Dive Sites of Phi Phi

Scuba Diving Phi Phi

Phi Phi's Best Dive Sites

The islands of Phi Phi are located about 40 km from Phuket in the province of Krabi. Phi Phi itself consists of two main islands, Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Ley. These fantastic limestone formations rising from a crystal blue ocean are considered to be among the most beautiful places in the world. Phi Phi Don is the inhabited island with shops full of tourist items, plus many hotels and bungalows. Phi Phi Ley is uninhabited except for a small rangers park, and is where you can find Maya Bay, a picturesque area made famous by the film "The Beach".

Just off to the south of Phi Phi Ley are two small limestone formations known as Koh Bida Nai and Koh Bida Nok. This is where you will find the two best scuba diving sites of Phi Phi. In Thai they translate as Inner Bida Island and Outer Bida Island respectively. These dive sites are perfect for deep dives, wall dives and drift dives, and for all level of scuba divers from first timers to experienced professionals.

Koh Bida Nok

This oval shaped island has an interesting variety of topography as well as marine life. The north and north-west areas are the deepest with vertical walls dropping to 30 metres. These walls are visually stunning with beautiful coloured soft corals and sea fans. The eastern side comprises of an overhang to around 8 metres deep where the reef then slopes gently away fro the island to 20 metres and deeper. This is a great place to find leopard sharks in the deeper areas and blacktip reef sharks in the shallows. Also you can find very large Gorgonian sea fans, one of which is a good 3 metres in height!

On the south west corner are boulders attached to the island and also scattered in the sand slightly away from the island. A great variety of both hard and soft corals can be seen plus more fans. The shallow areas are a great place for spotting lobsters hiding in crevices.

On the southern end itself is a small bay starting at a depth of around 2 meters. Turtles can frequently beseen in the shallower areas as can everyone's favourite "Nemo", a.k.a. the western clownfish. Stretching out from the southern end is an underwater ridge known as "finger reef. Starting at around 5 metres deep it eventually drops as deep as 30 metres on the far end. Look into the blue when in this area as the occasional whale shark or two have been spotted here!

Koh Bida Nai

Also oval shaped (looking like an elf's boot from the surface), Koh Bida Nai holds many surprises. The north and western sides have walls dropping down to depths of 20 metres plus but with very different coral growth to Koh Bida Nok. There a a number of different types of fans which are well worthlooking in as both seahorses and frog fish can be spotted by those with eagle eyes!

The eastern side drops vertically to depths of around 5 - 8 metres before gently sloping down to a sandy bottom. This side has many sea anemones and also large expanses of staghorns. On the south east end there is also a beautifularea separate to the main reef known as "Fantasy Reef" and it certainly lives up to its name. As well as an abundance of corals there also many large schools of fish including barracuda, trevallies and snapper. This is a great place to just stop and watch all the reef action going on around you. Leopard sharks are also sometimes spotted in the sand around this reef.

On the southern end is a coral garden starting at depths of 5 metres. Look out for octopus, stingrays in the sand, sea snakes and sometimes blacktip reef sharks in the shallowest areas. There is also a beautiful swim-through often surrounded with glass fish that graciously part as you make your way through.

Other Phi Phi Sites

Phi Phi has many other sites that can be visited, almost too many to mention. Some of the more common ones are as follows:

  • Turtle Rock - A great place to encounter hawksbill turtles.
  • Palong Bay - Well known for blacktip reef sharks.
  • Garang Haeng - A dome shaped underwater structure covered in sea anemones and good for leopard shark sightings.
  • Hin Bida - A dome-shaped underwater formation covered in soft corals and great for leopard shark sightings.
  • Hin Dot - A series of small, steep underwater pinnacles with large schools of snapper.
  • Maya Wall - A wall dive with an abundance of fans and soft corals, and good for turtle sightings.