Ever wanted to swim in an aquarium? Learn what it's like to explore the underwater paradise of Koh Phi Phi, one of Thailands best scuba diving spots!
Here I was, all suited up, mask on and aconstant replay of how to clear my googles underwater, was going through my head. We had reached the dive site and I was about to jump in the turquoise waters of the Andaman Sea. First the dive instructor, then Chris and now it was my turn. Shit. All the silly fears I had thought of, were seeming to creep back into my mind and I was nervous.
After a few gentle coaxes from David our instructor and the greater fear of looking completely helpless, I too jumped in. As soon as I hit that water and popped back up to the surface, all the fears went away. I was bobbing up and down in the middle of the most beautiful water I had ever seen. We had made it to the Phi Phi Islands and I was about to see Thailand from a completely different perspective - underwater! Fear was replaced with excitement, worry was replaced with trust and we were off.
People come to Thailand for a variety of reasons. They party and get street food in Bangkok, play with elephants in Chiang Mai, bask in the sun on the numerous beach islands and go to Phi Phi (pronounced Pee Pee) for scuba diving. Ask anyone where to scuba dive in Thailand and you’ll probably hear the Phi Phi Islands over and over again. And for good reason! The waters are crystal clear, the coral and fish are plentiful and if you’re lucky you might just see sea turtles, rare fish and maybe even a shark or two. Since we were going to be island hoping for a few weeks around Thailand we set aside several days to check out the small island and made sure to book a diving trip.
How to Scuba Dive on Koh Phi Phi
Wanting to go diving in Phi Phi and booking a trip to go diving are two very different things. Unless you’re a master diver, have your PADI license, have access to a boat and have all the proper equipment, you’re going to want to find a dive company to take you out for a few dives.
As soon as you get to Phi Phi, there are dive shops sprinkled everywhere. Every hotel has a dive shop, every corner has a dive shop and I’m pretty sure the local mini mart offered diving courses too. The point is, you have options. We choose Sea Bees Phi Phi because they had a great reputation (just look at their trip advisor reviews) and most importantly we felt totally at ease with our instructor, just through the initial communication. I had emailed a few dive shops in the area before our trip and David and his team got back to me right away and constantly stayed in communication with us. We aren’t pro divers, so we need a little help and had few too many questions. Before we even landed in Phi Phi, we were able to get all our questions answered and felt totally taken care of. Plus David had a passion for Belgian beers and so do we!
As we were only spending a few days in Phi Phi, we booked our trip in advance, so that we would be guaranteed a spot. On our day of arrival we met with David at the Sea Bees Phi Phi dive shop and he gave us an hour instructional course. Although we had dived before, the private class was a great refresher and went over all the important stuff, like how to breathe and basically just stay alive while under water.
What You'll See Scuba Diving on Koh Phi Phi
Our half day dive included two different dives. Our first dive was at Turtle Rock (yes we did see a sea turtle) and then we ended our day diving along Palong wall. We saw countless different types of fish and plenty of bright colorful coral. It felt like we were in the underwater version of Las Vegas with all the neon surrounding us.
During each dive, David lead the way and made sure to point out anything interesting, our untrained eyes would miss. We saw Clown Fish, Nemo, Sea Turtles, Jellyfish and the brightest corals, I had ever seen.
Bu honestly, just getting to the diving locations was fun. Luckily we had an awesome captain who would take us to the best spots to wait. We would weave in and out of the small islands jutting out of the water, until we found little areas, where we could explore. We were able to jump off the boat, swim around and swim up to the secluded beaches, while we waited our turn.
Tips & Notes
- Exploring the island of Koh Phi Phi is fun. Think lazy days spent lounging on the softest sand, drinking ice cold beer and watching the long tail boats slowly buzz around. But diving underwater, playing with Sea Turtles and looking for the brightest fish and weaving through neon coral is better!
- Book your diving trip in advance. Most people come to Phi Phi to go diving so schedules can fill up pretty quickly. The last thing you want, is to make it all the way to Phi Phi and not be able to get on a boat!
- Plan your trip accordingly. It’s very dangerous to fly after you’ve been scuba diving, so make sure to give yourself 24 hours after your dive to decompress your body. Seriously. DONT fly immediately after your dive.
- Getting to and leaving Phi Phi can be a trek. You’ll most likely fly into Phuket or Krabi and then take a speedboat or ferry to the islands. This can sometimes take a full day depending on the various schedules so don’t expect to go diving the day you arrive or the day you leave.
- If you book your trip through Sea Bees Phi Phi, you don’t have to worry about bringing any of your own equipment. They provide everything, including snacks for the boat ride.
- Even if someone in your group is a pro diver and you aren’t, the dives can be arranged to accommodate all levels of divers.
- Don't worry about bringing your underwater cameras. Sea Bees Phi Phi can arrange to bring their camera on the trip and take photos of you on your adventure.
For more information about diving around the Phi Phi Islands
make sure to visit the Sea Bees Phi Phi website: