Oceanic Dive Center, our Guide to Scuba Diving in Phuket
Here we take a look at the reasons why it’s a good idea to come scuba diving in Phuket.
Why Come Scuba Diving in Phuket?
Thailand is a major tourist destination, famous for being the Land of Smiles, a food paradise, and with some of the best tropical beaches in the world. And one of the most popular activities in Thailand is scuba diving. It’s generally agreed that there’s no better area to go diving in Thailand, than the island province of Phuket. Why is that?
Phuket has been considered one of the world’s best dive destination for many years now, and one of the reasons is because it offers something for everyone.
Diving for Beginners
If you don’t already hold a certification, scuba diving in Phuket for beginners is great. It’s a fabulous place to learn scuba. There are plenty of dive sites with interesting marine life, but they also have very safe conditions so that you’re comfortable while you hone your skills. In particular, our dive site at Kata Beach house reef is an amazing first experience, as well as being very popular with our more experienced divers. Read more about it here.
Experienced recreational divers will get more “bang for their buck” taking Phuket Scuba diving day trips and diving liveaboard tours, than they would get at a lot of other dive destinations. That’s because there is a lot of variety in the topographies of the dive sites. There are rugged limestone islands with wall dives full of cracks and crevices for creatures to hide in. Granite islands have impressive boulder sites. Here you find swim throughs with bush and fan corals hanging from enormous canyon-like boulders. The Andaman Sea is dotted with submerged pinnacles and reefs, where we find abundant soft corals and carpets of anemones. The many islands and beaches dotted around the Andaman Sea are all fringed with pretty, shallow reefs.
Fish enthusiasts and marine biologists marvel at the diversity of marine life that you find on any dives in Phuket. Even a humble beach dive can lead you to stumble across rare creatures that a diver might only expect to see once or twice in a lifetime of diving.
The water temperature of the Andaman Sea remains constant at around 29°C (84°F) for the entire year. So there’s no need for bulky wetsuits for the vast majority of divers in Phuket.
The seasons are very straightforward. We have “high season” between November and April. During these months the prevailing winds are from the East. This results in mill-pond like conditions on our Westerly beaches, and some amazing beach diving! The chances of rain between December and April are very, very low.
Our monsoon (“low”) season, between May and October, is when the prevailing winds are Westerly. Don’t expect beach dives during the monsoon, because waves get too big, better for surfers than divers. But don’t expect rain every day either! The majority of the Phuket day trip dive sites are at islands that we reach by boat. So, even on windy days, we have the option to dive around the sheltered, Eastern sides of the islands. The best news about our “low”season is that the dive sites are less crowded than in our busy high season. Phuket scuba diving prices don’t vary from one season to the next, but hotel and flight costs drop though the floor between May and October.
In the middle part of the monsoon, especially around August, we often have glass-flat sea and clear blue skies. This is often when we have the best Scuba diving in Phuket.
Marine Life of Phuket
The marine life that you will encounter scuba diving Phuket is abundant and varied.
Of course, everyone is hunting for the big ones: manta rays and whalesharks can appear on any dive site at any time of year. Our sharks are, undoubtedly, becoming rarer, but we still see whale sharks, blacktip reef sharks, leopard sharks and bamboo sharks. Turtles frequent the islands around Phuket too. We’ve even heard of baby turtles hatching from their shells under a lady’s sun lounger on Karon beach!
On most dives around Phuket you can expect to see plenty of glass fish, schooling fish like snapper, fusiliers, juvenile barracuda. They attract the hunters in good numbers – trevally, barracuda, rainbow runners, tuna. Around the natural and artificial reefs we find surgeon fish, damsels, parrot fish, wrasses, grouper, butterfly fish, angel fish, gobies… you name it! Look out for the dreaded titan trigger fish. If they’re nesting, they’ll let you know to keep out of their territory! They are actually far more worrisome to a diver in Phuket than the commonly feared scorpion fish and lion fish, who are always passive, and far less likely to cause an injury!
The biggest surprise for most divers is the macro life. Seemingly every crack and crevice harbours shrimp of all species (even harlequin shrimp if you’re lucky). You can find every kind of pipefish, including the ornate and robust ghost pipefishes. We also regularly find bent stick pipefish, and their cousins, the seahorses. If you’re lucky your dive guide will know where to find the really rare creatures. Pegasus fish, Indian ocean walkmen, frogfish and leaf fish can be found on almost any dive site . But don’t be disappointed if they’re hiding on the day you’re diving, they are all masters of disguise and very easy to miss!
Oceanic Dive Center – The Best SCUBA Diving Shop In Phuket For All Of Your Diving Needs
Our SCUBA diving Phuket training facility & retail shop is conveniently situated on the main Patak Road in Kata. We are walking distance to Kata and Karon beaches, and in the heart of an area known for its excellent local restaurants.