Thailand is well-known for its scuba diving, in which hot, calm waters and plenty of amazing marine life result in spectacular dives. Thailand’s scuba diving is also quite cheap compared to diving in other areas. To get the maximum from diving in Thailand, then you have to be aware of when and where to visit. Not all Thailand’s dive sites are accessible all year round, so it pays to do a bit of planning. Here is a guide for you.
The Similan Islands are known to be one of the best dive destinations. They are a small group of unsettled islands in the Andaman Sea. The Similans are often visited by live-aboard ships from Phuket and Khao Lak, where Australians eat, sleep and dive on the ship for several days. Normally the live-aboard lasts four days and nights also allows the participants to get 14 dives. Make sure to ask your operator how new their scuba equipment is as well as their staff credentials. The Similan Islands are only available to diving visitors from October to May every year. The monsoon season arrives during June to September and makes the seas too harsh for safe diving.
There is a set of dive sites farther south from the Andaman Sea and accessible from Krabi, Phuket, Koh Phi Phi and Koh Lanta. They are typically seen on day trips from these types of destinations, but there a few liveaboards who see them. Koh Lanta is a stunning Thai island which is not quite as busy or pricey as Koh Phi Phi. Hin Daeng and Koh Ha are only accessible from October to May every year. Koh Bida and Phi Phi possess a couple of flora that are available all year round if you are touring Koh Phi Phi.
Koh Tao is a small island on the other, eastern shore of Thailand, above Koh Phangan. Koh Tao is a four-hour ferry trip from Surat Thani on the mainland. Koh Tao is a grand island for both divers and getaways, although famous, Koh Tao stays quite uncrowded. If you wish to learn to dive but do not want to commit to the live-aboard, Koh Tao is a wonderful spot to learn and enjoy the party landscape also. Koh Tao’s monsoon season lasts from September to December.
The best times of the year to dive in Thailand are October to May for the Similan Islands and Koh Ha or Hin Daeng and January to September for Koh Tao. When planning your Thailand diving tour, think of what time of year it is possible to go and then determine if you would like to do a more live-aboard trip or if you would prefer to do day trips. Subsequently ask Thailand dive operators about what excursions and dive packages are offered. The dive operator can also advise you on the way to get from your location to your favorite dive destination.