Koh Phi Phi Dive Sites
Whether you’re an experienced diver, or it’s your first time breathing underwater, Koh Phi Phi Marine Park has got a little something for everyone.
Only a 15-25 minute drive by longtail boat from the main island of Koh Phi Phi Don, our most popular dive sites are located in the national marine park. Sheltered by the island of Koh Phi Phi Leh, we are lucky enough to be able to dive Phi Phi dive sites all year round.
During our ‘green season’ which runs from May to October the wind generally comes from the west. Therefore this means that our more sheltered Phi Phi dive sites are on the east side of Phi Phi Leh.
From November to April, ‘High Season’, the wind generally comes from the east or south-east. This means the dive sites on the west side of the island are sheltered. However this being said, expect to find more days where the wind is still and the Andaman sea around the Phi Phi islands resembles a lake. This means we have full access to the national marine park. Check out our Dive Log page for specific conditions during our seasons.
Read on to find out more about what you can expect to dive when you come to Koh Phi Phi dive sites. Furthermore, we have included the best time of year to access them and the experience level required.
Phi Phi Dive Sites – The Bida Islands:
The Bida Islands ofKoh Bida Nok and Koh Bida Nai, are Phi Phi’s famous dive sites surrounding two small islands just south of Phi Phi Leh. It will take a scenic 25 minutes by longtail boat from the main island to reach the Bidas. You’ll pass the beautiful limestone cliffs and turquoise bays of Phi Phi Leh on your way.
Koh Bida Nok is the larger of the two Bida Islands. It’s popular amongst divers because of its diversity of marine life, but also because you can easily do three different dives here.
The shallow bay is a perfect starting point with it being sheltered above and below the surface. If there’s current, it’ll take you one way or the other when you leave the bay. If you’re a first time diver, taking a course or refresher, expect to do your skills and get your practice in this area.
At high tide you can expect to find a school of Blacktip Reef Sharks in the shallows of the bay.
To the right it will drop down to 24 metres. If you’re an advanced diver or have your deep specialty you might want to see what you can find in the lesser travelled parts of the site. Otherwise staying shallow, follow the wall and look for Ghost Pipefish and maybe even a Reef Octopus. You might also want to keep one eye on the blue, for any visitors that might be passing through.
Taking a right out of the bay, you first reach what locals call ‘finger reef’. It is known for its beautiful coral and large schools of fish. Everywhere you look you will be in awe. Keep an eye under rocks and in small crevasses as it’s common to find a variety of Moray Eels on this site.
Left out of the bay on the shallow reef is also a good spot to look for Blacktip Reef Sharks. Deeper you’ll find small pinnacles surrounded by sand. Look for Bent Stick Pipefish and Kuhls Stingrays in the sand.
Bida Nok is suitable for all levels of divers. Your divemaster or instructor will guide you on a route based on your level of training.
Current can sometimes affect dive conditions here but this doesn’t mean the site is off limits. However be sure to check with your guide before the dive to find out if you should expect current.
Bida Nok is most accessible during high season because the chances of high wind are at their lowest.
At Bida Nai, the smaller of the two Bida islands, you can expect a quieter dive compared to the more popular Bida Nok. However that’s not to say it’s any less magnificent. With it’s beautiful swim throughs, schools of snappers and colourful soft coral, you won’t know where to look.
Expect to find Nemo everywhere at Bida Nai. It is also common to find the banded sea snake (banded sea krait), one of the most venomous snakes in the world. But don’t let that put you off! Did you know that their mouths are so small it’s almost impossible for them to bite humans? Also they’re only known to be aggressive when they’re on land nesting. All the more reason to stay in the water, right?
Next to the island at around 8-10 metres you’ll find an amazing swim through. It is made from two large rocks parallel to each other with a perfect diver-sized gap going through. The swim through is open at the top, therefor the light still reaches in. The combination of light, colourful corals and reef fish you’ll encounter on the way through make this one of the most beautiful swim throughs to experience.
Away from the island at around 15 metres you’ll find another swim through and also pinnacles that you can explore between. Look for the curious Longfin Batfish here, who have been known to follow divers and ‘play’ in their bubbles.
Bida Nai is generally suitable for all levels of experience, however it is one of the dive sites that can be more affected by current. We will always check conditions beforehand.
Like it’s neighbour, the best time to access Bida Nai is during the high season.
Phi Phi Dive Sites around Phi Phi Leh:
There are many diverse Phi Phi dive sites around Phi Phi Leh. Winds change during the two main seasons here therefore accessibility of each dive site depends on the time of year
Back to the island of Phi Phi Leh, and just before you reach Maya Bay you will find Malong. Recently made more recognisable as a dive site thanks to the buoy line put in by The national park team. For this reason Malong is now an especially safe Phi Phi dive site for divers and snorkelers alike.
Close to the island where divers like to begin their dive is a shelf that starts from between 3 – 6 metres. Spend some time here as there is a good chance you will find one or two Hawksbill Turtles.
Explore the southern side of the site and you will find a huge school snappers. Move slowly through them and have one of the most amazing underwater experiences. A favourite spot for our divers, beginners and also experienced.
Swim off the shelf to follow the reef deeper gradually. There is a good chance to find Hawksbill Turtles on this slope, and also Giant Moray Eels.
Malong is one of our perfect dive sites for those who love macro, a popular find here being the Blue Dragon Nudibranch.
Head north and you will find some very picturesque pinnacles down at around 15-18 metres, look close to the sand for razorfish. As with all of our sites, we sometimes get some surprise visitors. Recently our divers were lucky enough to spot a huge marbled stingray here.
Shallower, from around 5 metres down to 10 metres you will find a series of amazing swim throughs to explore. If you’re a certified diver and have good buoyancy skills, ask your guide about these swim throughs. If you think you need more experience, a good specialty is peak performance buoyancy.
Malong is one of our great dive sites for all levels, with something for everyone whether go shallow or deep. There is also a good chance to see the Hawksbill Turtles throughout.
Current doesn’t normally affect us here but it is worth noting the importance of diving with a local guide. Where most of the dive site is not affected by current, if you get too close to Maya Bay there is a chance you can get caught in a current taking you into the bay. Always check the conditions before diving!
The best time of year to access the Phi Phi dive sites of Malong Shelf and Malong Wall is during the high season.
Viking & Coral City Dive Sites
Viking Bay & Artifical Reef Project
Named after ‘Viking cave’, a huge cave found above the surface on the island. Viking is one of those dive sites that has a lot of little surprises.
Viking is home to a coral nursery and artificial reef, a project started in 2006, growing coral on the nursery. When it is big enough it is transplanted onto the artificial reef made up of giant concrete blocks stacked into pyramid shapes.
While growing coral is not a fast process, parts of the artificial reef are already teeming with life. It is surrounded by schools of snappers and filled with tiny glass fish. Expect Pufferfish, Lionfish, Scorpionfish, Anemonefish and so much more. You can also expect the occasional visit from a Hawksbill Turtle and Banded Sea Snake. Because of the large structures, you can stay shallow or go deeper and always have lots to see!
Between the artificial reef and the natural reef you’ll find a fairly vast sand area. You’ll see lots of little Gobies and Shrimp teams, also look for Kuhls Stingray, Cuttlefish and Flounders.
About halfway, from 8 to 12 metres you’ll find a beautiful ‘garden’ of soft coral that’s home to a variety of reef fish. It is also not uncommon to find a Hawksbill Turtle and Moray Eels here.
In recent years, a new technique and more organic way of creating and helping coral reefs has been developed. This is the technique being used in the Maya Bay project, and also on a smaller scale at sites around Phi Phi Don. If you’re interested in finding out more about this technique or how you can become a coral propagator, take a look at our Ocean Quest coral propagation course
Coral City follows on from Viking and is a beautiful area of natural reef. There are lots of small pinnacles surrounded by sand, with schools of snappers and glass fish everywhere you look. We can often find a Hawksbill Turtle or two on this site. Swimming away from the island will take you deeper, however you will really appreciate a shallower dive here. The light allows you to enjoy a huge variety of colour from the coral and the reef fish.
Close to the island is your best chance to spot a Blacktip Reef Shark. If you follow the bay into the back, you will often find a school of Black Tip Reef Sharks including a few babies! Although we wouldn’t recommend heading far into this bay in scuba gear (as it gets very shallow) it’s a great spot for snorkeling.
Viking and coral city are two popular Phi Phi dive sites suitable for divers of all levels. There are great places to explore at deep and shallow depths. There’s rarely current and a large buoy line ensuring boats keep off the site making it exceptionally safe.
The best time of year to access Viking and coral city are during green season.
Dive at Palong and there’s a good chance you’ll encounter a few Blacktip Reef Sharks. Though not aggressive or a danger to humans, they prefer not to be too close to us divers and will not hang around for too long. Luckily our eagle-eyed guides know where they like to hang out. Although we can never make promises, our divers normally catch a glimpse of them cruising around.
Head a bit deeper away from the island and you’ll find pinnacles forming valley like swim throughs for you to explore. Covered in beautiful fan corals and surrounded by schools of snappers, it’s a very scenic route. Follow the pinnacles deeper or stay shallower and see what lives near the top of the amazing natural structures. There’s something for every level of experience here.
Palong is always filled with surprises, and a few leopard shark sightings have come from the deeper parts of this sight. Our divers were even lucky enough to see a Spotted Eagle Ray passing through recently.
Palong is another one of our dive sites suitable for all levels of divers. With it starting shallow and gradually getting deeper it has something for everyone to explore. It is not usually affected by current.
The best time to access Palong is during the high season when the west side of the island is sheltered.
Given its name because of the large rock shaped like a mushroom that you’ll find sitting from around 13-17 metres beneath the surface, covered in soft coral and surrounded by a huge school of yellow snappers. Mushroom rock is a beautiful site from start to finish. With colourful coral, large dramatic structures and plenty of interesting macro.
Keep an eye out in the shallows and you might catch a glimpse of some Blacktip Reef Sharks. It’s also not uncommon to find a Hawksbill Turtle on this site. If it’s macro you’re into, you’ll be sure to find a variety of interesting Nudibranchs all over this site. Look out for the king of camouflage, the Bearded Scorpionfish, and also Giant Moray Eels.
You can have an amazing dive here, whether you you stay in the shallows looking for the reef sharks, or go deeper to the lesser explored parts of the site. Down at the bottom of the reef, you really get that feeling of excitement not knowing what might be around the next corner.
Mushroom rock, like Palong, is a great site for all levels of divers. With the option to stay shallow or go deeper and always have an amazing dive.
Being close to the tip of the island, this is one of the dive sites you may expect a mild current. Diving with an experienced guide, they will pick the best route based on the conditions on the day.
You may or may not have heard of Pileh Lagoon, but even if you haven’t you’ve almost definitely seen a photo or two, being one of the most photogenic places around the islands. Although there are no dive sites in the lagoon, you might be lucky enough to spend your surface interval here.
Just outside the lagoon is Pileh Wall, a beautiful dive site filled with diversity and colour. A large part of the site is, you guessed it, a wall dive. You’ll reach around 18 metres at the deepest point. The wall is covered with beautiful soft corals and everywhere you look it is teeming with colourful reef fish.
Look for Hawksbill Turtles here, make sure to keep looking up and down the wall so you don’t miss them! The way the light hits the wall will leave you in awe, whether you cruise along shallow or go deeper. A number of leopard shark sightings have come from this site so always keep an eye on the sand beneath.
The wall eventually flattens out and can give you a gradual ascent getting closer to the island. Expect to find Moray Eels here, and look for Banded Sea Snakes and the Broadclub Cuttlefish.
Pileh wall is a great dive site for all levels of experience, with the option of keeping a shallow dive or going deeper.
If there is a mild current heading south then you can slowly cruise along the wall with it. The best time of year to access Pileh Wall is during the green season.
If you’ve seen the 2000 movie ‘The Beach, it’ll come as no surprise that thousands of tourists from all over the world travelled to Koh Phi Phi everyday to experience what Leonardo DiCaprio’s character Richard felt walking out onto the beautiful Maya Beach for the first time.
Though the beach has been closed since 2018 undergoing a coral rehabilitation project, the bay remains open for boat tours, snorkeling, and most importantly… diving!
Maya corner runs along the North wall of the bay near the entrance. Divers can expect a diversity of landscapes and marine life here with perfect conditions for all levels of divers. Starting at the side nearest Maya beach the more advanced divers might like to explore a handful of swim throughs. Head deeper to the bottom of the reef to find some dramatic rock formations and another swim through surrounded by tiny glass fish and beautiful soft corals.
Stay shallow and swim between pinnacles and valleys. Keep an eye out for a Hawksbill Turtle, Blacktip Reef Sharks and also even recently, a Whale Shark!
Maya Corner is a great site for all levels of divers. Current does not normally affect most of the dive site. However, if you dive too close to the corner, you might find yourself in some stronger current. Again reasons like this are why you should always dive with a local dive guide who knows the area (and also where all the cool stuff is!)
The best time to access Maya corner is during the high season.
The Kled Gaeow is Phi Phi’s local wreck dive, a retired navy ship purposely sunk in 2014. Starting from around 14 metres and sitting at 27 metres, it’s one of our great dive sites to explore for advanced divers, those taking their advanced course or deep specialty.
The wreck is surrounded by many schools of fish, including snappers, fusilier and jacks. Expect to find many Scorpionfish, Lionfish and Porcupine fish resting on or close to the wreck. You’ll want to have a good look but not get too close!
For those interested in macro, spend some time looking on the wreck walls and you’ll find a huge variety of Nudibranchs.
The wreck lies 1km east of Phi Phi Leh, meaning there is less shelter and you can sometimes expect diving and surface conditions to be affected by wind, waves and current. Check what conditions are predicted a few days ahead if you’re interested in diving here. It’s also always good to have a couple of days of flexibility.
On the south side of Maya Bays entrance, begins Whaleshark wall. Unfortunately not given its name because of an abundance of Whalesharks found here, but an exciting dive site nonetheless!
One of our deeper sites for the advanced diver, you can easily reach 24 metres here. Swimming between giant dramatic rock formations see what lies in the lesser dived parts of Phi Phi Leh. A number of Leopard shark sightings have come from Whaleshark wall, and recently our divers were lucky enough to see a Spotted Eagle Ray cruising by.
Always full of surprises, keep an eye out for Hawksbill Turtles and Blacktip Reef Sharks in the shallows. Expect to find some interesting Nudibranchs, huge schools of Snappers and beautiful colourful soft coral.
Due to Whaleshark wall being one our deeper sites, it’s only recommended to dive here if you are a certified diver.
Always check conditions before your dive, current can sometimes affect dives here meaning you’ll want to plan ahead.
The best time to dive Whaleshark Wall is during the high season.
Phi Phi Dive Sites around Phi Phi Don:
We have some dive sites around Koh Phi Phi Don that can be accessed year round including some amazing coral gardens at Monkey Beach. Additionally we have a great site at Nui Bay for swim throughs and amazing coral colonies.
Sam Haat / Monkey Beach
Sign up for a night dive and you can expect to dive at Monkey Beach back on the main island of Koh Phi Phi Don. A short ride by longtail boat from the main pier, make this site convenient for our night dive trips but also make it a very sheltered site for day dive trips, particularly when there is high wind.
You can descend shallow and gradually follow the slope down deeper, reaching a depth of around 18 metres at the bottom.
Expect to find a variety of Moray Eels and Shrimp, Cuttlefish, Razorfish and occasionally Octopus here. We also know where the beautiful Yellow Tigertail Seahorse likes to hang out!
If you’re diving at night, you will get to experience the amazing natural phenomenon that is the bioluminescent plankton.
Access to Monkey beach is generally year round with it being sheltered by Tonsai Bay.
It is suitable for all experience levels with the reef starting shallow and gradually getting deeper. If you are joining for a Night Dive you will need to be Advanced certified or have done/doing your adventure Night dive.
Another site on Koh Phi Phi Don, and conveniently close to our main pier, is Tonsai Wall. A beautiful wall dive covered in amazing fan coral, interesting Nudibranchs and the chance to find a Tigertail Seahorse.
With beautiful table and staghorn coral in the shallows and a maximum depth of 18 metres, this dive site is perfect for all levels of divers with somewhere for everyone to explore.
Access, like monkey beach is generally year round, sheltered and suitable for all levels.
Camel Rock / Nui Bay
On the north side of Koh Phi Phi Don, is the beautiful Nui Bay, with shallow reef and home to one of our coral nurseries.
Dive around Camel rock, and you will find a shallow shelf on the northside filled with table coral and soft coral, and bursting with life. After a mass bleaching event in 2010, the reef here made a huge come back.
Advanced divers might like to explore some of the swim throughs at camel rock, with the maximum depth of the site reaching 18-20 metres, with a number of Leopard Shark sightings coming from this area make sure to keep an eye out on the sand!
The best time of year to access Camel Rock is during the high season.
It is another of our dive sites suitable for all levels of divers with something for everyone, whether you stay shallow or head deeper.
Other Dive Sites around Phi Phi:
We have some dive sites just outside of our sheltered island dives which can be accessed when conditions are good. Hin Daeng, Hin Muang and Koh Haa are within the Koh Lanta National Park therefore park fees are higher than our local sites.
About 30 minutes boat ride from Koh Phi Phi Don, and a couple of kilometres east of the Bidas, lies Garang Heng. The reef of this mid-ocean dive site starts at 5 metres and gradually descends deeper. On the shallower parts of the reef you will find lots of colourful soft coral, anemones and sea fans. With a variety of schools of fish, from Barracuda to the tiny Glass Fish and colourful Snappers and Fusilier, you won’t know where to look!.
Head deeper and look for Leopard Sharks in the sand, this site being a favourite spot for sightings.
Make sure to also keep an eye on the blue, for a number of Whaleshark sightings have come from Garang Heng.