Best Diving in Thailand

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Thailand is a firm favourite amongst scuba divers of every experience level, and it’s easy to see why. Thailand’s coastline offers unparalleled beauty, warm waters and as many variations in interesting marine life as there are temples in this cultural mecca. There are two main areas where scuba diving is concentrated: the Gulf of Thailand to the east and the Andaman Sea to the west. Each is unique in terms of its diving, rainy and peak tourist season, but both areas offer superb diving and are well worth a visit.

Explore below more details about scuba diving in Thailand.

Table of Content

Dive Map of Thailand

Thailand Dive Map

Underwater Pictures of Thailand

Best Diving Destinations in Thailand

Thailand’s magnificent gulf on the east includes the islands of Koh Tao and Koh Samui, which offer impeccable diving throughout the year at dive sites that are fairly protected from heavy weather conditions. Divers can enjoy calm, gentle currents over the reefs and are often spoilt with sightings of majestic rays and whale sharks at certain times of the year. Notable dive sites include Sail Rock, a phenomenal rocky outcrop that sits 15 meters above the surface of the water, and the underwater walls of Chumphon Pinnacle.

For many, the best dive sites can be found on the west coast, specifically in the area of the Andaman Sea that stretches between the ever-popular Phuket and further south down to Krabi. Popular with novice and experienced divers alike, there are a number of shore dives and wreck dives available, but many of the reef dive sites are reached by boat.

Phuket is an island ideally suited as a base for scuba diving enthusiasts with plenty of dive operators along its coast and an array of exotic marine life in its waters. It is also fairly protected and is suitable for diving at almost any time of the year. There are rocky and colourful coral reefs, wreck dives and even a marine sanctuary called Shark Point, known for its concentration of Leopard Sharks. For those looking to experience a little more of a challenge, there are a number of sites surrounding the Similan islands that are well-worth hopping on a liveaboard to visit. In contrast to the relatively calm conditions around Phuket, Richelieu Rock is an exhilarating wall dive that will not leave you disappointed.

Thailand boasts a whopping 26 National Marine Parks which means that all of the dive sites are well-protected. There are even a number of eco dive sites and companies focusing specifically on preservation of the most-dived areas, which is great news for preserving these underwater paradises for years to come. The world-class diving here takes many forms including cave dives, drift dives, pinnacles, walls and of course vibrant reef dives.

When to Visit Thailand

Holiday-makers flock to Thailand at all times of the year to experience this exotic and magical wonder, however there is a monsoon season to be aware of and this differs depending on your location.

The Gulf of Thailand experiences typical tropical weather throughout the year, with the rainy season running between September and November and the most popular time for tourists being in December, January, February and March. Tourists gather in the Gulf of Thailand again in July and August, so a diving holiday is best between the months of May and June to avoid the crowds. Air temperatures remain fairly constant at 28-32°C and the water remains in the region of 29°C, which makes for pleasant diving whenever you choose to visit.

The west coast also experiences a tropical climate with a longer rainy season that runs between the months of May and December. The rain falls especially hard between June and October, making the best time to visit this region in the drier months of January to April, however many divers still choose to visit during the rainy season as the rainfall tends to appear in quick, refreshing bursts at the end of each day rather than a full day of rain. Water temperature is still pleasant at 29°C and the air temperature can vary between 25-32°C.

Marine Life and Safety

Does It Bite?

Generally no, it doesn’t. The Oceans of South East Asia are by far the most bio-diverse waters of the planet. The waters are literally teaming with bizarre and beautiful aquatic life. Obviously some of it is potentially dangerous to the man in the water then? Nope, not particularly, divers are in fact probably the safest water users out there – primarily because we can see and interact with what’s around us, and avoid the nasties.

There are of course jellyfish out there, and typically the ones hardest to spot are the ones with the nastier burn. Great. Fortunately, as you’ll be diving with a mask you can see them, and since you’ll also have a wetsuit it’s unlikely you’ll get burned. Even for swimmers in Thailand the incidence of jellyfish hits is pretty low, even with all that bare flesh and no idea what’s around. There are also toxic fish about, with Lionfish and Stonefish being the main protagonists. Lionfish are wonderful; you’d have to be blind to miss these peacocks of the sea. They are garishly striped, bug-eyed beauties, sporting feather-like fins like with poison tipped quills. The lionfish family use their unique colouring and spread fin displays to tell you to stay away, so no problem there. The Stonefish unfortunately use their fins as a means of camouflage, and very good at it they are. It takes a very practiced eye to spot these nasty little buggers, so your best way to avoid an “unbearably painful” encounter is to follow safe diving practices and not touch anything.


We’ve all seen and probably been scared pantless by it, but it’s all very wrong. Even though, to his good credit, Peter Benchley has said he wouldn’t have written it had he known the damage it would do to the reputation of sharks, most people who come to Thailand still have the “Jaws!” image of sharks firmly embedded, “Kill them before they kill us!” As most divers are happy to attest, this is just plain ignorance. Sure, it sounds great when you go back home and casually announce to your friends at the pub that you were, “Diving with Man Eating Sharks in Thailand”. Impressed they may be but fooled also, because the sharks here are not dangerous. White tip, black tip, leopard , nurse, gray reef and if you’re really lucky whale shark are the ones you’ve likely been swimming with. Most of them look the business for sure, what shark doesn’t, but they are all safe if treated with respect – i.e. don’t try to play air guitar with them or grab their tails for a ride and you’ll be fine.

Blood Everywhere

Thanks mainly to shark fin soup, but also to the “best shark is a dead shark” image, the devastation of all shark species is mostly ignored. Shark finning is a barbaric practice – after being hooked and gaffed onto the boat, the sharks fins are sawed off before the agonized shark itself is thrown back into the sea to drown. Not nice. Over a hundred million sharks every year are slaughtered like this, and in case you’re wondering – over the last 100 years on average less than ten people per year have been killed by shark, not very fair odds. Since sharks are very slow to mature and reproduce, their existence is very much under threat.

DO NOT EAT SHARK in the form of shark fin soup or as a steak from a seafood restaurant and, please, boycott any restaurant that sells shark meat. The Real Threat To Your Safety… Well that would be you. Be careful, learn properly and treat all sub-aquatic life with respect and you should have great fun and a very memorable experience. Take risks, try to take an animal for a ride, get drunk, stoned or otherwise chemically enhanced before you go diving and you’re asking for any trouble you may get.

Stop – Think – Act

With the rapid increase in diving as a sport over the last several years in Thailand as well as a more positive interest in the environment, a realisation of the amount of harm being done to the oceans, reefs and wildlife in the region has come about. With rampant commercialism and the strains of burgeoning tourism, some untreated waste undoubtedly ends up in the seas around Thailand, and therefore also inside the fish. These toxins work their way up through the food chain to the top predators like barracuda and shark, Ciguatera food poisoning is the result, extremely nasty stuff and often lethal, so don’t eat it. Do not buy, collect or damage coral or any other tourist trinket derived from the ocean, including the blown up puffer fish mobiles. Leave something for the people who follow you to enjoy, and enjoy doing it.

Getting to Thailand

Thailand’s main transportation hub has always been Bangkok, however there is now an entire network of domestic and international travel options including airports in Krabi, Phuket and Ko Samui, which makes things much simpler for divers to get straight into experiencing all that the waters of Thailand have to offer.

Where to Stay in Thailand

With over 2000km of coastline, choosing where to stay in Thailand can be difficult. Many divers choose to make the most of their diving holiday by opting for a liveaboard trip which is especially worthwhile if you plan to dive at some of the more remote locations.

If you’re looking to experience more than just the magical underwater world during your stay, a dive resort on the popular island of Phuket might be the right choice. With Phuket being such a popular destination for all types of visitors, some divers choose to stay in regular non-diving lodgings and make use of the many diving operations to arrange their dives. Koh Tao in the Gulf of Thailand is hugely popular with diving holiday-makers due to its easily accessible location nearby Koh Samui airport.

Travel tips

Feeling inspired and raring to go? Check out our Thailand travel guide and start planning your next diving trip!

Dive Destination Reviews in Thailand

The Similan Islands are what Thailand diving is all about. Offering the greatest variety of sites including coral reefs, rocky ...

The Surin Islands boast numerous dive sites that could take up an entire day or two of non-stop, fantastic diving. ...

Anthong National Marine Park is a favorite dive destination as there are many unusual and rare sea animals that call ...

Koh Lanta is very popular with divers opting for underwater adventures in the southern region of the Andaman Sea. With ...

There is some good wreck diving in Samae San.

The hugely popular dive sites at Phi Phi Islands are certainly something to write home about, with an array of ...

For those wishing to learn how to scuba dive, or progress their scuba qualifications, Koh Tao is a top pick ...

Khao Lak is home to some of the most fascinating dive sites Thailand has to offer. Not only does the ...

Aside from being hugely popular with tourists from all over the world, Phuket is very convenient for scuba divers wishing ...

Bang Saphan is located on the coast of the Prachuap Khiri Khan province (Gulf ot Thailand) roughly bewteen Bangkok and ...

Liveaboard Reviews in Thailand

Operating from October to May throughout the beautiful Andaman Sea, the Sawasdee Fasai is the sister vessel to the M/V ...

The Manta Queen 1 operates from October to May every year, catering for up to 22 guests across its 27 ...

Somboon 3 liveaboard articles goes here. Cabins The Somboon 3 is a liveaboard offering air-conditioned accommodation in each of its 14 cabins. ...

Somboon 4 liveaboard articles goes here.

For a great budget-friendly liveaboard experience in Thailand, look no further than the Dolphin Queen. This wooden mono-hulled vessel has ...

Operating between the months of October through May, the Manta Queen 5 will take up to 20 divers on its ...

The MV Pawara sets sail for the Similan Islands between October and May and offers fantastic 4-night diving vacations that ...

MV Deep Andaman Queen operates 4-night and 5-night liveaboard scuba diving trips to Similan Islands and Surin National Park, Koh ...

Complete with a total of six private cabins, The Junk is a member of a small fleet that has been ...

Climb aboard the M/V Oktavia and explore some of the highest rated dive sites in the world!

Barry August 12, 2017

When is your next trip to ko losin? What is the cost?


เพลิน August 14, 2017

สนใจ open water course ค่ะ ไม่ทราบติดต่อขอรับรายละเอียดได้ที่ไหนคะ ขอบคุณค่ะ


Ellen September 18, 2017

I’m interested in Similan Islands, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai and Richelieu Rock. Are you still running this itinerary?


Christina September 26, 2017

Hi, When are your trips out of Songkhla?


Diane October 06, 2017

I would like more information. I’m coming October 11-16. Can you advise me about costs for diving (I am a PADI Recreational diver). I’m traveling alone, want advice as to reasonable, safe, quiet accommodations.


    DiveGlobal October 07, 2017

    Hi Diane!
    October is a good month to dive the Andaman sea: for a uiet and safe destination, you could go to Koh Phi Phi or Koh Lanta and dive from there. If you want to experience the best diving in Thailand, then you could join a liveaboard from Phuket or Khao Lak going for a few days to the Similans and Surin Islands. Thailand is safe for sole female travellers. Happy bubbles!


Ulrich October 15, 2017

I am interested in your
Third Party Liability ( for bodily injury and damage to property of others – including passengers )
Its a private yacht based in Phuket with British Flag (Turks Island). Cr using area is South East Asia.
Kindly send me an application form by email.


stephen October 27, 2017

I require third party insurance for cruising yacht for Thai and Malaysian waters please.


Amir October 29, 2017

Hi there,

I am a representative of the New Heaven Reef Conservation Program on Koh Tao and its Koh Tao Turtle Identification initiative. This initiatives purpose is to acquire data (Photos of both sides of face, dive site, behaviour and date) construct a database of all the resident and transient sea turtles (Hawksbill, Green Sea, Olive Ridley) in the Chumphon Archipelago, from this data we can understand their behavior, movements, and use this to better protect them. Since the projects inception a little over two years ago, we have identified 72 different individuals.
We would like to know if Sea Frog Diving has photos of sea turtles no matter how old it is, willing to send to us and help build our database of sea turtles in the Gulf of Thailand Region (Chumphorn Arcipelago, Pattani and Pattaya)

All photos given to us will be used solely for the purpose of research and conservation and not for any commercial benefit. If you are interested in assisting in this project, it would be appreciated.



Jen November 30, 2017

Hello! Can you please tell me if you sell PADI divemaster crewpacks with the hologram, and what the cost is, please? (just crewpack cost, without course). I am leaving tomorrow, so if you can reply asap, i’d appreciate it. Thank you.


Camilla January 08, 2018

Hi there, next week I’ll arrive in Phuket and I’m wondering if you can offer me some dives. Manny years ago I worket at your place. Hope to see you soon



Stephen January 08, 2018

Please send me more information and photographs on the Brent Swain Origami 31 Cutter. Also, is this vessel US flagged; if not, where? Thank you.


Karl January 10, 2018

We are 3 persons from Norway wich want to do some salt water fishing 15th or 16th of March.
What are the possibilities for the dates, and what are the prices?


Thip March 15, 2018

I just want to check if open water course in included diving insurance or should I have to purchase it my own before buying the course.


Gil July 27, 2018


WE look for location of Nok Talai for one day, we are 8 people with skipper.

Between 31/07 and 03/07.

It is possible ? How much does it cost ?

Bests regards,



Huwyler August 18, 2018

Vielleicht könnt Ihr euch noch an mich erinnern. Vor ca. 28 jahren war ich mit Rolf vom Ziggy Stardust mit Euch Segeln. Nach Koh Tao und in den Marine Nationapark. Ich suche Ihn seit über 20 jahren. Wisst ihr wo er ist? Und Euch möchte ich auch Wiedersehen. Bin im Dezember wieder in Thailand. Lg Marcel Huwyler


Richard August 21, 2018

Hi I’d like to get a quote for yacht insurance for a yacht I’m looking at in Langkawi. It’s a 40 foot steel round bilge Adams with the center cockpit. Looking for insurance in Malaysia and Indonesia .
What details do you need?


Richard August 21, 2018

Hi I’d like to get a quote for yacht insurance for a yacht I’m looking at in Langkawi. It’s a 40 foot steel round bilge Adams with the center cockpit. Looking for insurance in Malaysia and Indonesia .
What details do you need?


Roland September 08, 2018

Dear Sir/Madam,
I am interested in hiring the Yacht Scnuckelputz (Phuket, Thailand) sometime in January 2019, please get me in contact with the owners,
Thanl you and best regards


Elsa September 13, 2018

Hello! This is Elsa from ANewPow which is located in Taiwan.
We are the supplier of electric underwater propeller designed for divers which is called AquaJet Dive H2. We’re looking for dealer. Please provide email address of relevant department that I can send our product specification.
Thank you so much!


Angelika September 19, 2018

we are coming with the costa cruiseship to phuket on 25th of November to 26th of November.
we would like to do a tour to phang nga bay.
Do you have any trips to offer for two adults and a 5 year old boy?
Thank you in advance for your answer.
Best regards


Melina October 08, 2018

Hello !

We would like to know if it is possible to book the Schnuckelputz (with crew) for 4 days from the 8th morning to the 12th afternoon ?
What is the price and what is included ?

Thank you,


ไอติม October 26, 2018



Stefano October 29, 2018

Hi, I’m interested in the trip to Losin to search for seaweeds, but I cannot find the dates on the dive calender.

Stefano (สเต็ฟฟาโน่) Draisma (ไดร์สมา)
Excellence Center for Biodiversity of Peninsular Thailand (ศูนย์ความเป็นเลิศความหลากหลายทางชีวภาพของภาคใต้ของประเทศไทย),
Faculty of Science (คณะวิทยาศาสตร์),
Prince of Songkla University (มหาวิทยาลัยสงขลานครินทร์),
15 Karnjanavanit Road (15 ถนนกาญจนวณิชย์),
Kho Hong (ต.คอหงส์), Hat Yai (อ.หาดใหญ่),
Songkhla (จ.สงขลา) 90110, Thailand (ประเทศไทย)


Napasorn November 08, 2018

Would like to book for advance open water course


Itim November 08, 2018

Would like to book for advance open water course


Joe November 09, 2018

Greetings. I am interested to charter a Tiki 30 for 3 days on December 8,9,10. Can you please give me the details? Thank you.


Dutoya December 19, 2018

do you have join in cruise available during our stay in phuket between the 12th and the 22th of january ?
thank you


Bradley December 20, 2018

I would like a quote for insurance for my sailing catamaran


Markus January 08, 2019

Hello, I’d like to ask for a quote for thord party insurance as required by Malaysia immigration bureau for my sailing Yacht berthed in Langkawi (Rebak island).


อมรรัตน์ January 24, 2019

ติดต่อเรื่อง คอร์สดำน้ำ ค่ะ พอดีไม่เห็นมีเบอร์โทรศัพท์ติดต่ออยากทราบเรื่องรายละเอียดต่างๆ หรือต้องเข้าไปคุยที่บริษัทคะ


Amornrat January 24, 2019

อยากติดต่อเรื่อง คอร์สเรียนดำน้ำ ค่ะ พอดีไม่เห็นเบอร์โทรศัพท์ หรือต้องเข้าไปคุยที่บริษัทโดยตรงคะ


Hazel January 25, 2019


I would like to know if you have arrangement for diving in Hat Yai? I am looking at 1 to 2 dives preferably in the morning.

Appreciate your reply.

Thank you.



Van der Waal February 06, 2019

Looking for a 3 class (third party only) boat insurrance for my 19 ft smartliner cuddy.
Please send me application form


Van der Waal February 06, 2019

Please send me an application form for QBE boat insurrane 3 klass , third party only


Reggie February 12, 2019

Is it possible to get details on how the hydraulic drives are installed on your Wharram Tiki 38? Any information you could give would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Reggie


Philip B Maise February 24, 2019


I am currently offering for sale my huge trimaran. The vessel is ideal for a client looking for a big cruising vessel or to expand/start a tourism business. For example, this would be the largest multi-hull operating in Thailand. It is a 70 ton vessel and can easily be reconfigured to carry dozens of passengers seated at tables. Alternately, it is a prime candidate for luxury make over for luxury cruising along the lines of Long Ranger in Singapore.  

I currently have an exclusive agreement with another brokerage company, however, we are able to share/work an arrangement should you find a buyer. To get an idea of what the vessel looks like, please ask.

The vessel is currently in Langkawi after completing a recent sail from the Philippines. 

Note: I am the owner and will consider partnerships and trade if the vessel is smaller. I am currently looking to downsize to a smaller vessel.


ทญ. อุบลรัตน์ วรรณวิสูตร April 29, 2019

ขอเบอร์โทรติดต่อที่ร้านด้วยค่ะ จะไปซื้อสายรัดหน้ากากดำน้ำค่ะ


ploy May 19, 2019

สนใจฟิน mares volo race


Matias June 25, 2019


I would be interested in chartering a bareboat in Myanmar. I have chartered bareboats in Thailand in the past but Myanmar seems an amazing option to explore. I tried to find bareboats in this page without luck. Would you be able to confirm you have them and if so what would be available 22nd to 29th September?
Thank you


Mark July 09, 2019

May I please have more information on the prowler 9000 and costs and photos of the different layouts


Achara Phoonath July 10, 2019



Stefano July 26, 2019

What are the dates of the trips for the similan islands liveaboard?


Sophie September 14, 2019

Bonjour pourriez-vous me dire si la visite est en français ? Merci beaucoup


ไอติม September 28, 2019



Kathleen October 06, 2019

Do you have an trips leaving from PK around November 5 2019? I was looking at the 4 days trip on the website we would need 1 room for 2


Jessica November 28, 2019

5.5M Cholomark RIB For Sale

Hello there,

My husband and I have a custom made 5.5M Cholomark RIB that was built in 2019 and has less than 20 hours of run time used. The boat has been stored in a dry stack at RPM since we received it.

We will be leaving Thailand and are planning on selling our RIB. I was wondering if you have any interest in acting as a broker for the sale of the RIB, or if you have any recommendations as to other relevant brokers on the island. If so, please let me know and I’ll be happy to share whatever details or handle the posting directly.

Thank you very much for your help.


Jessica and Chris


Gordon December 04, 2019

Hi My name is Gordonand I have a boat in Koh Chang it’s 5.3 meter Aluminuum boat from Australia it a Center console with a 90 hp Mercury 2 stroke on a Calvinised trailer I would like to have it insured for passengers and for loss of boat as i would like to do snorkeling and fishing so is this something you can help me with please if you need anymore information let me know

Regards Gordon


Kathryn December 11, 2019

Requesting third party insurance and a full insurance quote for an Australian registered 47 foot steel ketch


Kathryn December 11, 2019

Requesting quote for insurance and or third party insurances for an Australian registered 47 foot steel ketch


Laura February 03, 2020

Good Day

I’m contacting you on behalf of my client. He’s looking to purchase the following:

Prawn Trawler
35 – 45 metre
Freezing facility onboard
18 – 20 crew
Economical engine
10 – 25 years old
Will be coming to South Africa


Hisayo February 12, 2020

Hi. do you have a tour on Sep 2020 for
Dive08 : Losin – Lopee ?
If you have, please let me know deprture day.
Thank you.


Mark April 15, 2020

I am looking for Boat insurance in Phuket can you get back to me with what you need to get a quote from QBE whom I have insured with before in Singapore


Andrew May 06, 2020


I would like to get a quote for insurance of my boat. Please can you send me the application form.


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