Thailand - A Paradise for Divers

Located in the heart of South Asia, Thailand is one of the top tourists’ destinations in the world. This beautiful country offers miles of tropical beaches, interesting cultural experiences, and fantastic marine and reef life for those who love beach and underwater activities. With a long coastline bordering the Andaman Sea as well as the Gulf of Thailand, more than 300 dive sites, beautiful coral reefs and warm, clear waters all year round, Thailand is a perfect place for scuba diving. If you are planning for your diving trip to Thailand, this article is for you.

Types of diving in Thailand

Thailand is home to some of the best places for scuba diving in the world as well as the hands down cheapest diving. Thailand also has many types of diving such as Cave Dives, Wreck Dives, Drift Dives, Deep Dives, UV Night Dives, … There are 4 popular types of diving for visitors as below:

Reef diving: Coral reef diving is a favorite activity of most scuba divers. The reefs in Thailand are abundant and beautiful, making it a hotspot for dive enthusiasts around the world. However, these reefs are protected by the governments.

Wreck diving: This is a kind of diving giving divers a chance to discover wrecked ships, aircraft or other lost artifacts under the sea. In Thailand, if you love wreck diving, you might come Pattaya, where is considered as wreck diving capital of Thailand. You can find some of the more popular wrecks such as the HTMS Sattakut, HTMS Khram, and HTMS Chang.

Drift diving: This interesting experience will be affected by by the water movement caused by the tide, an ocean current or in a river. And in Thailand, you can drift dive with gentle currents to enjoy the view at some places: Koh Rok Nai, Koh Similan, East of Eden, and Turtle Rock.

Liveaboard diving: Liveaboard diving is a great way to make the most of the best dive sites in Thailand, that are a further away from the shores and resorts on land. As usual, the itinerary is 5 days and 4 nights, sailing to some of the most beautiful waters in the country. But there are plenty of liveaboard options that you can choose to suit your needs and preferences.

The best diving sites in Thailand

Beacause of differences of natural conditions, diving in Thailand is sorted in two main areas: The Andaman sea streching all down the west coast of Thailand and The Gulf of Thailand - Thailand’s Eastern Coast. Each area has many famous places for scuba diving.

The Andaman Sea
The Andaman sea which offers tropical islands with breathtaking underwater vista provides a variety of diving to suit just about everyone. In this area, you also have a chance to dive with leopard sharks, whale sharks, and manta rays, amongst other fascinating creatures. Some famous places for diving you can refer as below:

Hin Daeng and Hin Muang - Dived from Koh Lanta or Koh Phi Phi: Located 50km of Ko Lanta, these are the 2 most popular sites that you can go diving over fascinating ledges while cruising offshore. The life under the sea is somehow hustle and bustle here, among the castle of colorful coral reefs. The lure of these sites are seeing marine kingdom, including manta rays, leopard sharks, and whale sharks.

Thailand, diving in Hin Daeng and Hin Muang

Diving in Hin Daeng and Hin Muang

Koh Dok Mai – Dived from Phuket: Koh Doc Mai is a small limestone island with vertical walls and small cave jutting out of the sea, located in the middle of Phuket and Koh Phi Phi. It takes about 90 minutes by boat from Phuket. Highlights of Koh Dok Mai are several species of moray eels, large soft corals, sea horse, and leopard sharks which often lurk around. This place is suitable for divers who have experience of drift diving and strong currents.

Thailand Koh Dok Mai

Koh Dok Mai

Richelieu Rock, Koh Tachai, and Koh Bon - Dived from Kao Lak: Richelieu Rock which is a horseshoe-shaped rock in the Andaman Sea has a huge attraction to many large and small creatures waiting to be discovered, especially whale sharks. Koh Tachai and Koh Bon are the same sites that are belong to the Similan Island National Park. These sites are also famous because you can find the mantas, black tips reef sharks and eagle rays.

Thailand Koh Tachai

Koh Tachai

Similan Islands - Dived from Kao Lak:  Located in Similan National Marine Park, the Similan islands offers about 20 different dive sites. Some best dive sites here are Elephant head, where has wonderful scenery with intricate maze-like rocks composed of swim-throughs, channels and gorges; Christmas Point và Fantasea Reef. You can experience liveaboard diving here.

Thailand, Diving in Similan Island

Diving in Similan Islands

The Gulf of Thailand
Diving areas in the Gulf of Thailand comprises of Koh Tao Island and Koh Samui. This is great sites for all visitors who love diving from travelers looking for their first dive course, a beginner doing advanced courses to experienced divers.

Chumphon Pinnacle - Dived from Koh Tao: Chumphon Pinnacle is the best diving site in Koh Tao. The highlights of Chumphon Pinnacle are the large schools of fish, colorful reef, and marine life. Depending on the season, whale sharks sometimes come for a visit.

Thailand, Diving in Chumphone Pinnacle

Chumphon Pinnacle

HTMS Sattakut Wreck: For history lovers and students, this is one of interesting diving sites which lies in a perfect position for scuba divers. HTMS Sattakut is Thailand’s premier wrecks which was sunk on 18th June 2011 near. Formerly it was served as a transport ship for the Royal Thai Navy. This ship completely made of steel with 48 meters long. Divers can now visit it easily.

Sail Rock - Dived from Koh Tao or Koh Samui: Sail Rock is located 45km North of Koh Samui, in between Koh Pha Ngan and Koh Tao. It’s perfect for a day diving trip.  There is a number of smaller pinnacles scattered around Sail Rock, but the largest and most attractive part of the dive is the Chimney, large vertical swimthrough, this is a cool buoyancy challenge for advanced divers

Thailand, Diving around Sail Rock

Sail Rock

The best time to dive in Thailand

Because diving in Thailand is sorted in two areas, each area also has a different season that is the best time for diving.

For Andaman sea, the best time is from November to April. The temperature is around 28-31 degrees with the driest weather and little wind, it’s great for diving. Moreover, the Sharks often visit here from February to May. From May to mid- October, this area has heavy rainfall and a lot of the marine reserves are closed.

However, if you wish to visit and dive in the Gulf of Thailand, the season for diving is the opposite. The best time to go here is from May to October.

Thanks to the advantages of Thailand’s geographic location, you can plan on diving anytime, all year round.


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