Diving in Phuket – How it works

Diving in Phuket – How it works

Diving in Phuket – How it works

Diving in Phuket – There are only two kinds of people coming to Phuket: those who dive…. and those who haven’t yet! Here we address mostly to those who haven’t yet experienced this amazing activity but have been somehow considering the idea. And yes, you definitely should try! It’s a lot easier than it seems and there are so many amazing dive sites around Phuket. The water is often so clear, it feels like flying above coral and fish.  Most people get addicted!

Phuket Diving

Why Diving in Phuket?

Diving in Phuket – Like with other activities such as sea kayaking or canoeing, Phuket is used as a jumping off point to the world class diving to the surrounding regions. Phuket supplies the infrastructure needed for yacht and diving operations. The dive sites around Phuket are usually considered to be in the world’s top ten list of destinations.

1) Most Popular Diving Day Trip Sites near Phuket

Dive sites near Phuket

Phuket has some nice local dive sites, the closest about 20 kilometres from our main port of Chalong Bay.

  • To the east lie Koh Dok Mai, Shark Point and Anemone Reef,
  • Further east, Phi Phi Islands.
  • To the south we have two diver-friendly islands, Racha Yai and Racha Noi. These islands lie in deeper water usually giving you better visibility, but the eastern dive sites offer more bio-diversity.

We don’t have a lot of options so if you’re here to do day trips, you’ll probably go both east and south but on different days.

2) Day Trip Diving Options

Diving Daytrips from Phuket
Diving Daytrips from Phuket

Day trips are usually made on larger boats that are slow moving but stable and safe, so day trips take pretty much all day. You’ll leave in the early morning and return in the late afternoon. Day trip operators pick you up from your hotel and return you to your hotel as part of the package. If you’re planning a trip to Phi Phi Islands from Phuket, the day is quite a bit longer as it takes at least three hours to reach Phi Phi from Chalong. Ferries are faster, but they do not cater to scuba divers.  If you want to do day trips during your stay in Phuket, it’s best to book a hotel on the southern part of the island so the drive to the pier is shorter.

3) Beach and Longtail Diving in Phuket

Beach Diving in Phuket
Beach Diving in Phuket

There are several popular local dives off the West Coast of Phuket from November until May each year, and are a fun alternative if you’re busy with family and just want to get wet one morning. Both the northern and southern end of Kata Beach has good coral and good fish life. Le Meridien Phuket at Karon Noi Beach has a nice house reef. Patong has some reefs that are easily reached by long tail boat but offers no beach diving.

Kamala Beach has some good local sites reached by longtail boat, and up near the airport at Nai Yang there are a few good sites also serviced by longtail boats. It’s pretty easy to do two dives in the morning to any of these spots. Just ask your local dive shop near your hotel for details.

2) What is Liveaboard Diving?

Liveaboard Diving near Phuket
Liveaboard Diving around Phuket

90% of experienced divers who plan a diving holiday to Phuket are interested only in jumping on a liveaboard dive boat. A liveaboard is a like a small cruise ship that offers accommodation on board the vessel for small groups of people, usually between 10 and 24 divers. There are dozens of these boats operating from Phuket though they may leave from ports further north, which require some travelling by road to reach. Liveaboard dive vessels are self-sufficient allowing multiple days at sea. The average trip length is four or five-days, but some vessels that venture further will offer up to 10-days on board.

Prices are based on both destination and the boat’s amenities. The more comfort you expect, the higher the price and likewise, the further you go the higher the price as it will take more time and fuel to reach these areas.

But if you do the math and add up all of the charges associated with diving, a liveaboard is the best value as it includes accommodation, all meals, most drinks and four or more dives per day. It also requires less travel time as while the boat is moving, you’re sleeping or otherwise relaxing and when you’re ready to begin a dive, you’re right over the dive site.

If you are interested to find out more about Thailand Liveaboard Diving we recommend Siam Dive n Sail

4) Why a Liveaboard?

Phuket Liveaboard Dive Sites
Phuket Liveaboard Dive Sites

The main reason besides cost for diving from a liveaboard is that you are able to reach dive sites further away in comfort. Looking at a map, boats travel northwest to the Similan Islands National Park, a group of nine islands, then onto Koh Bon and Koh Tachai, famous for manta cleaning stations. Then we continue onto the Surin Archipelago including the best dive site in Thailand, Richelieu Rock, about 30 kilometres south of the Myanmar border.

Some boats will continue north and with permission, cross the border into the Mergui Archipelago, geologically the same archipelago as the Thai islands, but politically part of Burma or Myanmar. (Both names are interchangeable, one is not more correct than another.) Here we find a wonderland of hundreds and hundreds of islands. Many think that these islands opened only recently, but Phuket diving operators have been diving here since about 1990. In 1997 the whole archipelago opened up to us. It has been thoroughly explored, the best sites found, though we do find new sites from time to time. It’s more expensive to get here because of entry, port fees and fuel consumption, but the rewards are worth it as there are no crowds and the sheer number of dive sites makes it so we can’t possibly see them all in one trip.

If you are interested to find out more about Thailand Liveaboard Diving we recommend Siam Dive n Sail

5) Diving Courses in Phuket

Phuket Diving Courses
Phuket Diving Courses

If you’ve never tried scuba diving before, Phuket is a great place to learn to dive. We have some of the best instructors you’ll find anywhere in the world and one of them will speak your language. We have perfect conditions from November until April each year but even during the green season, we have easily accessible teaching dive sites just a short boat ride away.

Learning to dive is easier than you think. In fact, it’s one of the easiest sports to learn as you were born with the ability to breath; all we do is teach you to use simple equipment that allows you to breath underwater for an extended period of time, usually about one hour. It is not claustrophobic and though you need to know how to swim, your swimming skills do not have to be extraordinary.

There are two ways to learn

  • You can do a try it dive or in the PADI lingo, a Discover Scuba Dive. This is done with a trained instructor, usually in a pool but often in a safe part of the ocean which has pool like conditions. This experience allows you to see if you like it but doesn’t allow you to dive further except with a professional guiding you.
  • The best way to learn is to take the full diving course. This course gives you more confidence and makes you feel safer as we are actually teaching you to be self-sufficient underwater. The course usually takes around four days and includes theory, pool practice and four dives in the ocean. Diving changes your life for the better. Try it and see.

Click here if you are interested to find out more about Dive Courses in Phuket

Liveabord Dive Sites

Diving Around Phi Phi islands

We collected on the next page the necessary information if you are interested  in Diving in Phi Phi Island

Diving in Phuket – How it works
4.3 (36 votes)

Written by

Born in France a long long time ago, I started to travel the world early and never stopped until I settled in Thailand in 1994. Then for the past 24 years, my passion for photography and my natural curiosity has taken me to every corner of Thailand, jumping frequently between Bangkok and Phuket and basically everywhere I could go. I run 2 blogs: Phuket101.net and BangkokUndercover.com, I also manage 30 online travel guides in Asia and beyond, including Phuket.com, Bangkok.com and Bali-Indonesia.com

The Best FOOD Stuff
10 Most Romantic Restaurants
10 Best Local Restaurants
10 Best Seafood Restaurants
10 Great Thai Dishes
10 Phuket Typical Dishes
10 Best Classic Thai Dishes
10 Hardcore Thai Food

The Best EXPLORER Stuff
14 Hidden Beaches of Phuket
15 Islands Near Phuket
18 Nicest Mansions in Phuket
13 Viewpoints in Phuket
10 Things to See Off the Beaten Track
10 Most Quiet Beaches of Phuket

The FUN Stuff
16 Things to Do with Kids
10 Ways to Party in Patong
7 Best Beach Clubs
10 Best Rooftop Bars
7 Night Clubs
10 Romantic Things to Do in Phuket
10 Reasons Why We Can’t Leave Thailand

The USEFUL Stuff
10 Questions People Always Ask
10 Mistakes People Do on First Trip
13 Tips to Save Money
12 Things to Do on Small Budget
10 Quick Facts about Phuket

10 Things to Do When It Rains
What To Expect in Low Season
7 Beaches for Low Season

13 Really Weird Things in Phuket
10 Tips to Spot a Ladyboy
10 Insects for Gourmets
10 Clues you have been in Phuket TOO LONG!
10 Cheap Fun Things to Do in Phuket

Phuket Airport: Things to Know
Phuket Weather
Phuket Event Calendar
How to Pronounce Phuket
About Us – Contact us

Patong Beach ☆☆☆
Kata Beach☆☆
Karon Beach ☆☆
Kamala Beach ☆☆
Nai Harn Beach ☆☆☆
Kata Noi Beach ☆☆☆
Laem Singh Beach ☆☆☆
Bang Tao Beach
Mai Khao Beach
Surin Beach ☆☆
Nai Yang Beach ☆☆
Naithon Beach ☆☆
Rawai Beach

Freedom Beach ☆☆☆
Paradise Beach ☆
Banana Beach ☆☆
Ya Nui Beach ☆☆
Ao Yon Beach
Ao Sane Beach
Tri Trang Beach
Panwa Beach

Similan Islands ☆☆☆
Phi Phi Islands NEW!
Bon Island
Coral Island
Khai Islands
Racha Island
James Bond Island
Koh Panyee

12 Things to Do When it RAINS
John Gray Sea Canoe ☆☆☆
Phang Nga Bay ☆☆☆
Buddha Cave in Phang Nga
Phuket Town Walking Map
Thalang Road – Old Phuket Town ☆☆
Phuket Walking Street ☆☆
Simon Cabaret Show ☆☆
Phuket Fantasea ☆☆
Phuket Trickeye Museum
Upside Down House
Kao Rang Hill
Phuket Aquarium

Big Buddha ☆☆
Karon Viewpoint (Kata Viewpoint) ☆☆
Wassa Homemade Bar ☆☆
Windmill Viewpoint
Black Rock Viewpoint ☆☆
Samet Nangshe Viewpoint ☆☆
Promthep Cape Viewpoint
Panwa Viewpoint
After Beach Bar

Bangpae Waterfall
Kathu Waterfalls
Tonsai Waterfalls

Baan Chinpracha
Phuket Mining Museum
Thai Hua Museum

7 Buddha Postures for 7 Days
Big Buddha ☆☆
Wat Chalong ☆☆
Buddha Cave in Phang Nga
Wat Kao Rang and Sitting Buddha
Wat Phra Thong
Chinese Temples
Shrine of The Serene Light

10 Tips to Spot a Ladyboy
10 Ways to PARTY in Patong
Simon Cabaret Show
Paradise Complex
Party Drinks in Phuket
Phuket Fantasea
Rock City Patong

Cafe Del Mar ☆☆
Catch Beach Club
Dream Beach Club
Kudo Beach Club
HQ Beach Lounge
Iguana Beach Club
Xana Beach Club

Suzy Wongs A Go Go (HOT)
Devil’s Playground (HOT)
Diablo A Go Go
Exotica A Go Go
Harem A Go Go
Rock Hard A Go Go

Soi Seadragon (HOT)

Illuzion Phuket
White Room
Seduction Phuket
Tiger Club

Central Festival Phuket
JungCeylon Shopping Mall ☆☆☆
Phuket Price Check

Chillva Night Market ☆☆☆
Phuket Walking Street ☆☆
Phuket Weekend Market
Phuket Indy Market

Banzaan Market ☆☆☆
Phuket Amulet Market

Loy Krathong
Patong Gay Festival
Vegetarian Festival

Diving in Phuket
Thai Boxing Training
Wake Park
Dino Park Mini Golf
Elephant Jungle Sanctuary
Go Kart
Kayaking in Phang Nga Bay
Phuket Tree Adventures
Spas and Massages
Splash Jungle Water Park
Surf House Kata Beach
Surf House Patong
White Water Rafting

Phuket AIRPORT: Things to Know
Phuket Travel Tips and FAQs
10 Quick Facts about Phuket
Phuket FAQs
Driving and Renting a Bike or a Car
Phuket Price Check
Phuket Map – with all locations
Bangkok Blog


Sala Phuket Resort
Renaissance Phuket Resort
Banyan Tree Phuket
Hyatt Regency Phuket
Maikhao Dreams
Pullman Arcadia Naithon Phuket
Phuket Marriott Nai Yang
The Slate Phuket
Trisara Villas
TwinPalms Phuket

Amari Phuket Resort
Holiday Inn Phuket
Kalima Resort
Phuket Graceland
Le Meridien Phuket
Novotel Phuket Resort
The Kee Resort
Impiana Resort Patong
Swissotel Patong

Kata Rocks
The Shore at Kata Thani
Katathani Beach Resort
Mom Tri’s Villa Royale

Movenpick Resort
Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket

Westin Siray Bay Resort
Novotel Phuket Phokeethra
Little Nyonya

Six Senses Hideaway Yao Noi
The Racha


La Gritta at Amari Phuket
Wok Pagoda
Da Maurizio
360 at Pavilions
Mom Tri’s Kitchen
Pan Yaah Restaurant
Tunk Ka Cafe
Gaetana Italian Restaurant
Blue Elephant
Panwa House at Cape Panwa

Mor Mu Dong Restaurant
Piang Prai Restaurant
Kan Eang 2 Seafood
Kan Eang @ Pier
One Chun
Kaab Gluay
Raya House
Tunk Ka Cafe
Paknam Seafood
Suay Restaurant
Kru Suwit Restaurant
Thanoon Seafood
Osha Phuket

8 Sunset Photo Tips
Phuket Funniest Photos
Phuket Tsunami