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Where to stay if you are diving Phuket

Phuket daytrip dives depart from:

Chalong Bay for Phi Phi Islands, Shark Point, King Cruiser Wreck, Anemone Reef, Koh Doc Mai, Racha Yai and Racha Noi diving. (Year Round).

Thap Lamu (Khao Lak) for Similan Islands and Koh Bon diving. (November to April)

With this in mind look at the map of Phuket here. Chalong Bay is in the south east of the island. Thap Lamu is one hour drive north of the island (not shown on this map).

For diving day trips departing from Chalong Bay. Most dive operators start picking up at their divers at Patong hotels. They then travel south to Karon, then Kata, then across to Chalong Bay. They do not pick up in other locations without special arrangement and extra charges.

Staying north of Patong beach is not ideal if you plan to be diving from Chalong Bay. There are some dive centres that will transfer you from Kamala but you’ll spend more time in a minibus than if you stay at, say, Kata beach.

For diving daytrips to the Similans and Koh Bon from Thap Lamu. Transfers start in the south of the island at about 6am and work their way north up the west coast so in this case staying up near the airport in somewhere like NaiYang beach is better.

Phuket Town is not a good location for divers. Dive companies don’t like going there. Koh Maphrao (Coconut Island) is also off the transfer route, as are Thalang, Mission Hills, Cape Yamu, Ao Por. You will need to arrange a private taxi if you stay in one of these locations. Most companies also charge extra for pick ups in Rawai, Naiharn, Ao Yon, Cape Panwa.

I understand that there are many other factors that go into picking your hotel location other than diving but it certainly bears thinking about if you plan on doing a few diving day trips.

Divers staying in Khao Lak also need to be careful with locations. Khao Lak is rather stretched out and some resorts are miles from the Thap Lamu boat pier and an extra fee for transfers may be charged.

Another issue is that some resorts that are actually off Phuket Island still advertise themselves as Phuket even though they are in Phang Nga. Khok Kloi resorts are an example of this. Some resorts advertise themselves as Khao Lak even though they are in Thai Muang or further.

If in doubt please contact us and we’ll advise the best location for you.