Scuba diving in Thailand
Scuba diving in Thailand is very attractive and popular all over the world. Statistics shows that around 200,000 divers visit Thailand every year. The big crowd is attracted by Thailand which is encountered with various reefs and a number of wrecks under sea. The popularity of number of divers has been increasing year after year. The undersea visibility is up to 30 meters distance which is full of coral gardens, rock formations, hard/ soft corals, whale sharks, the silver sharks, shipwrecks and manta rays. Sometimes the visibility can be less depending upon some factors like winds, currents, rain runoffs, proximity to cities, temperature and many underwater activities.
There are lots of target places to enjoy scuba diving such as the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea of Thailand. The coastlines are about 2000 kilometers long which offer all kinds of divers to get the unforgettable experience all around the wrecks, the eye-catching walls, various remarkable drops throughout the ocean surface.
Diving sites in Thailand
The Andaman Sea
The Andaman Sea has underwater visibility ranging from 40 to 50m long crammed with extensive reefs. You can explore following popular sites in the Andaman Sea:
Phuket: It is known as one of the largest diving centers in Thailand. The well known diving sites in Phuket are, Racha Yai & Racha Noi, that famous for its sloping rocky reefs, huge granite boulders and solid coral forests. Racha Noi is an exciting destination for experienced divers. Racha Yai is palm covered island where you can see hard coral reef and small sandy beaches. It is the best place to learn scuba diving.
Koh Phi Phi (Phi Phi Island)
Many people might have heard about Koh Phi Phi Island – It is a tropical island situated between Krabi and Phuket, Thailand. It is an ever-popular island offers splendid wall dives where you can find sharks, groupers, marine treasures & schooling reef fish. Its beauty and attraction sites make this tropical island in paradise. The Andaman Sea represents majority of diving sites in close proximity of hotels. The adventure drama film ‘the beach’ was filmed on the Thai island Koh Phi Phi.
Krabi Province offers many beautiful diving sites with plenty of moist soft coral, limestone outcrop species and gigantic variety of marine life. The main diving sites are Ao Nang and Railay beaches, Phuket’s Chalong Bay and Ko Lanta. The anemone reef present here itself is a sole dive site with enormous limestone pinnacle high 30 meter from sea bottom to one meter under the surface.
It is situated in the south of Krabi, Merced with many diving hops in and all around the major tourist areas such as Saladan Town, Klong Nin beach, Klong Dao beach and Kantiang Bay.
South of Koh Lanta provides shallow, trouble-free and relaxed diving, which makes it an immense place to become skilled at diving. Ko Lipe offers beautiful reefs, wrecks and coastlines on its doorway.
Simial islands are one of the best diving sites in Asia, located 50 km west of Khao Lak. These are composed of nine granite islands, most prominent diving sites and finest beaches.
Surin Islands: The Surin Island has a great diversity of marine species like schooling chevron barracuda, moray eels, abundant lionfish and the scorpion fish and 5-6 types of anemone fish, juvenile angel fish, ornate ghost pipefish, sea horses, harlequin shrimps and whale sharks.
Khao Lak: Khao Lak is located 60 kilometers north of the island of Phuket. It is a Marine National Park has many new discovered reefs and popular for its calm atmosphere.
Mergui Archipelago: it consists of approximate 800 islands and characterized by limestone & islands.
The Gulf of Thailand
This is one of the most popular venues of the country. This area is provided with 112 islands, fringing reefs and succulent seabed. The diving sites here are:
Ko Tao: also called as Turtle Island, has developed into hottest diving area in the Thailand.
Ko Pha Ngan: is a beautiful island and famous for full-moon parties. It is the closest island to Sail Rock / Hin Bai.
Ko Samui: Ko Samui is a rock pinnacle bent looking like an iceberg emerges from a sandy seabed and magnet for fish species.
Chumphon Province: is famous for night diving to see natural attractions and diversity marines.
Ko Lak Ngam is towards north-east of Chumphon, a Marine National Park. It is full of sea life like fusiliers, turtle and whale sharks.
How to Get To Thailand?
There are fifty international airlines serving the country direct to Bangkok and Phuket. So divers can get to dive sites in Thailand in an easy way. For Asians the journey is very easy, they can drive directly to Thailand from Malaysia and Laos using the landmark Thai-Laos Friendship Bridge. It is greatly recommended to take the resourceful railway service. The main station for all these services is Hua Lumphong Railway Station. From Singapore one could hire the Eastern & Oriental Express which presents a mountain view all over the way. If one wants to dive in the Gulf of Thailand then travel by air from Bangkok to Koh Samui . Here one can book dives with some dive companies on Koh Samui. Visitors can dive in any season throughout the year however depending upon the destination.