Diving & Snorkelling


Thailand’s beaches and islands are some of the best in the world, offering exotic landscapes and flawless beaches. But it is the crystal clear water and coral that really provide the fascination and draw for many of the kingdom’s visitors, whether for a dedicated diving holiday, or just part of a holiday experience.

Although best between October and June, diving is possible all year round. For novices with no experience of diving or snorkelling, there could not be a better location for a first attempt. Compared to the west, diving is relatively cheap and all the equipment needed is available for rent at a reasonable price - no major outlay to indulge in something you might only ever try once or twice. Diving in Thailand is also safe - there are hundreds of dive schools and PADI - a professional diving organisation - oversees training standards. There are no short cuts, nothing done on the cheap - diving in Thailand is as safe as anywhere else in the world.

For people with a bit of experience, Thailand offers a delightful diving experience. In some of Thailand’s waters visibility is up to 30 metres and there is a lot to see! Underwater mountains, coral gardens, undersea rock formations, hard and soft corals - it is all there, alongside a rich variety of marine life including whale sharks, silver tip sharks and manta rays - enough to impress even the most experienced of divers. There are also sites for more experienced divers that offer holes in rock formations to swim through and journeys into sunken battleships.

Diving and Snorkelling in Thailand



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Koh Yawabon

Krabi


Koh Yawabon is near Ao Nang and famous for its long “swim-through” – only to be attempted by specialist divers with the right equipment. Marine life is pretty undisturbed here and therefore there is plenty of it. You can occasionally see a stingray and leopard sharks are often seen in the waters. Not a site for beginners.

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Racha Noi

Phuket


Racha Noi is an uninhabited island featuring hard coral reef and large granite boulders. The site has the best visibility in the area and offers chances to see manta rays and whales. The southern part of the island is good for divers with a bit more experience. Marine life includes huge schools of tuna and stingrays that rest on the reef amidst...

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Green Rock

Surat Thani


The site has a number of caverns and swim-throughs suitable for beginners. There is some excellent coral on show and marine life includes morays and angelfish. Keep an eye out for whitetip reef sharks and large groupers. The boulders on the sea floor make this an ideal site for beginners. It starts at around 4 metres deep and goes down to around 30...

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Koh Rin

Chonburi


Koh Rin is one of Pattaya’s best dive sites and features underwater canyons and swim-throughs. The site has excellent visibility and some splendid coral. Most people approach the site as a day trip from Pattaya. Marine life includes moray eels, squirrelfish and lionfish. This is a shallow dive but probably best left to Intermediate level...

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Swift Passage

Phang-Nga


Swift Passage is between Koh Surin Tai and Koh Torinla. The site is subject to strong currents that enable divers to drift-dive. The site’s coral seabed is tremendous and there is an abundance of marine life - turtles, sharks, and parrot fish. Strong currents mean divers need to be intermediate level. The site has a maximum depth of 27...

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Fantasea Reef Phuket

Phuket


Starting at 6 metres and going down to a depth of 40 metres, masses of boulders with swim throughs and great soft-coral typify this site. There are masses of marine life on show including Lion Fish, Eels and Angelfish. One of the best sites going but one for advanced divers only – very strong currents make this a potentially dangerous dive...

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Hin Pae

Krabi


Swim 200 metres west of Hin Pae and you come to an excellent dive site. Between 2 and 12 metres in depth, the site is suitable for snorkellers but divers should be at least Intermediate level to dive here. A bit of treat, plenty of Black-tipped sharks in the area!

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Racha Islands

Phuket


The Racha Islands, located 12 kilometers south of Phuket, are known for their crystal clear water and white sand beaches. Racha Yai (Big Racha) Island is the place to stay. Racha Noi (Small Racha) Island is uninhabited and has no services or accommodation, but there’re some great diving sites in the area. Racha Yai has a number of bungalow...

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East of Eden

Phuket


This is one of the best dive sites in the country. Starting at 3 metres the site goes down to 36 metres revealing masses of fish and coral amongst sand along the way. The site also offers a series of interesting caves/caverns, some offering swim throughs. Strong currents make this an ambitious site that should only be attempted by...

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Koh Yung Pinnacle

Krabi


Koh Yung Pinnacle is a great dive site 4 kilometres north of Phi Phi Don. It goes down 36 metres and reaches masses of soft corals on the seabed. Strong currents make this a site strictly for advanced divers, although the southeast side of Koh Yung is suitable for beginners. There are dolphins in the area. Again, a boat charter is the best approach...

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Swift Passage

Phang-Nga


Swift Passage is between Koh Surin Tai and Koh Torinla. The site is subject to strong currents that enable divers to drift-dive. The site’s coral seabed is tremendous and there is an abundance of marine life - turtles, sharks, and parrot fish. Strong currents mean divers need to be intermediate level. The site has a maximum depth of 27...

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Koh Torinla

Phang-Nga


A shallow, sloping reef going down to a maximum depth of around 20 metres, Koh Torinla is good dive site offering lots of coral and an abundance of turtles and marine life. Good for snorkeling, but strong currents mean divers should be around intermediate level before attempting this dive.

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Staghorn Reef

Phuket


Located on Racha Yai’s eastern coast, Staghorn Reef offers tremendous diving opportunities for all levels of diver and excellent for snorkeling. It is especially good for beginners. As you might imagine from the name, there is a lot of Staghorn coral on the sea floor. Rock formations make for dramatic underwater scenery. The dive starts at 5...

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Turtle Ledge

Phang-Nga


This is an excellent dive site offering a wealth of marine life with plenty of varieties of turtles (surprise, surprise!) and fish (including the Andaman Foxface).  This is a very shallow, sloping dive only going down to around 25 metres so it is good for snorkeling. Divers on the other hand should be intermediate level before attempting this...

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Ao Chaweng

Surat Thani


Ao Chaweng features a shallow reef only a short swim from the beach (from Chaweng Garden Restaurant). Visibility is not good but this is an excellent place for training and a spot of snorkeling. There is plenty of marine life in the area. Great for beginners – the dive only goes down 7 metres. There are though strong currents in certain...

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Five Islands

Surat Thani


This is not a great site for just diving, but with what’s going on around it there’s quite a good package! Locals collect swiftlet bird’s nests around here – the key ingredient of Bird’s Nest Soup. In the time honored tradition, collectors clamber up bamboo frames to collect the nests. As far as the diving is...

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Hin Rap

Trat


5 kilometres south of Koh Chang, this site has plenty of hard and soft coral alongside plenty of marine life. A good site for both snorkelers and divers. Excellent place for beginners as it only goes down to 18 metres. Also, this is a very good place for snorkeling.

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Wreck of the Thonburi

Trat


Another excellent wreck to dive around is HMTN Thonburi. The ship was involved in the Thai/French Indochina war and now lies in shallow water at the mouth of the river at the southern edge of Koh Chang. You have to time this dive right – on occasions you won’t be able to see your hand in front of your face, on others, visibility is five...

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Donald Duck Bay

Phuket


A very recognisable and much photographed part of the islands, “Donald Duck Bay” is located on “Similan Island 8”. The bay is a very popular stopping point for visitors out on day trips. It is not the most exciting dive site in the area, but at night molluscs, gastropods and other crustaceans come out to make night diving...

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Hin Luk Bat

Trat


This is a good dive site offering masses of coral and marine life including barracuda and sponges. What lets the site down is visibility - often extremely poor. The site goes down to a depth of 18 metres and has a wall to dive along. This is a good choice for beginners.

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Petchburi Bremen

Chonburi


This is one of the best wreck dives in the country. The Bremen sank in the 1930’s after a fire. The site was used by the Thai Royal Navy for demolition practice and as a result it is considered unsafe - divers should not enter the wreck. The site has generated excellent coral and has a maximum depth of around 25 metres. It is probably best...

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Red Rock (Shark Island)

Surat Thani


This is a shallow site which makes it ideal for beginners and snorkelers. There is a gentle slope in the seabed which heads down to a mass of glorious coral. This is another site that offers a host of marine life including turtles and occasional sharks.

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Fantasea Reef

Phang-Nga


A lot of people are of the opinion that the diving available at Fantasea Reef is the best available around the Similans. There are staggering rock formations (which include swimthroughs) that are covered in carpets of soft coral. In addition, there is a very wide variety of marine life on offer here. 

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Southwest Pinnacle

Surat Thani


Divers on Koh Tao favor the Southwest Pinnacle because of the underwater canyons and walls they encounter. The reefs host a wide variety of marine life including porcupiunefish and butterflyfish. In addition, there is the occasional sighting of schools of tuna. The site is around 30 metres deep and not a dive for the beginner - it is tricky enough...

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Koh Bida Nok

Krabi


Koh Bida Nok features seafans, sea whips and soft corals alongside Scorpionfish, Leopard Sharks and Manta Rays. The great diversity of marine life available here draws visitors on liveaboard cruises. The southwest of the island features a large with excellent coral and rock formations creating colourful diving walls. Marine life includes moray...

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Lucy’s Reef

Phuket


Located east of Racha Yai, Lucy’s Reef is naturally protected from wind and a fairly shallow dive of a little more than 25 metres. As a result it is ideal for beginners. The reef’s undersea world offers hard and soft corals and a wide range of different types of fish. Leopard Sharks are spotted here on occasions.

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Breakfast Bend

Phang-Nga


Located on the eastern side of Similan Island 9, Breakfast Bend features masses of hard coral alongside teaming marine life with masses of different types of fish - damsels, groupers, etc. and a fair number of turtles. The maximum depth of the site is 25 metres. It is an excellent place to dive at night.

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Losama Bay

Krabi


The site is centred around a limestone island that reaches 12 metres to the foot of the bay. The resulting wall is a good place for novices to dive and explore sea anemone. On the west of the site is a cave that can be navigated by more experienced divers.

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Maya Bay

Krabi


Maya Bay is a stunningly beautiful bay located on Phi Phi Island. Surrounded by steep limestone cliffs, Maya Bay has several beaches leading down to an amazing turquoise color water. The main one is around 200 meter wide white sandy beach. Snorkeling and diving are highly recommended activities when you visit Maya Bay. It is a spectacular place to...

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Shark Fin Reef / Boulder City

Phang-Nga


Due to their close proximity these two sites are usually tackled together - they are anyway part of the same ridge which juts out into the sea from Similan Island 3. The seabed at this site is smothered with coral. Large boulders sit on the seabed and gaps between the boulders are also covered in coral. The marine life in the area is splendid with...

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Elephant Head (Hin Pusar)

Phang-Nga


Most divers and snorkellers regard this site as the best in the Similans. Located just south of Koh Similan, Elephant Head comprises a number of large boulders which create a sophisticated series of channels (some of which are swimthroughs). The site reaches a depth of 40 metres and currents get pretty strong. As such, beginners are not advised to...

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Phi Phi

Krabi


The two Phi Phi islands (Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Lee) are very picturesque and offer great diving. There are around 15 sites on the islands many with caves and ‘swim-throughs’. The area boasts hard and soft corals set against extremely rich marine life. Green turtles are extremely common as are some sharks.

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Bungalow Bay

Phuket


A calm site where conditions rarely change, Bungalow Bay offers the definitive dive site for beginners and snorkellers. The site has some good coral on the sea floor alongside boulders and sand. Starting at around 5 metres in depth, the site goes down to a maximum 30 metres. Around 25 kilometres south of Phuket, best access is through boat charter.

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Burma Banks

Phang-Nga


The Burma Banks are huge sea mounts that rise to within 15 metres of the surface of the Andaman Sea and then plunge some 300 metres offering a spectacular underwater seascape. The site offers masses of underwater life including silvertip and nurse sharks and sporadic sightings of grey reef sharks. The three main banks (Roe, Rainbow and Silvertip)...

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Koh Chi (Nun Island)

Phang-Nga


One of Surin’s favourite dive sites is Koh Chi two kilometres off the northeast coast of Surin Nua. This dive is suitable for all levels. With an average of 15 metres visibility where average depth is 18 metres (23 metres at its deepest) you are likely in for a treat. The site offers a LOT of marine live including barracuda, mackerel, tuna...

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Richelieu Rock

Phang-Nga


Richelieu Rock is a dive site with a maximum depth of 30 metres. The underwater seascape comprises a ‘U’ shaped group of rocks that lie just below the surface of the water when the tide is out. Water currents in the area can be very strong so this is not really a place for novices, although beginners with some experience can dive here...

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Koh Kudi

Rayong


Koh Kudi is a small island in the Koh Samed-Kao Laem Ya National Marine Park which provides excellent diving opportunities. The sea floor comprises solid rock which gently slopes into deeper water (going down to a maximum depth of 20 metres). The site offers splendid marine life which includes batfish, reef fish, black coral and seafan. Underwater...

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Hin Muang (Purple Rock)

Krabi


Hin Muang is situated near Hin Daeng. It is a submerged rock that is 200 meters long and about 20 meters wide that harbours a substantial amount of marine life, contrasting the relatively barren surroundings. As the name suggests, the rock gives off a range of purple colours. The walls collect red, white and orange sea fans and glass fish. Anemones...

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Hin Daeng (Red Rock)

Krabi


Hin Daeng is a huge rock that protrudes three meters above the water’s surface and descends over 60 meters to produce an extreme vertical drop. Soft corals and sea fans grow on the wall. It is possible to swim along two ridges that descend 40 metres or more leading lots of soft coral and large schools of fish. Marine life includes Needle...

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Hin Bida

Krabi


About 5 kilometres southeast of Koh Binda Nok, Hin Bida drops 22 metres and is best described as a group of rocks at the centre of a number of boulders. There is plenty of hard coral to take a look at here and marine life includes sting-rays. Although good for snorkeling, strong currents mean this site should only be approached by...

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