Best Diving in Phuket

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Neon lights, bright colors, unusual forms… no, this is not a description of a nightlife activity, it’s a night dive at Phuket!

When traveling to one of the Thai archipelagoes most likely you will be staying at Phuket before and after your departure. Why not spend a few more days here? You will have a chance to get acquainted with one of the wrecks in the nearby area or to perform a night dive.

On the occasion that you are just beginning your diving adventure, Phuket will be an unforgettable gateway to the underwater world.


Easily reachable by a direct flight from most of the world’s airports Phuket is a 50 km (31 miles) long Island. There are 3 main districts in Phuket: Thaland in the northern part, Kathu (famous for Patong beach) in the western part and Mueang Phuket (with Phuket town and all other famous beaches like Karon, Kata, Rawai and others) in the southern part.

The best transportation on the Island is a taxi, bus or mini-van. If you are thinking of hiring a scooter, abandon this idea. It is too dangerous due to a hectic traffic, better rent a car then.

Diving Review

Phuket welcomes divers all the year round with its warm water which hardly goes below 25ºC (77ºF). But National Marine Parks are closed for diving in the wet season which is between June and October. Thus, it’s better to consider the other months.

Most of Phuket’s dive sites are located either near the coast with shore entry or within a short transfer by a speedboat or a longtail boat.

If you are planning some wreck dives, better take your gloves and a torch. A torch will come in handy for night dives as well.

Best dive sites overview

There are plenty of locations for beginners with shore entry dives from Kata and Karon Beaches. It is common to see Lionfish, Wrasse, Snapper, and Stingrays there. Try to visit Koh Poo, Kata Noi Reef or Karon Rok for a selection of hard corals, Octopus, Batfish and Anemones.

Night dive at Yanui Beach

When the moon is full it might be the best idea to try a night dive at Yanui Beach. The maximum dive depth is 9m (29ft.) and the reef goes up to 3m (9ft.) which is ideal for a night dive. The moonlight turns a dive site into an alien planet. On such nights, it’s great to turn off your torch for a while to admire the fluorescence of plankton and nocturnal underwater life. Night hunters, like Lionfish, Morays, and Crabs, will be moving around. Do not forget to control your buoyancy.

Tin Mining Barge (Wreck)

Tin Mining Barge is a 30m (98ft.) long wreck located not far from Bang Tao Bay in the northern part of Phuket. The bottom lies at 12-16m (ft.) and the upper part is located at 4m (13ft.). Not many dive clubs know or organize trips to this dive site, so it will not be crowded. At the same time, underwater inhabitants will please you with their diversity. The average visibility is about 8m (26ft.).

War Birds

Have you ever seen a plane or a helicopter wreck? If not yet, then War Birds dive site is waiting for you. Upon Buddist and Thai Defense Department blessing 4 Dakota Airplanes and 6 Sikorsky Helicopters were drowned in the western part of Bang Tao Bay in 2008. The average depth of the dive is 17m-20m (55-65ft.) with visibility of 10m (32ft.).

HMS Squirrel

Technical divers can practice their skills at HMS Squirrel dive site. After hitting Japanese mine this 65m (213ft.) long British vessel sank in 1945 in the southern part of Phuket. She is settled at the depth of 65-72m (213-236ft.) on her starboard.

Best dive season

You’d better arrive between November and April to enjoy the warmest and the calmest water around Phuket. February and March are the best months.

Dive conditions

The visibility is around 10m (32ft.) during November and April as most of the dive sites around Phuket are influenced by the tide. The water temperature reminds taking a warm shower because of 28-31ºC (82-87ºF).

Marine life

Wrecks usually attract such fish as Batfish, Lionfish, Scorpionfish, Snappers, Glassfish, Fusiliers, and Barracudas.

On house reefs not far from the shore you’d better concentrate on smaller creatures like Nudibranchs, Crabs, and Shrimps. Maybe you are lucky to find Seahorse and Ghost Pipefish. They try to masquerade as soft corals, so you need patience and a quick eye to spot them. Even when diving at house reefs not far from the shore it is worth looking into the sandy spots for Stingrays or upper layers for Turtles.


The selection of an accommodation at Phuket usually depends on the budget and the level of privacy which you would like to have as the choice is large.

If you prefer a peaceful and luxury environment with lagoons at a 6km (miles) long beach, then you’d better choose a resort in Bangtao. The high-end accommodations will provide everything you might desire for, even a Golf course.

Moving further from the Airport your will find Kamala on the western side of the Island. Here you can escape from the crowds on a 1.5 km (0.93 miles) long beach.  It is targeting families and those with a preference of a relaxation at the beach.

Patong is the busiest, most famous location, especially between backpackers. Young people love it due to the largest number of bars, discos, restaurants and shops on the Island. So it can be quite noisy during the nights unless there are windows with sound insulation at the hotel.

Small towns of Karon and Kata are much quieter than Patong providing mid-priced pleasant accommodations. But whenever you wish to find yourself back in a center of Brownian motion, just take a 30-minutes drive to Patong.

Rawai and Phuket town might be not the best places to stay. The first one is not good for swimming while the latter is a business center.


Many liveaboards (for example, DiveRACE Class E, Giamani, The Junk, Thailand Aggressor) heading to Similan Islands, Surin Islands, and the Mergui Archipelago leave either from Phuket or from the nearby Khao Lak.

Other activities for non-divers

Phuket gives a chance for good snorkeling, like the nearby Coral Island. The transfer time is about 15 min by a speedboat from Chalong. Or you can put on your mask and fins at Nai Harn Bay located not far from Rawai. Here you will find brain corals with their regular companions, Christmas Tree Worms, and plenty of reef fish.

If you are a devoted eco-activist you might be interested in giving your support to Gibbons. For this, you need to visit Gibbon Rehabilitation Center which is located in the eastern part of Phuket next to Bang Pae Waterfall.

Travel tips

Feeling inspired and raring to go? Check out our Phuket travel guide and start planning your next diving trip!

Dive Sites Reviews in Phuket

Koh Bida Nok sits within a marine park and has some of the best dive sites in Phuket. This dive ...

This is a challenging dive site in the Racha Yai area that is made up of many underwater boulders that ...

Together with Koh Bida Nok, Koh Bida Nai sits within a marine park and has some of the best dive ...

Ashitol Bay is one of the best places for drift diving in Phuket. It is quite a difficult dive though ...

This is another fantastic dive site in Thailand. Located in Phuket, the average depth of this site is around 18 ...

This lovely reef is suitable for beginner divers and has mild to moderate currents. The reef starts out at about ...

This amazing shore dive is a lovely relaxing and calm wall dive. There is ample coral to make it a ...

This is a fantastic reef that is popular for learning divers. It is suitable for divers with all levels of ...

This is a lovely wall dive with moderate currents making it perfect for beginner divers. Divers of all levels will ...

This is a fantastic site to learn how to dive with a lovely reef slope going down to about 30 ...

Anemone Reef divesite article goes here.

Phuket Shark point divesite goes here.

Siam Bay Statues divesite article goes here.

King Cruiser Wreck is an 85-meter long passenger ferry that sank in 1997 by hitting the nearby Anemone Reef, and ...

This dive site, Waterfall Wall, is a very good wall dive with many different marine species to spot hiding amongst ...

Crab Island has a lovely dive site that is relatively shallow but full of a wide variety of macro marine ...

This island is the outer island of the two islands of Chalong Bay and has a lovely reef dive site. ...

Found on the eastern part of Racha Yai, this is a good dive site with a reef that is largely ...

Translated from Thai, Koh Dok Mai means Flower Island and this is the location for one of the best wall ...

Karon beach is a fantastic dive site that is great for beginners as well as advanced training, and for professional ...

This dive site is a lovely little reef with a maximum depth of 40 meters and consequently, Ray Bahn, is ...

Liveaboard Reviews in Phuket

Been diving here with a liveaboard? Please share your experience using the comment section!

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