Diving in Phi Phi Island is a unique experience you shouldn’t miss as not many places in the world can offer such a unique clear dive sites. If you never experienced diving before, just remember that there is a very cool option called ‘Discover Scuba Diving’ that doesn’t really require any training, just a briefing usually given on the deck of the boat on the way to the dive sites! I did it and it was fantastic.
Discover Scuba Diving consists on 2 dives done in half a day, stating at 7 am and costs about 3,400 baht per person. It’s quite easy and a great way to get a taste for diving without having to go through the hassle of doing theory.
The dives are done around Phi Phi Leh, the smaller island in the south, where Maya Bay is located. Depending on winds and tides the dives will be done on the east side or west side. Usually the first dive is at Bida Nok, a dive site popular for the many fish species you may encounter, that can be Black Tip Sharks (not dangerous), some Barracudas, turtles and impressive schools of fish.
After this first dive the boat stops at Maya Bay for lunch, a chance to get a glimpse at this famous bay. Note that you won’t step on the beach itself (which would costs 400 baht of extra national park fee)
Second dive is at Palong dive site where you get another chance to meet turtles, black tip reef sharks and lots of soft coral and marine life such as frog fish, sea horses, shrimp and pipe fish.
Now if you are already a certified diver, the same half day trip will only cost you 2,500 since you can skip the entire on deck training.
Wreck diving is also really popular in Phi Phi, the most famous wreck being the King Cruiser Wreck, a 85-meter passenger ferry that sunk accidentally 20 years ago (4th of May 1997 with 561 passengers on board, all were rescued). The top of the wreck is 16 meter deep and the bottom is 33 meter deep. King cruiser would take you a day to reach and dive. Expect to meet Yellow Tail Snapper and Barracudas.
Much closer is the Kled Gaeow wreck, a 382 tons vessel artificially sunk on March 2014 with a depth between 14 to 27 m and this one can be done in half a day and 2 dives.
For the King Cruiser wreck diving you might need a little more advanced certification.
Then you can take a diving course, a good way to maximize your stay on the island. Since it’s a 3 day course it’s recommended to take the theory course from home to be able to start the real diving initiation when you arrive on Phi Phi (you didn’t travel that far to lock yourself in a classroom!)
Day 1 is called ‘confined diving’ which in other location are done in a swimming pool, but here in Phi Phi, it happens to be done on the beach!
Day 2 includes 2 dives at 12 meters and Day 3 is 2 dives at 18 meters, usually done at Koh Bidah (see map)
Diving with a dive center of course includes all diving insurance, equipment and suit, instructor and even food on board.
Note that you should allow 18 hours between your last dive and your flight home, but on Phi Phi island it’s not as big a problem since you have to take a ferry to Phuket Island first. Just in case you wonder, there is a small international hospital and two international clinics on the island plus a decompression chamber on Phuket island.
Thank you to Phi Phi Scuba for this information… note that this article was not sponsored 🙂