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Phuket, Andaman Sea 

Popular dive sites by the dozen
Thailandís Andaman Sea, a small part of the eastern Indian Ocean, stretches from the western shores of Malaysia, outward to the Andaman Islands, extending all the way up into Myanmar (Burma).

Over the years, due to its favorable location and  reliable infrastructure, Phuket has become the center of diving activity for the region. To the northwest of the island of Phuket, we find the most popular and best-loved dive sites in the Andaman Sea. The Similan Islands, a national park, consist of nine uninhabited islands of unique beauty and brilliant marine life.  They are famous for warm, clear water, over 25 dive sites, and  mild, balmy sea conditions throughout most of the year.

Traveling east from Phuket, we come upon the popular day-trip of Anemone Reef, Ko Dok Mai, and Shark Point which feature magnificent collections of soft corals, Father to the east, the remarkable landscape and  casual shore-life of Ko Phi Phi  attracts divers from all over the globe.  These areas are famous for frequent sightings of our friendly, bottom-dwelling leopard shark, which grows to over two meters in length.

Moving southeast to Krabi and Trang. We discover unpopulated jungle-covered island  ringed with clear blue water.  The offshore pinnacles of Hin Daeng and  Hin Muang are noted for vertical drop-offs of over 60 meters. Whale sharks, dazzling schooling fish and healthy, spectacular coral growth are just a sampling of the diving possibilities that await you.

Northward lie the paradise island of Ko Racha and Ko Racha Noi, an easy day trip from Phuket. Exciting drift dives. Great visibility and superb hard coral growth typify these two islands. Thailand also acts as a gateway to diving in other countries sharing the Andaman Seaís rich waters. To the north of the Surin Islands lies Myanmar (Burma) and the almost completely unexplored Mergui Archipelafo. These uninhabited and untouched islands-some larger than Phuket-have been off limits for almost 50 years and are only just begin explored.  The thrill of  close encounters  with silver tip and gray reef sharks, manta rays, and large schools of pelagic fish will make this group of islands immensely popular in coming years.

Finally, seven hundred and fifty kilometers further to the northwest are the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, a part of India. A part of India.  In this vast assemblage of islands running almost 2,000 kilometers north to south, diving possibilities are endless and only just begin investigated.

For the international dive traveler, there is something for everyone in the Andaman Sea.  World-class diving, modern amenities, international-standard boats, and professional dive facilities make it one of the most popular diving areas in Southeast Asia.  For more information, contact your favorite dive operator. A list is available from your nearest Tourism Authority of Thailand office. Also, most diving companies have sites on the World Wide Web. A simple search will provide you with a wealth of information.


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