Diving in Phuket
Phuket, nicknamed the Pearl of the Andaman, is Thailand’s largest island, you will understand why. Its coast is edged with soft-sand beaches that gleam gold and white and crowned with dramatic limestone karsts, while the interior jungle is home to elephants and wonderful birdlife. But Phuket’s most awe-inspiring sites are below the surface of the sea, making it one of Thailand’s best scuba diving destinations. Here, a rainbow of different types of fish flit past in an instant, there are spectacular protected reefs in the marine parks and the limestone creates stunning walls, caves and crevices that are a joy to explore and shelter diverse species from hawksbill turtles to sea snakes. This Pearl of the Andaman offers diving year-round, but the best time to dive in Phuket is between November and April, when there is less rain and clearer waters. Generally, the visibility is excellent, ranging up to 40m (130ft) in at some key dive sites and the water temperature never drops below 25C (77F), normally hovering between 28 and 31C (82-87F). Most of the diving is offered by boat day trips, but there are opportunities for the shore diving, with the shallower conditions perfect for beginners and those looking to work on their skills. If you can organise your trip between February and March, cooler currents flow in from open sea and can bring with them whale sharks and manta rays.
Dive Sites in Phuket Province
Featured places to go in Phuket Province
Aquatic Life in Phuket Province
The Andaman Sea is home to wonderful marine life, from the huge whale sharks to reef and leopard sharks, elegant giant manta rays and even turtles. The variety of underwater habitats means you can spot moray eels, lionfish, scorpionfish and octopi among the reefs, as well as snapper, trumpet fish and clown anemone fish. In limestone caves you can see tiny seahorses, while bamboo sharks peer out from under hard coral and rocks and tuna and schooling jacks wend their way through the boulder-strewn seascapes. Some of the most spectacular animals to keep an eye out for are the leopard-like harlequin shrimp and the highly-camouflaged red-and-white ghost pipe fish.