Phuket Resort and Other Thailand Diving
Discover a tropical underwater paradise while staying at the best hotels in Thailand ! With its abundant coral reefs and tropical marine life, its accessibility and more than generous price tag, has to make scuba diving in Thailand the most desirable and rewarding dive destination in South-East Asia, if not the world.
The many dive centers you will notice when you visit resorts in Koh Samui, Phuket and places like Pattaya, Krabi and hotels in Khao Lak, frequent daily excursions, including liveaboards for longer overnight diving trips and the fact that diving with good visibility is possible throughout the year makes this destination a scuba diving heaven. In fact, some top hotels in Phuket, and hotels in Koh Samui even offer their own scuba diving centres or will at least arrange a training excursion upon request.
It is also generally accepted that in Thailand the best rates are offered for training courses. Dive courses from beginners to instructor level are offered and will allow you to obtain a world-wide accepted scuba certificate from operators like Padi and NAUI. Scuba operators at hotels in Phuket, Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and especially at Koh Tao resorts are plentiful and supply basically all the needed gear.
To the West of Thailand in the Andaman Sea which includes Phuket, Koh Phi Phi, Surin and Similan Islands, Krabi, Khao Lak and Koh Lanta, liveaboard excursions are very popular.
This allows you to stay on a very well equipped boat for anything from 3 to 7 days, ample time to properly explore the underwater world of The Andaman Sea and can also include some night dives.
Discovery Dives, designed for those who first want to feel what its like being weightless under the water is also available. A short 2 hour or so crash course is given where after you can simply walk in from the beach with a certified instructor and get the feel of it before committing to full training.
Some of the best diving in this area is to be found in the national marine parks including the Similan, Surin and Tarutao archipelagos. Diving around Koh Phi Phi and Phang Nga Bay should be on every enthusiast's agenda. The Andaman sites are best visited from November to April due to rough weather brought about by the Monsoon the rest of the year. The Western Gulf of Thailand with its shallower waters is best visited between January and October and the eastern seaboard can be visited all year.
Richelieu Rock, one of the most popular dive sites in South-East Asia, is part of the Surin National Marine Park, located approximately 18 kilometers east of the islands themselves and just barely exposed at the lowest of tides. It is situated 200 kilometers north-west of Phuket and 70 km from Khao Lak.
The Samui archipelago in the protected Gulf of Thailand consist of Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, Koh Tao and the Angthong National Marine Park. Koh Tao especially is very popular with divers due its spectacular coral reefs and then of course only a few hundred meters away, the most beautiful island in the world, Koh Nang Yuan.
Pattaya offers some great wreck dives while Koh Chang, Thailand’s newest holiday island and least affected by tourism, offers some shallower water and new diving sites to explore.