The Kingdom of Thailand is one of the most visited country in the world. The many natural wonders, the ancient culture and temples as well as it’s fondness for freedom, and some questionable tourist attractions, make Thailand attractive to backpackers and world-citizens. The country offers access to the amazing Andaman Sea as well as to the Gulf of Thailand. Therefore, the divers, and future divers, also see Thailand as a ‘must go’ on their list! Thailand Liveaboard and Diving is something not to miss
Indeed, Thailand is among the world’s best diving destination. With paradise-like beaches and clear-blue waters, it attracts thousands of divers every year. Diving in Thailand is also renowned for the cheap prices of the PADI and SSI certification courses. Learning to dive, or getting to a higher certification level, in the beautiful and calm sea around Koh Tao could not be easier. Otherwise, the diving industry in Thailand is mostly concentrated on the Andaman Sea side and will please both beginners and seasoned divers.
For more detailed information about diving in Thailand, visit Divezone.
The best way to explore the Andaman Sea’s many beautiful dive spots is undoubtedly by Liveaboard. Indeed, the Similan Islands as well as the Surin and Mergui archipelagos are all far off the coast of Thailand and Burma. Taking a diving cruise to any of those islands guarantees great diving and allows enough time to take it all in and enjoy! Day trips are available, from Khao Lak or Phuket, but won’t get you to as many sites and you might miss on the best.
What’s the best thing about diving in Thailand? Well, good question! First of all, as you must know, Thailand is a very popular country among travellers in South East Asia… probably THE most popular. This is why the diving safari, or liveaboard, is the best option when it comes to diving. Reason being that most of the dive sites that can be reached by day trip boats will always be over crowded. To avoid the crowds and enjoy an unique a more genuine diving experience, the faraway archipelagos are the perfect choices. Liveaboard you go!
The Similan Islands are the most explored and most famous islands for scuba diving. The marine topography showcases huge boulder rocks there and there and impressive coral reefs all over. The Surin Islands includes Richelieu Rock, which is a world-class dive site. Richelieu Rock is Thailand’s most famous and best dive site: it’s visited by whale sharks and many big fishes but it’s also home to the best and finest macro life in the country. Ko Bon and Ko Tachai are famous for frequent Manta Rays and Whale Shark sightings. The Mergui archipelago, off the coast of Burma (Myanmar) is newly open to tourism and will sure please many with it’s pristine coral reefs and dense marine life. Further south of Phuket, closer to the coast of Kho Lanta, are the world-class sites of Hin Mueang and Hin Daeng. With healthy and colorful corals, they are a great option if you are looking for a short liveaboard. Manta Rays and Whale Sharks are often seen on Hin Muang and Hin Daeng, in addition to the abundant fish life, including reef sharks, trevallies and barracudas.
Diving in Thailand is possible year round. That being said, some spots are better dived during some months and some animals are seasonal only. Here are some guidelines:
• November to April: best diving season on the Andaman Sea – visibility is at it’s best.
• May to August: best diving season on the Gulf of Thailand – head to Kho Tao!
• December and January are usually the peak months for tourism, try to avoid.
• February, March and April: best months for Whale Sharks and Manta Ray sightings (Andaman Sea).
Liveaboard companies operate cruises to the Similan and Surin archipelagos mostly between October and May. Very few diving safaris actually visit the Surin archipelago, it`s remoteness makes it hard for the usual 3-4 days cruises to reach it. Make sure that you have time and that you book in advance if you want to dive the Surin islands. The Mergui archipelago, in Myanmar, follows approximately the same season so it is best dived from November to late April. Once again, make sure to reserve your liveaboard in advance for this destination as there are fewer boats cruising there.
Which diving cruise should you choose? That all depends on your interest, your time and your budget. First, you should pick an itinerary according to your ‘must see’ creatures, make sure you are in the right period to encounter the marine animals you want. Second, are you looking for a long cruise or a shorter one? There are short liveaboards, long ones and some are even over a week long. Third, your budget will determine the length of your trip as well as the level of comfort on the boat. Some liveaboard offer luxury diving cruises with a chef onboard and some offer more basic accommodations but a very good price.