For beginner scuba divers in Thailand, you’re in one of the BEST places in the world to learn. You’ll find dive sites with pristine water at comfortable tropical temperatures, sunny and clear days, and gorgeous white or gold sand beaches to return to. If we had to choose a place to learn scuba diving or experience our first dive, it would be Thailand.
Thailand is blessed with a long coastline that make it a wellspring of diving spots for everyone, whether novice or expert. There are dramatic rock and coral features around the many islands of Thailand, creating havens for a wide range of sea creatures, which means you have plenty to see when you’re underwater, not matter what depth you’re at.
Here are some of the best spots for beginner scuba divers in Thailand:
Koh Samui is the second largest island in the country, and has plenty of coastline for beginner scuba divers in Thailand to explore. The island now features multiple five star hotels and beach water sports, making it hard to enjoy any scuba diving from the beach, but there are some spectacular dive sites just a boat ride away. Koh Tao and Koh Phangan are some of the best spots in Thailand for scuba diving, and both attract divers from around the world.
Sail Rock is also one of the most exciting dive sites here. This massive rock boulder extends 50 feet over the water, but 120-130 feet under the water. It stands between Koh Samui and Koh Phangan, in the middle of the open sea, which means it is home to some truly wonderful sea life. No matter what level of certification you are at, you can visit the rock and see the vibrant world around it. However, more experienced divers can try the Chimney, a vertical tunnel in the rock that starts at about 50 feet depth and brings you up to 20 feet depth. The tunnel is wide and well-lit, and you’ll be able to see plenty of fish around you.
Koh Chang is an island just off the eastern coast, near Trat, the last Thai province before the Cambodian border. This small island has some fabulous coral formations, including a coral pinnacle that looks like a cathedral. Visibility here is usually 30-50 feet, sometimes more in November and December. Beginner scuba divers in Thailand often come here for the gentle water and laidback island vibe.
Koh Chang has two shipwrecks that are popular diving spots – the HTMS Chang, which is Thailand’s longest wreck (100 feet), and the newer T11 wreck (52 feet). Snappers, turtles, moray eels and barracudas are easy to spot on the dives here.
Phuket is a major tourist hub, but it’s also a big draw for beginner scuba divers in Thailand. The best scuba diving spots in Phuket are located off the shore, and are accessible by boat. The visibility around Phuket is about 65-100 feet, which is great. There are a variety of dive sites to cater to all levels of divers, with teeming coral gardens and rock formations for beginners, as well as the King Cruiser shipwreck, sunk here in 1997. The critters that inhabit the waters surrounding this island include yellow snappers, turtles, squids and many more. The easy currents here allow beginners to learn slowly and hence, is a spot for many scuba certification courses.
Most serious divers like to head away from popular tourist spots for a better chance of pristine water and untouched coral. But Pattaya has a scattering of islands nearby that are the perfect spots for novices. These islands have gentle waters, maximum depths up to 50 feet, and visibility between 16-50 feet. The dive spots here are considered relatively shallow, but for beginner scuba divers in Thailand, 50 feet is plenty.
The Near Islands – Koh Larn/Koh Lan, Koh Krok, Koh Sak – thus labelled because they’re nearest to Pattaya, are a collection of islands that are most popular for scuba diving beginners. You can expect to see turtles, puffer fish, eels, stingrays, and more. These spots are most popular for beginners, those doing their first few dives, or for new divers doing their PADI SD or OWD courses.
Pattaya attracts wreck divers thanks to the five (FIVE!) shipwrecks in the seas around it. Although beginners can’t do wreck diving, the rich colony of marine residents that live here are often found finning their way around the islands. You can also expect to have some pretty fun conversations from wreck divers in after-dive hours!
There are plenty of adventure activities in this beautiful country, but for beginner scuba divers in Thailand, the chance to explore an underwater world like this is too good to be missed. All it takes is one good first dive, and you’re hooked for life. No matter where you decide to dive, once you’re home, you’ll catch yourself daydreaming about the gorgeous aquamarine water and the bustling, magical world under the waves.
If you have a question about scuba diving, feel free to get in touch. You can chat with us on our website or message us on Facebook or Instagram. Remember, when you’re planning your next adventure outing, there are no stupid questions. We’re India’s most talkative adventure advisors, and we’re here to answer all your questions, big and small.
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