Thailand is a favourite holiday destination, thanks to its tropical climate, dynamic cities, fantastic beach resorts, verdant jungles and rainforests, traditional architecture and stunning temples.
Whilst the dramatic and varied landscape is perfect for rock climbing, trekking and hiking, Thailand’s flourishing marine environment also draws divers and snorkelers from all around the world. Scuba diving is the most popular water sport in Thailand and those who are privileged enough to dive in the beautiful Thai waters enjoy an experience that they never forget. Divers in Thailand are treated to a glorious underwater explosion of colour created by beautiful coral reefs and exotic fish and sometimes even enjoy a chance encounter with turtles, dolphins, manta rays or sharks!
When to Plan Your Diving Holiday in Thailand
Thailand boasts a year round dive season, however, in top dive resorts such as Krabi and Phuket, the best time to dive is between November and April when conditions are at their optimum. The monsoon season can reduce visibility significantly in some Thai waters, so if you do plan to go between May and October, pick the Gulf of Thailand resorts such as Koh Samui.
Learn to Dive in Thailand
Thousands of people learn to dive in the many quality scuba diving schools and reputable dive shops throughout the south of Thailand. These cater for both beginners (for whom the low cost, world class dive sites and often shallow dive waters make Thailand an excellent place to learn) and professional divers alike. Courses are regularly available in most major foreign languages and boats and equipment are generally of a high international standard. Many Thai hotels and resorts in the main dive areas also offer a test dive in their pool, which can be followed up with a complete four day PADI Open Water Diver course. This allows you to dive in open water under the supervision of an experienced Dive Master.
The Best Places to Dive in Thailand
Thailand has more than its fair share of outstanding dive locations which are mainly concentrated in the southern part of the country. The Thai holiday resorts of Phuket and Krabi on the Andaman coast both attract hoards of divers, particularly to the breathtaking Hat Nopparat Thara – Mu Koh Phi Phi Marine National Park. The remote and rarely visited Surin Islands in the north of the Andaman are home to some incredibly rare fish that you won’t find anywhere else in Thailand and serious divers also rate Koh Samui, Koh Tao and the Similians extremely highly. A convenient and exciting way to explore many of these dive sites, especially for beginners, is to book an all inclusive trip which includes equipment, transfer by speed boat and usually lunch and refreshments. To find out how to book a dive excursion, talk to your Thai hotel or resort manager.
And, before you set off to sample the diving in Thailand for yourself, don’t forget to check if your travel insurance policy covers your Thai holiday for diving and snorkelling activities!