The Finest Dive Locations in Thailand
The finest dive locations in Thailand offer the ideal spot for a diving holiday. Not only do tourists get to dive in clear waters, but the sea temperature is an average of 28C, which is pure luxury.
When Is The Best Time Of Year To Book A Diving Holiday To Thailand?
You can book a diving holiday to Thailand at any time of year. However, the months between October and April are considered to be the prime time to dive in the Andaman Sea as the West Coast of Thailand is hit by rain for the remainder of the year. During this time the East Coast around the Gulf of Thailand offers a better chance of diving, particularly around the site of Koh Tao making it one of the finest dive locations in Thailand.
Best Andaman Sea Dive Sites
The Andaman Sea off the South-West coast of Thailand is a beautiful location for divers to see coral and manta rays that grace the waters during March and April. Some great diving spots which are popular with any experienced world divers include Hin Daeng which means Red Rock and Hin Mouang which translates as Purple Rock.
Two sets of islands in the Andaman Sea are also well worth a look. The Similan Islands are regularly ranked as being in the top 10 diving destinations in the world and were declared a National Park in 1982.
Legendary dive sites around the Similan Islands include names such as ‘Elephant Head’, ‘East of Eden’ and ‘Christmas Point’. Diving off the east coast of the islands is reasonably relaxed with gentle currents and good visibility. The west coast offers more challenging dives with variable currents, but it is here that you can see amazing submarine rock formations and giant fan corals.
The lesser known set of islands in the Andaman Sea are the Surin Islands where once again you are likely to see giant manta rays alongside whale sharks on your dive. The renowned dive school, Richelieu Rock Dive is located here. Nutrient-rich water is home to a large quantity of plankton which attracts many types of fish, making for a beautiful dive.
A liveaboard diving holiday is the perfect way to dive in several unspoiled locations far from the hustle and bustle of dives nearer to the mainland. Typically you spend several days living on a luxurious boat which gives you the opportunity to enjoy up to three or four dives a day. Because this is more physically challenging, you should make some effort to improve your fitness before heading out; I have shared some tips on this topic here.
Closer To The Mainland
Those who are looking for a diving day trip as just part of their holiday in Thailand might be more suited to a diving spot closer to the mainland. There are many great dive sites at places such as Hin Daeng and Hin Muang which are both located in Koh Lanta. Equally popular are Koh Phi Phi and the Phuket Islands.
Koh Tao is one of the most famous dive centres in the world and is synonymous with the PADI diving certification. Beginners to scuba diving come here to learn the ropes at reasonable prices whilst amateur divers attend here to go pro and become dive masters. Chumphon Pinnacle is one of the best sites for diving in Koh Tao.
Wherever you decide to go for your Thai diving holiday, always remember to be respectful to the Marine National Parks which have strict controls in place to ensure that the waters remain litter-free and that their coral reef is protected.
Jeffrey Glenn is the Founder of Go Pro Asia, one of Thailand’s most popular professional dive training resorts. Jeffrey is a PADI course director and technical diving instructor trainer and has over 20 years’ experience in the dive industry.
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