We dive year round from Phuket. From November to May we
enjoy clear skies and calm seas. We have both daytrips and liveaboard trips
during this period. This is when the Similan Islands Marine Park is open for liveaboard dive boats to visit. From May to November, winds coming from the southwest often produce choppy sea conditions, and trips to the Similans are no longer offered. Daytrip boats still go out though, and diving is done on the sheltered sides of the islands, where dive conditions are typically very good. However, the boat rides out to the dive sites can be a bit bumpy during that period.
Our islands are mainly granite and limestone, and are
largely uncultivated. Therefore there is little runoff to cloud the water
when it rains. At times, windy conditions require a change in itinerary for
the sake of safety. For example, if there are large waves, boats will not
visit open ocean sites such as submerged sea mounts and will seek more
Not really. Phuket receives more non-diving visitors
than it does divers, so all resorts cater to all sorts of tourists. This
isn’t an issue, however, since dive ops typically pick customers up from
wherever they are staying.
Yes, you can. Gekko has a collection of good quality,
well-maintained scuba equipment that includes ScubaPro BCDs and regulators,
shorty wetsuits, fins, and masks.
It’s always a good idea to use equipment you are
familiar with, but we realize that carrying a lot of scuba gear around
when you are traveling can be a bother, so you might want to bring some
equipment and rent the rest.
Talk to us about your needs
and we can advise you better.
Yes, if you
let us know in advance, we can arrange for
DIN adapters for your equipment. If you dive frequently in areas that use
INT yoke-style valve fittings, we would advise you to purchase your own DIN
adapter so that you are not caught by surprise and unable to use your
equipment for lack of a part.
Yes, Nitrox is easily available. If a daytrip boat
operator does not have Nitrox on board (most don’t) we can supply it for
you and have it put on your boat. Some liveaboards have Nitrox blending
capacity on board, but many do not.
Ask about Nitrox when you let
us know what your needs are.
Standard scuba tanks here are 12 liter (roughly 80 cu.
ft.) aluminum tanks with yoke valves. Larger, 15 liter (100 cu. ft.) tanks
are generally available by prior request. There is usually a small
additional rental charge for these as we generally need to special-order them.
Make sure to
let us know if you are interested in using
The water is usually about 28° to 30° C (82° to 86° F).
There are occasional thermoclines where currents bring in cooler water, but
you generally swim out of them quickly.
Not usually. There is the occasional occurrence of
“stingers” in the water, but the “itch” lasts just a few moments. But if
you are especially susceptible and have allergic reactions, we advise you to
wear a full length skin or wetsuit to protect yourself.
Most people are happy in a 3mm shorty, especially for
daytrip diving. But if you are planning a liveaboard trip, you may want a
3mm full suit, if you have one, or even a 5mm if you get chilled easily.
We discourage the use of gloves. The water is simply not
that cold, and divers with gloves tend to touch corals and other marine life
with less hesitation than those who do not have gloves on.
Currents in the Andaman Sea are principally tidal
currents. They move from south to north when the tide is rising and in the
opposite direction when the tide is falling. So the presence of current can
be predicted to a certain extent according to the tide table. Boat captains
and tour leaders use the tide tables to time the dives so that the currents
won’t be unmanageable. Most of our dives are gentle drifts, so just jump on
the magic carpet and let yourself glide over the reef. The boat will pick
you up at the end of the dive site. Some sites are more known for currents
than others, so if this is a major concern,
and we will advise
you which dive sites are best suited to your needs.
While it is possible to do a few shore dives from Phuket,
the visibility at our local sites suffers from the proximity to the island.
If you want to try some shore diving we’ll work to set it up for you.
Gekko can accept credit card payments, but only on-site,
not via internet, fax or phone--we are not able to accept credit card numbers
in order to process charges. The reason for this is that there is a great
deal of credit card fraud in the region, and this policy protects both you
and us from becoming victims. For trips that require pre-payment, you
can remit the money to us via wire transfer from your bank to ours, or you
can send money through Western Union.
Yes, there are three facilities with recompression
chambers on Phuket.
Most often, yes. Many of our daytrips are accessible to
snorkelers as well as to divers. There are a few sites that are too deep or
too exposed to be interesting/safe for snorkeling, but we can make sure to
put you on trips where snorkelers are welcome. It is also possible for
non-divers to go along on liveaboard trips, but there are fewer
possibilities for snorkeling on these trips.