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Top Places to Scuba Dive or Snorkel in Thailand

Thailand has some of Asia's best places to snorkel and scuba dive along with some of the best beaches. Our tours go to key scuba and snorkeling spots in Thailand along with going to famous cultural or scenic areas in Southeast Asia and China. Here's our pick of the best diving and scuba spots we go to in Thailand.

Thailand has two coasts with the Andaman sea on the west and the Gulf of Thailand in the east. Some places in the Andaman sea are world class for diving and snorkeling. Islands on the east coast are good diving and scuba spots too, but they are mainly tourist and resort areas.

We offer tours to Phuket, Ko Phi Phi and Koh Samui, three of the top 7 diving areas in Thailand, where you can snorkel and scuba dive.

Phuket

In Southern Thailand, there are world-class places to dive around Phuket. Phuket is Thailand's largest island. It is 48 kilometers long and 21 kilometers wide at the widest point. It is a very popular tourist resort place as well as a very popular scuba diving area.

Travel Advisor also lists it as the third best tourist island in Asia. It is known for its large resorts. It has an airport called Phuket International Airport.

Intermediate divers: Anemone Reef, Shark Point, and King Cruiser Wreck are all about 27 km east of Phuket. The King Cruiser wreck is known for large schools of fish around it. In all three places, a stronger current and the presence of some dangerous animals makes it advisable that only divers with some experience go there.

Beginner divers: About 15 kilometers south of Phuket, there are Racha Noi and Racha Yai. Racha Noi has big mantas and whale sharks that often visit. Both islands have areas suitable for beginners with mild currents.

Best diving season: November to April is when visibility is very good. Between January and April, it is dry season. After January is when peak tourist season is over, so prices are lower, and there are less boats/people in the water. From April to October, the sea can be choppy and visibility is often reduced.

Snorkeling: On the east side of Racha Noi, Coral Island is a fine snorkeling area.

Koh Phi Phi

Koh Phi Phi's diving is better than famous Koh Tao's on the east coast, though the resorts are not as plentiful. The Koh Phi Phi islands are about 40 to 45 kilometers from Phuket.

On Trip Adviser, Koh Phi Phi was voted as the world's #1 "must see island." These islands combine excellent scenery, hikes in the hills, beautiful beaches, and excellent diving and snorkeling.

Intermediate and advanced divers: The currents at the islands are generally mild to medium, but Hin Dot and Bida Nok are known for sharks, so it is suggested that only experienced divers go there.

Beginner divers: Palong Wall Dive Site is suggested for beginners who go with experienced local divers. it is often used for diving courses and free of dangerous sharks.

Best diving season: Between January and April, it is dry season. After January is when peak tourist season is over, so prices are lower, and there are less boats/people in the water. From May to December, the sea can be choppy and visibility is often reduced.

Snorkeling: Bamboo and Mosquito Island.

Ko Samui

The diving at Ko Samui isn't as good as in the Andaman Sea or Koh Tao, but it is one of the options there. The best diving at Ko Samui is at Angthong Marine Park where there are many small islands in a cluster. Ko Samui and many nearby islands are mainly known for its resorts, beaches and scenery. You can dive, snorkel and kayak.

The marine park has many islands and spectacular scenery. Visibility is usually poorer, so the interest in diving is lower around Ko Samui. The average cost of a dive is higher on Ko Samui than Koh Tao because of the tourist popularity and fewer diving companies.

Intermediate divers: Hin Yippon has an average depth of 18 meters. It is the northernmost of the islands and furthest from the Samui.

Beginner divers: Koh Wao is a place more for beginning divers. There is a lot of coral in the bay.

Best diving season: November and December are the worst months for diving due to monsoon weather, and in early December many diving operators go on vacation or close down. We suggest February and between April 18 to the end October because you'll miss high tourist season and find the best diving conditions.

Snorkeling: Snorkeling in is quite good at Angthong Marine Park. Kao Wao is especially suited for tourists to snorkel at since the depths are low and visibility better. It is 40 kilometers from Koh Samui, and is one of the small islands in the marine park furthest from Samui.

Going Diving in Thailand with Asia Highlights

Our large and experienced travel company specializes in individualized tours. In all our Thailand tours, a private driver and guide will pick you up and help arrange and facilitate your trip. With our experience, we can try to arrange better accommodations and prices.

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