Thailand, one of the most famous Southeast Asian destinations, is blessed to have world-class attractions both above and below the water. On either side of the long southern half of the country, you’ll find clear, warm waters filled with coral reefs inhabited by colorful fish, sharks and a variety of tiny critters. Offshore, island archipelagos attract pelagic species such as manta rays and whale sharks. Walls, shipwrecks and even a few caverns round out the possibilities for underwater exploration.
Thailand is known to most for its stunning beaches, out-of-this-world food and friendly inhabitants. But, scuba divers will find an entire underwater world that’s ripe for exploration. The only catch is that the country’s best diving (in the Similan Islands) is only accessible by liveaboard. Board one of the available ships for a few days of epic dives along these far-out islands.
If a holiday that promises epic underwater encounters and culturally diverse land-based excursions isn’t enough to start planning now, check out these interesting facts about Thailand that just might convince you to hit the Reserve now button.
Interesting Facts about Diving in Thailand
- We all know that Bangkok is the capital of Thailand, but did you know that “Bangkok” is not the city’s official name? It’s actually called Krungthepmahanakhon Amonrattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilokphop Noppharatratchathaniburirom Udomratchaniwetmahasathan Amonphimanawatansathit Sakkathattiyawitsanukamprasit.
- Thailand’s has 3,219 kilometers of coastline. That’s a lot of underwater potential, if you ask us.
- While we’re on the subject, Thailand also encompasses 1,430 islands. Many of these are tourist hotspots, while others remain uninhabited. You might remember scenes shot on the gorgeous Thai islands from blockbusters such as The Beach and The Hangover Part II.
- Thai history is intertwined with the water. In fact, Bangkok used to be crisscrossed by several dozen canals, and many of its residences were held up by stilts. Today, most of these canals have been filled in, but you can still catch glimpses of a few. If you’re visiting the city, make sure to stop by one of the famous floating markets for a different kind of water experience.
- The best diving in Thailand is found in Surin & Similan Islands National Parks, which sit back-to-back in the Andaman Sea. These dive sites can only be reached by liveaboard due to the fact they sit 70 kilometers off the coast of Phang Nga.
- Richelieu Rock is often said to be Thailand’s absolute best dive site. A part of Surin National Park, whale sharks are commonly spotted in the area as well as the occasional manta ray. In addition, an abundance of smaller marine life call the site home.
- The 9 islands that make up the Similan Islands National Park are mainly visited for the purpose of scuba diving and snorkeling, but these pristine places also offer great land-based adventures. Try bird watching on island 8 and hiking to pristine, white sand beaches on island 4.
- Thailand is a year-round diving destination, but the season oscillates from coast to coast. From May to November, the best diving is found on the west coast in the Andaman Sea, and from December to April, the best diving is found on the east coast in the Gulf of Thailand.
Ready to learn more about diving in Thailand? Click here to read our guide to the Land of Smiles.
If this Southeast Asian paradise sounds right for you, book a Thailand liveaboard to experience the “eat, sleep, dive” vacation of your dreams. Please note that Thai liveaboards are great for beginners, just be sure to verify the minimum dives required before booking.
For any further details or inquiries about land-based diving, don’t hesitate to contact us.