Diving in Thailand – Everything you have to know

15.04.2018 by ricardo

Thailand, the “Country of Smiles”, is known and acclaimed internationally as a diving destination. Both diving beginners and professionals are attracted to this place – because there are diving spots for every taste and every level of experience. Fascinating underwater worlds, wrecks, caves and sharks – all that and much more can be discovered in the sea all around Thailand.

Hobby sportsmen also like to come here to obtain their diving certificate. The hot spots on the coasts of Thailand are correspondingly frequented, and the selection of diving schools, diving excursions and liveaboards is correspondingly large in Thailand. We know which hot spots are worth it and can recommend the best diving schools on site.

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When is the best time for a diving holiday in Thailand?

The good thing about diving in Thailand: There is no bad time! The two large diving regions, the Andaman Sea in the west and the Gulf of Thailand in the east, have their peak seasons at opposite times:

Beyond the main season, it is definitely possible to dive as well. However, strong monsoon winds often blow here, whereby not all diving sites are always accessible. For experienced divers though, there are economical offers especially in the off-season and you can dive uninhibitedly.

 

Hot spots for diving at the Andaman Sea

The Andaman Sea in the west can be reached from both the main land (e.g. Khao Lak, Krabi) and the islands (e.g. Similan Islands, Koh Phi Phi).

Our recommendations for diving in the Andaman Sea:

  • Similan Islands: The Similan Islands are a marine national park with particularly high water quality. Therefore there is a visibility of up to 30 metres and many types of sharks, exotic fish and corals can be admired from up close. Thanks to the clear water, night dives are also popular and highly recommended. The white sandy beaches are also unique, inviting you to take a stroll to relax after a dive.
  • Richelieu Rock: The Richelieu Rock was discovered by Jacques-Yves Cousteau, THE diving pioneer, and is still extremely popular nowadays. Rays, barracudas and whale sharks convert this giant limestone rock into an awesome spot to experience the underwater world.
  • Phuket: The island is a good starting point for all hot spots in the Andaman Sea. From here, advanced divers can go wreck diving (the ferry King Cruiser) as well as descend particularly deep (40 metres at Racha Noi) to observe rays. Having said this, there are also a lot of hot spots worth seeing for beginners, e.g. Racha Yai or the “Airport Reef” close by the airport.

The best places for diving in the Gulf of Thailand

When someone talks about the Gulf of Thailand, the first thing that comes to mind is probably Koh Tao or Koh Samui. The islands are among the most popular diving spots worldwide and are often correspondingly crowded. However, they are not the only diving sites in the Gulf of Thailand that are worth visiting.

Our recommendations for the Gulf of Thailand:

  • Sail Rock, Koh Samui: Sail Rock is THE attraction in the Gulf of Thailand. This boulder stands all alone in the sea and is therefore a meeting point for a lot of sea dwellers. With some luck, you get to see whale sharks here. Turtles, manta rays, corals and a lot of exotic fish species can be observed as well. A highlight: The “Chimney”, a pipe that is about 5 metres long that you can swim through.
  • Wreck diving in Pattaya: Pattaya has a mild climate all-year-round and is particularly popular with wreck divers. Among others, you can dive around the HTMS Khram and the Petchaburi Bremen.
  • Koh Pha Ngan: The island is considered an insider tip, in order to obtain your diving certificate there. It is especially popular with divers who would also like to dip into the night life. You can head for a lot of diving sites in the Gulf of Thailand from here.

Diving in Thailand at a glance

  • Peak tourist season: All-year-round, although different regions are particularly attractive depending on the season
  • Appropriate for: All diving levels, from beginners to advanced
  • Water temperature: 26 – 31 degrees all-year-round
  • Entry requirement: Mostly uncomplicated, a visa on site is possible
  • Particular diving experiences: Wreck diving, sharks, caves, current diving, general flora and fauna under water
  • Duration of trip: At least one week should be planned – you can also spend as much as 3 weeks or more diving in Thailand, without getting bored 😉
  • Diving equipment: Can be rented on site in most cases
  • Travelling: By plane, buses and trains. Thailand is well-developed touristically, so it is no problem getting from A to B.

Fancy diving in Thailand?
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