King Cruiser sank on the 4th of May 1997 after a collision with Anemone Reef, a well chartered pinnacle. All passengers escaped on life rafts and picked up by nearby diving and fishing vessels.
The ship is a rebuilt, 85 meter long catamaran type, car ferry that was carrying passengers between Phuket and Phi Phi Islands and now stands completely upright at 32 meters of depth. During the years, she has rusted away and collapsed into a fantastic artificial reef, filled with gorgonians, soft coral and large schools of fish.
Access to the wreck is from a mooring line secured at the stern at around 18 meters. Due to the current, sometimes low visibility and the deep average depth, to really enjoy this dive you should be a comfortable advanced diver.
- Right below the mooring at the stern you can find several toilets, still intact. This calls for some very interesting underwater photo shoots.
- Following the stern towards the starboards side you will find a huge propeller, half buried in the sand. This is also one entrance to swim the whole length of the ship under the hull.
- In the bow of the ship you can still find paint on the inside of one of the hulls.
- Due to the depth, Nitrox is a great way to extend the bottom times. For double cylinder tec40 or sidemount divers, there are great rewards for having a deeper profile as you can stay away from the crowd and have time investigating these parts.
- The wreck has such an abundance of schooling fish, which in turn are hunted by larger predators. Here you have a great chance spotting huge trevallies as well as leopard sharks on the bottom and other passing pelagics.
To think about
- Currents can be very strong so the mooring line should be used during both descents and ascents. As King Cruiser has many visitors, the line gets crowded at times so here we make sure to be considerate.
- There are still many swim troughs along the wreck that calls for some caution, as the rusty edges of the wreck are extremely sharp.
- Keep a close eye on the computer and gas supply as the average depth is usually deeper than 18 meters.
depth: 18 – 32 meters
current: moderate – strong
visibility: 10 – 25 meters
You can dive King Cruiser from our dive centers in Phuket, Koh Lanta & Krabi
This dive site is one of the most popular and visited site on the west coast of Thailand. Boats travel from Phuket, Phi Phi, Ao Nang and Koh Lanta to dive here, but it is easy to escape the crowd.
Bida Nok is the outer island of the two limestone cliffs just south of Phi Phi. The south eastern bay is the usual entry for students and beginner divers, but the north western deeper part is a nice alternative for the more experienced.
Depth ranges from just a few meters in the bay to around 30 meters on the wall, which continues out even deeper. However, below 20 meters there is usually a thermocline with poor visibility and fewer amounts of corals with marine life.
- The bay area itself usually has good visibility with lots of small schools of barracudas and snappers. Here the bottom is filled with sea urchins and pistol shrimps with their partner gobies. Out in the sand there are possibilities to find Kuhl´s stingrays. Keeping the reef on the right you head straight towards finger reef, a pristine ridge filled with critters.
- Following the bay heading north, we pass several pinnacles where you can find scorpion fish, clown fish, morays and hunting trevallies. After 20-30 minute swim the rocks turns to an alley filled with large gorgonian fan corals bursting with life.
- Between the bay and the area with the gorgonians the shallow area is filled with colourful corals. Here there are a few blacktip reef sharks circling the rocks in only a couple of meters depth.
- Following the north western wall heading south is quite spectacular. Before midday this side of the island is in the shade, which combined with good visibility, a great feeling of depth. Above the rocks and pinnacles there are schools of trevallies and jacks as well as an abundance of reef life.
- As the western side meets the finger reef, the wall here is covered by shrimps, glassfish and other schools of fish. The Occasional octopus is not uncommon and there is a chance to spot leopard sharks out in the sand.
To think about
- Currents are not unusual for this island and will control the direction that you can dive this site, sometimes even as strong, having to turn the dives around.
- Scorpion, lionfish and sea urchins are common so keeping buoyancy control here as with every reef is very important.
- As this is a popular site there are many boats and divers around. Make sure to respect other groups and surface close to the reef even if you are under a surface marker.
depth: 5 – 30 meters
current: mild – moderate
visibility: 10 – 25 meters
You can dive Bida Nok from our dive centers in Phuket, Koh Lanta & Krabi