Whether you are a novice or veteran scuba diver, there’s a good chance that you have heard that Thailand is the place to explore the underworld. Between the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea, you’re blessed with unique and beautiful eco-systems that you won’t find anywhere else in the world. Marine life is vibrant and plentiful here so diving sites in Thailand are never a disappointment. Here are five most popular scuba diving places to dive in Thailand recommended by both locals and tourists:
Since this area is sheltered, it’s one of the best places where there are dive sites safe to dive year-round. Here you will find the gorgeous Ang Thong National Marine Park that consists of 42 islands, most of which are actually limestone mountains that have risen from the sea floor. While the coral development is not extensive, there are a few sheltered spots that are breathtaking. The waters in the area offer angelfish, butterflyfish, black tip sharks, parrotfish and sea turtles.
If you are a more experienced diver, you’ll want to explore Sail Rock and Chumphon Pinnacle where there’s an abundance of whale sharks, sloping reefs and colorful corals.
When you want to swim alongside three-meter long nurse sharks, the Burma Banks is the best place to go scuba diving. There are 800 small islands in this area with caves and drop-offs that feature sea fans, corals and enormous boulders. Aside from an endless supply of schooling fish, you can expect to see whale sharks, mantra rays, ribbon eels, ghost pipefish and lobster.
Recommended areas for advanced divers include Shark Cave and Black Rock. Visibility is unbelievable, but currents can be strong.
It’s hard to pick just one dive spot in all of Phuket to recommend because they are all so special. Racha Noi South Point offers opportunities to swim with manta rays while the King Cruise Wreck always has plenty for barracudas, hawksbill turtles and lionfish swimming around.
The Anemone Reef if s a favorite spot for underwater photographers as there are some shallow areas that offer excellent lighting or you can head to Koh Phi Phi where zebra sharks, sea snakes and bubble coral are in abundance.
The name of the area means Purple Rock because the underwater landscape is adorned with mountains of purple coral. The water is deeper here than most other dive sites in Thailand, so there’s generally less people and bigger fish. This is where you go when you want to view carpets of anemone beneath you while a manta ray swims above you. Watch out for grey reef and leopard sharks lurking in the darkness.
This is a remote dive area so it’s not uncommon to be the only team who has made the journey. Coral dominates the shallow waters while the rocky ridge off the coast attracts barracudas, batfish, grey reef sharks and white tip reef sharks.
If you dive at the south point of the area where currents often become fierce, eels, reef sharks, titan triggerfish and harlequin ghost pipefish will hover around you. Unlike a few protected areas in Thailand, it is not safe to dive at Surin Island from May through October as the currents are just too strong and unpredictable.