Koh Dok Mai translates to “Flower Island”. This petite limestone island that protrudes from the sea approximately 12 miles (20 km) east of Phuket and 6 miles (10 km) west of Shark Point dive site. It takes roughly an hour and fifteen minutes by boat from Chalong bay to reach the location. Due to its position between Phuket and the further sites Anemone Reef, Shark Point, and King Cruiser wreck, it’s often the 3rd dive on the way back from two of the three.
Koh Dok Mai dive site brief
- Access: From boat
- Maximum depth: 100 feet/ 30 meters
- Visibility: 10 – 66 feet / 3 – 20 meters
- Dive time: 50 minutes
- Certification level: Advanced Open Water
- Current: medium – strong
- Type: wall; drift
About Koh Dok Mai
Koh Dok Mai or also Koh Doc Mai is one of the most dived sites of Phuket. Often as the last dive of a day trip, divers get to explore the wall at Koh Dok Mai.
The wall has plenty of macro life to offer, and it’s recommended to dive slowly. However, the current can be quite strong and move you faster than you’d like to.
The west side of the island is shallower, with a maximum depth of about 66 feet (20 meters). The mainly hard corals start at a depth of about 40 feet (12 meters). Anyway, the east side is much more popular for divers. The entire wall is covered with interesting cracks and crevices, as well as hard and soft corals. The east side is also deeper, with a maximum depth of 100 feet (30 meters).
Highlights are the two caves on the east side at 43 feet (13 meters) and 60 feet (18 meters). Both caves can go deep into the island and are only allowed to enter by specialty-trained cavern divers.
The dive plan for Koh Dok Mai Phuket
The dive at Koh Dok Mai in Phuket is usually a drift dive. Because it’s often the 3rd dive of the day already, divers often stay at a depth of about 60 feet (18 meters) and only dive as deep to reach the deeper cave on the east side – not to go inside, but to have a peek.
Koh Dok Mai is famous for its macro life, and therefore, divers should go as slow as possible. The average dive time is 50 minutes, which is enough to go halfway around the island.
When diving, be aware of sudden upward and downward current changes, as well as visibility altering. On good days and spots the visibility can be as great as 66 feet (20 meters) but also as little as 10 feet (3 meters) – at least for a short time.
What’s to see at Koh Dok Mai dive site?
The nooks and crannies at the Koh Dok Mai wall are full of macro life such as seahorses, nudibranchs, ghost pipefish, and the small white-eyed moray eels that dwell here. An oasis of beauty and wonder lies directly beneath the surface, adorned with soft corals, gorgonians, and sea whips.
But don’t get only zoomed in at the wall, take a look into the blue. Especially during the whale shark season between November and April, a gentle giant may swim by. All year, you might see some yellowline snapper, tevally, and barracuda.
At the sandy bottom, you may find leopard sharks, too.