Scuba Diving Vacations In Thailand

The Kingdom of Thailand is an independent country which lies in the heart of Southeast Asia. The country is bordered to the north by Laos and Burma (Myanmar), to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the west by the Andaman Sea and Burma. Scuba diving vacations Thailand offers are plentiful and worth exploring.

Thailand is one of the most beautiful and welcoming countries in South East Asia. A reputation it deserves. The traditional lifestyles of much of the population and a rich cultural heritage are very present and visible to visitors and form an exotic contrast to the rapid development of the country which is gaining a reputation as a destination for shopping as well as high level hospitality service and excellent value for money. And of course Thai food which is universally recognized as one of the world’s great cuisines.

Scuba diving Thailand and the Andaman Sea are usually mentioned in the same breath. For good reason because Thailand offers world-class diving in protected waters of the Andaman Sea one of the most naturally beautiful seas anywhere, with majestic cliffs forming a backdrop to aquamarine water where colorful reefs and dramatic underwater landscapes harbor a huge variety of and including rare and exotic marine life. It’s the narrow southern peninsula running down to Malaysia where the dive action takes place. Both the Andaman Sea to the west and the Gulf of Thailand to the east are scattered with Thailand resorts, picturesque island travel destinations and marine parks.

The Andaman Sea, with its warm clear waters crammed with colorful, tropical fish-life and corals, set around stunningly beautiful tropical islands, boasts some of the most spectacular scuba diving Thailand. In particular the Similan Islands where ghost pipefish, ribbon eels and nudibranchs are some of the smaller species found.

Accessed by Thailand liveaboard, the Similan Islands lay claim to some of the finest dive sites in Thailand.  The Similan Islands National Park has nine uninhabited islands that are densely wooded and boast a number of beautiful white sand beaches. Underwater, Similan diving will give you thriving reefs with abundant hard and soft corals highlight the dramatic terrain. The Surin Islands and Richelieu Rock are favorite dive sites with chances to observe octopus, mating cuttlefish and schooling barracudas, plus chance encounters with shovelnose rays. North of the Similan Islands the dive sites of Ko Bon, Ko Tachai and Richelieu Rock enjoy a deserved reputation for their big pelagic sightings. Richelieu Rock in particular attracts both whale sharks and manta rays in good numbers over the diving season.

On the edge of the Andaman Sea is Phuket Island, the only Thailand liveaboard diving resort area from where you can dive all of Thailand’s chief attractions. Phuket is Thailand’s largest island and is located 900 km south of Bangkok. It is popular for scuba diving vacations Thailand has to offer. The islands’ east and west coasts provide contrasting styles of diving and Phuket diving is done within a relatively small area. The East coast is marked by fine coral reefs, whilst the west coast offers dramatic drift diving through granite outcrops. To reach the best scuba dive sites and Phuket resorts, Similan liveaboards are the way to go in Thailand to cruise around world-class dive sites in the Andaman Sea of the Similan Islands and Hin Daeng.

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Visitors from most Asian and Western Countries including Europe, North America, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa are granted a tourist visa on arrival. This will be a 30-day stay permit when arriving by air, or a 15-day permit-to-stay when arriving by land or sea. Some other nationals are required to produce a tourist visa before arrival and you should contact a local Thai embassy or consulate for details.
Thai is the official language. English is widely spoken, especially in establishments catering for tourists.
GMT +7
The local currency is the Thai Baht (THB). The majority of established hotels and restaurants accept major credit cards. However, smaller, family-run places probably will not. Money-changers and ATM machines are found in all major cities and almost all provincial banks.
Thailand enjoys a tropical climate with 3 distinct seasons - summer from March through May, rainy with plenty of sunshine from June to September and cool from October through February. The average annual temperature is 28 °C / 83 °F
No inoculations or vaccinations are required unless you are coming from or passing through contaminated areas. Check with your embassy or consulate, as well as with a knowledgeable doctor, for detailed information on current health issues. Health services in Thailand are generally very good. Hospitals in major tourist destinations have modern technology and well trained doctors, including the one in Phuket. We recommend that travelers follow normal precautions with food in order to prevent stomach upsets, and be sure to drink bottled water only.
220 volts AC, 50Hz. Two-pin plugs are standard.
There is no airport departure tax.

Where Is Thailand?

Water temperature
26 – 31 °C / 79 – 88 °F

10 – 40 meters / 30 – 130ft

Skin – 3mm – 5mm

Best time to travel
Year round, best October to May

Recommended dive sites
Richelieu Rock, Hin Daeng

Above water activities
Bridge over river Kwai, Enjoy a Thai massage, Grand Palace in Bangkok