Thailand is blessed with gorgeous weather, fantastic beaches, and handy diving a few kilometres from a fun-packed shoreline.
The Andaman Sea, with its warm clear waters crammed with colourful, tropical fish-life and corals, set around stunningly beautiful tropical islands, offers the best diving in Thailand by far.
Phuket, Khao Lak, Koh Lanta, 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 Khao Lak is ideally placed to focus on the northern Thai Andaman Sea. Diving in Koh Lanta allows to discover the diving in the southern area; Ao Nang is set on the peaceful and spectacularly beautiful Krabi coastline across Phang Nga Bay, and Phi Phi's magic draws sunseekers and travellers for the beaches and a slice of island-life.
The biggest draw-card here are the 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, diveable from both Koh Surin and koh Similan 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 and Hin Muang, both located in Koh Lanta, 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.
On the Gulf of Thailand you cannot miss the divers paradise Koh Tao! The turtle island offers diving possibilities for all levels, reefs, wrecks, ocean dive sites, and whalesharks (when in season), being Chumphon Pinnacle the most famous divesite for sharks sighting. It is also famous for quality and cheap courses (it's one of the cheapest in the whole Asia).
The kingdom of Thailand attracts more tourists than any other nation in South East Asia. Some say it's the outstanding natural beauty, warm seas and fine beaches that are its main draw card. Others would argue that the main attractions are its fascinating culture and religion, inspirational temples, and ancient ruined civilisations. Still others come for more basic pleasures that Thailand satisfies - spicy and tasty food, low cost living, and lively nightlife.
However, it's the narrow southern peninsula running down to Malaysia that provides some spectacular adventure opportunities. Both the Andaman Sea to the west and the Gulf of Thailand to the east are liberally sprinkled with picturesque island tourist destinations and national marine parks.
With everything from old WWII wrecks, extensive cave systems, drop offs and holes, hundreds of continental and oceanic islands and a diverse marine ecology Thailand truly offers some of the best diving in the world. A solid tourism infrastructure also means that many destinations within the Kingdom are geared up solely for divers, some resort spots have over 30 dive shops offering everything from day drips to liveaboards to mixed gas, technical diving and Instructor Development Courses.
But it's the Andaman Sea, and in particular diving the Similan Islands, that's the jewel in the crown when you want the best liveaboard charter diving. Dive in Koh Phi Phi for a real beach life, or dive Koh Lanta for an idyllic stay. Dive the Similan Islands for a world class experience, and indulge in the Thai way of living. The best hub for reaching all Andaman dive sites is Phuket, and diving the Similans are a world class dive spot with probably the best visibility and marine life in the Kingdom.