White-gold beaches and jade-hued waves. A signature of Phuket. What do you think? What is the best way to describe Phuket? Ways are many, and it’s always a different perspective after all. Have you been to Phuket? Have you experienced scuba diving in Phuket? You would know well then. But, let’s take you on tour to Thailand’s dazzling largest island.
To start with, the beaches are pearly white, and the palm-fringed coastline is the island’s key bounty. Each beach is different. From Surin’s Ao Bang Thao to jungled Rawai on far south Phuket. There’s just enough space for anyone. Whether you are just a holidaymaker, or an adventure seeker, a flashpacking couple or a wandering budgeteer. Phuket has something for everyone.
Coming to Phuket’s magnificent seascapes, it’s a mesmerizing sight for anyone who visits. The island sits peacefully within day-tripping distance of both Ko Phi-Phi’s popular dive sites and the beautiful Similan Islands. Most of the local dive schools will have you interacting with denizens of the deep in no time. With a myriad of water activities to choose from, Phuket is the go-to place for any adventure lover.
Scuba diving is one sport which is quite popular among locals and tourists. And, scuba diving in Phuket is one of the best water activities people love to take part in. With many beautiful reefs, interesting rocks and marine life, you would ask why. Would you? The adventurer in you suddenly wakes up to venture into a completely new experience. Let’s take a look at some of the best way to indulge in scuba diving when in Phuket.
Best season for scuba diving in Phuket
From November to April
The months from November to April are the best time for scuba diving in Phuket. This period of the year is called the “high season”. In fact, it’s the summer season at that time on the island. Temperatures are high, and humidity is low. There’s also another reason why these months are considered as the best to go for scuba diving.
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During mid-October, every year, the winds coming from the west stop and the winds start to come from the north-east. Due to this sudden weather change, the sea stops rolling on to the west coast of Phuket. And the sea becomes flat and calm. As a result, underwater visibility improves. This helps the scuba divers to a great extent during the activity.
Peak season among these months is during December and January. But, the downside lies if you are looking for pocket-friendly travel. Hotel prices rocket up, and the main dive sites remain crowded these two months. If you prefer peace, consider coming as January ends or a little after that. The first week of February is an ideal time. As for the air temperature, it ranges from 25 degree Celsius to 32 degree Celsius. Water Temperature is 29 degree Celsius all year round.
Scuba diving course in Phuket
The PADI Open Water Course is the one you need to pass if you want to take scuba diving lessons in Phuket. With so many dive operators around there, the prices are quite low. Which allows even the travellers with tight budgets to enjoy scuba diving in Phuket. They do not always have the same standards. So, be specific and clear all your doubts before you enrol. Below mentioned are some of the best schools which provide scuba diving course in Phuket.
1. Namloo Divers
At Namloo Divers, they offer a wide range of activities and excursions for travellers. The main service is providing scuba diving day trips from Phuket. For beginners, they also offer PADI dive training and certification courses. They offer a variety of courses for beginners as well as experienced. The advanced courses are for experienced divers. There are also specialized courses designed for children who would love to try out scuba diving.
- Price: INR 4393 – INR 19,768.50 (depending on the courses)
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2. Super Divers
It’s one of the best diving schools in Phuket. If you wish to learn diving, then Super’s scuba diving course in Phuket is the one to zero in on. What sets them apart is their focus on safety, value and integrity. For them, the customer experience is always the number one priority. Also, they employ only experienced and enthusiastic PADI instructors. The scuba diving equipment is replaced regularly and well-maintained. Even they have a wide range of courses to choose from depending on your expertise level.
- Price: INR 10, 762.85 – INR 34, 924.35
3. Sea Bees Diving
Now, this is one brand which is mostly opted by the elite and high class. It’s expensive but efficient, and they know what they are doing. It’s one of the best schools offering scuba diving course in Phuket. Sea Bees Diving was founded in 1989 and since 1995, it has been under the stewardship of Holger Schwab. They offer a wide range of diving courses not just according to your level of expertise, but there’s more to it. Say, for example, the Dive Con Specialist Course. Dynamic and efficient, you can choose from any of the courses and get your adventure started.
- Price: INR 9884.25 – INR 85663.50
Best diving site for scuba diving in Phuket
Even after taking up a course and getting to learn diving, it’s always an excellent option to know which the best places are. As in, best places to try out your skills. Beautiful coral gardens in serene waters make for an excellent place for new divers. Below mentioned are some of the best places to dive in Thailand.
1. Koh Tao
The name translates as ‘Turtle Island’. Now, it’s not quite difficult to guess what the star attraction is at this place. With numerous sheltered bays and jade blue waters of the Gulf of Thailand, it’s a perfect diving spot. Simply put, it’s one of the fine destinations to learn scuba diving in Phuket. What you need to do at the initial stage is to master the basics and get used to being underwater.
Post that you can enjoy the mesmerizing sights, including the whale sharks which visit the shores often. There have been many instances of visitors who have come down to Koh Tao to learn to dive. But, that’s not where it ends. In fact, they end up staying back and working in the diving industry there!
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2. Anemone Reef
It might be a dangerous shipping hazard to many, but this place is a heaven for divers. It’s a large rock protruding from the seabed, and it’s not far from coming out of the sea altogether. Apart from creating cool new dive sites, it’s a natural wonder full of life. The moving anemones on the rock make it look as if it’s alive and has emotions and feelings. Quite an intriguing sight for the ones who are able to see.
Along with being an attractive sight to the divers, it’s also alluring to the wide variety of fish. You might as well find the clownfish to tuna to lionfish. There’s much more to this site than just the anemones. So, get your diving suit on!
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3. Shark Point
Although, it might sound like a scary name to the ones hearing it first. But, that’s not the case. If you ask, the star attractions of Shark Point are the rather docile Leopard Sharks. And, they can be easily spotted on the seafloor. An extremely popular dive site, people might as well tell a tale of how they have dived alongside live sharks – quite a place to create a lifetime memory after all.
But, you would be wrong in assuming that those are the only things to see there. Apart from sharks, divers can get to enjoy a lovely sight of colourful tropical fish and sand coral. As well as a huge limestone pinnacle. Located 30 km from Phuket’s mainland, it’s an ideal place for scuba diving in Phuket. Here is your chance to get up close and personal with sharks.
4. Koh Racha Yai
Located over just an hour drive from Phuket, it’s a scenic diving site. It’s an island populated with both tourists and divers. With visibility of between 20-30 meters, it’s one of the best places for scuba diving in Phuket. Apart from stunning coral formations, divers can also get to see a variety of marine life, colourful tropical fish. And, the more exotic stingrays, barracudas, and puffer fish.
You may even spot elephants underwater. They are statues of course which had been put there in 2006 and have made a fascinating site for the divers. The place offers year-round access and is perfect both for experienced and amateur divers.
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5. East of Eden
One of the best destinations for scuba diving in Phuket, it’s widely regarded as having some of the best reefs. It is also one of the best diving sites in Phuket. With a wide range of marine life like turtles, frogfish and marine fish, it takes a lot to beat this place. Visibility in this site is most of the times quite good. It means that you would get to enjoy the splendour of the colourful hard and soft corals and exotic fish – also, the sharks and rays which are known to pass through occasionally.
Things to know about scuba diving in Phuket
- Visibility: It can range from poor to outstanding depending on the location and season. During the monsoon season, visibility gets reduced by 30%. The high density of plankton in water can also reduce visibility.
- Current: Although, it’s generally not an issue. But, there are certain dive sites which have strong currents. Those areas are only reserved for experienced divers.
- Water Temperature: It ranges from 27 degree Celsius to 31 degree Celsius, and there’s no need for any full wet suit.
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