Thailand is blessed with gorgeous weather, fantastic beaches, and handy diving just a few kilometres from a fun-packed shoreline. Phuket, Khao Lak, Phi Phi Islands and Krabi are the best resort areas for a Thailand diving holiday. Phuket is best placed to serve the whole region, and is popular with party-goers, whilst Khao Lak is ideally placed to focus on the northern Thai Andaman Sea. Ao Nang Beach is set on the peaceful and spectacularly beautiful Krabi coastline across Phang Nga Bay, and Phi Phi’s magic draws sunseekers and travellers for the beaches and a slice of island-life.
The biggest draw-card here though, is the professionally run dive outfits that have a fantastic range of value-for-money liveaboards cruising around world class dive sites in the Similans, Burma and Hin Daeng.
The picturesque Similan Islands are the most popular destination, with superb underwater scenery and excellent visibility in its aquamarine waters. Huge deep water boulder formations create daring swim-throughs as well as providing dramatic back-drops to its vibrant coral gardens and reef slopes. You can dive here by liveaboard or day tours.
The world famous Richelieu Rock is perhaps the Thailand’s most famous dive site, and it rates as one of the best places in the world for diving with whale sharks. Nearby Koh Bon and Koh Tachai are great for manta rays and white tip reef shark encounters.
Hin Daeng and Hin Muang are your best chance to see grey reef sharks, patrolling their deep walls. Besides that, it’s also the second home in the Andaman Sea for whale sharks and mantas. Dive Hin Daeng and you’ll experience the excitement of diving Thailand’s highest vertical wall. Nearby caves and caverns add to the thrill of adventure.
Koh Samui is the ideal base for exploring the dive sites on the Gulf of Thailand. The diving may not be quite as varied Phuket and the Similan Islands, but there are some very good dive sites around Samui and Koh Tao, which can be combined with a stay at one of Samui’s excellent resorts.