Phi Phi Islands
Phi Phi consists of a group of islands, Phi Phi Don, Phi Phi Le, Bida Nok, Bida Nai, Mosquito and Bamboo Island and therefore has a whole range of great dive sites.
About 35-40km from Phuket, diving at Phi Phi is usually done as part of a 3 dive day that includes a dive at either Shark Point, Anemone Reef or Koh Doc Mai on the way back to or from Phuket. Dive sites at Phi Phi, like the other sites mentioned, can be very rich in both quantity and variety of marine life with plenty of ‘landscape’ dives, but is probably most popular for seeing turtles and reef sharks.
Because of the number and variety of dive sites, diving Phi Phi can suite everyone from those on courses, inexperienced to experienced divers and often also for snorkelers coming on the same trip. It is beautiful both below and above the water, so a little sightseeing often fills-in the surface interval.
There are soft coral covered reefs and walls, hard coral reefs, rocky pinnacles and sandy bays, home to black tip reef and leopard sharks, hawksbill turtles, huge schools of fusiliers, tuna and trevally, rays, pipefish, nudibranchs and almost everything in-between. Some dive sites contain a variety of micro environments and so a whole range of things to see.
Some of the most popular dive sites are:
Bida Nok and Bida Nai – 2 small islands off the south of Phi Phi Le. Bida Nok is the slightly larger, but both have a combination of micro environments and so a possibility of seeing all the critters mentioned above, plus things like chevron, pick-handle and great barracuda, morays, cuttlefish and octopus.
Turtle Bay – a vague indent in the rock face just north of Maya Bay (Movie – The Beach) on the west of Phi Phi Le. A shallow hard coral reef with colorful soft coral covered rocks deeper off the reef, that’s a regular place to find turtles, sometimes sharks and great macro such as nudibranches, sea moths and even seahorses.
Palong Wall – just a few hundred meters north of Turtle Bay, Palong consists of a longer hard coral reef, again with colorful soft coral covered rocks deeper off the reef but the seascape progressively more dramatic as you work north towards the end of the island. This is the most common place to see blacktip reef sharks, particularly in the shallow waters of the hard coral bay. Turtles and cuttlefish are also often seen.
Dive trips to Phi Phi are currently being charged a park fee of 600 baht per diver. This is collected by the tour leader at the start of the day. If the park rangers don’t do e and collect it (very common) then the return it to you at the end of the day.