With its warm clear waters crammed with colourful, tropical fish-life and corals, set around stunningly beautiful tropical islands, the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand boasts some of the best diving around and offers the best diving in Thailand by far.
A firm favourite with divers over the past decade or so, Thailand is blessed with gorgeous weather, fantastic beaches, and handy diving a few kilometres from a fun-packed shoreline. Phuket , Phi Phi Islands and Ao Nang Beach - 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 Ao Nang is set on the more peaceful and spectacularly beautiful Krabi coastline across Phang Nga Bay. 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 diving day tours.
The world famous Richelieu Rock is perhaps the Thailand's most famous site, and it rates as one of the best places in the world for diving with whale sharks. Koh Bon and Koh Tachai are great for manta rays and white tip reef shark encounters.
Hin Daeng - Hin Muang is your best chance to see grey reef sharks, patrolling the 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.
Gulf of Thailand
Few, if any, informative web sites seem to exist on diving in the eastern Gulf of Thailand area. This could be an indication of the enthusiasm shown by many divers for this area. Despite some novel dive sites, divers often note silty waters and only fair abundance of marine life. Yes, the currents do flow clockwise in the northern hemisphere--meaning that the silt from the Choa Phraya River upon which Bangkok lies is likely to flow down the east side of the Gulf of Thailand. The popularity of Pattaya's scuba diving may be more a result of the popularity of its strip bars.
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