Phuket, Thailand, the diving possibilities are almost endless. World-class
dive sites around the most beautiful tropical islands with their white
beaches have made Phuket and the whole Thailand the perfect dive destination
for both beginners and experts to enjoy a great diving holiday.
Phuket diving is some of the finest in whole Asia, whether you
choose the local Phuket dive sites or take a liveaboard cruise to exotic
areas such as the Similan Islands, Surin Islands or Burma.
The diving environments of Phuket range from deep, underwater mountains
with breathtaking pinnacles rising up from the sea floor, to shallow pristine
coral gardens with dramatic under-sea formations created by huge granite
boulders. There are also plunging limestone walls and spectacular underwater
caves to be found in many locations in the surrounding areas of Phuket.
Thailand's reefs are built of hundreds of species of coral. The
large variety of tropical fish, influenced by the ecosystems of both the
Indian and the Pacific Ocean are just waiting to be discovered. One of
the most impressive sights in the world is the huge variety of giant offshore
sea life, abundant in the reefs around Phuket. Silver tip sharks, manta
rays and especially whale sharks can be frequently seen at many of the
famous dive sites in the Phuket region.
Phuket Diving and Liveaboards
To take advantage
of all the dive sites in the southwestern part of Thailand it is often
necessary to book a liveaboard cruise to some of the islands a fair distance
from Phuket, for example the Similan Islands, Surin or the Mergui Archipelago.
There are however some great diving opportunities on and around Phuket
itself that are easy to reach and relatively inexpensive.
It is possible to arrange a dive from a longtail boat hired directly
from the beach. These are not the easiest of boats to dive from, but the
"cultural experience" should not be missed. This makes diving
just a little bit more exciting.
The locations on Phuket's western coast offer stunning granite and hard
coral topography with exciting caves, canyons and archways. You will find
an abundance of reef fish, but also there are large pelagic fish like
barracuda and tuna. Deep-water creatures like whale sharks and manta rays
can also be observed.
dive areas off the western coast of Phuket include Patong Beach, Freedom
Beach, Pansea Beach and Bang Tao Beach. All of these spots are popular
training areas and actually do offer some pleasant, easy diving. Read
more information about the
beaches of Phuket
One of the best areas is right off the beach in Kata and around
the small island off the coast, Koh Poo. Here, the coral reef parallels
the bays northern rocky point in shallow waters, which never exceed five
or six meters depth.
The cost of scuba diving in Thailand is very competitive.
Indeed, in many cases the costs are considerably lower than anywhere else
in the world.
Rates for the various tours obviously vary from destination to
destination and from dive center to dive center. It is highly recommendable
to check the actual internet home page nearly all operators of
quality have a home page where you can check the actual itineraries, compete
the prices and even book online from your desk at home, paying with a
the price for a day-trip or a liveaboard cruise is understood as having
the rental of all equipment included. A complete set of equipment includes
tanks, back pack, weights, mask, fins, snorkel, buoyancy compensator (with
direct system/power inflator), regulators with submersible pressure gauge,
octopus or alternate air source, weight belt, diving knife, diving watch
or some sort of underwater timer, depth gauge, compass, gloves and a jump
suit, coverall or thin wetsuit (chiefly for protection against coral cuts
and sunburn). A diver should take along his diving certification, his
log book, personal spare parts and tool kit.
Additional equipment available for rent often includes dive computers,
pole spears, spear guns (though spear-fishing is not encouraged), lift
bags, metal detectors, underwater flashlights, light meters and underwater
If you are a beginner, the right kind of dive education is important
and can help to save your live in a critical situation. Recommendable
are the world-wide standardized PADI-courses and all the dive operators
on Phuket have it in their program. It is even possible to combine a beginners
course with a liveaboard trip, but since the most interesting dive sites
are in the 20 to 40 meters range and can be affected by tidal current,
basic course training can be a difficult exercise. The PADI certification
dive courses range from around THB 2.000 for the Introductory Course (1
day) to THB 15.000 for the Divemaster Course (6 to 8 days, or longer)
or around THB 40.000 for the complete Instructor Course (9 to 10 days).
and the surrounding areas of the Andaman Sea in general offer some
of the most fantastic and magnificent dive sites in the world. The colorful
reefs in clear blue water with abundant sea life of all varieties offer
visitors and locals the opportunity to enjoy incredible environment in
a spirit of community and friendship.
Diving has had a major influence on the tourist industry of Phuket
for the past twenty years. Growing numbers of divers from all over the
world continue to visit. Because of the popularity of diving of Phuket,
a high standard of safety and security is adhered to.
Therefore, safety and functional organization are keywords for
Phuket's dive community. Thousands and thousands of successful dive-trips
through the years confirm the high safety standard. Support services like
the Hyperbaric Chamber in Patong help to make diving even more hazard-free
Diving safety has improved immeasurably from former days when old
equipment and little instruction was the standard. Nowadays state-of-the-art
equipment and world class teaching methods is a must. All new diving gear
is utilized with safety in mind. A good example of new technology currently
in use on Phuket is the "octopus", which has a second mouthpiece,
allowing the diver to share his air tank with others. This has dropped
the number of accidents to almost zero.
All dive operators have done their best to improve dive safety
and are certified by at least one of the following organizations: PADI
(Professional Association of Diving Instructors), CMAS (Confederation
Mondiale des Activites Subaquantiques), NAUI (National Association of
Diving Instructors), BSAC (British Sub Aqua Club).
In every dive shop on Phuket, PADI-certified open-water diving courses
are available. The course includes theory, practice in a swimming pool
and finally diving in the open ocean and is the best and safest way to
enjoy this wonderful experience.
Nowadays, with the modern equipment available, dangers from old
inadequate scuba gear are minimal and danger from attacks by sharks or
other marine life are surprisingly small. Thailand has not recorded even
one single known accident related to sharks!