Phuket Thailand is a tourist hub and has been for many years. The number of people who come here each year to experience the amazing scuba diving Phuket has to offer is on the increase every year.
This in itself as many people who have been here for a long while will tell you the impact that having all the Phuket scuba diving centers all going to the same locations everyday of the year. This is why here at Thailand Divers we are always exploring new places and new ideas to make the whole diving and holiday experience with us stand out from the crowds.
This week we had a great day and a great result. With the aid of a top captain, information from local fisherman, another dive centre looking for the same as us we struck gold or I should say coral. Its amazing to think that with all the people that come scuba diving Thailand each year that such great diving can still be found just a short distance from an island like Phuket.
We set off with a small group of experienced instructors and a GPS along with a bottom echo sounder. The locations were places that dive boats pass over everyday on their way to other places. To be safe we used 28% Nitrox to extend the bottom time but also to allow us depth as we thought these sites may be deep. We were very right.
The first location was called " The Rock" ( Location secret). Here we all kitted up and jumped in. This was a dive site at first glance could have been any phuket diving site. The problem was having never been there before we did not know what side of " The Rock" to jump so we chose the side protected from the current. Wrong choice. By the time we got close to the bottom we were below 40 meters. No good. This also ment most people opted for an explore of an area east of the decent point which peaked at 25 meters. Again not good for a less experienced diver. However all was not lost. This will be a great location for those looking for a more advanced PADI dive course phuket. All divers will tell you there is always more to learn once you discover scuba diving in Phuket.
This is where the experience of scuba diving Phuket for many years comes into play. When you know you can do a 30 meter dive for 50 minutes with an 11 liter tank of air and still have half left. Now you now have a 15 liter tank of Nitrox then you know you have air to spare. So Head down and start kicking as you have air to burn.
Then into view came some huge netted cages ten meters long and two meters tall on the side of the rock. Then as the dive got shallower as you rise up the side of the rock the fish appear. Hundreds of them. Then reaching the top of the giant rock and as you peer through the schools of fish and down the other side you can see a shallower sandy area with plenty of coral too. This was the area to dive. All that happened as a first dive was we got the wrong side. Now we know that the top area is around 18 meters and if you dive the west side there is so much to see.
Then dive number two. Again even closer to Phukets main diving marina in Chalong. This dive was only on air but boy was it great. We dropped onto the side of a giant pinnacle around the 30 meter point. He we we surrounded in masses of soft coral and so many different types of fish. There was a canyon directly ahead full of sea fans so we worked our was into this. Arriving at the top of this on to a flat plateau covered in purple, white and pink soft corals. This was as good as any diving in the similan islands. Schools of fish everywhere and a huge Giant Morae that did not look to pleased to see us. I guess these fish did not see divers before.
We both just looked at each other with huge smiles. We had no idea of which way to swim as all directions looked great. So we just drifted with the current which was very slight. After around 20 minutes of this we saw some other people from our boat coming towards us. I guess they did not go up the canyon but went around instead. So we all teamed up and came back over the top of the huge reef. Bright sunlight, thirty meter viz, 28 degree water and diving as good as you get on any similan islands liveaboard trip but with no people was amazing.
Ok, I can say that the diving was as good as diving in the similans. Yes for sure its not even close to the size and scale of the similan island national park. But its almost unbelievable to have such great diving right on the doorstep of the biggest tourist island when all the other phuket dive shops go straight past to the run of the mill sites that they have used and wrecked over the last ten years. Now when you think similan Thailand you can also think phuket too.
Here at Thailand divers we are always looking to improve the quality of the diving but also the whole experience. So now you can have a great Patong beach hotel or guest house that is a good deal above the rest. We can now recommend a great patong hotel close to all the life but nicely hidden in little side streets offering their own little oasis of calm.
A good guest house patong will offer all the peace and quiet you need and expect after a day in phuket scuba diving but also close to the shopping and restaurants too. One of our patong guest house choices will really give you your own tropical beach feeling to match the top quality diving available.