Thailand Diving and the Environment

Thailand Diving and the Environment

Diving on the West Coast of Thailand

The Andaman Sea, separated from the Bay of Bengal by the Andaman-Nicobar Ridge, is part of the Indian Ocean. Thailand’s long Andaman coast extends for about 500 km from the Surin Islands near Thailand’s border with Burma to Tarutao National Park bordering Malaysia. Hundreds of islands are reached by boat from Phuket, many of them uninhabited and featuring coral reefs. To see the real Thailand, get off the beaten track and away from the tourist beaches.

Mandarin Queen Liveaboard Diving

The diving season for the Similan Islands is from late October through to early May. The diving varies from gently sloping coral reefs to deep rocky gorges and dizzying landscapes. In general, the East coast dive sites are hard coral reef dives, with some soft corals and a huge variety and abundance of marine life. The diving is fairly relaxed, with weak/moderate currents and 20 – 30m visibility the norm.

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Phuket Thailand is the centre of all this beauty, and from here Sunrise Divers can arrange SSI & PADI diving courses, liveaboard safaris or a variety of day and overnight dive tours. The Similan Islands national marine park to the Northwest of Phuket is one of the best scuba diving destinations in the world – Thailand liveaboards, day trips and overnight tours are all available. Dive liveaboards into the more remote Mergui Archipelago in Myanmar (Burma) are also available on a few boats.

Similan Island National Park

Travel, General Info & Weather

Situated 8 degrees north of the Equator, Phuket’s warm tropical climate is tempered by cool easterly breezes from November to April, and by fresh south westerly “monsoon” winds in summer months. Phuket weather is good for scuba diving almost the whole year, but is better from November to April, which is our main diving and liveaboard season on the west coast of Thailand. Divers can expect some wet and windy days during May – October, but it’s often quite sunny. The “low” summer holiday season can be a great time for diving in Phuket, since you find less divers under water, and much lower hotel prices. Read more about the Thailand Diving Seasons.

Phuket is the largest island in Thailand and well known as a tourism and diving destination. Just a short hop by jet from Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur or Singapore, with daily flights to most major Asian cities, Phuket is ideally situated for a short dive holiday or relaxing Phuket vacation (with a few dives!). Time is GMT +7 hours, 1 hour behind Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia. For more general information try visiting our Phuket Travel, Phuket Map or FAQ pages or check Jamie’s Phuket.


Whalesharks can be seen at Hin Daeng, Richelieu Rock and other places.

The Diving Environment In Thailand

The fringing coral reefs of the Phuket diving area include some of the best in the world and are home to over 100 reef fish species. There are more than 200 species of hard corals playing their part in building this incredible underwater ecosystem, and an undetermined number of soft coral species. Hundreds of species of pelagic (open water) fish find their home in the rich waters of Thailand, including Manta rays and the majestic Whaleshark. Best season for whale sharks is March – May, at dive sites such as Hin Daeng and Richelieu Rock, reached by liveaboards from Phuket.

The variety and abundance of reef fish in the Andaman Sea can sometimes be quite breathtaking. You can find a lot more dive site information in the Thailand Dive Sites section of our website. The underwater reefs of the Andaman Sea in Thailand and Burma are a natural treasure that we can all help to preserve. We hope to see you here for some great diving very soon!

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