Scuba Diving with Blue View Divers on Koh Phi Phi, Thailand

An eco-friendly and environmentally conscious dive centre on Phi Phi Islands

Scuba Diving Phi Phi Islands
Anemone Fish when diving with eco-conscious dive center Blue View on the Phi Phi Islands

It’s not easy to pick a dive centre on Phi Phi Islands

There are many dive centers on Koh Phi Phi Don. Upon arriving on Ko Phi Phi I was overwhelmed by the amount of dive centres on this island. To be honest, I felt a bit disappointed in the way certain dive centers out there are mainly focussed on the numbers without caring for the oceans or the island. I decided to first walk around a bit and also to do some research on Google before I booked in a scuba dive.

Sister companies on different islands in Thailand who protect nature and conserve our oceans!

Then I found Blue View Divers, and not much later I realised they were related to Adang Sea Divers, the conscious dive center and eco lodge on Koh Lipe, where I did my scuba diving! I was still working on my post about Scuba Diving on Koh Lipe, and so my choice for this eco friendly dive centre on Phi Phi Islands was instantly made! They show a big heart for the the local people, the ocean and the island, with an attitude to keep the nature clean!

My enthusiasm for Blue View Divers and their sustainable tourism concept

I just can´t name enough what a great job Blue View Divers is doing and what a big difference they make on the island of Koh Phi Phi Don.  This dive centre is not only highly involved in eco-friendly & sustainable projects and stimulating local people to dive which you can read about in this article, but the staff is also among the friendliest I spoke to of the dive staff on Phi Phi. I´m an independent writer and I will always provide my honest opinion. So my enthusiasm for this dive centre is just coming from me and not based on sales in any way. I just totally love Blue View Divers!

 

Scuba Diving on Phi Phi Island with a sustainable dive center
Scuba Diving with Blue View Divers on Koh Phi Phi, sustainable projects with a heart for oceans and nature

 

The difference they make not only for nature, but also for your scuba dive experience

Besides of all the eco and environmental projects, I think another big difference Blue Divers makes is their level of service. This is a dive centre on Phi Phi where I felt like the staff is actually having time and interest to have a chat with me, rather than just trying to sell me some scuba diving quickly. Upon walking in and asking about their eco-projects, one of the instructors took the time to explain me about all the recycling projects they’re involved in whilst in the meantime showing a big enthusiasm for it.

The staff showed big hearts for environment and marine life

Another time I came in, one of the instructors was showing her photos of the frogfish seen on the night dive the evening before. It´s obvious that these people have big hearts for the environment and the ocean life and are happily sharing that with all divers coming in. In my opinion, that’s the way dive centres should be rather than asking you if you want to come diving with them and if you don´t, the conversation stops right there. Also, it was clear from the beginning that they wanted to make sure to put me on one of the best dives in accordance to my level of diving.

 

Recycle project at the dive center
The recycle station at the dive center of Blue View Divers on Koh Phi Phi Island

 

Very personal dive service with Blue View Divers in Thailand

Another difference they make is that they are a pretty small team. They dive from a Thai longtail boat in groups of 4 divers max per guide. This is also outstanding on Phi Phi Islands if you compare this concept to many other dive centres who go diving from a huge boat full of people. Anyhow, in my experience, I was very much looking forward to go scuba diving the next day after signing up the evening before. The required paperwork was filled out, my equipment sizes were written down and I had chosen my lunch for the next day from their lunch menu! I didn’t need to worry about anything, other than showing up the next morning.

 

Scuba diving the waters around Phi Phi Islands with Blue View Divers

 

Fish life & Corals around Koh Phi Phi
Lots of fish and a nice marine life in the national marine park of Koh Phi Phi

 

A nice small group of divers on the Thai long tail boat

After a coffee and some chatting to the other divers, we were ready to make some bubbles today. After a nice morning walk of the island which was just waking up, we arrived at Ton Sai Bay to board Blue View Divers´ long tail boat. Usually, they always dive in a group of 4 divers max, however, today was a bit different because I was ´extra´ as an instructor myself and the plan to write this article about it.

Divers are asked their preference for the dive spot

So besides of me and the staff, which existed of a very skilled instructor and a divemaster trainee, there were only 4 guest divers. We were asked where we would like to dive today or, in order words, would we like to see turtles or sharks? The decisions was made for turtles for the first dive, although the instructor told us that sometimes they reconsider the dive site upon arriving, looking at the number of other divers at the spot.

 

Cuttlefish during a scuba dive on Phi Phi Islands
Cuttle Fish, dive photo taken during a scuba dive with eco-friendly dive school Blue View Divers

The National Marine Park on the Phi Phi Islands

Most of the dive sites around Phi Phi Islands are located in the National Marine Park around the uninhabited island of Ko Phi Phi Lee. The scenery is absolutely beautiful here with high limestone cliffs, lush green jungle and some caves and beaches. After about 20 minutes we arrived at our chosen dive spot.

Change of plans to avoid the crowds, going for the dive site of Palong

However, upon arriving we saw many other dive boats coming to our direction too. So we decided to change our plans and avoid all the divers from the other dive centres. I was happy to hear that we´re going to avoid the coming crowd and it only took us another 5-minute boat ride. We arrived at the dive site Palong, known for the sharks! All excited, we jumped in the crystal clear water.

 

Black Tip Reef Shark at Phi Phi Islands
Black Tip Reef Shark, the dive site Palong on Koh Phi Phi Le is known for the sharks

A nice start of the dive with a crocodile needlefish or houndfish

Upon descending I directly spotted a barracuda in the distance, but whilst having a better look I think it actually was a crocodile needlefish. This fish is officially called the houndfish, I believe.  Wow, that’s a nice start of my dive day! We followed a rocky slope going down to about 15 metres. Colourful fish were here like sweetlips, snappers, boxfishes, porcupinefish and other reef fish. We spotted a very big moray eel at the beginning of the dive.

Further marine life at the dive site Palong in the water around the Phi Phi Islands

There were also many crown-of-thorns sea stars, brightly shining their colours whilst laying on the rocky bottom of the sea. Nudibranchs were to be found on the bottom too. At some point we saw a huge jellyfish being chased by a triggerfish and a trumpetfish, it looked very funny! During our safety stop, a sea snake showed herself swimming up around the line of our surface marker buoy. Unfortunately, we didn’t see any sharks but apparently, this was just bad luck, normally they are seen very often and the site is especially known for blacktip reef sharks.

Maya Bay, known from the movie ´the Beach´
Nice lunch with scenery of ´the Beach´ movie at Maya Bay

Lunch at Maya Bay with reusable lunch boxes

For lunch, our boat captain took us to Maya Bay. This bay is sheltered by 100 metre high cliffs and became very famous after Leonardo DiCaprio starred here in the movie ´The Beach´ in 2000. We enjoyed our Panang curry, pad Thai, sandwiches or whatever each of us had chosen for lunch. We also go to relax a bit in the bay enjoying the beautiful scenery whilst having a chat about all the things we saw during our first dive. Our lunch was served in reusable hard plastic containers, which are washed and reused every day to avoid plastic rubbish.

Many turtles around Phi Phi Islands
They see many turtles in the national marine park of the Phi Phi Islands
Ready for my scuba dive at Mushroom Rock dive site
I´m ready to descend for our second dive site ´Mushroom Rock´ on Koh Phi Phi Leh

Nice corals at the second dive spot at Phi Phi: Mushroom Rock


Once our surface interval was finished, we headed down to our second dive site of the day called Mushroom Rock. This dive spot is, like Palong, located on the North-West of Koh Phi Phi Ley. We descended close to a cave and I especially enjoyed the corals on this dive spot. We saw hard corals, soft coral gardens, pinnacles, a brightly coloured wall full of corals and, like the name of the dive site already explains, a mushroom-shaped rock also covered in corals.

A turtle came to greet us at the end of the dive

Nudibranchs were to be found as well as anemonefish, the common reef fish and schools of fish. Once we were doing our safety stop, we saw a turtle at the bottom of the ocean underneath us, which unfortunately didn’t come up to show herself a bit closer to us.

 

Nudibranch on Koh Phi Phi Islands
Nice nudibranch are to found around Mushroom Rock dive site in Thailand

General Marine life around Phi Phi Islands in Thailand

After chatting to the staff of Blue View Divers I heard that the marine life in the waters around Phi Phi is pretty diverse. Bigger ocean creatures like blacktip reef sharks are usually seen and other shark types, like the leopard shark, are also spotted on a regular base. Hawksbill turtles are also to be seen here among things like porcupine fish, ghost pipefish and seahorse.

Reef dwellers and macro life is seen during scuba diving

More of the common sea life also includes octopus, moray eels, scorpionfish, barracudas, stingrays, shrimps, nudibranchs, cuttlefish among a variety of school of fish and the common reef fish. Shortly, there’s probably something to find for every kind of diver no matter if you like big fish or prefer to get some good macro shots.

Octopus, scuba diving Phi Phi Islands
Octopus and other reef dwellers to be found in the water around Phi Phi
Many turtles to be seen around the phi phi islands
Turtles are seen on a regular base around the Phi Phi Islands

Daily clean-ups: not only to keep the island clean but also to support eco-friendly organisations and local people

Blue View Divers is doing daily island cleanups in the following way. Upon returning from the dive and during the walk back from the jetty to the dive centre, the staff is picking up all rubbish they see on their way. You´re more than welcome to help them. In the dive centre is a recycling station where plastic bottles are transformed into eco-bricks to, cans into ashtrays, broken flip flops go to an organisation who makes new ones out of them and biodegradable products are going into a composter and the compost is given to local people for their garden.

This eco-conscious dive centre makes travellers & divers aware and keeps tourism sustainable!

The number of straws found as waste on the island are counted and written down to make people aware of it and reusable bamboo straws are sold to reduce the use of plastic straws. Stainless steel bottles from Trash Hero can be bought and refilled for free at Blue View Divers. These are some of the things they do, but this article will be too long if I name it all. You can read more about all these activities in this post. They just do a very good job!

 

reusable bamboo straws or sale at conscious diving center on Phi Phi Islands
For the conscious traveller: her you can buy bamboo straws to avoid more plastic on the Phi Phi Islands

A short overview of the eco-projects which Blue View Divers is involved in

In this article, I try to focus on my experience scuba diving with Blue View. However, I´m already working on a second article about all the eco-friendly activities they do and how they make people more aware of the need to protect the environment.  Just to name a few examples, I will explain in what a ´plastic bottle eco-brick´ is and what they do with it. I will describe in more detail each project they are working on and list all the organisations they are involved in.

PADI Green Star Award dive centre, GreenFins Thailand & Shark Guardian Centre, just to name a few…

So click in the link above for my other post about Blue View Divers as a PADI Green Star Award Dive Centre and Shark Guardian Centre besides of being a member of Phi Phi Island Protection & Conservation Team, GreenFins Thailand, Project Aware Foundation and Trash Hero. Some of these projects involve working together with marine biologists, government departments and are even supported by the United Nations Environmental Programme. You can also read more about all this on this section of Blue View Divers´ website.

 

Shark Research Project at this divingschool on Phi Phi Islands
Blue View Divers is involved with many ocean conservation projects, with shark guardian being one of them

Location of this ´Project Aware´ scuba dive centre on Phi Phi Island

Beside of the awards named in the paragraph above, Blue View Divers is PADI 5-star Dive Centre. The dive centre is located in the northern tip of Loh Dalum Bay, close to the View Point Resort. You can find them on Google maps if you experience any difficulties finding them. There’s a nice view from the dive centre overlooking the Andaman Sea.

Professional dive instructors and a swimming pool to make your dive course more comfortable

Most staff members of Blue View Divers are long term on Phi Phi Island so they know the dive sites really well and are happy to share all their knowledge about marine life with you. The dive centre has access to an infinity pool and this makes it an ideal dive centre for your dive courses too. Learn to dive nice and comfortable in a swimming pool in contrast to many other dive centres using a confined part in the sea.

 

Use the comfort of a swimming pool for your scuba diving course
The ´blue view´ from this eco-conscious and project aware diving center on Phi Phi Islands

Some practical travel information about the Phi Phi Islands

Where are the Phi Phi Islands located and how to get there?

The Phi Phi Islands are located in the Andaman Sea and the group is officially part of the Krabi Province. The islands can be reached within 90 minutes by ferry (or 45 minutes by speedboat) from either Phuket or Krabi. You can also travel to Phi Phi from Koh Lanta in about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Tip for combining your scuba diving holiday with another Thai island

Combine your scuba diving on Koh Phi Phi with some great, and slightly different, diving on Koh Lipe. You can read more in this article in which I share my experience diving with their sister company Adang Sea Divers. You can use 12go.asia to book your travels to Koh Phi Phi from anywhere in Thailand and Splashpacker will earn a small commission by using the link provided!

NEW – 12go has gone international to scan the best deals for your flight!

Recently 12go.asia has also started a website called 12go.co, and here you can find and book your international flight to Thailand. They scan all airlines available and beside of this, they can book your accommodation and excursions at your travel destination. The price for transport, and most accommodations, is the same as if you book directly! Use the links above or the search box below for your flight deal to Phuket.

Powered by 12Go Asia system

 

How many islands include the Phi Phi Islands?

The Phi Phi Islands consist of six islands. However, there are only two main islands named Koh Phi Phi Don and Koh Phi Phi Lee. Koh Phi Phi Don is the only inhabited Phi Phi island and this is also the island where all travellers are staying. Koh Phi Phi Lee is, on the other hand, uninhabited but daily visited by many tourists on a day tour. The islands became very famous after the movie ´The Beach´.

 

Caves around the national marine park on Phi Phi Island
Thai Long Tail boat, scuba diving Phi Phi

What about all those different names for Koh Phi Phi Le?

The island of Koh Phi Phi Lee is situated in the National Marine Park. Please note that if you got referred to Koh Phi Phi Le, Lee, Ley of Leh, that´s all the same but just a way of spelling the name in different ways. Similar, the Phi Phi Islands are also called Koh Phi Phi and Ko Phi Phi.

Where to stay during my diving holiday to Koh Phi Phi Don?

Unlike most of my other articles in which I share some of my accommodation research, I didn’t do any research on Phi Phi Islands. However, I highly enjoyed my stay in Tapear Resort due to the quiet location and the friendly Thai family running the place. It’s located away from the party scene and gave me good nights of sleep in a fan-cooled simple bungalow.

A few more accommodation and room options on Koh Phi Phi

I know that places like Golden Hill Bungalow and Tropical Garden Bungalow are located within the same quiet area and they both also offer a swimming pool. Phi Phi View Point Resort is also located in a quiet area next to the dive centre of Blue View Divers. However, please note that I don´t know anything about the level of service or experience of other travellers staying here. You can do your own research on booking.com or by using the search box below.

Tip for booking a room for your scuba dive vacation to Phi Phi

Keep in mind that Ko Phi Phi Don is a party island, please consider picking a quiet location for your scuba diving holiday on the Phi Phi Islands. You might end up being very annoyed in you can´t get a proper night of sleep if your room is located in the party area.



Booking.com

 

Extra information on National Park fees for snorkelers and scuba divers in the Phi Phi Islands

Since the summer of 2017, National Marine Park Rangers have been started to charge an entrance fee for the Phi Phi National Park. No matter from which island you are coming and with which dive centre you are diving, all divers and snorkelers on dive boats must pay 400 Thai Baht for a 3-day Marine Park ticket plus 200 Thai Baht extra per day for scuba diving. Park Rangers will charge this fee at the pier before you board your dive boat.

A big thanks to Blue View Divers on Koh Phi Phi

I like to thank Blue View Divers for providing some of the photos in this article. Also, in my opinion, they deserve a big thanks for making such a difference on the island of Phi Phi and for making a personal and conscious experience of scuba diving available to all of us.

 

Top 10 trash found in the oceans
Blue View Divers makes people aware of the importance of protecting and conserving our oceans

 

How long it takes for each trash to break down
How many years before each waste is gone from the oceans and be broken down again

Do you like those kinds of posts, focused on companies that help with environmental issues?

Next to the upcoming article about the environmental projects on Phi Phi Islands, you can read about their sister company Adang Sea Divers. However, Splashpacker is going to focus more on that kind of companies. You can expect articles about Maldives where I support the local companies rather than the big resorts and also write about my visit to an eco-friendly dive centre on the Philippines.

What else to expect on Splashpacker?

I´m also in the process of writing articles about how I became a diving instructor and my experience working as a diving instructor in 5 different countries all over the world. Stay tuned as well for my upcoming book ´Safety Stop´. The Dutch version is coming close to finish now and after that, it depends on how much time my translating takes.

Happy Reading!

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