Thailand has one of the world’s most diverse marine habitats, with more than 300 major reef groups covering an area of over 4,500 square miles. From pinnacles and submerged rocks, through to stunning coral gardens and sheer walls, the scuba diving in Thailand has something to offer scuba divers of all levels of experience. It is this diversity in marine habitats and diving environments which attracts so many divers to the waters around Thailand every year, and today the region is one of the world’s most popular scuba diving destinations.
There are a number of major diving destinations in Thailand, all offering a wide selection of diverse dive sites. Throughout all of these major destinations is a network of well equipped, knowledgeable and experienced dive centres, offering a range of diving from leisure dives through to a selection of scuba diving courses.
It would be impossible to discuss Thailand, without looking at the scuba diving in Phuket and the surrounding areas. Without doubt, the diving in Phuket is of the highest standard, and the waters surrounding the ‘island’ host a number of excellent dive sites. However, the real underwater treasures of Phuket lie slightly further afield. Dive sites such as the Burma Banks, The Similan Islands and the Mergui Archipelago are often found high on the wish list of many discerning scuba diver and offer some of South East Asia’s finest dive sites.
The scuba diving on the Western Gulf of Thailand sees a different emphasis, and the small islands found here have become one of the world’s most popular areas to learn to scuba dive. In fact, the island of Koh Tao has developed a complete tourist industry from scuba diving, and today large numbers of would be scuba divers travel to Koh Tao every day to begin their diving education. Other islands within the Western Gulf of Thailand are also home to developed scuba diving industries, and destinations such as Koh Samui and Ko Pha-Ngan are both home to a large number of dive centres and excellent dive sites.
Throughout Thailand there are a number of exceptional dive sites, and sites such as the Richelieu Rock and Chumpon Pinnacle are widely acknowledged as being world class dive sites. However it is the sheer volume of excellent dive sites that makes Thailand such a popular destination. Destinations such as Pattaya, Krabi, Ko Chang and the Surin Islands are all home to a number of exceptional dive sites and dive centres.
Today, Thailand is one of the world’s most popular scuba diving destinations, and large numbers of scuba divers travel long distances to dive in the waters surrounding this stunning country. The sheer diversity of the diving on offer here ensures that there is something to cater for all tastes and levels of experience. From vertical wrecks, through to submerged pinnacles, from the largest sharks, through to the smallest nudibranches, the diving in Thailand has something for everyone.