Regardless of whether you are an experienced diver or beginner, Thailand offers an abundant wildlife, translucent warm sea, diverse range of underwater adventures, and some of the most beautiful sites on the planet, all at reasonable prices. Here’s the best diving spots in the ideal season.
When to go to Thailand?
In the Gulf of Thailand, conditions allow diving all year round, but not on the Andaman coast where the optimal season is between December and April. In the Ko Chang archipelago, the best season runs from November to early May. If possible, avoid the monsoon and the rainy season.
- December-February The rains are rare during the day; underwater, large pelagic fish gather to feed along the Andaman coast.
- April-June Along the gulf, the beaches are rather calm and the weather remains pleasant, with good underwater visibility.
- June-September Monsoon breaks on the Andaman coast, hotels close and boat trips can be canceled due to storm.
- October-December The rainy season is in full swing on the Gulf.
Where to dive in Thailand?
The coasts of Thailand are located at the junction of two oceanic zones: the waters of the Andaman Sea surge from the west, while those of the Gulf of Thailand come from the Indonesian islands and the South China Sea.
In good weather, the Andaman Sea offers some of the most beautiful dives in Southeast Asia. The visibility, during the few months of optimal conditions, is exceptional. Coral bleaching has been a problem for several years; the phenomenon is less widespread around the most isolated sites, such as Richelieu Rock and Ko Bon.
The Gulf of Thailand
Conditions are generally favorable all year round. The southwest coast of the Gulf offers the most beautiful diving sites, near Ko Tao and Ko Phangan. Pattaya, 2 hours from Bangkok , has some memorable sites, including two wrecks. At the eastern end of the coast, the Ko Chang archipelago has pleasant sites, including several wrecks, but the rough sea limits the season from November to May.
Preserving Thailand’s coral reefs
The undersea kingdom of Thailand is fragile. Here are some basic rules of conduct to help protect coral reefs.
- Know that it is an offense to damage or remove coral from marine parks.
- On an island or during a boat tour, always bring your waste with you to the mainland (even biodegradable waste like a banana peel).
- In the case of snorkeling, especially if you are a beginner, first practice away from the coral reef until you have mastered your buoyancy.
- Make sure that no equipment is touching the reef.
- Rent a suit rather than putting on sunscreen, which has a detrimental effect on coral life.
- Do not chase or touch sea animals.
- Snorkeling is the best way to observe whale sharks; the bubbles of the divers disturb them.
- Do not stand or lean on the coral. You will damage it and risk cutting deeply.
- Do not bring back seashells as a souvenir, it is illegal.
- Do not put your feet with flippers anywhere; try not to stir the sediment and not disturb the corals.