South Siam Divers Company is one of the many dive companies that run from near Panwa beach (we just had to drive across the long bay, to get there.) It was very well-run and professional, the staff were friendly, and there was food included (an absolute must).
Koh Dok Mai is a limestone island around an hour and 15 minutes from Chalong Bay. The wall there stretches down about 25 metres, and is full of small creatures and corals. It is often offered as part of a 3-dive plan.
The King Cruiser was a 85 metre-long car ferry that sank two and a half hours after hitting Anemone Reef in 1997. All passengers were rescued by police and local fishing boats that heard the distress call. The wreck was left to lie in the ocean, the first wreck to dive near Phuket.
Shark Point is about an hour and a half from Chalong Bay. So titled for its leopard sharks, this dive spot is also famous for the multitudes of sea fans and colourful soft corals, that retain an unusual vibrancy underwater. Does have current, sometimes, but usually running parallel to the wall.
Mum, Dad and I went on three dives with South Siam Divers Company. Our first dive was Koh Dok Mai or Flower Island. It was a wall dive and we saw lots of fish, I saw a bamboo shark with big eyes.
Our next dive was my first wreck dive, The King Cruiser. I sat on an underwater toilet. We saw scorpionfish, which were like underwater chameleons, eels, and shrimps which chewed my gloves, trying to chew my fingernails.
Our last dive was to Shark Point, which should have been called No Shark Point, because all the sharks were gone, fished out for shark fin soup. We saw blue-spotted rays, clownfish and a tiger-tailed seahorse, which was quite big. Our safety stop was in a beautiful group of pink and purple coral.
We went out for dinner and had a birthday cake.
Tourist Information on South Siam Divers Company:
Prices for this day-trip (Koh Dok Mai, The King Cruiser and Shark Point) are 3,400 baht per person for divers, 2,000 for those who don’t wish to go diving, and individual dive pieces, or a full set for 500 baht, can be rented if you don’t have the equipment. Food, drinks, a dive guide and transfers from your hotel in Phuket all come included.
They run trips to other dive sites, too: see website for details.