illustration of two people diving near Phuket, Thailand

SCUBA Diving

Scuba diving is more than just swimming underwater; it's an immersive experience that allows you to explore the hidden depths of the ocean. Equipped with a self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (SCUBA), divers can stay submerged longer, discovering the mysteries and marvels of the underwater world. SCUBA gear includes the following pieces of equipment:

  • A Scuba Tank: A cylinder filled with compressed air or a mix of gases, providing the diver with a supply of air.
  • Regulator: A device that controls the flow of air from the tank, allowing the diver to breathe comfortably.
  • Buoyancy Control Device (BCD): A vest that helps divers maintain buoyancy underwater and on the surface.
  • Dive Computer: A device worn on the wrist or attached to the BCD, providing information about depth, dive time, and ascent rate.
  • Fins, Mask, and Snorkel: Essential for maneuverability, vision, and breathing at the surface.
  • Wetsuit or Drysuit: Depending on the water temperature, these suits provide thermal protection and prevent hypothermia. Scuba diving is not just about the equipment; it's a gateway to experiencing the tranquility and beauty of the underwater environment.

Where to Dive Around Phuket

While there are countless places to explore underwater around Phuket, some of the most popular destinations are included below. They're a fantastic starting point.

Similan Islands

Similan Islands

Located about 84 kilometers northwest of Phuket and accessible by boat, the Similan Islands are a diver's paradise, known for their remarkable water clarity and a variety of dive sites. These islands feature an intriguing mix of gentle slopes, dramatic boulder formations, and deeper channels, offering diverse diving experiences. The Similans are celebrated for their magnificent underwater scenery, making them a top choice for both novice and experienced divers.

Shark Point

An illustration of Shark Point, near Phuket

Close to Phuket, Shark Point lies within a marine sanctuary, which also includes Anemone Reef and the King Cruiser Wreck. This site is named for the leopard sharks often spotted here, lounging on the sandy seabed. Shark Point is characterized by a series of pinnacles rising from the ocean floor, adorned with vibrant soft corals and sea fans. The site's topography and its position within the marine sanctuary make it an exceptional spot for divers looking for a vivid and dynamic underwater landscape.

Racha Islands

An illustration of a sunset near Phuket, Thailand

The Racha Islands, comprising Racha Yai and Racha Noi, are located to the south of Phuket. These islands are known for their crystal-clear waters, ideal for both diving and snorkeling. Racha Yai offers more relaxed diving conditions, perfect for beginners, while Racha Noi, with its stronger currents, caters to the more adventurous, experienced divers. The underwater topography here varies, featuring rocky reefs, sandy slopes, and even shipwrecks, providing a varied diving experience.

When to Dive

The most popular time for scuba diving in Phuket is during the dry season, from November to April. During these months, the sea is typically calm, and the water clarity is at its peak, offering excellent visibility of up to 30 meters. This period is ideal for spotting a wide range of marine life, and the weather is generally sunny and pleasant, making it perfect for diving and other tourist activities.

Conversely, the least popular time to dive is during the monsoon season, which runs from May to October. The monsoon brings heavier rainfall and rougher sea conditions, which can affect visibility underwater and make some dive sites inaccessible due to high waves and strong currents. Despite this, some divers still choose this season due to fewer tourists and lower prices. Advanced divers sometimes prefer the monsoon season for the different types of marine life that appear and the unique diving challenges it presents.

Typical Marine Life

Phuket's waters boast a rich tapestry of marine life. Divers might encounter a spectrum of reef fish, including parrotfish, lionfish, and clownfish. Predatory fish such as barracudas and trevallies add excitement, while the presence of manta rays and whale sharks is a highlight for many. Sea turtles like the Hawksbill and Green species are commonly seen, alongside a variety of invertebrates like octopuses, cuttlefish, and colorful nudibranchs. The coral reefs themselves are vibrant ecosystems, supporting a diverse range of marine inhabitants.

SCUBA Certification

Phuket is an ideal location for obtaining scuba diving certification, with numerous dive centers offering courses from PADI and SSI. Beginners typically start with an Open Water Diver course, which includes theoretical learning, confined water dives for skill development, and open water dives for real-world experience. Successfully completing the course earns a certification card, recognized globally, allowing diving up to the certified level.

An illustration of a diving tour near Phuket, Thailand

Diving Tours

The quickest and easiest way to get started is with a guided tour. Scuba diving tours offer the following benefits, among others:

  • Expert Guidance: Tours are led by experienced, certified dive masters or instructors who provide insights into the best dive spots, marine life, and local underwater conditions.
  • Safety: Group tours ensure safety protocols are followed, and there's immediate assistance available in case of emergencies.
  • Convenience: Dive tours handle all logistics, including transportation to and from dive sites, equipment rental, and sometimes meals and refreshments.
  • Learning Opportunities: New divers can learn from the experience of others, while seasoned divers can share tips and experiences.
  • Social Experience: Diving in a group allows you to share your experiences with fellow enthusiasts, creating a sense of camaraderie.
  • Diverse Dive Sites: Tours often visit multiple locations, offering a variety of diving experiences in one trip.

If your time is limited, or if any of that sounds intriguing to you, here are a few of our favorite diving tours on Phuket!

Recommended Tours

Discover Scuba Diving for Beginners

A picture from a group diving tour near Phuket, Thailand

Discover Scuba Diving for Beginners (Non-Certified Divers) is an introductory diving experience aimed at individuals without prior scuba diving certification. It involves a brief training session to familiarize participants with basic diving equipment and safety procedures. Under the guidance of experienced instructors, beginners get the opportunity to experience underwater diving in shallow waters. It's a safe and controlled way for novices to discover the underwater world, breathe underwater, and observe marine life without the need for a full diving certification, providing a taste of the mesmerizing underwater realm.

Check Availability


Phuket Raya Island Day Tour with Snorkeling OR Scuba Diving

A picture from a group diving tour near Phuket, Thailand

The Phuket Raya Island Day Tour with Snorkeling or Scuba Diving is an exhilarating excursion that takes participants to the pristine waters of Raya Island, one of Phuket's beautiful offshore destinations. This day tour offers two options for underwater exploration, catering to both snorkelers and certified scuba divers. Snorkelers can enjoy crystal-clear waters and vibrant marine life, while certified divers have the opportunity to explore deeper depths and discover the rich biodiversity of the underwater world. Additionally, the tour often includes relaxation time on Raya's stunning beaches, making it a perfect blend of adventure and leisure for those looking to soak up the natural beauty of Thailand's coastal paradise.

Check Availability


Private Full-Day Scuba Diving in Phuket

A picture from a group diving tour near Phuket, Thailand

Private Full-Day Scuba Diving in Phuket is a personalized diving experience for certified divers departing from Phuket. With the guidance of experienced instructors, participants have the flexibility to choose dive sites that match their interests. Whether it's exploring coral reefs, encountering marine life, or diving to deeper depths, this private excursion caters to individual preferences. It's an opportunity to immerse oneself in the diverse underwater ecosystems of the Andaman Sea and enjoy a customized and memorable scuba diving adventure in Phuket.

Check Availability


Small Group Scuba Diving Experience in Maiton Private Island

A picture from a group diving tour near Phuket, Thailand

The Small Group Scuba Diving Experience in Maiton Private Island is a personalized underwater adventure departing from Phuket. This experience caters to small groups of scuba diving enthusiasts, providing an intimate and enjoyable dive in the Andaman Sea. Maiton Private Island offers clear waters and a diverse range of marine life, making it an ideal location for exploring coral reefs and encountering various underwater species. With experienced instructors, participants can dive at their own pace, ensuring a tailored and relaxed scuba diving experience in the tranquil and exclusive setting of Maiton Private Island.

Check Availability


Full-Day Racha Yai Private Scuba Diving Course from Phuket

A picture from a group diving tour near Phuket, Thailand

The Full-Day Racha Yai Private Scuba Diving Course departing from Phuket provides a personalized and comprehensive scuba diving training experience. Located in the Andaman Sea, Racha Yai serves as the backdrop for this course, which is conducted privately. Participants receive expert guidance from instructors as they undergo training sessions covering fundamental scuba diving skills and safety protocols. The course includes both confined water training and open water dives, allowing participants to practice these skills in real underwater conditions. By the end of the day, participants have the opportunity to obtain a scuba diving certification, making it an ideal choice for those looking to become certified divers while exploring the underwater world of Racha Yai.

Check Availability


 

Diving Around Phuket

Scuba diving in Phuket is an adventure that combines the thrill of exploration with the beauty of the marine world. Whether you're getting certified or joining a guided tour, Phuket's underwater landscapes provide an unparalleled diving experience. Dive tours, in particular, offer a blend of safety, convenience, and social interaction, making them a fantastic option for both novice and experienced divers. As you plan your dive journey in Phuket, consider the unique aspects of each dive site and the enriching experience that a scuba diving tour can offer. Dive in and explore Phuket's underwater world, a journey that promises both adventure and discovery. Don't forget to book one of the recommended tours, and check out our Facebook page and the related articles below for more activities to do on Phuket and elsewhere in Thailand!


Phanganist Recommends

First lessons are free of charge.

Interactive Thai language learning app interface

Real Estate Board

Category: Land for sale
Type: Chanote
Size: 1.07 Rai
Cost: 7500000 THB
Category: Villa for sale
Type: Chanote
Size: 295 sqm
Cost: 11500000 THB
Category: Land for sale
Type: NorSor3
Size: 23 Rai
Cost: 4M THB per Rai.
Category: Resort for lease
Type: RentLongTerm
Size: 40 Bungalows
Cost: 5,000,000 Baht per year
Category: Land for sale
Type: Chanote
Size: Five Rai
Cost: 11 M per Rai
Category: Land for sale
Type: Chanote
Size: 1 Rai
Cost: 4500000 THB
Category: Land for sale
Type: Chanote
Size: Plot 1 - 4 Rai. 6,400 sqm., Plot 2 - 4 Rai. 6,400 sqm.
Cost: Price per Rai - 16,000,000 THB
Category: Villa for sale
Type: Chanote
Size: Plot sizes: 480 sqm, Villa size: 200 sqm including porches (70 sqm), A private pool - 30 sqm.
Cost: 20,000,000 THB
Category: Land for sale
Type: Chanote
Size: Different slots in various sizes. Price is per Rai.
Cost: 4500000 THB
Category: Land for sale
Type: Chanote
Size: 0.75 Rai / 1,200 sqm
Cost: 3000000 THB
Category: Land for sale
Type: Chanote
Size: 0.78 Rai / 1,252 sqm
Cost: 3130000 THB
Category: Land for sale
Type: Chanote
Size: 0.74 Rai / 1,184 sqm
Cost: 2960000 THB
Category: Land for sale
Type: NorSor3Gor
Size: 1 Rai : 1600m2
Cost: 4000000 THB
Category: Land for sale
Type: Chanote
Size: 1.25 Rai. 2,000 sqm
Cost: 11250000 THB
Category: Land for sale
Type: Chanote
Size:  0.75 Rai: 1200m2​
Cost: 5250000 THB
Category: Land for sale
Type: Chanote
Size: 7 Rai
Cost: 25 M Baht per Rai (negotiable)