Thailand, with its beautiful beaches and numerous islands that run all along the coastline, offers some of the best diving spots in the world. Divers from different parts of the globe have come diving in Thailand for a chance to see the tropical country’s abundant reefs, manta rays, whale sharks and rich marine life.
The many diving destinations in the country will certainly not disappoint, but it pays to know the best diving spots in Thailand before you go packing your diving gear. Thailand offers a variety of experiences for each type of diver, so if you’re wondering where to dive in Thailand, read on to find out where you should book your next diving trip.
1. The Popular Choice for Diving in Thailand: The Andaman Sea
The Andaman Sea’s colourful corals and vibrant marine life are a sight to behold for any diver. With good visibility of up to 130ft for the waters on the western side, you’re most likely to witness the great diversity of underwater life during your dive.
Before and after your dive, on the other hand, you’ll be greeted by a tropical backdrop of limestone rocks, white-sand beaches and swaying palm trees — making the Andman Sea one of the best diving spots in Thailand.
2. Relaxed and Friendly Diving Vibe: Koh Lanta
To reach Koh Lanta’s dive sites, it would require either speed boat or slow boat, as there is no shore diving here. Nonetheless, it’s all worth the time and effort because the idyllic island offers a range of dive sites to suit all levels of divers.
Be mesmerized by the wall dives, pinnacle dives, wrecks and lagoons in the area. In some sites, you can even experience a current, particularly the deeper open ocean sites which are more suited for the advanced divers. Koh Haa, Koh Lanta’s diving crown, will impress you with its calm and pristine underwater scenery. Coupled with great visibility, Koh Lanta will surely convince you that it’s among the best diving spots in Thailand.
3. A Myriad of Reputable Diving Schools: Koh Tao
With a little over 25 dive sites to explore, Koh Tao’s calm and bright waters provide the perfect conditions for first-time divers who wish to learn this new skill and go diving in Thailand. It’s no surprise then that you can encounter a host of dive schools and experienced and specialized trainers here who’ll be more than happy to introduce you to the underwater world of diving.
You can expect a lush scenery of coral-encrusted rock pinnacles, vibrant reefs and some great shipwrecks. Who knows, while watching the plethora of colourful reef fish all around you, you might chance upon a passing whale shark or a spotted eagle ray?
4. The Best Diving Spots in Thailand to Encounter Manta Rays and Whale Sharks: Similan Islands
It’s really not just whale sharks and manta rays that you’re bound to meet underwater during your dive in Similan Islands. There are also reef sharks, leopard sharks, octopus, barracuda, lionfish, cuttlefish, clownfish and other marine life that are bound to greet you in this remote island. And because these are uninhabited islands, most liveaboards typically last 4 days — so if you’re good with this time duration, all that’s left is to completely relax on the boat and fill your days eating, diving, sleeping, and sunbathing!
5. Where to Dive in Thailand if You Want to See Leopard Sharks: Koh Phi Phi
Phi Phi Island boasts of white-sand beaches and clear blue waters. Aside from leopard shark sightings, you can find marine life that is of various shapes and sizes: some seahorses and mantis shrimp, whale sharks and manta rays. Moreover, be prepared to see amazing rock formations and beautiful corals as you go diving by boat in Phi Phil Island.
Aside from these diving attractions, there’s one more reason you might want to go to explore the one particular beach resort in the island —Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort, the chic and sustainable retreat, has announced that it has been recognised once again for its environmental efforts. The resort was selected as the Marine Category winner in the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) UK Responsible Thailand Awards, for its ongoing efforts to preserve the ocean and contribute to a cleaner planet.
This prestigious title was presented to Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort by the TAT’s UK office in a “Virtual Responsible Thailand” evening on 8th December 2020. This marks the latest in a series of important honours achieved by the property in recent years, many of which are in relation to its conservation projects.
Sustainability is woven throughout the destination’s entire operations. A guardian of the sea, Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort has introduced a wide range of preservation projects, including mangrove planting, coral propagation, fish breeding and release programmes, coastal clean-ups and community outreach programmes. These are driven by a resident marine biologist at the Marine Discovery Centre, a purpose-built facility that serves as an educational hub for the entire region.
The on-site PADI dive centre is engaged in the UN’s Green Fins project, which is dedicated to preserving the area’s delicate biodiversity through coral replanting and other projects. A clownfish adoption programme allows guests to pay to adopt their own “Nemo”, with the proceeds being used to fund other important projects. Visitors can also take part in a series of eco-sensitive excursions and off-the-beaten-track tours, such as sea kayaking, mangrove tours, cave explorations and visits to coastal villages. And of course, Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort has eliminated single-use plastic throughout its operations.
“We are thrilled to win the Marine Category at the TAT UK’s Responsible Thailand Awards. The issue of conversation is very close to our hearts; our Marine Discovery Centre has enabled us to ramp up our environmental programmes and engage with guests, local residents and school children to protect the underwater eco-systems of Hat Noppharat Thara-Mu Ko Phi National Park. The world’s oceans play a huge role in absorbing CO2, so our initiatives can also play an important role in protecting the entire planet from the effects of climate change,” commented Chao Treenawong, General Manager, Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort.
Opened in 2018, the Marine Discovery Centre at Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort is an interactive hub that features indoor and outdoor exhibition areas, visual displays showcasing the region’s diverse sealife, a video room and aquariums, providing a fascinating window into the vibrant undersea world.
The TAT UK’s Responsible Thailand Award is the latest in a series of important accolades achieved by Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort. It was awarded “3 Leaves” by the Green Leaf Foundation, has been recognised by the Thai Hotels Association as a “Plastic Free Resort”, and received the “Green Leaf Certificate” for successfully promoting conservation awareness within the travel and tourism industry. Most recently in September 2020, the resort was certified as being carbon neutral by the Thailand Greenhouse Gas Management Organization.
Find your Best Diving Spots in Thailand
With its diverse and colourful marine life, majestic underwater scenery, and sun-soaked beaches, Thailand is a dream destination for divers. With this list, there’s no more need to wonder where to dive in Thailand — these best diving spots in Thailand have it all, including responsible tourism. So go ahead and pack your diving gear and be prepared to be blown away by the beauty of these diving destinations.
For more information about Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort, please visit www.phiphiislandvillage.com.