When you first start diving, going solo with a buddy for the first time can be an intimidating thought. In your PADI Open Water Course on Dive 4, you are taught to plan and manage your dives so you can dive anywhere in the world with a buddy and without a guide.
Here in Thailand, pretty much anywhere you go in the “Land of Smiles” the company you organise through will give you a dive guide.
Thailand is one of the top destinations in the world for diving, whether you have hundreds of dives, or fresh out of your Open Water, Thailand will have beautiful and appropriate sites for your experience levels. Below is a little breakdown of some of the best sites to dive whilst starting out your new diving ventures.
East Thailand – The Gulf of Thailand
In the Gulf of Thailand, on the east coast lies Koh Tao. Koh Tao is a haven for diving, and is absolutely perfect for beginner divers. An island situated 1hr30mins by speedboat, North from the popular destination of Koh Samui. With over 30 dive spots around the island alone it has plenty of options all year round for dives ranging from 5-18m. Beautiful coral reef dives and big fallen boulders make up the topography of Koh Tao. With the bright colour’s and vast array of tropical marine life it is a haven for any beginners or experienced divers. Stingrays, turtles, Baby blacktip reef sharks, moray eels and many more in between can be seen on the lucky days. The water averages about 29/30 degrees throughout the year, so makes it an enjoyable dive no matter what. Some of the favourited sites for beginners include- Mango Bay, Twin Rocks, Laemthian, Aow Leuk, Hin Ngam and Shark Island.
Sail Rock, also a haven for all beginners and experienced divers. Situated between the islands of Koh Phangan and Koh Tao in the Gulf (around 1hr from Samui), a pinnacle that comes out of the water to 15m, and goes straight down to 30m. it is a deep site, however with your dive guide and especially if you have your own dive computer, it is easy to stay within your limits. A big pinnacle with big schools of fish and big fish all around. The word that is usually used to describe it is “Alive”. Also a chance to see the Whale Shark if it has chosen to grace the site with its presence that particular day (never a guarentee). An easy dive site to navigate and view the underwater beauty from out in the Open Water if you are looking to be a bit more adventurous.
West Thailand – The Andaman Sea
PHUKET/KOH PHI PHI/KOH LANTA
In the Andaman Sea, on the west coast of Thailand lies the locations and islands, Phuket, Koh PhiPhi and Koh Lanta. From either of these destinations you can find a dive centre and an appropriate dive for you. Phuket, Koh PhiPhi and Koh Lanta are the more popular islands to dive from, as they are closer to the sites and again a vast variety of marine life can be found here.. From Leopard sharks to blacktip reef sharks, turtles, stingrays and Manta Rays on the very lucky days. Dives can range from 10m-18m and like the Gulf there are deeper sites available, but stay within your limits!! From reef dives with beautiful coral life and sloping wall dives it can be a fun adventure for any new beginner divers.
Wherever you choose to go, diving in Thailand is always fun. Any dive centre in the area you choose to go to will have a choice of sites within your comfortability. Remember not to dive out of your depth limit and stay within your no decompression limits.
We are not having fun, if we are not being safe!
SEA you in The Land of Smiles soon!