Phuket Dive Sites
Koh Racha Yai (Bays 1-5)
The eastern reefs of Racha Yai are mostly made up of hard corals as well. The period from July to October is the best time to visit this site because the island will shelter the sites from the southwest monsoon.
Racha Yai Bay 1-5
Reef fish such as butterflyfish, angelfish, wrasse and parrotfish are common. Cornet fish are also spotted regulary, and divers may get to see trumpet fish swimming by the sides of groupers. Boxer shrimp and dancing shrimp can be found inside crevices or even inside pore corals. On the reef slopes, yellow snapper and yellow goat fish can sometimes be seen swimming in big schools, forming a pretty yellow lines on the reef when they pass. Basslets are also a common sighting especially at Staghorn Reef. Take a closer look at any feather stars you pass, and you might also see ornate ghost pipefish hiding among the fonds. The sandy bottoms also teeming with life. Stingrays have been known to make frequent appearances, and divers keen to explore the sand may even uncover some flounder that have camouflaged themselves by burrowing in the sand. In bay 1 to bay 2 the Lucy reef, you may also see spotted garden eels at the far sandy bottom. A rare thornback boxfish, as well as an impressive seamoth, have been seen occasionally at the sandy bottom bay 3 at a depth of around 15 - 20 meters. These two species are camouflage experts, so be very alert if you want to catch a glimpse of them. Away from the reef, in midwater, schools of yellowtail barracuda are often seen around the Staghorn reef and Lucy reef. Big eyed trevally are also found in big schools near the reef. These sites are easy, and are thus suitable for beginners and slow divers. Most of the time a one way dive is preferable, but entering the water without checking tide tables can result in a u turn dive. Consult your dive guide or boat captain for the best dive direction. Be especially careful if you plan to explore Lucy reef, as it is a complex current direction site - the current may switch direction around the middle of the reef. When that happens, don't make a u turn instead keep swimming against the new current, and it should ge back to normal after a while. There are many buoys throughout the island, so you can start your dive at any part of the reef. Because this site is popular for beginner courses, the surface traffic can be quiet high, so take note of boat traffic and be cautious when ascending. Using a saftey ballon is recommended. Although the slopes at Bays 1, 2 and 3 are very gentle, be sure not to forget to equalise. It is very easy to overlook because the pressure changes very gradually during descent.