Phuket Manta Rays – What Are My Chances?

Phuket Manta Rays – What Are My Chances?

Phuket Manta Rays Are The Enigmatic Giant That Everybody Wants To See

Your first diving experience with a Phuket manta rays is something you’ll never forget. We’re fortunate enough to get regular visits from these gentle giants. They can turn up virtually anywhere but we do have our favourite spots.

Let’s be clear, you have to be lucky on our local dive sites but it’s by no means impossible. As I’m writing this the last week has produced four sightings all at our favoured spot. Racha Noi island has a cleaning station at the southern tip that our Phuket manta rays love to visit. This is a great dive site but one we rarely visit due to the very strong currents. The other dive sites on the island get plenty of sightings as the mantas pass on their way to the south tip. They often swim into the bays to satisfy their curious nature and have a look at the strange beings making all the noise. Either side of the island can attract the manta’s. You just have to be fortunate enough to be in the right spot at the right time…

our boat dropping divers at the south tip of racha noi

our boat dropping divers at the south tip of racha noi

A Better Chance

The Similan Islands National Park is a different story. At certain times of the year you’d be unlucky NOT to see a giant manta. Between January and April the famous West Ridge at Koh Bon island attracts manta’s from the surrounding areas. Sometimes they’re feeding on the nutrients that are funnelled down the ridge or hanging around the bommies on the north side on the dive site for a bit of a spruce up by the cleaner wrasse and butterfly fish. Very often you can find them in the shallow areas where the water is crystal clear and perfect for photography. Definitely a dive site to bring your wide angle lens.

Koh Tachai pinnacle is also a great place for manta sightings as well as many other species. A favourite site for a lot of the guides which always seems to produce a memorable dive. The pinnacle is exposed to strong currents so on occasion can be a tricky dive but always, always worth it.

We can obviously never guarantee encounters with these majestic animals and it’s a better option to choose your dive sites on the more likely sightings but we can try to give you the best chance possible for a truly memorable experience.

If you’re lucky enough to encounter a manta ray and have your camera, please try to get a shot of the underside. Send the photo to Thailand Manta Project who will be able to identify the manta and add to their data.

Get in touch now to arrange your Phuket diving experience!

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By Justin Hartrey

I've been enjoying the incredible marine life in our oceans for over 25 years. 13 years ago I became a PADI professional, hoping to introduce as many people as possible to the incredible beauty of the seas.

Having been fortunate enough to dive all over south east and especially Thailand, I enjoy sharing my experience and passion on this blog.

Posted in Rare & Peculiar Critters on .

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