Phi Phi Islands Thailand Diving Sites

Koh Phi Phi Diving Site – Koh Bida Nok

Koh Bida Nok - Koh Phi Phi Diving Site
Koh Bida Nok Island

Koh Phi Phi Diving Sites – One of two islands lying south of Phi Phi Ley, with a small protected bay, Bida Nok is a scuba diving heaven. In the east facing bay, you will find a flat area free of any debris, which is ideal for beginners doing their first ever dive. It’s very shallow and calm with a huge sandy area.

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  • Max depth: 30 meters
  • Level of difficulty: Absolute beginner/ upwards
  • Visibility: 15 meters
  • Current: Weak to moderate.
  • Recommended season: All year round is possible
  • Highly recommended Koh Phi Phi Diving site!


Stag horn coral covering the bottom surrounds this area and leads out to large boulders. With each fin kick, it drops deeper and deeper, a great wall dive on the south side waits. There may be some current here making it a fantastic drift dive too.

You could do your whole Advance Course on this one site, it has almost everything. It is possible to drop down to 30 meters, if necessary -Technical divers have been seen practising their skills here to. Here, you will find some huge boulders, and if you have good visibility, you can see the Tunas and Trevally’s hunting out in the blue, the action here never stops.

There is an ever increasing population of Yellow Snapper, the numbers are countless. And when they pass you, it is such a marvellous site, that it has been known to bring a tear even to the most hardened diver, simply stunning.

There are several small caverns to explore on the south west part of the island; also here, it is very possible to see Black Tip Reef Sharks. There is also a couple of very large Barracuda lurking, so get the camera ready.

Dive the other side of the island and you will have a shallower dive, which is no less beautiful. The North side of the Island is around twenty meters deep -maximum. After that the reef just falls away into the sand.

Out here is where the most leopards Shark sightings are; also numerous Blue Spotted Stingrays lay in wait for unsuspecting prey. Cuttlefish and squid can be seen here looking for food and adventure and a possible mate.

Also in the area, there is a couple of resident Hawksbill Turtles, who knows how old they are or how long they have been around. Black and White Coral banded Sea Snakes are always worth watching, while they skirt around looking for a tasty bite.

Further towards the latter part of the dive site, there is a huge over hang with massive Gorgonian Sea fans. Keep your eyes peeled for Pipefish in this area.

Marine life usually seen on this dive site include Leopard Shark sightings, as mentioned Black Tip Reef Sharks, Great Barracuda, King Mackerel, Dogtooth Tuna, Trevallies both Blue Fin, Silver and sometimes Giant Trevally’s.

Also large Groupers, Bearded and Raggy Scorpion Fish as well as the occasional Stone Fish: There are Titan Trigger fish, Blue Ringed Angel Fish, Lionfish, Morays, Puffer fish and of course plenty of Blennies.

Special features: there are a few small caverns to explore and some large boulders. If the current is running your way you can make it around this island, making an intriguing dive, one of the best in the area.

Quick tip: venture around to the south side move away from the wall out towards the big boulders and hover around 18m 60ft for a short while and you’re sure to see some King Mackerel, Tuna, Trevallies, Leopard Sharks are also seen cruising here.

Other Koh Phi Phi Diving Sites

Phi Phi Islands Thailand Diving Sites

Phi Phi Diving Sites

Phi Phi Islands - All about Phi Phi Diving Sites
Phi Phi Islands

Phi Phi Diving Sites by Colona Liveaboards – The six islands that make up the famous Koh Phi Phi Island group have to been seen to be believed. Many people have images of their idyllic beach buried deep somewhere in their mind, which they like to fantasize a visit, especially on wet and windy days. Such days when you wish you were somewhere else, Phi Phi is just that place.

Popular Phi Phi Diving Sites

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Phi Phi is a paradise Island, make no mistake about it. These islands are made up of sheer faced limestone walls, which are covered in lush green tropical forest. There are also many unspoilt and beautiful beaches to choose from.

So, you too can find your own little piece of paradise and call Phi Phi Island your own. Phi Phi is one of those places, when you finally leave, you will also be leaving a little piece of yourself there too.

Phi Phi, shot to fame in 2000 with the release of a movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert Carlyle, the movie, of course, is The Beach. The movie was shot on several locations around Thailand. Most of the attention however, was brought to the idyllic setting of Phi Phi; mainly Maya Bay.

The movie was about backpackers, drugs and sex in Thailand and was quite controversial at the time. Several high ranking politicians complained and wanted the movie banned, as it was deemed to give Thailand a bad name.

There were also several lawsuits regarding the production and the way Maya Bay was used during filming. Many local conservationists complained about the state Maya Bay was left in and filed lawsuit against Fox Movies.

The conservationists claimed that the recording of the movie damaged the natural environment of the bay and that it was never returned to its natural charm. There were funds set aside by Fox to reconstruct the beach and return it back to its natural setting.

All this and being the ideal back packer movie, naturally made it an instant hit, especially in Thailand, where backpackers have a wonderful time journeying through the Thai country and all it has to offer.

If the movie was not enough publicity for a little group of islands in southern Thailand, then what followed in December 2004 would be. Phi Phi became famous on a global scale, and all for the wrong reasons. The Boxing Day Tsunami, which decimated the coasts of many Indian Ocean countries, would go down in history as the worst natural disaster in living memory.

Phi Phi only a small Island took a massive hit from the big waves that day and left many many scars. The kind of scars that don’t always heal fully and many hearts that were broken will never truly be mended. However, the locals that who survived that day and still live and work on Phi Phi have made the best of a very bad situation.

Today you would not recognize the place, from that fateful day back in 2004. There is so much to do and see here these days. Come and see for yourself just what it is that Phi Phi has to offer you. Come and find your piece of paradise, it really is waiting for you.

The Islands are named: Bamboo, Mosquito, Bida Nai, Bida Nok, Phi Phi Leh and the main Island of Phi Phi Don. Phi Phi Don is the largest in the group and the only one which is inhabited. You will find Accommodation, Restaurants, Night Clubs, Bars, Shopping, Internet, Thai Massage and of course Scuba Diving.

There are nineteen Phi Phi Diving Sites mainly around Phi Phi Ley. These main dive sites make for fantastic diving for all levels, whether experienced or beginner.

Phuket Day Diving Schedule

Phuket Island Thailand Diving Sites

Racha Island Dive Sites

Lion Fish at Racha Island
Lion Fish at Racha Island

Racha Island Diving Sites – Koh Raya Yai Island

Racha Yai Island is about one and a half hours south of Phuket by dive boat, it boasts all year round sheltered diving and is good for all levels of diver from novice to very experienced.

Phuket Day Diving Schedule

On the west coast is Batok Bay (known to many as Bungalow Bay), a large open bay with rocky reef on the south and north sides, in the centre of the bay are some hard coral beds which are full of macro life.

On the North of the Island is Siam Bay, here there is a long shallow reef stretching across the bay and if you head out from the bay a little way off the bottom of the reef at about 20 metres you’ll find a number of submerged statues including 2 life size elephants.

The East Coast is where the best of the diving is. There are a number of dive spots stretching across Ter, Lha and Konkare Bays. There are 4 small wrecks to dive ranging from 18 to 30 metres, a number of long sloping reefs and shallow bays full of coral bommies and hard coral beds. Here you’ll see huge shoals of snapper and fussillier and maybe even some small barracuda, reef fish are everywhere and keep a special eye out for the Titan Trigger Fish. Octopus, Cuttle Fish and Turtles are regularly spotted here

Koh Racha Noi Diving Sites

Racha Noi is the smaller of the two Racha islands and is a further 50 minutes by dive boat away from its bigger sister island, Racha Yai. It also has much deeper areas, and divers can easily forget their depth, so a regular check of depth gauges is recommended here.

Racha Noi is much more rugged and uncivilised, there are no resorts here and not many places to actually get on land, the Island is much more dramatic than its sister Racha Yai.

The area is well-known, yet it is a quite spot, a favourite for private yachts, it’s a secluded area with no day trippers, just the occasional dive boat. Several dive boats come out throughout the year, but on occasion the crossing can be a little rough in the wet season.

Sailfish can be seen jumping clear of the water at certain times of year, and Whales have also been spotted in the area. Racha Noi is the last stop off point before the Andaman Sea gets deep again, after its land fall with Phuket, thus bringing in all the large pelagic fishes Including, Manta Rays, Whale sharks, Big Tuna, Barracuda, Trevally’s,  Black Tip and Grey and White Tip Reef Sharks.

There are several dive sites on Racha Noi, including:

North Point, The northern tip of the island offers an opportunity for great diving along a large submerged pinnacle and it is more than possible to see larger marine life like Reef Sharks and Marbled Stingrays there.

Racha Noi South Tip is an exceptional dive with huge boulders and strong currents, large pelagic fish spotted there frequently.

Banana Bay offers the easier dive site option with gentle a sloping reef and a variety hard corals and reef fishes to find and enjoy.

Marita’s Reef (named after a local diver) is on the south west side of the island, with beautiful coral head bomby’s to explore. Further south from Marita’s is a small wooden fishing boat ready to explore, but be wary of currents in this area.

Phuket Island Thailand Diving Sites

Banana Bay – Raya Noi Island

Lion Fish at Banana Bay - Raya Noi Island - Diving in Phuket Thailand
Lion Fish at Raya Noi Island

Raya Noi Island – One of the dive sites here at Racha Noi is called Banana Bay, it has great all year round visibility with never less than 20 meters. The very gentle sloping reefs make it an easy dive site for everyone, from beginner to experience divers alike. Banana Bay, sits half way down the Island on the east.

The area is covered in Stag horn Coral reef and several large boulders, the site slopes down into sand and disappears off into the blue. On the edges of this site 50/60 meters depth is possible, so it is also great for Technical Dive Training too.
There are loads fish including, Yellow Snapper and Fusiliers, Common and Spot Fin Lion Fish, Large variety of Moray Eels. Loads of species of Wrasse and Parrot Fish, Trumpet fish follow Groupers in order to conceal their hunting activities.

A very special part of this dive: it is possible to spot Garden Eels, these little creatures are by no means seen on every dive site. They bury themselves in the sand. They are usually seen within groups and these groups can be as small as just a few to a complete area covered in them, hence the name. They sit with their little heads swaying in the current waiting for small crustaceans and zoo plankton to pass them by and gobble up.

The Garden Eels are very timid creatures, but they are approachable, the diver must keep very low to the sand and keeping bubbles to a minimum, in order to get close to them. If disturbed they will just disappear down into the sand and not come out again till all the clear; they are the equivalent to an underwater Meerkat.

Raya Noi Island has another great dive site called “South Point“, located on southern Tip of the Island.

Phuket Island Thailand Diving Sites

Racha Noi – South Tip

Barracudas at Racha Noi South Point
Barracudas at South Point

Racha Noi South Tip is a completely different animal entirely to any other Phuket diving site. It can be calm and placid and then again on the other hand, it can rip your regulator out of your mouth, in currents that are hard to find anywhere else in the Andaman Sea. If this dive site is to be dived, then care should be taken. The currents come from both sides of the Island and can cause a down ward effect, forcing the diver down when otherwise they may want to ascend.

Phuket Day Diving Schedule

It may be wise to make a negative entry if diving into this site from the open seas and quickly descend taking cover form the boulders is wise. However it is not always strong currents here, but it is better to be prepared just in case.

It is wiser to enter this dive site from the safety of the islands wall, rather than going jumping straight into the middle of the site, this has been known to cause problems as divers can become separated from the dive group having differing experience and descent rates.

Descending down the wall on the west side is favourable, and then following the contour of the land out, there are several boulders to explore. There is not so much coral in this area, as coral has difficulty clinging to granite boulders that are subject to currents, much is the same on the west dive sites of the Similan Islands. In fact many comparisons can be made between the two areas

Racha Noi South Tip itself is a formation of huge boulders, which drop to the depth here of 50 meters and beyond, so it is wise to keep an eye on computer depth gauges here too. The boulders start at about 12 meters and drop dramatically down to the deep.

This area is fantastic for the large fish that visit the area, Manta Rays and Whale sharks visit here, as the site is a deep drop, they love to swim up from the depths up towards the surface, sifting through the plankton that’s congregates there.  The current here definitely attracts the bigger boys.

Huge Barracuda, Giant Trevally, Tunas and hunting Jacks fly through the water here using the speed of the current to propel themselves as they stalk prey. For the diver just hovering around top of the boulders is well worth it as the show these fellows put on, is quite spectacular.

Anything and everything can show up here at Racha Noi South Point, so be ready. Huge schools of black Fin Barracuda also Yellow Fin over meter long can be seen dashing headlong into schools of scattering fish.

The visibility here changes frequently, but is generally very good, but depends on sea conditions 40 meters is not uncommon, but it can drop down top 10 meters.
Other marine life includes: White and Black Tip Reef Sharks, Leopard Sharks, Marbled and the Odd Eagle Ray, Titan Trigger Fish. Smaller schools of Barracuda and juvenile Trevallies, blue ringed angel fish and Emperors, Moorish idols, Schooling Banner Fish, Wrasses, Parrot Fish, to name a few.

Phuket Island Thailand Diving Sites

Anemone Reef – Phuket Scuba Diving Site

Anemone Fish at Anemone Reef, a Phuket Scuba Diving Site
Anemone Fish at Phuket Anemone Reef

Anemone Reef is the least dived Phuket Scuba Diving Site out of the three sites of King Cruiser and Shark Point, which is great because it means very few boats dive it so there is always lots of room on this site. The site itself is not very big, though it is absolutely stunning. It is without doubt one of the most special dive sites in the whole of Thailand.

  • Max depth:  26m/88ft
  • Level of difficulty: Open water upwards.
  • Visibility: 5/20m 16/66ft.
  • Current: Weak to strong.
  • Special features: Just off the main dive site there are a few small boulders to explore
  • Quick tip: starting at your maximum depth, spiralling around the main pinnacle as you ascend, will give you the best possible dive here.
  • Recommended season:  All year round

Anemone reef is only 6 metre below the surface. There is and it is advisable to use the buoy line attached to the rock, making descent and ascent much easier to control for the less experienced divers.

Anemone Reef got its name from the hundreds and hundreds of Anemones which cover half of this rock called, as many of these wonderfully coloured creatures have made this reef their home. There are Pink ones, purple ones, greens and blue anemones can all be seen swaying like flowers in a summer meadow, all with the movement of the tide. This remarkable garden of colour will leave you in wonder and makes for a truly inspiring dive.

When there is a small swelling current which causes the Anemones to wave in the water. The whole reef looks like it is actually moving. Anemone Reef holds a special place in many divers’ hearts, even mine too, it is the first place I ever saw a Leopard Shark, quite a big one too over two metres at least.

It is possible to catch site of these graceful predators here. The site is not too far from the King Cruiser and Shark point dive sites, and many companies incorporate them into a one day dive trip, usually included also is Phuket Shark Point.

Marine life here: apart from the sighting of Leopard Sharks, it also possible to see; Bearded and raggy Scorpion Fish, Jacks -including Mackerel, Tuna and B;lue fin and Giant (on occasion) Trevallies which all love to hunt around here.

Great Barracuda can also be seen waiting for a bite to eat just off the reef, as well as their smaller cousins the Chevron Barracuda, Octopus, Spiny Lobster, a variety of Nudibranch and Morays.
Also it is another great place for the camera guy, as there are Pipefish and seahorses living here too.


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.

Scuba Diving Phuket Schedule

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.

Phuket Island Thailand Diving Sites

King Cruiser Wreck – Phuket Diving Sites

King Cruiser Wreck - Top Phuket Diving Site
King Cruiser Wreck Phuket

King Cruiser Wreck is 85 metres long, 20 metres wide twin hulled car ferry sank on 4th May 1997, about two thirds of the way from Phuket to Phi Phi Islands, when it struck the submerged pinnacle of Anemone Reef.

As well a taking a big chunk out of the reef the collision to a chunk out of one of the hulls causing it to take on water and eventually sink. Thankfully all of the 500+ passengers were evacuated with no casualties. Now it is a Top Phuket Diving Site.

There are many stories as to why the boat was so far of course but the insurance company paid up so the truth will probably never be known.

The boat initially sank on it’s side hitting the sand at 32 metres and then rolling onto its hulls, this impact caused one of the smoke stakes to fall off. A few years later the other smoke stack collapsed onto the deck. For many years divers swam through the empty car deck (there are no roads on Phi Phi so the car deck was only used for supplies) leaving their bubbles behind to get trapped in the superstructure.

Then in August of 2004 a storm along the coast of Thailand caused the wreck to collapse, a split developed along the centre of the main deck and the passenger lounges collapsed into one another, since then it has slowly continued to deteriorate. Nevertheless it is improving as a dive site as it is now a magnet to shoaling fish, huge groups of Snappers, fusiliers, Jacks and Barracuda use the wreck to hide from the current.
The back of the wreck still boasts its main feature – the toilets. There are large areas of soft corals on the back of the wreck as well as plenty of black corals in sheltered areas. With the highest point on the boat being at about 16 metres this is very much an advanced level dive.

Similan Islands Thailand Diving Sites

West of Eden – Similan Islands Diving Site

Banner Fish and Spiky Coral at West of Eden, a Similan Islands Diving Site
Banner Fish at West of Eden

This Similan Islands Diving site is on the west side of Similan #7 (Koh Payu). It’s name has two possible sources,on the east side of this island is a dive site (currently closed by the National Park) called East of Eden (which was named as the beautiful coral reef was compared to the Garden of Eden and the line from Milton’s Paradise Lost which became the title of a Steinbeck novel stated that the garden was planted in the East of Eden), the dive site on the west named much later and so if the east coast site is East of Eden the west coast site must be West of Eden.

The other stories that it was originally named by the first divers here West of Sweden (guess where the divers came from), geographically this is incorrect – but funny, then over the years west of Sweden became west of Eden due in some part to the sister site on the east coast of the island. The southern part of the dive site is known by many as squeaky rock due to one of the large granite boulders that breaks the surface moving due to tidal motion and makes an eerie creaking noise.

The dive site itself is two contrasting areas. The southern area stretching from the mooring to the southern tip of the island is a hard coral garden at between 8 and 12 metres. This garden is teeming with reef fish, Bat Fish close to the mooring, group of brown Parrot Fish constantly feeding, Moorish Idols and Banner Fish patrolling the reef and Trumpet fish hunting.

Head north and west from the mooring and you reach some massive boulders, there is some beautiful soft corals and sea fans around the base of these rocks between 20 and 30 metres,on top of these boulders are coral gardens made up of hard, soft and leather corals. Between the boulder are a number of channels where you have a chance of seeing mantis shrimp, nudibranchs and shrimp. Follow the rocks out into the deep to find a whip coral garden at 29metres, here you often see Ribbon Eels and Frog Fish.

One thing to be aware of on this site is Thermoclines, though the average water temperature is 28-30°C thermoclines as cold as 14°C have been encountered. This is believed to be the reason why the shallow corals are healthier here than else where as they have kept the water temperature down in the summer months.

Similan Islands Thailand Diving Sites

Koh Tachai Island

The Beach at Koh Tachai Island
The Beach of Tachai Island

Koh Tachai Pinnacle also known as Twin Peaks ( because there are in fact two pinnacles) this site is so good you could dive it twice as we often do. Its located south of Koh Tachai Island, which is part of the Similan Islands National Park.

As said above this site is two pinnacle, the main focus of the dive is the first, shallower pinnacle starting at about 12 meters, meeting the sand at about 20 metres and continuing down to about 25 metres. This is basically one huge rock with some smaller rocks on it and then it is ringed by a mix of small and large boulders. The majority of the coral is around the north end of the pinnacle and in a number of bommies on the center of the main rock. This site is absolutely covered in macro life, nudibranchs, Ghost Pipe Fish, Coral Crabs. Snails and shrimp, but keep your eyes peeled Giant Barracuda and Trevally are regular visitors as well as the occasional Manta Ray and Whale Shark.

The second pinnacle is much deeper with the top being at 18 meters, in the area you have probably you’re best chance of seeing Leopard Sharks, also octopus and turtles are often seen here.

Koh Tachai Reef

There are in fact three reefs on Koh Tachai, weather conditions permitting we will normally dive on the north eastern reef (starting from the north end of the beach to the Northern tip of the island), however if there are strong winds we will hide from them either on the south eastern reef (from the southern tip to the headland south of the beach) or the western reef (from the headland between the two small bays to the northern tip). However the conditions on the three dive sites are very similar. The reefs are made up of coral blocks and bommies scattered over gently sloping sand until you get close to the northern tip where there are enormous boulders similar to those which make up the pinnacle to the south, the maximum depth on these reefs is about 20 meters. If you are very lucky you will encounter Leopard Sharks or Black Tip Reef Sharks, certainly in the sandy patches there is a good chance of seeing blue spotted Kuhl’s Stingrays. The reef itself is populated by all types of reef fish, Damsels, Parrot Fish, Red Tooth Trigger Fish, Snappers and Wrasse just to name a few. In the shallow areas look in the sandy patches for Peacock Flounder and the juvenile Razor Wrasse.

A note of caution this dive site is often subjected to strong currents, so listen to your dive guides instructions and stay calm, there are plenty of places to hide from the current during the dive.