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SkroOob

Diving in Phuket?

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Hey yall.

 

I'm looking to benefit from your wisdom here.

I'm planning a trip to Phuket, looking for hardcore diving. However, I have a couple of non-divers coming along, so a liveaboard is out of the question.

 

My questions are, how good is the diving there? What should I expect there? How long are the day trips? Should I look for another destination?

 

Cheers.

 

Saad A.

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Marhaba Saad

Day trips can be quick with the speed boats. 1/2 day 2 dives.

 

The diving is very decent, better still in Similans which you can reach by speed boats nowadays. Another nice place you can hit by speed boat is the Hins... Hin Daeng and Hin Muang. Pretty nice dive sites, but speed boat again.

The King Cruiser wreck use to be really nice but stupid fishermen wiped out the fish there. PhiPhi Island has a few very decent sites as well. Better to stay there and dive from there, although they pretty much dive the same sites as Phuket dive ops except for their local dive sites Ko Bida Nok and Nai.

I did some technical dives as well (rebreather) although there's not a lot to see that deep in Hin Daeng and Muang.

Dive sites are mainly reef and walls with 1 big wreck. You get the odd pelagic esp in the south sites like Racha Noi. The better diving is in Similan and the northern islands. You can also reach those sites from Khao Lak (which is a more laid back place but lacks the niceties of phuket) via speedboat. Chances of manta and whaleshark at Richelieu Rock and the macro life is pretty good too.

If you need recommendations for ops, PM me. Or wait for a few members who are part of dive ops from phuket to chime in.

If your non-divers are female, I suggest you stay in Kamala, Bangtao,Naiharn or Surin. Some of the best spas can be found there and that should keep them busy. However dive ops don't pick up from those places. Hotels should be able to arrange for tuk tuks or even metered taxis to go to Chalong for the boats.

I also highly recommend either visiting Phangnga Bay in canoes or rent your own longtail boat. Much more fun than going on organized long tails. They'll bring you to floating restaurants which aren't all that great, whereas the canoe trips are more adventurous and fun.

As for alternatives, really depends on when you are going. Indonesia and Maldives are all direct flights from Saudi and not much further.

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Marhaba Drew.

 

Thanks for the input.

 

I discussed phuket with my friends and decided to change our destination. Probably Sharm and South Africa.

 

Thanks Drew, I really appreciate it.

Sorry for troubling you.

 

Salam

Saad A.

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Not a problem, Saad. That's what forums are for...information. Sharm is just "next door" to you and much shorter flight. However I can't really say there's a lot to do in Sharm for the non-diver.

 

South Africa is definitely the better place to bring non-divers but then you have the difficulty of choosing a dive place vs topside animal viewing place.

Here is a thread with some info here(link)

The 2 big dive destinations are Durban (Aliwal Shoal) and Sodwana Bay. Both have wildlife game parks within 2-3 hours of driving. There are some top notch game parks near Richards Bay if that's what you're looking for.

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