Thailand is located in the southwestern part of the Indochina Peninsula and the northern part of the Malay Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It borders Myanmanr as Laos in the north, Laos and Cambodia in the east and Malaysia in the south. Two oceans — the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean with open Andaman Sea and South China Sea with the Gulf of Thailand — offer great diving opportunities. Developed infrastructure, high level of service, extensive care of your safety, a comfortable fleet, rental of professional equipment, support from experienced professionals, diving stores with equipment from leading manufacturers, as well as training programs to obtain international certificates of all levels and of different world systems — this is all available in Thailand. In some areas, you can dive almost all year round, but the most comfortable period is still in the high season ─ from October to April.
As divers say, the best regions for diving in Thailand are the Similan Islands and the Richelieu Rock, and the most convenient way is to go there on a diving safari for a few days on a comfortable ship. Also, another great region is Koh Tao island. Local Triggerland will give you a thrill, no less exciting than a meeting with a shark. Japanese Gardens diving site is an amazingly picturesque and inspiring place. On deep diving sites (up to 40-45 m) Sail Rock and Chumpon you can meet whale sharks during the right season. Huge groupers, giant oceanic manta rays, shoals of big barracudas and adorable sea turtles inhabit these waters. On the Green Rock, you can swim among huge boulders in the maze of grottoes and caves. White Rock is a great place for a night dive.
Dive shops in all diving areas of Thailand offer one-day dives, diving safaris, and equipment rental, provide training under the guidance of experienced professionals and issue certificates. Many dive shops own specially equipped vessels and equipment stores and can provide equipment maintenance and repairs. On the island of Phuket, most companies are situated in Chalong, close to the pier from which the diving boats leave. There are also some in the area of Rawai, Kata and Pa Tong, Samui and the island Koh Tao.
In resort areas of Thailand, it is hot from March to May, air temperature sometimes reaches +40 °C. Water temperature is +30... +33 °C. In March and April the weather is quite comfortable, but May often becomes a challenge. Underwater visibility is average. Waves are quite small.
June and July are the hottest months in the resort areas of Thailand. In August, it becomes a little cooler. Water temperature is within the range of + 28... +30 °C. In Phuket it is almost the same. Visibility at diving sites is within a normal range, sometimes it can reach up to 20 m. It rarely rains.
Autumn months — especially September and October — are considered to be the low season on Phuket. Strong storms are possible, and visibility is only 5-7 meters. Despite this, the air and water temperature stays at +30 ° C. Strong short rains often happen at this time of the year. By the end of November, the weather becomes better. The time for relaxing on the beach and diving in the sea starts.
Winter in Thailand is a high season for diving. From February, majestic whale sharks can be seen in local waters. At this time there is a calm water surface and excellent visibility. The air and water temperatures are almost the same — +28... + 32 ° С.
Similan Islands of Thailand National Park and Richelieu Rock offer the best diving in Thailand. You will appreciate the unique visibility, diversity of inhabitants and the picturesque underwater landscape. In the vicinity of Phuket Island, you will find excellent diving sites for both experienced divers and beginners. Such as King Cruiser Wreck, Shark Point, Koh Racha Ya islands and Koh Racha Noi. Koh Tao island is entirely devoted to scuba diving. The cost of diving is much lower here than in other areas of the country.
Health care in Thailand is well-developed, but also costs a lot, so it is better to purchase your travel insurance before the trip. There is no obligatory list of vaccinations to enter the country. But if you are planning an extreme vacation, experienced travelers recommend to be vaccinated against typhoid, hepatitis A and B, diphtheria, rabies, tetanus, and if you travel from April to October, then also from Japanese encephalitis. Thailand is a safe country, with a low crime rate. There is special "tourist police", and if you get into a tricky situation, you can ask them for help.
Dangerous marine life lurks in the coastal waters of Thailand. Every diver is taught how to behave when meeting a potentially dangerous sea creature. Here you can spot a great variety of fish: triggerfish, moray eels, sea snakes, pterois, shorthorn sculpins, reef stonefishes, and in some places even several species of sharks. Do not touch sea creatures, especially sea urchins and jellyfish, as well as coral bushes and overgrown wreck walls, because you never know, what can be hiding there.
After spectacular scuba diving you can also dive into the culinary art of Thailand. Traditional Thai breakfast consists of thin white rice noodles. It is called Khanom chin and it is usually served with various curries — spicy fish, crab, sometimes even chicken. Soup with yellow noodles and pork will be offered to you for lunch. Another popular dish is kaeng — minced pork wrapped in soy paper. Loba — a stewed pork offal dish, is popular as an appetizer. The most common soft drink — fresh fruit juice. The most famous Thai dish is Tom Yam soup with lots of shrimps and mushrooms, which are cooked with coconut milk. Since tap water here may be unsafe to drink, it is advisable to consume only bottled water.