12 Best Places to Go Scuba Diving in Thailand

By Seema Nande on Dec 13, 2016
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Thailand - one place that quenches every thalassophile’s thirst for the ultimate seascape!
With the Thailand tourism taking a super commercial turn to promote this Kingdom, its islands are a respite from all the frenzy. White, powdery sand beaches with pristine blue waters home to some of the best marine life in the world. The coral reefs and underwater creatures make for the perfect diving spots. An experience truly one-of-its-kind, scuba diving is a must, when in Thailand. And so, we bring to you the best places to go scuba diving in Thailand, for an adventure you will cherish forever. 

1. Similan Islands


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The best of the scuba diving destinations is in and around the Andaman Sea on the Southeast coast of Thailand. Similan islands here are simply outstanding and provides an excellent diving experience. You can get the most out of your diving session here by taking a Liveaboard. With humid weather and tropical climate, the entire year is a good time for diving here. However, October to May is the best time. These islands have some great opportunities for underwater photography and you can find many critters like Ghost Pipefish, Frogfishes and numerous rare species of Nudibranch! 

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2. Surin Islands


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A little further to the north of Similan islands are the amazing Surin islands. Not as popular as the Similans, but one of the best places to go for scuba diving in Thailand. Here, you can also do overnight boat trips to snorkel! The diversity of underwater marine life is great in this area. At the Mu Ko Surin Marine National Park, you will come across beautiful marine creatures like sharks and manta rays along with a good macro life as frogfish, ghost pipefish and seahorse. To reach the Surin islands - fly to Phuket International airport, then head North by bus or Taxi to Khao Lak from where most of the Liveaboards leave from. 

3. Richelieu Rock


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This world-famous dive site is where there are good chances to spot a Whale Shark! As diving in Thailand is more about big fishes and very good spots for macro diving, this one is a winner. Underwater macro photographers, from all over the world come here for great work. With good dives and amazing visibility, the Richelieu Rock dive site is the king of all diving sites. 

Check out the best Scuba Diving Destinations in December  

4. Koh Lanta


Image source: flickr.com/Ilse Reijs and Jan-Noud Hutten 

The Koh Lanta island is great to be dived on a shore base with local dive centers. The best diving period in Koh Lanta is from November to April when the visibility is very good. Thus, this can be a crowded time to visit. In case, you want to enjoy sans the crowd, consider coming after January. One reason why people crowd this place is the reef’s easy accessibility. Koh Lanta has dive sites for every level of diver. 

5. Koh Phi Phi


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Despite being closer to the mainland, Koh Phi Phi is recognized as one of the best diving sites in Thailand. This is also why you will find several all-inclusive scuba diving resorts here. Diving here is shore based with local dive centers. Apart from all this, diving here is very reasonably priced. Indeed, a good place to take dive lessons and pass your PADI open water. 

6. Phuket Islands


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This is the starting point of most of the diving islands, itself being one. You can make day trips from this diving destination to other diving destinations. With the average temperature being around 25C to 32C and water temperature around 29C, this place can be visited throughout the year. January to April, being hot and dry is the best time to visit Phuket. November to April and December and January are peak seasons when crowds flock the place. However, diving is possible all year around. So start taking surfing lessons in Phuket.  

7. Koh Chang


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Located in the north of the gulf region is the popular and unspoiled Koh Chang. With access to a range of different sites to suit divers of all levels, the island is popular with divers. Being the second largest island in Thailand, Koh Chang’s marine national park, some 650 km and covers 52 islands to the east of the Gulf of Thailand, near the Cambodia border. November to May are the favorable months to go diving in Koh Chang. 

8. Khao Lak


Image source: flickr.com/TANAKA Juuyoh

Fast becoming a favorite for many divers, Khao Lak is trending! Given easy accessibility to dive sites, the island has a plethora of scuba diving sets. This is also one of the top resort locations for a Thailand diving holiday. The island is ideally placed to focus on the northern Thai Andaman Sea. Monster dive attractions of whale sharks and manta rays is another reason why this place is becoming a favorite of divers.   

9. Koh Kradan 


Image source: flickr.com/Mark Fischer  

Situated in the Andaman sea, Koh Kradan’s wreck is said to be a Japanese destroyer.  The visibility, however, is often poor below the thermocline. Thus, making it difficult to make out the detail of the wreck. But instead look at the fauna as you might probably see a seahorse! The Hippocampus kuda may be hiding in the ropes. Also, many soft corals, schooling fish, lion fish and giant morays are what you can expect on a dive at the Koh Kradan Wreck. 

10. Hin Nok


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Hin Nok is an assorted place for scuba diving in Thailand for many reasons. The amazing terrain under the sea provides one of the best scuba diving experiences in the world. Plateaus and gullies make for incredible dives. Enhancing your diving experience here is the extraordinary Ghost Pipefish. Feathery and surreal, you are most likely to miss it, even if it passes you. Its ability to hang upside down to disguise itself as a fish is something extraordinary! If you don't spot one, you can have happy dive with lots of turtles and barracudas along with some butterfly and angel fish too!

11. Koh Waeo


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Offering two dives, in the north and south are the two islets of Koh Waeo. If you are trying your hand at diving for the first time, this place will allow you to enjoy the sheer thrill and pleasure of diving. And, if you are an advanced diver, then you will enjoy looking at the many kinds of fish under big coral tables. To get here, you can take a day boat from Phuket. 

12. Hin Daeng - Hin Muang


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Two world class dives, the Hin Daen and the Hin Muang are highly recommended by divers from across the world. Feeding grounds for pelagic fish, these are Thailand’s absolute must-dives! Featuring large underwater pinnacles heading southwest, on a dive here, you will be entranced by huge schools of fish, beautiful anemone carpets, soft corals and gorgonians. the unusual bryozoan - clumps of white, straw-like things at around 8 meters, sharks, tuna, enormous barracuda often visit this dive. This is also the deepest drop-off in Thailand. These dives lie 27 km west of the Rok islands.

If you have been contemplating a good dive in Thailand, the above destinations are simply perfect, irrespective of whether you are a beginner or a connoisseur. 

Featured image source: pixabay.com  

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