Koh Doc Mai
moderate, sometimes strong
Certified divers at least Advanced level
This small island is located on the way from Phuket to Shark Point. A limestone rock with sheer walls rises above the sea. Its top is covered with dense greenery, and the walls go under the water to a depth of 30 m. This island is considered one of the best diving spots near Phuket.
Koh Dok Mai literally means «Island of Flowers». There are various stories about how the place got its name — some argue that its name comes from the beauty of the island’s underwater walls, hidden from view until you started your dive.
The western side of the island is a gentle reef covered with hard and soft corals, 12 to 20 meters deep, with an abundance of colorful marine life. The east side is more popular with divers. This sheer wall up to 25 meters deep is a kind of coral garden of yellow tubular corals, anemones, sponges, harps, sea fans and others.
The visiting card of this site is two caves. Entering them with a lantern, you can see the impressive limestone architecture. The first cave is large, at a depth of 18 meters. The second cave is smaller, at a depth of 22 meters. It has air pockets that you can climb into, but it is not recommended to breathe this air.
Carefully examining the cracks and crevices in the rock, you will find dozens of dancing shrimps, cleaner shrimps, white-eyed moray eels, nudibranchs. You can also find seahorse and ghost fish here. This site is a paradise for lovers of macro photography.
Remember to look deep. Large flocks of Trevali, Sneppers and Yellow Fusiliers circle around the cliff. Going up to the safety stop, you can meet a turtle. Sometimes a whale shark approaches the island.
There are usually currents on this site, so the dive is a drift along a colorful wall. The currents are strong enough, while the visibility is reduced to 5-8 meters. With a maximum depth of 30m, this site is suitable for experienced divers with at least Advanced certification.