Most serious divers will opt for one of the better dive-sites farther offshore but some interesting dive-sites are located off the west coast of Phuket Island and include Patong Bay, Freedom Beach, Paradise Beach, and Bang Tao Beach near the airport. These sites offer easy and pleasant diving in shallow water (mostly 5-6 meters) and are easily reached from shore making them popular for both snorkeling and as training areas for scuba diving classes. One of the best areas is right off the beach in Kata in the narrow strait that separates it from Ko Po the small islet in the center of the bay.
Also try the rocky point at the north end of the bay where a coral reef just breaks the surface at low tide and runs parallel to the beach. You will find colorful reef fish and occasionally a harmless Whitetip Reef Shark can be seen feeding near the reef. These areas are used for training classes, during bad weather and by night diving enthusiasts. It is possible to arrange for half-day dive trips from many dive shops in Patong and Kata. Care must be taken while diving (or for that matter while swimming or even wading) to avoid the numerous jet-skis and long-tail boats operating along these beaches.