Regaldive offer two locations for diving in this area - Phuket, located in the south and Khao Lak in the north, which gives access to the excellent diving available in the Similan Islands and Koh Bon.
South of Phuket there are a number of excellent dive sites scattered over an area that incorporates the islands of Koh Phi Phi, Racha Yai and Racha Noi. These dive sites are accessible by day boat from Phuket. Divers are met from their hotel in Phuket and are then taken down to Chalong pier to join the day boat Excalibur II or similar. Each dive day includes breakfast and lunch on board the day boat, along with fruits, coffee, tea, water and daily towel.
Located 45 km east of Phuket, the Phi Phi Island group is one of the most sensationally beautiful island chains in the world. The islands dramatic limestone cliffs border a number of beautiful bays and underwater have formed into extensive caves and overhangs. These protect an incredible range of hard and soft corals, which are the habitat to large numbers of scorpion and lionfish.
Vertical walls plunge from the surface to over 25 metres and support beautiful soft corals and sea whips. Several species of unusual coral inhabit the reefs including both the exotically formed white bush coral as well as increasingly rare black coral.
In many places, the islands are fringed with hard-coral gardens, home to a wide variety of colourful reef fish. Most of the fish species that inhabit the Similans can be encountered around Ko Phi Phi as well.
View a map of dive sites here
Shark Point and Anemone Reef
By far the most popular dives sites by day trip from Phuket or Phi Phi, these two pinnacles are located approximately 25 kilometres east of Chalong Bay in Phuket. Given official marine sanctuary status in 1992, these sites are superb day boat sites. The rock is teeming with life; the sheer density of marine life makes diving here a wonderful experience.
Shark Point rises out of the water from surrounding depths of around 18-20 metres. Like many places in Thailand, the site’s most distinctive feature is the profusion of purple and pink corals that cling to the rocks. The strong currents that sweep over the pinnacle provide a superb food source for hundreds of species of hard corals and Indo-Pacific tropical fish.
The name of the site comes from the common leopard shark, a docile creature that lies in the sand surrounding the pinnacle. These approachable sharks grow to lengths of more than 2 metres and are a real highlight for divers in the Andaman Sea.
Anemone Reef lies just below the surface, about 600 metres to the north of Shark Point. Underwater, the rock drops off dramatically to depths between 20 – 27 metres to a bottom of sand and oyster shells. This rock is a fantastic spot to see lionfish, with divers in the past counting over 90 on a single dive!
Racha Yai and Racha Noi
Racha Yai’s best diving is off its east coast, which makes it particularly attractive during Phuket’s off-peak summer season. Although visibility varies, it can be as good as 25 metres or more. A typical dive is a gentle drift along a sloping rocky face that is sprinkled with hard coral forests. Especially conspicuous are the stag-horn corals.
Large schools of barracuda can often be spotted hovering over the reef, while on the reef itself you will see octopus and cuttlefish in addition to more common tropical species. Divers of all levels of experience and snorkellers can enjoy the gentle conditions at Ko Racha Yai, where depths range from 3 – 30 metres.
Ko Racha Noi is for more experienced divers, as the diving depths are generally greater and are exposed to strong currents. The northern tip features a large pinnacle, which attracts a large amount of marine life.
Similan Islands and Koh Bon
The nine Similan Islands sit North West of Phuket and are famous for being one of the top dive destinations in the world, and certainly the best in Asia. The diving here is enthralling. Immerse yourself in thriving reefs, lush corals, impressive sea fans and an incredible variety of marine life, including large pelagics, such as manta and stingrays, as well as whale sharks.
The Similans are characterised by gigantic boulders that stretch above the water line, creating stunning underwater scenery and exciting swim-throughs for divers to explore. The visibility is also some of the best in Thailand. The Similans also boast exquisite sandy beaches and shallow coral reefs in the bays, making them a perfect place for snorkelling.
With over 20 unique dive sites, you’re never stuck for something to do during your visit. One of the favourites, especially for photographers, is West of Eden, where thousands of schooling Glassfish, Ghost Pipefish and White Tip Reef Sharks are ready for their close up.
Another site worthy of note is Christmas Point, a very good spot for manta rays, nurse sharks and barracudas. It also sports an impressive variety of hard and soft corals and a wonderful maze of swim-throughs. Shark Fin Reef has beautiful coral and sponge gardens, making it an excellent opportunity to see reef sharks and huge Napoleon Wrasse.
Elephant Head Rock, so called for a rock that looks like an elephant head, is another excellent spot for swim-throughs. Look for White Tip Reef Sharks in rock crevices at the beginning of the dive, with further exploration rewarding you with an army of colourful fish.
Boulder City is another favourite site due to its exposed location. It’s possible to see so much here as it is a great 'meeting point' that is always rewarding divers with amazing sightings including Leopard Sharks, Spanish Dancers, Great Barracudas and larger pelagics. This makes this dive spot a constant surprise, no matter how many times you dive it.
Koh Bon is a part of the Similan National Marine Park. Koh Bon is an amazing dive spot, famous primarily for its visiting Whale Sharks and Manta Rays. It’s not just marine giants that pass through however, with thousands of schooling fish, octopus and cuttlefish coming together in an explosion of undersea life. A myriad of corals, anemones and fascinating sea sponges make this exceptional dive spot a real treat for the eyes.
Koh Bon Pinnacle is another great dive site on the west site of Koh Bon island. You will find it in deep water (18-40m) and it is exposed. For safe and comfortable diving it is only possible to visit this dive site in favorable conditions with experienced, or advanced divers. Covered in small, yellow soft corals the west wall is precipitous, and offers a large cavern. There is a smaller pinnacle lying to the north. Keep your eyes open for passing Eagle Rays, Black Tip Sharks and Manta Rays on your way back up the rocky landscape.
Divers staying in Phuket hotels and at Palm Garden Resort Phuket will be diving with Sea Bees Diving - Phuket
Divers staying at Palm Garden Resort Khao Lak will be diving with Sea Bees Diving - Khao Lak
SEA Bees DIVING
Sea Bees Diving has been operating for 20 years. They provide daytrips, dive safaris and courses from their base in Phuket. Known for their dedication to our customers, Sea Bees Diving has received 10 Golden Dolphin awards for 'Best Dive Centre in South-East Asia and Pacific'; as well as the only 5 Star DIN certification for 'Proven Top Service Provider' held in Thailand.
Sea Bees Diving own their own boats and hotels, which is an important consideration when choosing your dive operator in Thailand.
Sea Bees Diving are also a Quality Divers member and offer diving education through their dive academy and training facilities. Sea Bees Diving operates a ‘four divers to one guide’ ratio at all times for their guided groups. Buddy pairs can always discover the dive sites on their own after a thorough briefing.
Sea Bees operate their boats to specific dive areas on each day and offer 2, 3 or 4 boat dives per day depending on the area visited. We recommend you pre-book your dive packs with Regaldive prior to departure in order to secure your diving or course and benefit from lower rates than you will pay in resort. Please discuss your requirements with the Regaldive team, who will prepare a quotation suited to your needs.
Diving Schedule from 1 November to 30 April (prices shown are an indication only):
- Monday: Kingcruiser Wreck (2 dives)
- Tuesday: Racha Yai Island (2 dives)
- Wednesday: Phi Phi Island (3 dives) supplement to pay locally for extra dive: 800 Baht paid locally
- Thursday: Anemone Reef (2 dives)
- Friday: Racha Noi/Rach Yai (3 dives) supplement to pay locally for extra dive: 800 Baht paid locally
- Saturday: Shark Point (2 dives)
- Sunday: Super Sunday (4 dives) supplement to pay for locally extra dives: 1,600 Baht paid locally
Diving Schedule from 1 May to 31 October (prices shown are an indication only):
- Monday: Anemone Reef (2 dives)
- Tuesday: Racha Noi/Racha Yai (3 dives) supplement to pay locally for extra dive: 800 Baht paid locally
- Wednesday: Racha Yai Island (2 dives)
- Thursday: Phi Phi Island (3 dives) supplement to pay locally for extra dive: 800 Baht paid locally
- Friday: Shark Point (2 dives)
- Saturday: Racha Yai Island (2 dives)
- Sunday: Super Sunday (4 dives) supplement to pay for locally extra dives: 1,600 Baht paid locally
A range of diving courses is available for those looking to learn to dive. Please enquire for details.
Guideline Equipment Rental Prices - payable in resort per day (prices shown are an indication only, and are subject to change):
- Regulator: 350 Baht
- BCD: 350 Baht
- Wetsuit: 300 Baht
- Mask, fins, Snorkel: 300 Baht
- Full Equipment: 900 Baht (Everything Above)
- Computer: 400 Baht
- Torch per use: 300 Baht
- Nitrox 12 Litre Cyclinder: 250 Baht
- 15 Litre Cylinder - Pre Book: 150 Baht
Day Boat Diving - khao lak (Nov to April)
Options available include 3 or 5 days diving package, which incorporate 1 day wreck diving (2 dives), plus 1 or 3 days Similan Islands and 1 day Koh Bon. Please enquire for full details.
Thailand, in southeast Asia, is roughly the size of France. It is bordered by Myanmar on the north and west, and by Laos and Cambodia on the east. The country has an equatorial climate in the extreme south, while the centre and north have a tropical monsoon climate.
The north of Thailand is hilly and even mountainous, with land rising over 1,000 metres. Most of the centre and east of Thailand, however, is low-lying with gentle hills and slopes.
Getting Around Phuket
If you have organised all your travel arrangements with Regaldive, then your transfers to and from the airport and boats will be included for you, unless you have specifically requested otherwise. In the area of Patong Beach and outlying resorts, local taxis and 'Tuk tuks' are easy to come by but be prepared to negotiate your fare.
Air temperatures are generally hot with high humidity. There is very little rainfall from November to April with most days being hot (around 33°C) and a light breeze on the islands. Water temperature is generally stable around 26-30°C.
The monsoon season is mid-May to October and the weather can be unpredictable. Conditions are ideal for diving from November to April, but the destination offers something for everyone year round.
In Water Protection
Generally, a 3mm wetsuit is suitable throughout the year. Some divers only wear a thermal skin. However, this would leave you exposed to any thermoclines and may not be suitabale for repetitive dives on liveaboards. Please ensure you take a hooded vest or extra layer.
Thai is the official language of Thailand. Whilst most Thai’s will speak some English, they appreciate the effort taken to speak a few words. The majority of Thai involved with tourism speak English as a second language.
Thailand is GMT +7 hours.
Thai Baht. £1 = 43 Thai Baht.
Most of the more developed resorts accept credit cards and payment in $ and € at their local exchange rate. ATM's are readily available.
It is possible to extend your diving holiday to take in the other cultural aspects of this beautiful country. Regaldive feature Bangkok, Phuket and Ao Nang, but you may request us to extend your flights should want to make other travel arrangements within the country outside of the diving.
The coast accommodates those who seek modern hotels and entertainment as well as unspoilt beaches. Aside from diving, there are many watersports and activities available to entertain guests.
Bangkok is a thriving exciting city with an array of good restaurants, markets, theatre and music, and impressive architecture both ancient and modern.
Thailand is renowned for its shopping opportunities. Local woodcarving is well known and batik prints are popular. Bartering is expected in most shops and street stalls.
With the exception of some smart hotels in Bangkok, Thailand is a casual country above water. You should pack for hot days and nights, but a light layer to cope with air-conditioned buildings and cooler evenings is recommended. A sarong is useful for covering up in temples etc. Please note you will need to cover your legs and arms to visit any religious sanctuaries.
Prices are based on flights with Qatar Airways, via Doha. Flights may also be available with Singapore Airlines, Malaysian Airlines, or Thai Airways. Stopovers in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok can be organised.
Flight time: Approx. 16 hours.
Departure tax: N/A
Passengers travelling to Thailand must have six months valid on their passport from the date of return to the UK.
British citizens do not require a visa for tourism stays of less than 30 days. For longer stays, please check the FCO website. Other nationalities should consult their consular office.
There are no compulsory vaccinations for travel to Thailand, but we recommend protection against typhoid, tetanus, hepatitis A and polio. Please consult your travel clinic for the latest advice about malaria, and different prophylaxis available. Vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed before departure by consulting your local GP or travel clinic. Further information on vaccinations for travel to this country can be found at www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk and from your local healthcare provider.
We Liked the Amari Phuket Very Much Indeed
"A Fine Hotel in Phuket
I enjoyed all aspects of my stay at the Amari Phuket, from the quality of service and friendliness of staff to the attractive, well kept grounds and the facilities. Special mention should go to the Jetty - it's a beautiful place for sunset watching and there was more marine life there than on the scuba dives I did in other parts of the island!"
Thailand Excellent - Where Next?!
"Where to start!!!! Simon at Regaldive advised me (as Thailand was a new location for me to dive) on which trip itinerary & helped out when I changed my trip date (extended).
He advised on the hotel that was recommended by you, which was perfect in every way: location, cleanness, food outstanding, and reception very helpful - this hotel is 10/10, you must please recommend everyone to 'Club Bamboo'.
DIVING: With Scuba Cat.
The boat crew were excellent as I would expect on a liveaboard (Scuba Adventure) – friendly, helpful and always eager to please. The food on the boat was excellent and a lot to choose from all through the day.
DIVE GUIDE: The first boat briefing covered everything you needed to know about the boat and dive safety. We dived independently from the group, which the dive guide had no problem with after the check dive. The dive guide gave excellent English dive briefings, I enjoyed every pre-dive with a sense of humour but an excellent regard for safety.
Throughout the week I had observed the commitment by all at Scuba Cat team to the importance of not damaging the reef or polluting the water environment, as this is so important to the ocean ecosystem.
This must be continued throughout the diving organisations and conservation groups and Scuba Cat ought to have recognition for this.
Thanks Regal for recommending Scuba Cat, this liveaboard trip was excellent – the whale sharks, mantas, turtles, and abundance of marine life had nothing to do with it... but it was amazing diving.
Transfers back to Club Bamboo were good and the extra 3 nights were very relaxing. Transfers from the hotel to the airport were very comfortable.
Overall an excellent 2 weeks diving, can’t wait to sort out a trip next year with friends.
Many Thanks to all the team at Regaldive, Club Bamboo & Scuba Cat.
Perfect Holiday, Many Thanks.
I just wanted to say thanks for your help with our recent holiday to Phuket, we had a very good time.
The Club Bamboo was no frills but comfortable and convenient and the staff were very friendly and extremely helpful.
The diving exceeded our expectations, the boat was well organised and planned (although the dive deck would have been too small for many more divers - we were lucky we were a small group), the cabins were simple but comfortable, clean and the AC worked well.
The food was plentiful and excellent, the crew helpful and cheerful. The diving itself was great - we saw much more than we thought we would, our guide, Vincent, was very knowledgeable abut the area and was able to show us a wide variety of life - from the tiniest nudies to lots of sharks/turtles. The reefs we visited were vibrantly colourful and full of life - obviously very healthy. We had an excellent holiday.
We also had perfect weather - so much for monsoon season!
Thanks again for all your help with logistics and planning.