The gulf on the coast of Thailand can offer up some spectacular diving for all levels of. The best thing about scuba diving in Thailand is the fact that there are so many different locations for you to choose from; each one of them so different and unique that you will surely find the one that meets your requirements. There is also the opportunity for you to see some fine wrecks and other interesting sites when you go diving in Thailand.
The waters are perfect for diving and they offer a host of spectacular sights for those who are interested. There is such a variety of marine life that you will be certain to catch a glimpse of something that piques your interest, and in the crystal clarity of the blue waters of Thailand you won’t have to worry about missing out on anything. If you are new to the diving community there are also a wealth of opportunities that can give you the chance to learn how to dive, with everything from specialised diving instruction classes to guided tours. There are so many different islands in the area, each offering something amazing as you can easily explore the sheltered reefs that are virtually untouched by civilization.
Diving Map of Thailand
Wrecks to Explore in Thailand
The HMS Khram was a two hundred foot long ship that was used by the United States Navy during World War II. After the war it was decommissioned. Once it was out of service it would never see action again and in 2003 it was sunk by the Thai Navy in order to create an artificial reef just off the coast. Since it is a relatively new and intentional wreck it has been created with divers in mind and most of the normal diving hazards are entirely absent.
The Hardeep was sunk by the allied forces during World War II. The site is now home to heavy coral growth that has turned the wreckage into an informal sort of cavern diving site. The ship itself is lying on its side about twenty six meters under the surface of the water. You can access the engine room through a large hole that was cut when the engine was removed, and there are also safe areas where you can dive through for more penetrating dives.
The Hardeep Wreck, Thailand
The King Cruiser was a passenger ferry that sank in May of 1997 when it went off course and ran into the Anemone Reef, creating the first artificial reef that can be found in Phuket. The wreck is eighty five meters long and offers divers the ability to swim around it. You can swim through the engine room and the deck on which the cars were held. The more advanced divers can enter into the passenger section of the ship which still houses the tables and chairs that were in the lounge when the ship went down. Two of the main attractions of the wreck are the wheel house and the captain’s cabin as it has quickly developed a name for itself because of the large amount of marine life that it houses.
The King Cruiser Wreck, Thailand
Best Time of Year to Dive in Thailand
The relatively warm waters of Thailand make it fine to swim all year long; however, you will probably find the best conditions for diving are from November to April. This is because the monsoons occur in the area between May to October, making diving somewhat difficult.
Notable Diving Locations
Because of the variety of diving locations that are available in Thailand, you will be able to find something that works for you. One such diving area near Pattaya is Koh Lak Ngam. This location is quite a site to behold as it has two granite sections that rise out of the water to a height of five meters. There are many fish species to observe as well as a variety of coral with both hard and soft types. One of the most interesting things about this section is that there are many underwater granite pillars that surround the two which rise above sea level, allowing you the opportunity to swim between them.
In Hin Kuak Maa there is a spectacular underwater reef filled with both hard and soft corals and it can be found on the east side of Koh Rang. You can dive to a depth of sixteen meters and in this area you can see a variety of fish life with puffer fish, starfish, stonefish, and even blue spotted sting rays among them. It is because of this large grouping of various marine life in one confined area that this has become an extremely popular diving spot in the area.
Green Rock is another interesting dive site in Thailand and is near Koh Tao. The best thing about diving in this area is the underwater rock formation that allows divers the opportunity to dive through tunnels and other fascinating swim through areas. This dive is especially interesting and adventurous for the more experience divers, and while novice divers can go to the area, it is recommended that they stick to the more shallow spots and go with a group of more experienced divers or with a guided tour.
The resort island of Koh Ma is a good dive site for all experience levels of divers because of the relative calm of the waters in the area as well as the protected conditions and it is especially popular with inexperienced divers. The different coral species on the site offers you the chance to view all of these beautiful formations in their naturally occurring habitat. The coral is in near perfect condition and has not been that affected by outside influences. Apart from the coral, there is also a wonderful anemone garden that is nearly thirty meters long.
Another diving area that has been described as good for inexperienced divers is the area off of the Bida Islands. The dive is scenic and offers you the ability to take in a variety of different underwater formations. The soft rock has been carved out over the years so that now it provides divers with the opportunity to explore some of its shallow caves and overhangs. There is also an area where the rock plunges through the water in a steep wall and is covered in a variety of corals, sea whips, and sea fans.
A site that is good for more advanced divers is called Stonehenge and is located just north of Koh Miang. Its name is derived from the fact that it is located near a large rock formation that allows divers to go down nearly twenty five meters. There is also a huge variety of marine life in the area including barracuda, anemone fish, long nose butterfly fish, and even the ghost pipefish.
Another popular diving destination in Thailand is Shark Point. This area has been set aside as a marine sanctuary to prevent the sharks that inhabit it from being hunted or killed. It is most commonly visited because of the Leopard Sharks that stay in the area. The reef is also a site to behold and it even breaches the water’s surface in at least three different places. One thing to watch out for is the strong currents that can sometimes run through the site.
Types of Marine Life in Thailand
The huge variety of marine life is one thing that makes diving in Thailand such a wonderful experience. Fish and other types of underwater life that you might see on a dive in this location include: gorgonian fans, anemone fish, puffer fish, clownfish, barracuda, leopard sharks, bat fish, moray eels, trevally, fusiliers, whale sharks, turtles, sting rays, mantas, jacks, grouper, starfish, stonefish, blue spotted sting rays, anemone, sea whips, lobster, lion fish, snappers, long nose butterfly fish, the ghost pipefish, and many others.
A Leopard Shark
Thailand Diving Fact Sheet
Average Air Temperature: 29°C – 37°C
Average Water Temperature: 26°C – 31°C
Recommended Exposure Protection: From a 3mm suit in the summer to a 7mm suit in the winter.
Average Visibility: Depending on the area where you are diving the visibility can vary anywhere from five to forty meters.
Coldest Times: November to March
Hottest Times: May to October
Best Times to Dive: The best time to dive in Thailand is during the winter months from November to April. The visibility is best during this time, and you are even more likely to see Whale Sharks between February and April.
Worst Times to Dive: The Monsoon season in Thailand lasts from the end of May to the middle of October and this can cause problems in the diving conditions, so it’s probably best not to go during these times.
Diving in Thailand Video