Following up with our article from last night about learning to dive in Thailand, we thought we should highlight some of the best diving sites in Thailand to check out once you are certified. Besides, once you are certified, we can almost guarantee that you will want to continue diving across Thailand now that you have had a taste. Here some of the best dive sites in Thailand you can check out on your travels.
Thailand, a peninsula country boxed in by 2 equally beautiful seas, the Gulf of Thailand to the east and the Andaman Sea to the west. Having such clear and warm waters immediately at hand has helped accommodate the growing diving industry in the country, resulting in new diving schools popping up all over the place. In fact, Thailand is such a hotspot for diving right now next thing we’ll know someone will be opening a diving school at the top of the MahaNakhon skyscraper in Bangkok. Before anything that crazy happens, we’d suggest that you check out some of these top diving sites, each one well worth the time and effort and guaranteed to be something to remember.
Koh Lanta National Park
Both the next 2 dive sites are found 90km SE of Phuket and 60km south of Koh Phi Phi. Being so far out means a planned excursion will be needed to get here, some agencies offer 2-day, 2-night type of package stays. When you’re there you’ll want to check out both Hin Daeng and Hin Mouang dive sites which sit roughly 500 meters apart.
Hin Daeng (Red Rock)
This red rock gets its name from the alluring red Dendronephthya soft corals which adorn its face. At 12 meters down, the dive presents a small cave formation which, if you’re lucky, young Nurse sharks are known to reside. The area is built out of a series of shelved rock walls and drops to a compressing 35 meters. You’re guaranteed to see some sort of breathtaking marine life here, as the reef is home to snappers, leopard and nurse sharks, moray eels, cuttlefish, and mantis shrimps. Hin Daeng and Hin Muang are also known for the chance of spotting manta rays during your dives!!
Hin Muang (Purple Rock)
Unlike its red rock brother, the purple rock gets its name from purple sea anemones which dominate the center underwater pinnacle. This pinnacle sits in a group of 6 interconnected pinnacles which range in length from 16 to 80 meters. This dive site is known as one of Thailand’s deepest dive sites, as at the walls drop to a narrow platform at 40 meters, then even keep going even further, leveling out at more than 70 meters below! A 50-meter cavern is part of this dive site too, which is ideal for night dives.
Koh Tao is one of three amazing little islands off the eastern coast of Surat Thani. Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, and Koh Tao make up the triplet islands, Koh Tao being the diving enthusiast of the three brothers. It’s clear crystal waters, vibrant corals and tropical fish make it ideal for diving. Tao has a few great dive sites to check out, but to make your choice easier, here’s the top 2:
Hin Bai, as the locals call it, is a spectacular dive site roughly 90 minutes outside of Koh Tao. Sail Rock is also a popular dive destination for the diving schools on Koh Phangan, so you are staying at Slumber Party Koh Phangan you will have the chance to dive Sail Rock as well. The boat ride will seem insignificant once you get to this treasure, with the site being 40 meters down at its deepest, supporting numerous fascinating aquatic species and being home to a unique cave-like formation, including a 10-meter ‘chimney’ big enough to let an experienced diver descend inside it.
Publicised as Tao’s premier wreck dive, the HTMS Sattakut is a 1942 Thai Navy gunboat which was laid to rest on June 18th, 2011. This impressive gunboat rests south of the Hin Pee Wee dive site. Her stern sleeps at 30 meters below while her bow sits at 26 meters, and is home to a number of great things to explore and play with. With the ‘Captain’s cabin’, 2 cannon guns, plenty of portholes with local wildlife hiding inside, this site is a must.
Phuket is a great medium sized island teaming with locals, backpackers, party animals, tourists, expats, divers, and thrillseekers alike. Phuket is also home to our newly opened Slumber Party Phuket Hostel, so be sure to check that out as well.The island makes a perfect place for both experienced and advanced divers. Sitting on the Andaman Sea means that it has a massive variety of sea creatures to gawk at, however, this also means checking of weather reports more frequently than if you were on the Gulf of Thailand. A poor weather report can me poor water visibility. Come rain or shine, however, these 2 dive sites will blow your socks off.
King Cruiser Wreck
During the King Cruiser’s heyday she sailed the seas as a car & passenger ferry, but now she sits in a watery grave at 33 meters below. This 85 meters long and 30 meters wide ferry wasn’t sunk on purpose unlike many other wreck dives, no, she sank in 1977 when the ferry collided with the Anemone Reef while transporting 500 passengers between Phuket and Koh Phi Phi. Due to being in the water for so long, this wreck is home to a huge range of coral and sea creatures.
Here is an amazing video to check out what diving the King Cruiser Wreck in Phuket is like:
This site sits at a pleasant 17 meters down, perfect for newly certified divers, and is comprised of an old tin dredger. Now, for those of you who don’t know what a dredger is (I must admit I had to Google this one), it’s a machine that dredges… Basically, a way to move vegetation and deadwood from rivers or to dig out small areas underwater. Now we got that out the way, this dive site is littered with the remains of Tin Lizzy and is home to many of a barracuda, stonefish, lionfish and even batfish.
Make Diving a stop on you Adventure across Thailand
Thailand is an amazing place to dive. The water temperature, the reliability, and predictability of the weather, the huge range of marine creatures and availability of support infrastructure making this amazing destination even more enticing for the diving enthusiasts of us.