In November 2008 four World War II planes and six helicopters were sunk off Bang Tao beach in Phuket to create an artificial reef. We went and had a look...

As we were in Phuket after coming back from our Burma liveaboard, my friend Ayesha and I decided to go and investigate the recently sunk WWII planes and helicopters off Bang Tao beach. They are four Douglas C-47 Dakota Skytrain military transport aircraft and six Sikorsky S-58T helicopters. These had been donated by the Royal Thai Airforce and put down to create an artificial reef in November 2008 and to create a new tourist attraction for Bang Tao. They have become known as the Coral Reef Squadron.

After dropping another dive buddy off at Phuket Airport, we got the taxi to take us on to Bang Tao beach. It's about a half hour drive and costs around 600 Baht. Bang Tao beach itself is a very pleasant sandy beach that seems popular with German and Scandinavian tourists. There are a few hotels and restaurants along the beachfront which are also very tourist-orientated i.e. quite pricey with mediocre food.

We turned up without any real idea of what we were doing or who could take us out to dive on the bombers. Fortunately, standing on the beach looking lost soon brought us to the attention of several friendly touts. It turned out one of them was Jub, a divemaster for the Pearl Andaman dive shop. Usually I'm wary of touts, but Jub was the real deal - we headed to his dive shop which was on the main road behind the beach (a minute's walk) or so and it was easy to organise our own longtail boat out to the bombers. The price was around 3500 Baht I think for 2 dives with weights and tanks - we'd brought all our own gear. There were several other dive shops along the same stretch of road parallel to the beach but we wanted to get on with the diving so didn't go shopping around.

Continue reading on

Comments by other travellers

There are no posts. Why not be the first to have your say?

Post a comment

I want to
My comment - optional
Rating - how would you rate this place or experience?

About this author

  • Chris Mitchell

    My site, is a personal guide to scuba diving in South East Asia and Australia edited by me, Chris Mitchell, a…

Also by this author

  • Diving Gunung Api: Volcano Of The Sea Snakes

    In a remote part of Indonesia's Banda Sea lies the still active volcano Gunung Api, or "Fire Mountain" - and below its lava-encrusted shoreline the volcano is home to hundreds of highly venomous sea snakes that hunt in packs and show little fear of human

  • Cheap Scuba Diving In South East Asia

    Scuba diving is not the cheapest of sports to pursue, but if you're diving in Asia, there are plenty of great dive spots that won't break the bank to explore.

  • Where to See Manta Rays In Thailand

    Manta Rays are one of the most incredible encounters you can have while scuba diving. Here's where to go in Thailand to have the best chance of seeing them for yourself.

  • Thailand Diving - A Quick Guide

    Thailand is where I've lived on and off since 2004. The diving here is relatively cheap and great, particularly on the west coast in the Andaman Sea. Here is a quick overview of diving in Thailand to help you decide where to visit.

Latest travel blog posts