Scuba Diving in Thailand


Thailand Scuba Diving

Whale Sharky. Credit TANAKA Juuyoh on flickr


Thailand offers some of the best scuba diving in the world with exceptional dives sites for beginners through to the most experienced divers.

There are muck dives, deep dives, macro dives, wrecks, swim-throughs, caves, pinnacles and incredible coral reefs.

Marine life ranges from the smallest of creatures all the way to giant manta rays, whale sharks and turtles, with huge shoals of reef fish and plenty of opportunities to see some of the most sought after life including sharks.

Thailand has a huge number of dive shops to cater for divers equipment needs as well as offering courses for every level of experience as well as day trips and liveaboards.

Many locations are also ideal for snorkelling.

Here we look at the main scuba diving sites in Thailand. Click on the links to see more information for individual dive locations and sites.


Koh Phi Phi

Green Sea Turtle. Credit Rickard Zerpe on flickr


The Phi Phi islands offer around 20 excellent dive sites with options for everyone from beginners undertaking initial dive training all the way through to advanced divers.

The area includes shallow reefs, coral fields, dramatic walls and pinnacles with excellent opportunities to see sharks and turtles as well as a wide range of other marine life.

The area is an excellent location for divers of all standards with many dive shops both on the islands themselves as well as in Ao Nang and Phuket.

Current tend to be mild and most sites are less than 18 metres deep although some are as deep as 25 to 30 metres. Water temperature is around 27 to 30 degrees centigrade all year and visibility is generally around 10 to 20 metres. The best time to dive in the area is October to May.

Phi Phi Island Dive Sites


Koh Lanta

Clownfish. Credit Rickard Zerpe on flickr


Koh Lanta is one of the best dive locations in the world and should form part of every dive enthusiasts bucket list.

There are opportunities for divers of all qualification and experience levels. Day trips are available from Koh Lanta and Krabi (although these are very long days). Taking a liveaboard is the option for those heading to the area from Phuket and possibly Krabi.

There are dive sites available for all qualification and experience levels, visibility is often between 15 and 40 metres, depending on location currents can range from calm to very strong and depths at some sites can be very deep. Water temperatures are warm all year.

Peak diving season is November to April when conditions are at their best. It is possible to dive all year but there will be less dive shops running trips and conditions can be choppy and visibility poor at times.

Koh Lanta Dive Sites


Other Krabi Area Dive Sites

Bamboo Shark. Credit Steve Childs on flickr


The Krabi area offers a number of excellent sites other than around the Phi Phi Islands and Koh Lanta. There are opportunities for all levels of divers and also offers the closest diving to Ao Nang.

The area includes shallow reefs, coral fields, dramatic walls and pinnacles with excellent opportunities to see sharks and turtles as well as a wide range of other marine life.

The area is an excellent location for divers of all standards with many dive shops serving the area in Ao Nang, Koh Phi Phi and Phuket.

Depths range from around 7 to 37 metres, currents are generally moderate to strong and visibility can be as little as 2 metres through to over 20 metres depending on location and conditions. Water temperature is around 27 to 30 degrees centigrade all year The best time to dive in the area is November to April.

Krabi Area Dive Sites


Similian Islands

Baraccuda. Credit Thomas Quine on flickr


The Similian Islands offer some of the best diving in the world with a number of superb dive sites. The vast majority of people will visit on a liveaboard as a day trip from either Phuket or Khao Lak entails a very long each-way cruise.

There are dive sites available for all qualification and experience levels, visibility is often between 20 and 40 metres, currents are rarely too strong and water temperatures are warm.

Peak diving season is December to March when conditions are at their best. The Marine National Park is closed from May to October.

Similian Islands Dive Sites


Surin Islands

Oriental Sweetlip. Credit Rickard Zerpe Levy on flickr


Another world-class dive location that should be enjoyed as part of a liveaboard. There may be a few day trips offered from Khao Lak but the journey is long and your dive time may be adversely affected.

There are dive sites available for all qualification and experience levels, dive depths is generally between 10 and 30 metres, currents are rarely too strong and water temperatures are warm. Visibility can sometimes be affected by plankton but this is generally to the benefit of attracting additional marine life

Peak diving season is December to April when conditions are at their best, whale sharks are more common during February to April. The Marine National Park is closed from May to October.

Surin Islands Dive Sites


Koh Tao

Whitetip Reef Shark. Credit Thomas DUPONT on flickr


By far the best diving location in the Gulf of Thailand although probably not as exceptional as Koh Lanta, Similian Islands and the Surin Islands. Koh Tao is very popular for diving courses especially beginner courses.

There are dive sites available for all qualification and experience levels, currents are generally very low, water temperatures are warm and visibility is usually around 10 to 20 metres but can be affected during and after rain storms.

Peak diving season is May to August when conditions are at their best but it is possible, and enjoyable, all year round.

Koh Tao Dive Sites


Phuket

Hawksbill Turtle. Credit Rickard Zerpe on flickr


Phuket is perfectly positioned for day trips to local dives sites as well as the Similian Islands, Phi Phi and Krabi area dive sites. Many people will use Khao Lak as a base for diving courses or before of after a trip on a liveaboard.

There are a number of local dive sites that offer quick journey times and some wonderful marine life.

Main diving season is November to April although it can get busy during peak season. Any dive sites within the Marine National Park are closed from May to October but this does not affect local dive sites.

Phuket Dive Sites


Khao Lak

Titan Triggerfish. Credit Derek Keats on flickr


Many people will use Khao Lak as a base for diving courses or before of after a trip on a liveaboard to the Similian or Surin Islands.

There are a number of local dive sites, often overlooked, that offer quick journey times and some wonderful marine life. Dive depths tend to be between 5 and 40 metres with visibility averaging around 15 metres.

Main diving season is November to April. Any dive sites within the Marine National Park are closed from May to October but this does not affect local dive sites.

Khao Lak Area Dive Sites


Koh Samui

Moorish Idol. Credit Thomas Quine on flickr


Many people can be disappointed with the quality of diving and snorkelling around Koh Samui. The vast majority of diving originating from Samui will head the one hour or so to Kih Tao dive sites.

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