Scuba diving is an activity in which you can glide through the water, listening to your racing heartbeat, and watch your breath bubble up; making it a Zen experience.
Thailand has a long coastline with countless islands, and its turquoise water offers some of the best scuba diving experiences in the world. Thailand’s underwater kingdom with its colorful marine life is a whole new world. The country is a hotspot for scuba diving!
Are you excited? Let’s dive in and discover everything you need to know about scuba diving in Thailand. But, before moving on to explore places for scuba diving, one should know the basic difference between scuba diving, snorkeling, and undersea walk.
Difference between Snorkeling, Scuba Diving, and Undersea walk:
Have you ever dreamt of floating weightless, like an astronaut witnessing different species or looking like a treasure hunter? These water sports can really make those dreams a reality.
Snorkeling is considered more as a leisure activity than a sport, in which a person is equipped to swim through the surface of the water body, peacefully observing the underwater world, with the help of a diving mask and a breathing tube called a Snorkel.
Scuba diving, on the other hand, is a sport which equips you to dive deep into the water body and examine the life at the sea bed with the help of a specialized apparatus used for breathing underwater known as Scuba.
In Undersea Walk, the experience is quite different from scuba diving and snorkeling. You will be provided with a special headgear to wear which helps you to breathe normally while you explore the beauty of the underwater world on foot!
Here is a link to help you learn more about the differences: Click here
“No swimming skills required to avail the scuba activity”
Scuba Diving in Thailand:
There are many places for Scuba diving across Thailand like Pattaya, Phuket, and Krabi. If you are experiencing scuba diving for the first time, Phuket is the best place. All the scuba diving programs are conducted by professional PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) certified instructors.
Let’s have a detailed look at scuba diving in Phuket.
Scuba diving in Phuket:
Phuket gives an exceptional experience to travelers in many ways. It is the best place to achieve your PADI certificate for scuba diving. It is rated as one of the best destinations among the world’s top scuba diving centers.
Witness the abundance of soft and hard corals, batfish, moray eels, jacks, trevallies and barracudas during your dive in these clear blue waters. You can also see some of the blue-spotted stingrays, turtles, pufferfish, and moray eels.
Koh Phi Phi is also one of the most popular holiday destinations in Thailand. It is a great place to explore diving with white sand beaches and beautiful bays. The whole island is surrounded by National Marine Park and diving sites are covered with coral and limestone walls.
There are trips to Phi Phi and Racha Islands from Phuket throughout the year. It is 50 km east of Phuket and the group of islands provides many sites and a large variety of choices.
Diving at Phi Phi Island is extremely popular among travelers. You’ll enjoy the dive at the exiting Shark point where you’ll be able to see leopard sharks. The marine life on this island is stunning. You can reach the place via speedboats.
Complete Guide for Scuba Diving:
If you want to experience scuba diving in a controlled and safe environment, Racha Island is the perfect destination for you. This is not a training course for the beginners but meant to give you a taste of diving in the azure waters of the Andaman Sea.
Your amazing experience begins when you leave your accommodation point. The operator will take you to the island in the morning at 6.30AM via boat. On the way to the island, the guide will give you some basic diving instructions. You will get a briefing on what to do and what to expect during your whole day. Thus, you spend some time gaining shallow water skills and getting comfortable with the gear.
During the initial stage of your scuba lessons, you’ll learn the basic principles of scuba diving such as:
- What things to consider while planning a scuba diving
- How to choose the proper scuba gear
- Underwater signals and different diving procedures
You will reach Racha Island at 8.30AM. Upon reaching, take some rest and relax. Enjoy your time at the beach and then get transported to the Scuba Diving point. Expert guides will help you during your sea walking experience. Then go for a dive. The diving professional will be in the water with you at all times and will handle your safety. You’ll get all the related equipment at the point.
The maximum depth for scuba diving at Racha Island is 10 to 12 meters. The duration will be 20 to 30 minutes. The dive duration completely depends on your air consumption and your comfort level in the water. If you are diving for the first time, then your throat will get dry after you breathe through the artificial oxygen suppliers. Some people can’t resist this and might want to come out of water. At this point, the duration will become less and you’ll lose out on time.
A diver needs a full set of well-maintained and properly fitted scuba gear before he can start diving. Your first dive begins from the dive spot where you’ll gear up with all the necessary equipment like scuba jackets, snorkel, fins, oxygen mask, regulators, etc.
You will be taught some basic techniques on how to use this equipment underwater. All necessary safety procedures are taught before starting the dive.
Most people who have basic fitness and are comfortable in the water can scuba dive. However, there are a few medical conditions that are contradictory for scuba diving. If you have any health issues, consult your doctor before taking the dive. An Asthma patient, pregnant women, people with extreme back problems, and heart patients should avoid the adventurous activity. A trained professional diver will assist you during your dive.
After the first dive, you will be provided with fruits and snacks. If you want to dive again to experience more, it’s advisable to do it post half an hour’s rest of the first round. Post completion, return to the hotel at 3.30PM.
Basic skills to include while scuba diving:
- Assemble and wear proper scuba equipment
- Underwater breathing techniques (Breathe in and Breathe out)
- Regulator clearing
- Clearing your dive mask off water
- Mask replacement
- Proper communication with the instructor underwater
- Safety checks
- Equipment removal underwater
- Usage of snorkel
- Bubble blowing
How much does it cost in Thailand?
This question has many answers depending on the factors like: How deep is the water? Which region do you choose as each of them offer different rates? It also depends on the choice of operators and the type of level chosen. There is no particular fixed cost for scuba diving. But might cost you around 3000 THB.
- Pick up from Hotel
- A professional guide/ Instructor
- Diving equipment
- Fruits and Snacks after the first dive
- Drop to Hotel
Few tips for Scuba Diving in Thailand:
- Try to find the best scuba diving school for a perfect and better diving experience.
- Make sure you take rest at least a day after the last dive to avoid health issues before taking the flight.
- Protect your body before diving, if you have sensitive skin.
- Drink sufficient water to keep your body hydrated before you dive.
- Do not indulge in an adventurous activity if you have any kind of breathing problems.
- Thailand has many places where you can get the diving certification.
Other Options for Scuba Diving in Thailand: (For Experienced Divers)
If you are a PADI certified diver, then choose more advanced options. Spend a few more days and experience advanced scuba diving in Thailand. It’s all about adding to your experience, perfecting your diving skills, and allowing you to explore more. Let’s have a look at a few islands in Thailand that have a wide choice of scuba diving.
Similan Island/Khao Lak:
The Similan Island is a group of islands that is a huge scuba diving destination, popular with liveaboard diving operators, based out of Phuket and Khao Lak.
For a world-class scuba diving experience, board a cruise to the Similan and Surin Islands. Hin Daeng is one of the most famous places for diving, just 100 km away from Phuket, with two dive sites.
Scuba Diving in Koh Lipe:
Koh Lipe is an archipelago and a part of the Tarutao National Marine Park. It includes 50 islands and 20 different dive sites. The rocky formation, pinnacles, and boulders act as backdrops to the beautiful coral reefs. You get a range of options for diving, suitable for all levels. You will get to experience the colorful soft coral gardens, macro critters galore, and snappers.
Scuba diving at Koh Tao:
Koh Tao certifies for the greatest number of divers, after Cairns in Australia. This place is otherwise, also known as a dive course factory. It is popular among backpackers and adventure lovers as an ideal place to learn a new watercourse.
Scuba Diving at Krabi:
Krabi is located on the west coast of southern Thailand & comprises a group of 7 main islands. It offers a spectacular scenic view on most of the islands. The area is surrounded by 200 species of fish and 80 species of local marine life coral.
Diving in Krabi provides diverse experiences to travelers. This place has plenty of lovely diving sites, mostly for honeymooners. This makes Krabi one of the best places for water sports activities.
Scuba diving is one of the best underwater activities you can experience, where you can see the unseen part of the earth. But make sure you always have a diving instructor with you to ensure your safety. Make scuba diving a mandate on your bucket list and make unforgettable memories in Thailand!
Do you have a scary scuba diving story or a funny one? What are the interesting things you came across while scuba diving? Do share your scuba diving experience in the comment section.