Get The Timing Right On Your Phuket Diving Holiday And Make It A Special One
We have two distinct scuba diving seasons in Phuket, imaginatively named low and high. The low season runs from mid May to mid October and high season the remainder of the year. The two seasons are governed by the monsoon winds that blow across South East Asia, it’s fairly straightforward; in high season it blows from the east and low season from the west.
OK..But What Does That Mean To Me?
Well lets start with the low season. The predominant west to east winds bring weather fronts from the Indian Ocean towards Phuket and with no other land mass for shelter it means that the swell on the sea is pretty much a permanent fixture during this period. I doesn’t mean we can’t go diving in fact it’s very rare at any time of year that our boats can’t get out but what it does mean is that very often the journey can be a bit bumpy and those prone to motion sickness might have an uncomfortable day.
It also means that the best dive sites at Phi Phi can’t be accessed making the long journey a little fruitless. However the reverse is true for Racha Noi and Racha Yai, the best dive sites are sheltered at this time of year and that’s were we recommend diving in the low season. Essentially our dive site choice is dictated by weather conditions. The ride home can also be a little uncomfortable, the wind tends to get stronger as the day progresses.
In high season the swell is gone and most days we can choose from any of our dive sites. The weather now comes from the east and hits peninsular Malaysia first so Phuket and it’s diving is now protected, we do get the occasional windy period that makes us alter our plans but generally the sea is flat and the journeys pleasant especially the journey home, the wind tends to die down in the afternoon making for a very smooth ride and enjoyable sunsets. The Similan and Surin Island National Parks are also open at this time of year and offer by far the best diving in Thailand – check out our liveaboard section for some great options.
Nothing to do with the weather but our giant manta ray sightings tend to peak from February to April especially at Koh Bon in the Similan Islands National Park and to a lesser degree around Racha Noi. Of course holiday periods come into play and it’s especially busy around Christmas, New Year and Chinese New Year. If you’re planning to dive in these periods then booking well in advance is essential, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to find a place at late notice. So if that’s your plan get in touch with us now!
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