World famous for its beautiful temples and sandy shores, there are also plenty of stunning sights to see in Thailand’s deep blue seas too. Clear warm waters, spectacular fish, magnificent reefs and mysterious wrecks make Thailand a must-see destination for diving beginners and experts alike.
Where to dive
Best for variety – the Similian Isles are a popular diving spot thanks to their abundance of sealife, from leopard sharks to unicorn fish. Coral-covered canyons and impressive rocky drop-offs provide further underwater thrills for daring divers.
Best on a budget – the many sites dotted off Koh Tao’s stunning coastline offer affordable one-day dive trips for those who want more bang for their baht. The shallow shores around this beautiful island make great practice waters for beginners too, while offshore pinnacles present a more challenging dive for those who know their flutter from their frog kick.
Best for snorkeling – the beautiful reefs off the Surin Islands grow to just below the water’s surface, making it the perfect spot for those wishing to snorkel rather than dive. The surrounding seas are great for spotting fish you won’t see elsewhere in Thailand too, including the bumphead parrot fish and Napoleon wrasse.
Those new to diving might want to head to Koh Tao, which is second only to Cairns in Australia when it comes to annual dive certifications… but which course to do?
PADI is the world’s leading diving training organisation with more than 6,000 dive shops and resorts worldwide. The main benefit to diving with PADI comes at the professional level, as a PADI-qualified instructor can work independently. If you’re looking to save money and only dive as hobby you might want to opt for SSI. With over 2,500 dealers around the world a SSI course typically costs less than a PADI course, but gives you a similar certification.
If you want to try diving, but aren’t quite ready to take the plunge with a full certification course, PADI offers a Discover Scuba Diving program – either in a pool, off a beach or from a dive boat. It’s a quick and easy introduction to explore the underwater world without any previous experience.
Diving with care
Once you’re out there, help preserve the ecology of the dive areas by following 5 simple rules…
1. Don’t touch any living organisms or drag your diving equipment across the reef as you swim by
2. Don’t feed the fish
3. Take care in underwater caves where your air bubbles can be caught within the roof and leave previously submerged organisms exposed
4. Anchors can damage coral reefs, so boats should always use allocated mooring buoys or anchor in sandy areas, well away from the reefs
5. Sunscreens can alter the toxicity of the water, so try to use an eco-friendly when in the water
You can dive all over Thailand and all year around. Check out our amazing deals and discounts on Thailand holidays here and don’t forget to share your diving pics with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram