Phuket Island Thailand Diving Sites

Scuba Diving Phuket Sites – Koh Doc Mai

Sea Horse at Koh Doc Mai - Scuba Diving Phuket Image by Adriano Trapani
Sea Horse at Koh Doc Mai

Scuba Diving Phuket Sites – Koh Doc Mai (Island of Flowers) is the small island with the sheer limestone walls; just over an hour from Chalong, Phuket. It is usually the first dive or last dive of the day. Particularly when boats visit the triangle area of sites which is Shark Point, King Cruiser and Anemone Reef.

The east side has the most light in the morning and the west in the afternoon, both sides offer differing dives, as the landscape underneath the surface is not the same on either side. On the east side, vertical walls drop down over twenty meters. Several large easily navigated caverns are there to explore and on the west, gentle sloping reefs with some relatively large boulders.

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It is possible to make two dives here without worrying about seeing the same thing twice. If there is a current present, then a drift dive is another option. Depending on the moon cycle, this sight can offer very strong currents and on occasion the diver can almost fly down the dive site, very exciting.

So as to not get disorientated upon descent, the dive will begin facing the wall; it is easy to hit 20 metres on most parts of this sight, though there is a hole on the west side that drops to almost 40 meters.

The whole wall on the east side is covered with beautiful colourful soft corals in reds, greens, purples and blues, giving the Island its name of Flower Island. Large oyster shells and Zig Zag clams amongst other shell fish make it seem that the whole wall is moving.

Inside the many cracks hiding, it’s not too hard to find Moray eels of varying kinds. The most common being the Undulated, Fimbriated and White Eyed. Also Coral Banded Sea Snakes can be seen most dives searching the cracks of the wall for small pray.

There is a large variety of Scorpion Fish; Bearded; Raggy and Common Lion fish are common here, so watch hands on this sight please. Dropping down further, there are several caverns to explore, they are very large and light is present throughout the area. On the entrance to one of the caverns there is a couple of Tiger tail Seahorses living there.

Looking out into the blue, it is common to see Yellow Tail Barracuda, Blue Fin Trevally, and Silver jacks searching for a quick meal. Flute Mouths and Trumpet Fish sniff out the walls for snacks too. There is so much going on here it is easy to be distracted from one minute to the next as to where to look.

On the west side, there are quite a few boulders to explore, and if done carefully, it is possible to find where the Nurse Sharks sleeps there are quite a few on this side of the rock. If this site is dived early morning, there are a couple of resident Leopard Sharks to find. They are quite timid and easily disturbed, after a hectic night hunting they like peace and quiet in the morning.

Larger Moray Eels are on this side too, the Giant Morays like it here, as there are more areas for them to hang out. There is a huge variety of Nudibranch here too, also closer to the side of the wall, it is not too difficult to find Durban Dancing Shrimp and Box Shrimp -they will be quite happy to give you a manicure. Once these have been found, look more closely to the small cracks in the wall and it is possible to find the Jens Pipefish there too.

A torch is a good idea and maybe a small magnifying glass is useful too here, especially searching all the little nooks and crannies. Looking through the huge Gorgonian Sea fans and Ornate Ghost Pipe Fish can be found.

Marine life found on the Scuba Diving Phuket Site: Boxer shrimp, dancing shrimps, spiny lobster, several species of Nudibranch, stepping up the food chain you’ll also find Titan Triggerfish, Clown Triggers, Small Mackerel Tuna and Blue Fin Trevally. Watching the mackerel and trevallies feed on the small glass fish is a sight to see. If you’re early enough you could spot the couple of resident leopard sharks found sleeping here during the day.

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