1. Koh Tao, 2. Koh Phi Phi, 3. Koh Lipe, 4. The Surin Islands, 5. Similan Islands, 6. Phuket, 7. Pattaya, 8. Koh Samui, 9. Hin Daeng & Hin Mouang, 10. Richelieu Rock. With over 1200 miles of coastline, this scuba location caters to divers of all levels in both the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand. The opportunity to dive alongside whale sharks and manta rays makes scuba diving in Thailand quite popular. Many pelagics, as well as smaller fish and invertebrates, can be seen. Beautiful hard and soft coral, as well as an abundance of marine life, may be found at several dive locations. Thailand dive schools have a good reputation, which is why it is considered one of the best places to study scuba diving or gain new certification abilities. Thailand is one of the top scuba diving locations in Southeast Asia, with a diverse range of big and small marine life, wrecks, and dive sites for divers of all levels. Here are some of the Best Places for Diving in Thailand.
- Koh Tao
- Koh Phi Phi
- Koh Lipe
- The Surin Islands
- Similan Islands
- Koh Samui
- Hin Daeng & Hin Mouang
- Richelieu Rock
Koh Tao is one of Thailand’s most popular dive destinations, with excellent value for money. It is located off the coasts of Koh Samui and Koh Phangan, and can be reached by boat from either island.
Many people have come to this location specifically to complete their dive certification. It’s difficult to find a better site to learn to scuba dive than here, with low course rates, easy conditions, and spectacular dives. Not only does Koh Tao diving provide excellent opportunities for beginners, but it also provides excellent opportunities for experienced scuba divers. It is an excellent site to learn new skills and increase your diving levels, and it has a solid reputation for dive schools.
Dive spots can be found all across the island and are only accessible by boat. There are numerous colorful reef fish, turtles, and barracudas to observe, as well as crabs and nudibranchs for macro items. If you’re lucky, you might even get to swim with whale sharks.
Koh Phi Phi
Koh Phi Phi gained popularity among tourists shortly after the release of the film “The Beach,” thanks to its picture-perfect white-sand beaches and crystal blue waters. There are numerous dive locations on the island, some of which may contain leopard sharks. Seahorses and mantis shrimp can be found for macro enthusiasts.
There is a chance of spotting whale sharks and manta rays for divers looking for big fish. Another reason the island is wonderful for diving is because of the rock structures and stunning corals. Only boat dives are available, and the diving conditions are ideal for divers of all levels. Dive locations for complete beginners as well as deeper dives for experienced divers are available.
Koh Phi Phi features a plethora of wonderful diving spots. Soft corals and sponges of every color and shape, as well as moray eels, wrasse, scorpionfish, leopard sharks, reef sharks, and glassfish, may all be found on Bida Nok’s big wall dive.
Koh Lipe Island is less touristy than Koh Phi Phi and Phuket, thus its coral is better conserved, making it a superb diving destination. It is home to some of Asia’s most exquisite soft corals. Koh Lipe is part of the Tarutao National Marine Park, which offers a variety of scuba diving options for divers of all levels. Many tropical fish species, turtles, dolphins, and even dugongs and sperm whales can be found here! It has beautiful pinnacles and rock formations in addition to amazing marine life.
Koh Lipe is a true divers’ paradise, containing roughly 25% of the world’s tropical fish species, as well as dugongs, dolphins, whale sharks, minke and sperm whales. Koh Lipe’s reefs of blooming soft and hard coral are set against a backdrop of rocky formations, pinnacles, and boulders. There will never be enough dives here, no matter how many you take.
While diving in Koh Lipe, you’ll observe a lot of trevallies, snapper, and fusiliers. Devil and eagle rays pass here, and lucky divers may encounter coral cat sharks hidden in the sand. Shrimp, pipefish, nudibranchs, and seahorses are plentiful for macro enthusiasts.
The Surin Islands
The Surin Islands are the ideal site to visit in Thailand if you want to view hard coral in all of its glory. Schools of fish such as Napoleon wrasse, yellow-masked angelfish, bumphead parrotfish, tomato anemonefish, and barramundi can also be seen.
At this site, you can also see turtles! Because the Surin Islands are so far away, you’ll need to schedule a tour, which usually departs from Khao Lak or Phuket.
The Surin Islands are definitely among the Best Places for Diving in Thailand, as they are protected by the UNESCO environmental program. The diving locations on the island include incredible hard coral diversity, a lot of soft coral, and a lot of marine life. Because the island is secluded and less popular with tourists, you can observe several fish species that aren’t found in other Thailand dive locations.
Bumphead parrotfish, Napoleon wrasse, tomato anemonefish, yellow-masked angelfish, and barramundi are also possible sightings. A dive liveaboard tour of the Surin Islands is available from October to early May. The Mu Ko Surin Marine National Park is closed to divers for the rest of the year.
The Similan Islands are a group of nine islands off the west coast of Thailand in the Andaman Sea. Giant boulders, caves, narrow passages, and over 500 species of hard and soft coral pulsing with life can be found at dive sites. Divers can see leopard sharks, guitar rays, whale sharks, manta rays, and turtles while diving the Similan Islands.
The best way to get the most out of Similan Islands diving is to join a dive liveaboard. Many scuba divers enjoy this area because of the abundance of marine life, large pelagics, soft and hard coral, as well as the easy diving conditions, mild seas, and generally decent visibility. Although macro topics abound, most divers flock to the islands to witness manta rays and whale sharks. Scuba diving in the Similan Islands also allows you to see a variety of shark species.
In terms of diving, the west and east coasts of the islands are diametrically opposed. The East Coast has great visibility and moderate to gentle currents. The sand-covered reefs are made up of hard coral. Deeper currents on the West Coast lead to canyons, tunnels, swim-throughs, archways, and caves. Dive locations in the Similan Islands are diverse, making it a diving paradise.
Scuba divers have a variety of possibilities when diving in Phuket. You can stay in hidden luxury dive resorts or budget-friendly lodgings, take day tours to the local reefs, or join a liveaboard to be shown some of Thailand’s top dive spots by native Thai divers. There are excellent dive spots for seasoned divers as well as possibilities for complete beginners to begin their diving adventure.
When diving in Phuket, you’ll come across some fantastic deep drop-offs, coral-covered pinnacles, tunnels and caves, and even wrecks. The marine life around Phuket ranges in size from large to small. Manta rays, whale sharks, and leopard sharks can all be found here, as well as anemone fish, harlequin shrimp, and ghost ornate pipefish, to mention a few.
Pattaya is one of Thailand’s most accessible diving spots, located only a few hours from Bangkok and boasting breathtaking vistas ideal for those interested in a short ocean stint! The islands are easily accessible from Pattaya.
Pattaya scuba diving is noted for its spectacular wreck dives and beautiful coral dive locations. At Koh Man Wichai, one of the most well-known coral dive locations, the coral resembles a large hand and is so known as the “fingers.” Pufferfish, stingrays, angelfish, and other marine life can be seen while diving among the gorgeous corals. There are also reefs on the Pattaya wrecks, where you can see rays, barracudas, batfish, and perhaps sharks. The wrecks, however, are best suited for advanced divers, as they are located at depths of 100 feet (30 meters) or more.
You’ll know you’ve arrived in aquatic paradise when you dive into the clear, tropical waters that encircle Koh Samui. Divers from all over the globe come to dive at Koh Samui to explore this underwater beauty, which is alive with tropical marine life.
This small island delivers a big punch with a variety of sites including granite pinnacles, craggy seamounts, and beautiful coral reefs alive with life. It’s easy to see why diving in Koh Samui is so popular.
Keep an eye out for whale sharks, which frequent these waters, as you head out to deeper spots. You’ll frequently see stingrays, eels, barracuda, and turtles. Diving at Koh Samui is popular because of the abundance of black coral, barrel sponges, sea fans, and soft coral speckled with sea anemones.
Hin Daeng & Hin Mouang
Hin Daeng and Hin Mouang are both south of Phuket, although they are both easily accessible from the renowned tourist destination. They are both within the boundaries of Thailand’s Koh Lanta National Park, which is a protected region.
Hin Daeng and Hin Mouang are both placed among the Best Places for Diving in Thailand. Diving in Hin Daeng will allow you to see manta rays and perhaps whale sharks while exploring beautiful soft corals.
Hin Mouang is a deep dive site with Thailand’s highest soft coral wall, which spans to a depth of 60 meters. Many various varieties of anemones and sea fans, as well as other colorful coral life, can be found here. Reef sharks and leopard sharks can also be seen.
Many scuba divers consider these to be their favorite dive sites because they provide great wall dives and caverns, as well as the opportunity to observe large pelagics and other beautiful marine species. Manta rays and whale sharks have been spotted here.
There are several schools of fish and colorful soft corals all around. It is suggested for more experienced divers because the currents might be strong. Outside of the Similan Islands, both dive locations can be found.
Richelieu Rock is among the Best Places for Diving in Thailand to see whale sharks and dive with them. Soft coral, sponges, sea fans, and anemones can all be found on the rock, which is a massive granite pinnacle. Groupers, rays, and barracudas can be found while waiting for whale sharks. Diving is only permitted from October to May, though whale shark sightings are more usual in February, March, and April.
This diving spot is located between the Surin and Similan Islands and is known for its schools of barracudas, tropical fish, whale sharks, and manta rays. There is a good likelihood of scuba diving with whale sharks due to nutrient-rich planktons. Soft corals, anemones, sea fans, and sponges cover a horseshoe-shaped rock at this diving location. Cuttlefish, seahorses, and pipefish, to name a few, are among the marine creatures that frequent the dive site.