So, how come diving in Thailand has turned into a phenomenal success?
Superb locations for every diver of every skill
High standard of diving centres
Diving is possible all year round
Reasonable cost of diving
Main centres are affiliated with PADI or other recognizable dive bodies
Courses are held in a variety of different languages
Latest amenities and excellent boats
Huge range of sites – something for everyone
Thailand has two unique distinct oceanic zones
The Similan Islands are a prime example of encouraging divers, while at the same
time maintaining ecological stability and preserving biological diversity of flora
and fauna. From 1999 to 2003 the Similans attained a five fold increase in the number
of visitors, which was just 10,000 increased to 50,000 and most of them were divers.
The income grew in that time from 22,000 USD to a staggering 460,000 USD with foreign
divers each spending an average of roughly 1,200 USD.
Diving Destinations and Diving Sites in Thailand
Thailand has two uniquely different diving zones consisting of The Andaman Sea on
the west and The Gulf of Thailand on the east.
The Andaman Sea
Introduction: The best time of the year to dive in the Andaman is from October to
April. The visibility in the Andaman is similar to that of the Gulf of Thailand but
the area has more extensive coral reefs. Due to the influence of the southwest monsoon,
most of the reefs surrounding the offshore islands occur on the east side of the
List of Destinations
Phuket Island has some decent dive sites and the largest diving centre in Thailand.
The reefs around the area are in a healthy condition with both solid and colourfully
soft corals. There is also an abundance of marine life. Most of the dive locations
are suitable for all levels of divers but there are also some that are quite deep.
The most well-known dive site in the Phuket area is Racha Yai with it's sloping rocky
reefs and its plentitude of solid coral forests. There is also Ter Bay where there
is an exciting wreck in the depths of 25-35 meters. The area south Racha Yai, Racha
Noi, is a haven for experienced divers as the depths are greater and the currents
stronger. The overall topography is strikingly different from Racha Yai with huge
granite boulders and the chance to see Manta Rays and Whale Sharks. The diving in
Racha Noi compared to Racha Yai is definitely more challenging but the rewards are
Just off Phuket, is the limestone island of Koh Doc Mai which soars vertically from
the sea-bed. It is home to a diversity of fish and offers the opportunity to view
leopard sharks, moray eels, octopus and turtles.