Located approximately 16 km from Phuket, Koh Doc Mai means "Flower Island" in Thai. When you first see the island you wonder where the name derived from as there are no flowers on this limestone formation, just lots of greenery. The theory here is that it is named after all the beautiful "flowers" living on the island but underwater.
Koh Doc Mai is two dives in one. On the eastern side it is a wall dive. From the surface to the bottom the island drops straight down. Where the wall touches the sandy bottom ranges in depth from approximately 16 metres to as deep as 30 metres in places. On the western side is more of a sloping coral reef starting at a depth of 3 metres sloping to 25 metres and deeper. Away from the island there is not much to see except a few small coral rocks and a lot of sand!
The wall itself is fantastically beautiful, being covered with very colourful soft corals, giant sponges and a superb variety of fans. Some of the larger Gorgonian fans can be as much as 2 metres in size! The western coral reef has a great variety of hard coral formations including some very mature table corals. Deeper don are boulders covered in stunning soft corals, mainly with hues of pink, yellow and white.
As well as this breath-taking underwater scenery the dive site is covered in interesting and curious looking creatures including sea horses, scorpion fish, a large variety of shrimps, amazingly coloured nudibranchs and moray eels of all sizes and description.
Look away from the wall out into the blue and you can see large schools of barracuda, snappers and squid. Tuna and jacks can also be seen swimming past in an effortless manner. Look to the surface to see crocodile needlefish hanging just below, sometimes more than a metre in size. Plus there are all the usual reef fish in abundance: parrotfish, lionfish, pufferfish, trumpetfish etc.
All in all, an unforgettable dive site with a huge, huge variety of things to see!