Phi Phi Island
In recent years Phi Phi Island has gained a reputation as a spectacular tourist destination, one of the ten most beautiful islands in the world. But most people still don’t realize that Phi Phi is equally beautiful underwater.Phi Phi Island and the surrounding Phang-Nga Bay are spectacular limestone rocks created thousands of years ago. Many rise dramatically upward with sheer sides and have numerous caves where fearless men on bamboo scaffolding climb up to gather swallows nests (nok nang ann) for bird’s nest soup.
- Limestone Islands
- Hard & Soft Corals, Seafans
- Tropicals | Octopus | Leopard Sharks
- Moderate Currents
- 10 to 20 Meters Visibility
- All Levels of Diver, Good for Beginners
To the north, in Phang Nga Bay, is one of the worlds largest mangrove tracts, and it is in this dark and muddy sanctuary that an surprising amount of colorful reef fish are born and reared. In fact, without the mangrove providing shelter and food to so many marine species, the spectacular underwater landscape you are about to see on your first dive wouldn’t exist.
But enough marine biology for now, it’s time to get wet! The dive sites vary enormously, ranging from sheer walls with a different creature in every nook and cranny, to craggy rock outcroppings surrounded by a smooth sandy bottom. Because of the abundance of nutrients in the water, these sites are rich in filter feeding mollusks such as clams, giant oysters and scallops. Golden gorgonian fans wave in the currents, while crinoids, starfish and anemones cling to every available surface.
This is the perfect place to get out your macro lens and try and find a rare pink and white nudibranchs. If you’re lucky, you may spot something at the very top of the chain: “shallam wan” (whaleshark!). The largest fish in the sea, they actually feed on plankton. No need to worry, just take it easy and enjoy a truly spectacular sight.
The site is huge and most live-aboards will schedule more than one dive here. The sheer variety of life is amazing. Huge schools of trevallies and barracudas cruise the currents, and many tiny critters such as frogfish, ghost pipefish and seahorses are hiding in cracks and crevices.