Thailand is a country that offers something for every visitor. For lovers of the sea, the southern and eastern regions are perfect for scuba diving, snorkelling and freediving. There are many ideal locations for these activities around the Andaman Sea, like Phuket, Krabi, Phang Nga, Trang or Satun, or in the Gulf of Thailand, like the surrounding islands of Pattaya, Trat, Chumphon and Surat Thani.
We’ve picked 10 of Thailand’s famous and beloved dive sites that you should not miss.
Best time for Diving
The best time for diving in the Andaman Sea and the eastern Gulf (Trat Province) is between October and May for, and between February and October in the southern part of the Gulf of Thailand (Ko Samui, Ko Phangan and Ko Tao)
10 Dive Sites in Thailand not to be missed
Richelieu Rock, Phang-nga
Because Kong Hin Richelieu (Richelieu Pinnacle) lies in the channel between Mu Ko Surin (Surin Archipelago) and the coast, currents carry rich nutrients that feed and nurture all the marine and coral life in the area, making this world-famous dive site one of the most abundant underwater ecosystems in the Thai seas.
Tachai Pinnacle, Phang-nga
Tachai Island is an isolated island far away from the other islands of Mu Ko Similan (Similan Archipelago) National Park. This island has a beautiful beach and a well-known dive site called Tachai Pinnacle. It is two massive rocks sitting next to each other in the south of Tachai Island that is also known as Twin Peaks. Currents are very strong here, allowing the beautiful kalam pangha to flourish as it traps the plankton passing through it.
King Cruiser Wreck, Phuket
This vessel ferried passengers between Phuket Island and the Phi Phi Archipelago until it crashed into Kong Hin Musangnai (Musangnok Pinnacle) in May, 1997. All 500 passengers were rescued. Today, the wreck resembles more of a coral reef than a ship. This is because it lies in the path of strong currents, full of nutrients and marine life, causing a bloom in colourful, soft corals blanketing the entire ship, and ultimately attracting schools of fish and other marine creatures who take refuge in the corals.
Koh Haa, Krabi
Experience mountains, caves, and flower gardens under the sea in Mu Ko Haa (Haa Archipelago), which is part of Mu Ko Lanta National Park. Many divers travel from Ko Lanta Yai (Lanta Yai Island) or Ko Phi Phi Don (Phi Phi Don Island), or come on a liveaboard to these limestone islands in the middle of the sea. Whether you view it from the air, above the sea, or under the water, it is an incredible scene.
Hin Muang – Hin Daeng Rock, Trang
Hin Muang and Hin Daeng (Muang Pinnacle and Daeng Pinnacle) are twin pinnacles under the sea. Hin Daeng (Daeng Pinnacle) just peeks a little out of the surface and looks like an ordinary rock in the water. But beneath the surface, this giant rock is covered in many soft, red and purple corals surrounded by many fishes, like barracuda, fusilier, long-nosed hawkfish, and gold belly damselfish. Hin Muang (Muang Pinnacle) slopes down to the bottom into the dark, making the soft red corals look purple.
Stonehenge Pinnacle, Lipe, Satun
Divers who discovered the site named it Stonehenge Pinnacle for the four granite rocks arranged in a circle, similar to the original Stonehenge in England. The rocks are covered with soft red, purple, blue, white, and yellow corals along with kalam pangha. The site is quite large and will take two dives see all of its beauty.
Losin Pinnacle, Pattani
Ko Losin (Losin Island) is a small island located far away from the coast and takes the longest time to get to. But divers still think it is worth the travel time to see an entire
kingdom of hard corals like mountain coral, cauliflower coral, sea whips, and sponges. In addition, there are hordes of small fishes and large sea creatures like whalesharks that often swim by.
Sail Rock (Hin Bai), Ko Pha-ngan, Ko Tao, Suratthani
Hin Bai (Bai Pinnacle) is a large stone located between Ko Tao (Tao Island) and Ko Pha-ngan (Pha-ngan Island). The pinnacle slopes to a depth of 35 metres and is known for its large hordes of fish, which always amazes anyone who has seen it. You can expect to see Russell’s snapper, hardtail scad and big fish like whalesharks that commonly live around the area.
Chumphon Pinnacle, Ko Tao, Suratthani
This site is suitable for experienced divers as the current can be very strong at times. The pinnacle is at a depth of 14 meters, but the average diving depth is 20-25 meters. Divers will find many types of hard coral, sea whips, a large anemone grove, and large schools of fish, such as barracuda and yellow-striped scad. However, the divers’ favorite is the whaleshark, a large, gentle fish that often visits the site.
Hin Phoeng, Rayong
Many divers agree that Hin Phoeng (Hin Phoeng Pinnacle) is the most beautiful dive site in the eastern region. This pinnacle is far from the coast, and visibility is very good.
Hin Phoeng (Hin Phoeng Pinnacle) is actually two large pinnacles. Many marine creatures can be found here and you will often find yellow-striped scad, batfish, lionfish, bannerfish and whalesharks.
Other Watersports Activities Available
- Free Diving
- Paddle boarding
Photo Credits: Bunyarit Traisuthamporn