Phuket Diving In Low Season, Mostly Great But..
Phuket diving is fortunate enough to have an almost year round season – almost… Low season can produce the odd uncomfortable day but generally weather is pretty good in the day time with the wetter conditions coming in the evening but lets be honest as long as you can get in the water then it has to be a good day.
Most days between May and October are hot and sunny just like the rest of the year and you have the added bonus of fewer divers on the boat. Our boat is comfortable when it’s full but with occasionally just a handful of divers on-board it can feel quite luxurious and of course fewer divers topside results in fewer divers under the waves.
The best side of Racha Noi/Yai is consistently available at this time of year, the east side of both islands is sheltered from any wind or swell. The clear, calm waters can feel a little like heaven if the weather is a bit rough.
Hotel prices can be rock bottom, you can get a stay in a 5* Phuket hotel for a 1* price. Restaurants will be a lot less crowded and some will display low season prices.
Definitely there are days when we simply can’t get to where we want to go, the Phi Phi and King Cruiser trips can be diverted to Racha Noi/Yai. We always try to stick to our schedule but occasionally we have to make the decision to turn around, it’s always purely for safety.
There is one huge downside and that’s the fact that the Similan Islands National Park is closed from May to October and Hin Daeng and Hin Muang are inaccessible. We don’t consider it a bad thing, it’s great that these fabulous dive sites get a well earned rest especially the Similan Islands which gets immense pressure during the high season.
The swell on the ocean in low season does produce some waves on certain dive sites. Beginners have to be very careful around rocks, more experienced divers will see it as a bit of fun and quite enjoy the challenge.
Booking a hotel with a good pool area is paramount at this time of year, most of the good beaches will have big waves and murky water. The rip currents on the beaches can be extremely dangerous at this time of year – please pay heed to the warning flags.
In A Nutshell
You do take a slight chance planning a diving holiday between June and October but if the weather gods are on your side, you may end up with a very inexpensive trip to Thailand and a very chilled dive experience. All the photos on this page were taken on a typical low season day at Racha Noi.
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