Saturday, July 7, 2012

Diving in Phuket Thailand and Bali Indonesia

If you are a scuba diver, Singapore is one of the best places to live in. Popular tourist magnets with quite legendary diving sites such as Phuket and Bali are within a couple of hours flight and there are also many great diving sites in Malaysia such as Tioman Island which can actually be reached without any flight at all.

Last autumn, one of my friends flew from Belgium to Singapore to visit me and after spending some time in Singapore, he has headed first to Bali and then to Phuket to swim, sun bath and dive. He has a blog named My Carry On Luggage and he has documented his diving experience in Phuket and Bali in several blog posts. Here is a list of articles he has written with brief summaries and links to the original articles.

Diving in Bali

Bali Diving Point #1: Tulamben. Tulamben is Bali's most famous diving area. Tulamben Bay, like the rest of Bali, is situated in the richest marine biogeographic zone in the world. Being on the north-east coast, the bay receives very plankton-rich waters from the major ocean current that moves from the Pacific to the Indian Ocean. This, coupled with the fact that the three main dive sites provide totally different physical environments, mean that Tulamben contains a stunningly diverse underwater ecosystem.[1]

I dived to two points in Tulamben: USS Liberty shipwreck and Drop-off. The former is an American Army/Navy transport ship which has beached in 1942 after she was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine.

"She was moved away from the beach by a volcanic eruption in 1963 and then become a dive point. Her 120 body lies from 6 to 30 meters depth roughly parallel to the shore. I made two dives around the shipwreck. First one was from port side to the back and the second was other way around. We followed the pieces of the wreck which is mostly aligned on a straight line of the frame when we approached from either direction. I can say that the coral coverage was rare and scattered around the wreck especially as compared to surface of the ship. Volcanic sand and small rocks dominate the sea bottom. You can see anemones and the anemone fishes frequently."
Read more here Diving in Tulamben, Bali, Indonesia
Diving in Tulamben
Diving in Tulamben - Source: My Carry on Lugagge
Bali Diving Point #2: Nusa Penida. Nusa Penida is the largest of 3 islands (the others being Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan). The water here is fairly cold (because of the ocean currents) but often startlingly clear, with gorgeous corals and prolific fish, with some turtle, shark (including grey reefs and silver-tips) and - Aug-Sep - Mola-Mola (the weird and wonderful Sunfish).[2]

"In the second day of the dives, I went to the island called Nusa Penida located on the south east of Bali. The island is actually the biggest of the three islands at close coordinates. They are 45 min away from the Sanur beach by a relatively slow dive boat. Sanur beach is quite shallow and there is no pear to have a dry boarding. Hence, the BIDP guys arranged the transfer from the beach to the dive boat by small joker boats. From that point on you are on the dive boat till the afternoon. During that 45 min journey to the famous Manta point, the landscape was pretty nice with several water rocks facing to the island. The partly cloudy morning helped to enjoy the nice way with mild sun bathing.."
Read more here Nusa Penida dives, Bali, Indonesia

Diving in Phuket
Phuket Diving Point #1: Koh Doc Mai.  On the way to Shark Point, this huge, jungle topped limestone rock rises steeply out of the sea and offers one of the best wall dives in the area:
"Normally, the site supposed to have a good visibility especially in the early morning and for calm surface as you can see above. However I was not that lucky I guess. The visibility was quite poor and it was not possible to have a good shot unless you go for a macro shot. Nevertheless, the fauna down there was really great. Especially the nudibrach population was quite stunning. Other than that you may check out the groupers, box fishes, and random gang of fish crowds!"
Read more here Diving at Koh Doc Mai, Phuket, Thailand

Phuket Diving Point #2: King Cruiser. King Cruiser was a 85-meter passenger ferry which has sinked in 1997 and given an unplanned gift to Phuket tourism, a wreckage diving site in the middle of already popular sites. The location is ideal to dive since what remains from the ferry rests almost perfectly at a depth between 12 and 30 meters.[3] Although the visibility is not quite great, the site offers many attractions to divers like lion fishes.
"I'm not gonna lie! After the terrible visibility at Kho Doc Mai, I needed a pallet cleanser to fresh up the taste of Andaman underwater. We have reached our destination for the second dive of the day. The king cruiser is located between Kho Doc Mai and the famous Phi Phi Island of the beach movie."
Read more here Diving at King Cruiser, Phuket, Thailand

Diving at King Cruiser, Phuket, Thailand - Source :  My Carry on Lugagge
Phuket Diving Point #3: Shark Point. Shark Point (Thai Hin Musang or 'Shark Rock'), named after the Leopard Sharks often seen resting on the sandy seafloor at the site, is the most popular of dive sites in Phuket.[4]
"The shark point is actually composed of a massive reef and a group of smaller ones located very close to the larger reef. The dive normally starts at the large pinnacle whose peak is just 2 meters deep. Then you may choose to take a turn around this one till 25 meters and then move to the second pinnacle and an see that one around 25 meters and ascend to 16 meters where the most of the beautiful things are located. If you are lucky you may see the leopard sharks during this part of the dive around the small reef."
Read more : Diving at the Shark Point, Phuket, Thailand

South East Asia offers great diving locations other than Phuket and Bali:

Tioman Island, MalaysiaSipadan Island, Malaysia... or just relax
and make friends.

[1] - Description of Tulamben's Dive Sites
[2] - Description of Nusa Penida Dive Sites
[3] - Diving at King Cruiser WreckPhuket Dive Sites
[4] - Shark Point DivingPhuket Dive Sites

1 comment:

  1. Hi,
    Thanks for sharing those info and you got a beautiful pictures.