Thailand Diving – A Quick Guide

Thailand is where I’ve lived on and off since 2004. The diving here is relatively cheap and great, particularly on the west coast in the Andaman Sea. Here is a quick overview of diving in Thailand to help you decide where to visit.

Feather Star At Koh Bida, Thailand
Feather Star At Koh Bida, Thailand

Best Places To Dive in Thailand: The Similan Islands and Southern Thailand’s dive sites are my personal favourites. The links go to articles and trip reports I’ve written about each area. Pattaya is great if you are into wrecks. Koh Tao is great for learning to dive, a big backpacker party scene and also a growing tech diving industry.

Thailand’s Best Dive Sites is a useful introduction and also Whale Sharks In Thailand: Where To See Them.

Similan Islands

Southern Thailand

Koh Tao

Pattaya

How To Get There

  • Similan Islands – Liveaboard or daily speedboat trip from Phuket or Khao Lak.
  • Southern Thailand – Daytrips or Liveaboard from Phuket, Koh Phi Phi and Koh Lanta.
  • Koh Tao – Daytrip from Koh Tao or Koh Samui
  • Pattaya – Daytrip from Pattaya

Liveaboards I’ve Been On In Thailand: Trip Reports

Nearest Dive Sites To Famous Places In Thailand

  • Phuket – Similan Islands and Southern Thailand sites. See my guide to Phuket Diving
  • Koh Phi Phi – Southern Thailand sites: Hin Daeng, Koh Bida, Phi Phi Leh – see my article on Koh Phi Phi Reborn after the 2004 tsunami
  • Koh Samui and Koh Phangan– go to Koh Tao: it’s easier to dive from there

Other Places To Dive In Thailand:

  • Koh Losin – hidden dive site in the southern Gulf
  • Koh Lipe – tiny island near Malaysian border in Andaman Sea
  • Koh Chang – booming tourist island near Cambodian border in the Gulf
  • Trang – relatively unexplored area of southern Thailand’s Andaman coast

Buying Scuba Gear In Thailand

Useful Dive Travel Information About Thailand:
Money: Thai Baht
Electricity: 220 Volts AC
Time: GMT +7
Languages Spoken: Thai. English spoken widely at varying levels. On dive boats English is spoken widely as the dive crew are usually always Westerners.
Major Airports: Bangkok, Phuket, Koh Samui, Krabi


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Comments

  1. Enjoy your articals-Im leaving next week for a work assignment in China for a year- Im already planning to leave for the Chinese new Year in Feb 2010 for 2 weeks- Id ilke to dive Thailand & Malaysis or Indonisia for those two weeks- what combonations would you recommnd. I do plan on taking weekly trips as well- but I want to get the most out of this 2 week holiday- Keep diving- be safe- Walter

  2. Hi Walter
    with 2 weeks, you have plenty of options for diving in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia – the issue is which areas to choose, as you can’t do all of them in 2 weeks! It also depends a lot on your budget.

    If money is no object, I would go straight to Indonesia and do a Komodo trip or Raja Ampat trip – both are usually around 10 days long so will take up your whole vacation period. Both Komodo and Raja are amazing and to do one of these big trips is a magical experience.

    If you want to see Thailand, a 4 day Similan Islands trip is a must (see my friends at http://www.phuket-diving-safaris.com for a good value liveaboard) and also Southern Thailand around Koh Lanta and Koh Phi Phi. That’s another 3/4 days.

    You could fly down to Tawau in Malaysian Borneo and head out to Sipadan, Malaysia’s jewel in the crown – you can get to Tawau on AirAsia via Kuala Lumpur so it’s not too expensive. However, you’d need to ensure you have a booking with a reputable Sipadan agent so that you get the necessary permit to dive at Sipadan itself.

    You can also fly from Bangkok straight to Bali with AirAsia very cheaply – Bali has some great dive sites and is also an amazing place to hang out and relax.

    You’re welcome to email me direct at chris {at} divehappy.com if you need any further help