The Ao Nang “Local” islands are a wonderful pearl in the Andaman sea, largely forgotten by guidebooks and magazines, and often sadly overlooked by divers and even some dive centers who prefer to visit the more famous and mass market sites at Phi Phi.
The Local islands are however great sites for all levels of diver, and are especially suited to macro life which make them a great place for UW photographers, with many species of nudi-branchs and seahorses, as well as the chance for juvenile nurse sharks and bamboo sharks. If Macro isn’t your bag, there are also large schools of juvenile reef fish to be seen, as well as all other reef visitors, and on rare occasions even whale sharks have been spotted visiting the sites.
Although the visibility can be lower than the deeper water sites, it has improved over recent years since most of the construction and development projects near to the shoreline are finished, and if you’re lucky and plan your visit properly (best when the tides are mild), you might even get better vis (and definitely less crowded diving) than the dive-sites further away.
For more info on good times to visit check out the tide tables for the area at;
Ao Nang Tide Tables