The best dive spots from Krabi to Phuket

Phuket is the gateway to the best scuba diving in Thailand and is rated in the top 10 dive spots in the world. From this idyllic island would-be divers can achieve their PADI – or Professional Association of Diving Instructors – certificate and the more experienced can hop on a boat and explore the Similan Islands. Krabi is another ideal base, with daily diving trips available to Phi Phi Island and Ao Nang’s beaches.

Day trip to Phi Phi

Easily accessed from both Phuket and Krabi, Phi Phi is one of the most dramatically beautiful places in the world both above and below the water.

From the surface, monumental limestone rocks tower above the aquamarine ocean, which have created a fantastic underwater environment full of caves, overhangs and swim-throughs, all decorated with healthy soft corals. Dives end in shallow gardens so you’ll have no problem spotting pipefish, seahorses and razorfish as well as their larger cousins like leopard sharks and reef sharks, as well as turtles.

Two of the most popular dive sites around Phi Phi are Bida Nok and Bida Nai. It takes around 45 minutes by speedboat to reach the small cliff islets south of Phi Phi where you’ll find a variety of habitats to explore from magical coral gardens to slopes and outstanding steep walls. Scorpion fish, ghost pipefish, moray eels and leopard sharks all lurk amid the brightly coloured soft and hard coral. Over at Bida Nai, schools of seahorses and barracudas mingle in the overhangs and caves.

Ao Nang Beach

From Ao Nang Beach, wonderful soft coral fringed islands make the perfect spot for both diving and snorkelling, and you’ll find a huge variety of juvenile reef fish and regular inhabitants such as the unmistakable clown fish and the feisty titan triggerfish. The popular local islands of Ko Ha, are home to a number of amazing underwater caves, with breathtaking manta rays and whale sharks both circling the area.

Shark Point

Named after the docile leopard sharks often encountered on the sandy sea floor, this unsuspecting limestone pinnacle is one of Phuket’s best diving locations. In addition to scores of sharks and vast numbers of tropical fish, the stunning underwater world is home to an abundance of colourful soft corals and sea fans. Currents can be strong here but tend to run parallel to the reef, creating excellent drift dives.

Koh Doc Mai

This huge, jungle-covered limestone rock rises steeply from the glistening Andaman Sea. As a relatively quick dive, trips to Koh Doc Mai are usually included in dive trips to Shark Point and Amemone Reef. It’s worth the stop though, as each and every underwater surface is covered in beautiful flower-like corals and you’ll find a huge diversity of marine life here. Considered to be one of the best wall dives in the area, the site offers excellent macro photography for budding underwater photographers and you’ll discover some amazing fish in the caves on the east side.

Racha Islands

The Racha Islands offer year-round diving and have sites suitable for beginners through to advanced divers. On the north side of the island you’ll find two beautiful bays full of colourful coral formations, dropping to depths of 12 metres along the sandy seabed. In the deeper regions, you’ll spot a number of larger pelagics, garden eels and blue spotted stingrays.

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