Scuba diving is Thailand’s most popular water sport and the country’s coast and islands have some of the most beautiful dive sites in the world. The water is clear, with plentiful marine life and amazing seascapes.
WHY WE LOVE DIVING IN PHUKET & SIMILAN ISLANDS
Great spots for Whale Sharks, Leopard Sharks & Manta Rays
Similan Islands have been ranked as one of the top diving sites in the world
PHUKET & SIMILAN ISLANDS GALLERY
Diving in Phuket & Similan Islands
The dive sites vary enormously, ranging from sheer walls with a different creature in every nook and cranny, to craggy rock outcroppings surrounded by a smooth sandy bottom. Because of the abundance of nutrients in the water, these sites are rich in filter feeding mollusks such as clams, giant oysters and scallops. Golden gorgonian fans wave in the currents, while crinoids, starfish and anemones cling to every available surface. This is the perfect place to get out your macro lens and try and find a rare pink and white nudibranchs. If you’re lucky, you may spot something at the very top of the chain: "shallam wan" or whaleshark!
In recent years Koh Phi Phi Island has gained a reputation as a spectacular tourist destination, one of the ten most beautiful islands in the world. But most people still don’t realise that Phi Phi is equally beautiful underwater. Phi Phi Island and the surrounding Phang-Nga Bay are spectacular limestone rocks created thousands of years ago. Many rise dramatically upward with sheer sides and have numerous caves where fearless men on bamboo scaffolding climb up to gather swallows nests (nok nang ann) for bird’s nest soup.
To the north, in Phang Nga Bay, is one of the worlds largest mangrove tracts, and it is in this dark and muddy sanctuary that an surprising amount of colourful reef fish are born and reared. In fact, without the mangrove providing shelter and food to so many marine species, the spectacular underwater landscape you are about to see on your first dive wouldn’t exist.
The Similan Islands are by far the most spectacular group of dive sites that Thailand has to offer and are on par with some of the best diving destinations worldwide. Located about 100 km northwest of Phuket, the Similans consist of nine granite islands covered in lush, tropical, jungle foliage, surrounded by sparkling clear blue oceans. The beaches are made up of the finest white powdery sand and literally melt into the warm tropical waters.
The underwater scenery features beautiful hard and soft coral gardens. As well you will find huge granite boulders and dramatic rock formations including: holes, overhangs, swim throughs and canyons. Drift diving is possible here as divers use the current to propel them along the vibrantly rich reefs teeming with unusual and interesting marine life.
Winter average of 30°C / 86°F
Summer average of 35°C / 95°F
Rainy season May to September
Flights from LONDON
Some 50 nautical miles north of the Similan Islands lies one of the best known dive sites in Asia. Just breaking the surface at low tide, Richelieu Rock is probably your best chance to have the whale shark experience.
28° to 30°C / 80 to 86°F average
30m / 100ft avg