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Diving in Thailand


Scuba Diving in Thailand is an unforgettable experience. Set in South East Asia, this magical country; the land of smiles, is home to some of the BEST PLACES TO DIVE in the world.

Divers: prepare to be blown away by stunning reefs, haunting wreck dives and jaw dropping pelagics such as mighty Whale Sharks and graceful Manta Rays. Truly, Thai Scuba Diving is not to be missed.

But where do you start? What are the best dive locations in Thailand of all time?

How about the best place to LEARN TO SCUBA DIVE in Thailand?? What are the top liveaboard trips in Thailand??? Which Thai Dive Centre is for you?! What is even the Diving Season in Thailand!?!

Don’t Worry  – DivingSquad are here to answer all your questions.

With the help of this EPIC DIVING IN THAILAND GUIDE, you’ll learn where is the best diving in Thailand, the Diving Season, where to get your scuba diving certification in Thailand and everything else you could possibly need to know.

This is the ultimate guide to diving in Thailand.


Ok Squad – Let’s dive in!

Thai Diving Schools vs Thai Liveaboards

Soon to be Thailand Divers – you have two choices. (Don’t worry; neither involves consumption of a candy coloured pill). You can go with a diving school or a liveaboard.

Each presents a very different experience as well as its own set of advantages. We’ll explain exactly what this and these are in the sections below:

Thailand Liveaboards

What is a squidding liveaboard you ask? This is where you live…aboard a…liveaboard; a yacht specially outfitted for divers, that travels across a set route, visiting a number of dive sites, many of which can only be reached in this way and aren’t accessible on day dives.

Check out our three best Thailand Liveaboards of all time below! For a much wider variety of liveaboard options, suitable for those with every need read our Best Thailand Liveaboards Article!

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Diving Squad Presents:

Best Thailand Liveaboard Overall

The Junk

  • An ICONIC liveaboard with a fascinating history!

  • Visits: Route A) Similan Islands, Surin Islands and Richelieu Rock OR Route B) Southern Islands!

  • € 116 a day!

  • 7 Days/6 Nights trip (A) OR 3 Days/2 Nights (B)

  • No Minimum Logged Dives Required

  • Operates Year Around (October – May = Route A, May – October = Route B).

The Junk – June Hong Chian Lee Liveaboard, was once part of a small merchant fleet that traded along the coastline from Burma to Malaysia between the 1960-80’s.

In 1997, it underwent a complete renovation and this incredible 33m authentic sailing vessel was turned into the distinct liveaboard vessel that it is today.

Now fitted with 6 air-conditioned cabins, each including an ensuite bathroom, this extravagant vessel also includes an air conditioned salon with a fully fitted out entertainment system as well as shaded sun deck offering amazing views.

The Junk’s highly experienced dive guides provide extensive and passionate briefings and debriefings.

They have made it their personal mission to thoroughly inform passengers about the fascinating local insights into marine life. Not to be outdone by the diving staff, the chefs aboard this boat take meals incredibly seriously and cook a massive variety of dishes and even do breakfast twice!

With several cabin options, The Junk travels across the Andaman Sea on trips ranging from 5 – 9 days and typically includes visits to Koh Bon, Koh Tachai, the Surin Islands (rarely visited by liveaboards) and Richelieu Rock.

The Junk also offers special trips such as the Manta Expedition with the Manta Trust.

Passengers; prepare to be blown away by this liveaboards impressive range of stunning and varied dives – which are guaranteed to leave all other future dives you take, having big fins to fill.

At 116 Euros a day, the Junk Liveaboard Experience can honestly boast a price that is both comparatively low as well as extremely reasonable for the five star experience that it provides – both on board and off.

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Diving Squad Presents:

Best Thailand Liveaboard for Budget

Manta Queen 5

  • Cheapest Liveaboard in Thailand whilst still offering great quality service, yacht and diving!

  • Visits the Similan Islands and Richelieu Rock

  • Only €86 a day = one of the worlds’ cheapest liveaboards!

  • 4 Days / 3 Nights Trip.

  • No Minimum Dives Required

  • October May

At an unbeatable 86 euros a day, this is one of the cheapest liveaboards in Thailand available; however no quality is sacrificed.

The Manta Queen 5 explores some of the most popular dive sites around the stunning Similan Islands and Koh Bon, across three days and three nights.

Dive Sites include the immensely popular Elephant Head Rock, a suitably named rock featuring many small caves, arches and swim throughs that make it a divers playground.

Many shark species including leopard, whitetip and blacktip sharks can be seen here in addition to pelagics like giant trevallies and barracudas.

Other great dive sites include Christmas Point, Koh bon Pinnacle and Boonsung Wreck.

This large (26m long) boat has 3 shared bathrooms and can cater for a total of up to 20 guests, in 10 twin bunk cabins with AC. As of 2018, free onboard wifi is also available.

Because it doesn’t travel north to Koh Tachai or Richelieu rock, the marine park fees are cheaper than other trips and less travelling is required, giving passengers more time to relax on this super cheap liveaboard.

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Diving Squad Presents:

Best Thailand Liveaboard for Luxury

M/V Thailand Aggressor

  • Incredible facilities, including Jacuzzis, entertainment room, massages and more!

  • Visits the Similan Islands, Surin Islands and Richelieu Rock

  • € 269 a day

  • 8 day / 7 night cruise

  • No Logged Dives Required

  • Operates November – April

What is it that makes a luxury liveaboard in Thailand truly luxurious? The sort, that at the end, will leave it’s crew having to forcefully pry passengers from the boat kicking and screaming at the thought of returning to land?

Is it lavish staterooms equipped with ensuite bathrooms and showers, televisions and individual climate control?

An onboard menu with a variety of American fare and local cuisine perhaps? An air conditioned lounge?? A sun deck jacuzzi!? Maybe it’s actually loungers and deck chairs…Or Bar Service…with Stereo players.

Actually, there’s no need to choose. The M/V Thailand Aggressor has all of these things and more; along with a highly attentive crew of 8 ready to ensure the comfort and satisfaction of up to 16 guests.

At 269 Euros a day – you know where your money is going.

This 35m long world class liveaboard yacht offers year round diving cruises around the Andaman Sea, departing from Phuket.

Tours last 7 nights and include up to 5 spectacular dives a day, along with night dives around the stunning Similan Islands, Koh Bon and the even more rarely visited Koh Tachai and Richelieu Rock.

Divers will swim along spectacular coral and reef coated walls and can expect encounters with mantas, leopard sharks, silvertip reef sharks and even manta whale sharks.

Truly; in terms of onboard and offboard experience, sites visited, staff and overall vibe, this is one of the best liveaboards in Thailand…or anywhere in the world for that matter. Book Now to avoid disappointment.

Thailand Diving Schools

Just what the fish is a Diving School!? A Diving School – also known as a dive centre, dive shop or diving resort is a certified facility, complete with certified staff, on or near a beach.

Here, people can enrol on any number of diving courses and/or sign up for day long fun dives (assuming they already have their scuba certification).

A diving school has its own diving equipment, which the vast majority of people end up using (this is included in the standard price) as a posse to bringing along their own.

If you do bring your own equipment however, prices will be cut

Best Thailand Dive School Overall - Phuket Dive Tours

Named after the mountainous jungle island on which it resides in the Andaman Sea, Phuket Dive Tours is a diving resort that has everything any divers heart could possibly desire.

They not only provide local dives around Phuket, but also the Similan Islands (home to the world’s best diving), Koh Phi Phi, Kata Beach and more!

In addition to this, Phuket Dive Tours offer PADI and SSI Courses all the way from Open Water to Divemaster as well as Instructor Training Courses.

As well as diving day trips, this five star padi dive centre offers short liveaboard experiences, lasting 2 – 3 days, perfect for those on a time budget, in search of cheap liveaboards.

With a range of fantastic discount offers on diving packages and quality diving gear for sale, Phuket Dive Tours’ reputation as one of the best diving resorts of all time, exceeds them.

It’s a well known fact that the kinds of people who become dive instructors have a passion for the sea, people and life in general. But even by dive instructor standards, Phuket Dive Tours has an INSANE amount of praise for its staff.

Praise like “best guides ever”, “professional yet hilarious” and “awesome”. Need to hear more – just scroll through the comments about this diving resort at Trip Advisor.

Phuket itself is one of the most popular destinations in all of Thailand, with some of the countries most popular beaches, resorts and spas of all time.

This, combined with some of the best diving in thailand around Phuket – Cave Dives, Wreck Dives, Night Dives, Deep Dives – means that Phuket Dive Tours in Phuket should be high on your list of places to dive!

Best Diving School in Thailand to get Scuba Certified - Master Divers

Located in the Gulf of Thailand, off the countries’ eastern Coast, is the paradise-esque island of Koh Tao. Here, one can find Master Divers  – the very dive centre I learnt to Scuba Dive!

Universally acclaimed by divers of all levels, Master Divers is a great diving school for beginners (they teach scuba diving and freediving, as well as snorkelling), for several reasons.

First, classes at this diving school are often small…when I did my Padi Open Water and Padi Advanced Open Water Dive Courses here, I had one on one tuition for the entire week!

Second, the diving instructors are immensely professional and welcoming. They will make you feel like part of the gang rather than just a passer-by.

I’ll never forget my Dive Instructor, Romina, whom as well as teaching me the ins and outs of diving, with solid patience and support, became a legit homie of mine! Many beers were consumed and much laughter was shared…

(Wherever you are in the world Romina, thank you. Seen any “big ass hermit crabs” lately?).

Koh Tao features an immense range of dive sites that vary from those in calm, clear waters perfect for first time divers, as well as challenging drift and deep dives for those seeking more.

The Island is a backpackers paradise – with epic dives, a thriving party scene and incredible viewpoints to be trekked to. I met many travellers who had come for the week…and were still here decades later!

Best Diving School in Thailand for Advanced Divers - Phoenix Divers

Phoenix Divers is a Diving School in Koh Lanta, an island in the Andaman Sea off the West Coast of Thailand.

Critically acclaimed as a 5 Star Padi Dive Centre, Phoenix Divers pride themselves on frequenting the best dive sites in Koh Lanta.

These include Hin Daeng (Red Rock) and Hin Muang (Purple Rock), two colossal underwater rocks coated in soft red and purple coral and red and white sea fans.

Darting and diving amongst them, are vast schools of travallies and barracudas as well as brightly coloured rainbow fish, venomous scorpionfish, graceful reef sharks and endless species of reef fish.

Famous for the Giant Manta rays that are frequently sighted around them, these are two of the best places to dive in Thailand of all time, and offer Drift Diving, Cave Diving and Deep Diving.

Another favorite is Kled Kaew Wreck, an ancient Royal Thai Navy transport support vessel, that was deliberately sunk in 2014 and filled with holes to allow explorative wreck diving.

Phoenix Divers are still a great diving school for beginner divers and will select their dive sites based on the experience of those in their classes.

They only take on small groups and are careful to mix divers of similar levels, to ensure everyone gets the dive that their heart desires.

The leading staff Danielle, Barbara and Andrea have dived all over the world, and are passionate about what they do.

Koh Lanta itself is a large island at 81 km squared, that really does have it all – trekking, waterfalls, beechbars, caves, viewpoints… there is something here for everyone.

Diving in Thailand - What You Need to Know

Diving Insurance – It’s absolutely essential that you’re covered by proper diving insurance before you start your liveaboard adventure.  Find out more. 

Scuba Gear – You’ll need to either bring along your own scuba gear or rent it from the liveaboard for an additional fee. 

Find out more. 

Thailand Scuba Packing List – To ensure an enjoyable and comfortable trip, there are several must bring items. Find out more. 

Thailand Diving Season –

The dive season in the Andaman Sea of Thailand’s Western shores, spans from mid-October to mid-May, with different months offering varying diving experiences.

The Southern Islands around Thailand such as Koh Phi Phi, can be dived all year round, however some months are better to dive than others.

 Find out more.  

Diving Insurance in Thailand

SPLASH! It’s important to remember that scuba diving is an extreme sport. Accidents can happen. Sorry to burst anyone’s bubble.

What’s more, because diving can take you all around the world, it’s absolutely essential you make sure you are properly covered by the best scuba diving insurance before leaving your home country.

We recommend going with Dive Assure. Why?

  • Unbeatable prices.

  • They offer both short term and long term insurance.

  • Cover loss of diving equipment, emergency medical and evacuation expenses and flight/accommodation costs following injury.

Squad Inventory - Scuba Gear

Ok Squad! Here’s the deal. Scuba Diving requires a ton of gear. This should come as no real surprise, considering that the very nature of this sport is to breathe underwater – the exact opposite of what us humans are evolved to do! 

When you go on your liveaboard adventure, you have two options on the gear front:

  1. You can either rent the gear, at an additional cost, per piece. This generally costs around $25 for a full equipment rental per day.

  2. Or you can buy and bring along some or all of your own scuba gear. This comes with two distinct advantages:

  • You get scuba gear that perfectly fits you and suits your tastes, budget and style. And hasn’t been peed in.


  • You will never again have to pay to rent scuba equipment! Think about all the diving you have ahead of you. Ultimately this can save a lot of money.


Below is a full listing and description of the entire inventory required to scuba dive. Let’s jump right in:

Diving Mask – Full Face Snorkel Masks are taking the world by storm but they can’t withstand pressure beyond several meters depth.  For diving you need an old school dive mask.

BCD – A BCD is the jacket divers wear to maintain optimum buoyancy, which they can adjust by operating the inflate and deflate buttons. This makes sure they neither sink to the bottom nor rise to the top of the water! As well as this, the BCD holds the divers regulator(s), dive gauge and air tank.

Regulator / Octopus – The regulator reduces pressurised breathing oxygen to ambient pressure and delivers it to the diver through a mouth piece. Remember, you need two – one for you and a spare for a buddy in case of emergencies!

Diving Torch – Absolutely essential for Deep Dives and Night Dives. So you can…you know – see. Bioluminescent plankton anyone? 

Scuba Tank – This contains the pressurised breathing gas – i.e. oxygen, that you will be breathing underwater (after it’s been reduced to ambient pressure by the regulator). Pretty essential right? 

Scuba Weight Belt – A diving weight belt assists with maintaining optimum buoyancy, by stopping divers from floating to the top of the water. How much weight you take will depend on your build, weight and diving ability.

Dive Computer – The Dive Computer is used to measure the time and depth of a dive. In doing so, it calculates a safe ascent profile, vital for avoiding decompression sickness. 

Dive Gauge – Essential for keeping track of your air consumption and the depth at which you are diving. The best ones also feature compasses and can read the water temperature (useful for bragging rights when you go on extremely cold dives!).

Scuba Fins – Fins greatly reduce water resistance when swimming and thus help to conserve energy and swim faster / against currents. They also allow you to unleash your inner mermaid/man. 

Dive Boots Designed to be worn under your fins, dive boots prevent rubbing and skin irritation from said fins – whilst also keeping your feet toasty and warm. 

Wetsuit – Crucial for keeping you warm. Even in hot countries, when you dive deep, it gets cold. Which one you pick will depend on the climate of where you’re diving. 

Ultimate Combo Package Whew! That’s a lot of gear we’ve covered. If you don’t yet have any scuba gear and want to bulk buy at great quality and value, this is the number one scuba starter pack out there.  

Thailand Divers Packing List

Whether you decide to rent scuba gear or buy  your own, there are some essential items that won’t be provided for you. You would not want to go on your liveaboard adventure without: 

Reef Safe Sunscreen It’s a little known fact that some sunscreens contain products that are highly toxic to coral reefs. Dive responsibly, avoid burning to a crisp and use eco friendly sunscreen. 

Reef Safe Body Wash and Shampoo – Many brands of body wash and shampoo also contain chemicals that are toxic to coral reef and fish. Dive responsibility whilst still not smelling like a Dead Whale.

Diving Camera –  Any normal camera will break if taken diving – even if it’s waterproof it won’t be able to withstand high depth pressure and the focus will not be designed for underwater photography. To share your diving adventures with the world, make sure you have a proper scuba diving camera.   

Full Face Snorkel Mask – In between dives, you’ll get countless snorkelling opportunities on your liveaboard trip. For snorkelling, it’s much better to utilise a full face snorkel mask for maximum comfort and 180 viewing! The best ones have an attachment mount for GoPros. 

Reusable Water Bottle Having a durable, reusable and recyclable water bottle that’ll keep liquids cold is essential for both eco awareness and hydration = scuba success! We love the TankH2O – It is all of those things and looks like a scuba tank!

Microfibre Towel Essential for getting all those bits of ocean off you. Microfibre towels are compact, dry quickly and lightweight. To look like a ninja of the sea, wrap around face. 


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Backpack of Choice

After trying and testing an ocean of backpacks, we’ve come to the coralusion that the Dometool Waterproof Dry Backpack is the number one backpack for divers! Why? Well:

  • It’s completely waterproof and also floats.

  • Front zip pocket for easy access, waterproof storage of your phone, wallet, etc. 

  • Equipment ring at one side, water bottle bag at the other. 

  • PVC tarpaulin materials = resistent to tearing, corrosion and aging.

Diving Season in Thailand

When is the best time to go diving in Thailand? The short answer: Diving in Thailand is possible all year round! The long, more complicated answer: it depends where you are going.

Remember how earlier I said that Thailand is an aquatic intersection, with many oceans and currents merging around it’s shores?

Because of this, the water conditions on either side of Thailand are very different. Meaning the best time of year to dive off Thailand’s Eastern Coast, in the Gulf of Thailand, can be the worst time to dive off Thailand’s’ Western Coast, in the Andaman Sea.

Use the comprehensive guide below to get a month by month look at diving conditions throughout Thailand’s best dive locations.

Bear in mind, this is only a rough guide. Weather Conditions are hard to predict, even more so these days due to climate change.

The set of conditions that occur one year, as well as the behaviour of animals within an area, can change like the wind! Or maybe we should say change like the tide…waves…current?


Diving in Thailand in January –  January is one of the best months to dive in the Andaman Sea, off Thailand’s Western coast, which experiences clear and calm waters around this time.

It is perfect for diving in Phuket, Koh Lanta, Koh Lipe and Phi Phi Island. January is during tourist high season – book early to avoid disappointment.

However, most areas within the Gulf of Thailand, off Thailand’s East Coast, including Koh Tao, Koh Samui and Koh Phangan are coming out of the rainy season and still experiencing choppy waters, with reduced visibility during this month.

Good diving can still be had, but is inconsistent and hard to predict. There are some exceptions, such as Koh Chang, which despite being in the Gulf of Thailand, has a diving season more similar to that of locations within the Andaman Sea.


Diving in Thailand in February – February is another good month to dive off Thailand’s Western coast, in the Andaman Sea, which experiences clear and calm waters around this time.

Phuket, Koh Lanta, Koh Lipe and Phi Phi Island remain as great options in February – it is still tourist high season, so expect lots of divers.

Many areas off Thailand’s East Coast, within the Gulf of Thailand are still experiencing choppy waters with reduced visibility during this month, but it is a better bet to visit these locations in February than January.


Diving in Thailand in March  Waters remain calm in the Andaman Sea, although visibility is somewhat reduced on account of the large blooms of plankton that occur around this time of year here.

However, these plankton attract large filter feeders, making March one of the best months to see whale sharks off Thailand’s Western Coast.

From March onwards, diving conditions in the Gulf of Thailand have notably improved with islands off the west coast such as Koh Tao, Koh Samui and Koh Phangan now boasting clear, calm waters.


Diving in Thailand in April- This is another one of the best months to see Whale Sharks in the Andaman Sea – at the cost of slightly poorer visibility, due to the large swarms of plankton attracting them.

April is also one of the best months to see Whale Sharks in the Gulf of Thailand also! Manta Rays are also spotted around this month, although less consistently than Whale Sharks.

April is one of the best months to dive in Thailand as a whole, with great conditions off both the East and West Coast.


Diving in Thailand in MayThis is the last great month where diving in the Andaman Sea is still feasible before the monsoon season kicks in.

There is still a good chance of seeing Whale Sharks and Manta Rays.

In the Gulf of Thailand, May is another great month for diving, with clear (many plankton now gobbled up), calm waters as well as Whale Sharks and Manta Rays still passing through.


Diving in Thailand June – With heavy wind and rain hitting Thailand’s West Coast, the Similan Islands and Surin Islands close all vessels, making it impossible to dive these locations.

Local ferries still operate and there can be great days to dive around locations in the Andaman Sea such as Phuket, Koh Lanta and Koh Lipe, but this is inconsistent and hard to peedict.

However, this is a great time of year to dive in the Gulf of Thailand including koh Tao, Koh Phangan and Koh Samui. Here, waters are clear and tranquil.

By this point Whale Sharks have normally moved on. However because much of the plankton have been gobbled up by them, water visibility has increased.


Diving in Thailand in July – The Similan and Surin Islands continue to be strictly off limit due to heavy wind and rain. Diving around other Andaman Sea locations is still hit and miss.

July marks the beginning of the absolute peak time to of the best times to dive in the Gulf of Thailand with clear, calm waters, few other divers present and beautiful sunny days.


Diving in Thailand in August – In the Andaman Sea, the Similan and Surin Islands continue to be  off limit due to heavy wind and rain. Diving around other locations is still hit and miss.

August is another one of the best months to dive in Thailand, so long as you are in the Gulf of Thailand, for all the same reasons as July.


Diving in Thailand in September In the Andaman Sea, the Similan and Surin Islands continue to be  off limit due to heavy wind and rain. Diving around other locations is still hit and miss.

This is the last of the best months to dive in the Gulf of Thailand. Don’t miss the final opportunity of the year to enjoy clear, calm waters, idyllic sunny days and not having to share with too many other divers.


Diving in Thailand in October From the middle to late October onwards, liveaboards in the Similan Islands and Surin Islands are back open for business!

Hailed as the best month for liveaboards in the Similan Islands, October marks the end of the monsoon period around Thailand’s West Coast. Locations such as Phuket, Koh Lanta and Koh Lipe offer superb diving at this time of year, with clear and calm waters.

Waters become more choppy and less clear in the Gulf of Thailand as the monsoon period begins to set in here. There is still good diving to be had, but these days are becoming numbered.


Diving in Thailand in November: This is one of the best months to dive in Thailand off it’s Western coast in the Andaman Sea. All liveaboards to the Similan and Surin Islands are up and running.

November marks the heaviest monsoon period in the Gulf of Thailand. Koh Tao, Koh Lipe and Phi Phi Island generally have poor diving conditions on most days with reduced visibility, and heavy swell.

Some East Coast islands, like Koh Chang continue to have good dive conditions like their Andaman Sea counterparts.

November marks the start of high season – those heading to the Andaman Sea in particular, should book early to avoid disappointment.


Diving in Thailand in December – Another great month to dive in the Andaman Sea of Thailand.

Overall temperatures are not as high as at the rest of the year, which may be to the relief of some travellers. This is peak tourist season.

Around the Gulf of Thailand, the monsoon period continues to rage on causing choppy and unclear waters, often resulting in less mind blowing dives. Koh Chang continues to be an exception of the East Coast.

At most dive centres, business continues as usual and prices may be reduced. This is not the best time of year to go to this part of Thailand for truly mind blowing dives though!

Why you will LOVE Diving in Thailand

Dream Diving

Cave Dives, Wreck Dives, Drift Dives, Deep Dives, UV Night Dives… Thailand has all the dives!

It’s not just having such a versatile range of dives available that make Thailand one of the best places in the world to dive though. It’s the fact that within almost every dive category, this country has utter gems.

With some of the world’s best drift dives such as Red Rock world famous wreck dives like the King Cruiser, ranted over deep dives like Sail Rock  and even mind enhancing psychedelic UV Night Dives in Koh Tao available, diving in Thailand has never had more variety.

WOW Factor Weather

Two things Thailand has in abundance: heat and sun. All year round. Temperatures stay relatively consistent, with average air temperatures typically reaching between 26°C – 32°C.

This makes not only for blissful ray catching comfort on land it also makes the water extremely pleasant to dive in. When I last went to Thailand, the only time I wore a wetsuit was for my deep dive.

(Although being born in the Cold and Wet / England, I don’t really get cold and some people thought i was crazy).

Perfect for Pelagics

Multiple oceans and currents merge in the aquatic intersection that is Thailand.

Because of this, numerous pelagic species that can be encountered in the Sea around this incredible country. Most of these gentle giants, are passing through on migratory routes.

Like the Seasons in which they are encountered, they come and go – in some months you can scuba dive with Whale Sharks, in others you’re able to freedive with Humpback Whales and in others still you might snorkel with Manta Rays.

What is certain, is that at almost any time of the year, Thailand is home to a variety of huge and mind blowing marine animals that will make your jaw drop.

Competitive Cost

Cheap Diving in Thailand is abound. It is one of the cheapest places in the world to dive. Koh Tao is the cheapest place in the world to get your scuba diving licence!!

Combine this with the already cheap food and accomodation in Thailand, and one can live in like a king on the budget of just a petty hedge knight.

To make matters better still, many Dive Centres in Thailand offer competitive sign up deals and discount diving packages. Truly, Thailand is the budget divers paradise!

Great Culture, Great Country, Great People

Dubbed the land of smiles, Thailand is home to some of the friendliest and most hospitable local people in the world.

It’s stunning underwater environments are rivalled by it’s pristine white beaches, incredible jungle coated mountains and hauntingly beautiful temples.

The delicious cuisine, rich cultural history and thriving social scene are emulated by it’s luxurious spas, beautiful music and tranquil spots of seclusion.  It is no wander Thailand is not only one of the favourite travel destinations within South East Asia, but across the entire world.

There is something in this incredible country for everyone and more again. Even the most die hard of divers will feel torn between life in Thailand beneath the waves and above.

Price of Diving in Thailand

Those searching for cheap diving in Thailand will be relieved to hear…this is one of the world’s cheapest places to dive!

For the PADI Open Water + PADI Advanced Open Water Scuba Diving Course package combo, divers can expect to pay around  17,450 THB ($529.30), when on the less expensive islands such as Koh Tao, which offer some of the cheapest diving in Thailand.

Cheap Free Diving in Thailand is also available. The full PADI Freediver Cost can be had for as low as 6000 THB ($181.87).

The cost of a day fun diving including 2 dives and scuba equipment rental is 4100 THB ($124.36). Add in an extra dive and it’s still a low cost for diving, at around 4700 THB ($142.56). 

The average cost of a 4 day liveaboard trip in Thailand can be as low as 19,800 THB ($600,18). or up to 50,000 THB ($1515.61). Relatively speaking…that’s some cheap liveaboards! See the Liveaboard in Thailand for more details on this.

In conclusion: cheap dives in Thailand are abound!


Marine Conservation in Thailand

A sight that warms our heart: Scuba Diver participating in Dive Site Clean Up!

The oceans around Thailand are home to some of the most biodiverse ecosystems in the world.

Stunning coral reefs, charismatic species including Turtles, Whales and Dolphins and lush beach forests can all still be observed in magnificent splendor in this beautiful country. But their days may be numbered.

Over the past four decades, Thailand’s rapid economic development has led to a rise in environmental issues including water pollution, loss of biodiversity and loss of coastal habitats including mangrove forests, seagrass beds and coral reefs.

Tourism, community settlement and port activities have lead to the heavy destruction and loss of mangrove forests and beaches.

Mangrove and beach forests protect coastal habitats from rising sea levels, and without them flooding, coastal erosion and salinization of ground and surface waters occur at a far greater frequency.

Turtles only spawn on the same beach where they hatched, resulting on successive generations relying on the same spawning ground. The loss of such spawning grounds has led to a dramatic decline in their numbers.

Pollution caused by shrimp farming sewage as well as net fishing and trawling and residues from estuaries, means that over half of seagrass beds and corals still remaining in Thailand are now classified as in poor condition.

Without conscious and deliberate intervention by humans, it is entirely possible that we could lose many, if not all, of the marine and coastal ecosystems within Thailand in less than fifty years.

The time to act is now. Here’s what you need to do.

Don't eat Shrimp

Seriously. Pollution from shrimp factories in Thailand is one of the biggest causes for degraded water quality which results in the loss of coral and seagrass.

The image may be shocking, but this is exactly what happens with Industrial Trawl Fishing. Are Dead Whale Sharks worth your fish and chips?

Careful about all Sea Food

In fact, try and be careful about anything that comes from the Sea to your dinner plate. Was it locally caught by line or small net? Great!

Has it been caught by a colossal trawl that was scraped along the bottom of the sea like a rake, tearing up coral reefs and literally impaling sharks, turtles and dolphins along the way? Don’t eat it.

It’s easier to find out than you may think. You don’t have to stand up on a restaurant table, beating your chest and screaming  “did your fish dish kill the sea”!?

It’s simpler to politely ask staff where their catch came from, is it fresh/local, and how was it caught.

Endangered species like sharks and bluefin tuna are a big no.

Avoid Plastic

Nine out of every ten plastic items end up in the sea, where they choke up marine habitats, release chemicals that pollute the water and are consumed by sea animals, poisoning and killing them.

Plastic also has serious health implications for humans. For more information on this colossal issue watch the documentary “Ocean of Plastic”.

Never litter the beach. Report or stand up to others who you see doing this. 

Turtles mistake Plastic Bags for Jellyfish, eat them and starve to death.

Irresonsibly Constructed Resorts can decimate Turtle Nesting Habitats

Be Mindful Where You Stay

Are you thinking about staying on a beach resort? Research it – what was there before?

Has it been constructed in an eco friendly way or has it simply bulldozed over what was once natural habitat with no mitigation actions taken at all?

The simple truth is that many if not most beach resorts have resulted in complete or partial degradation of the habitat where they were built.

But there are a few exceptions to this, and some places are worse than others.

Do your research. Know where you are staying and the impact you will have by being there.

Go Eco Diving

A huge number of dive centres in Thailand are strongly committed to conserving the marine environment through action, awareness and conservation.

You can enrol in eco diving courses where you can participate in dive site cleans ups, marine surveys, coral restoration and more!

Find out more about this below!

Awesome Divers removing huge ghost fishing net caught up on coral reef.

Eco Diving in Thailand

Diving and Marine Conservation?! It’s entirely possible. There are countless eco diving projects available in Thailand.

These include baby turtle rehabilitation centres, diving surveys, coral restoration, dive site clean ups’ and giant clam nurseries.

Here the three best eco diving experiences in Thailand:


Now you can sign up with Eco Koh Tao, who not only offer scuba certification courses and eco internships but have a range of exciting projects you can participate in.

These include coral surveys and restoration, dive site clean ups, underwater debri cleanups, eco diving courses, giant clam nurseries and more.

Work with the upbeat and friendly eco crew and you will become part of the family – one committed to preserving and restoring Thailand’s oceans “through awareness, education and direct action” – site ethos.


GoEcoPhuket is a part of the international AWARE project (read more about them in the next section).

GoEcoPhuket are a collection of dive centres, eco divers, scuba shops and businesses within phuket who are committed to protecting and rehabilitating the marine ecosystem around this stunning island.

They run numerous activities such as beach clean ups’, underwater debri clean ups and coral surveying.

In addition you can take on unique diving courses such as the AWARE shark conservation diver speciality course.

Sign up with one of the many dive centres associated with goecophuket, get involved in their many projects and even become a full time member.


BlueplanetDivers are a 5 star certified PADI, eco operator dive centre in Koh Lanta, and like goecophuket they are also a member of the international group AWARE.

In addition to running beach clean ups and offering diving certification courses as well as instructor training courses, they also have a heavy awareness aspect in which they run educational classes on responsible diving.

Dive into the Squads' Favourite Read

ATTENTION! Diving Squad Member – Do you love a great book? Yarp!? We already know you love diving

Dive Atlas of the World, offers a beautifully photographed and professionally detailed tour of the worlds best dive sites, including both classics and new discoveries.

This stunningly presented book covers everything from Wrecks to Reefs, Muck Dives to Macro Photography, Blue Holes to Epic Walls and adrenaline soaked Drift Dives

Get inspired, learn something brand new and prepare for your next diving adventure.

This is hands down the most informative, stunningly presented and all encompassing scuba diving book known to Diving Squad. 

Marine Conservation in Thailand from Afar

Project AWARE  is “a global movement for ocean protection powered by a community of adventurers”, that focuses heavily on combing scuba diving with marine conservation.

Universally acclaimed and worked alongside by dive centres, dive shops, eco divers and businesses they have a range of exciting projects and extensive informational resources on marine conservation.

Through AWARE, you can adopt a dive site, start  a fundraiser and make/or make a donation to one of their many exciting projects, as well as much more. 

GREENPEACE Known across the world as being one of the few environmental charities to shy away from NOTHING, greenpeace are constantly fighting for environmental justice both in the water and on land.

Go on their site to read about the current frontline battles they are fighting, share their causes with everyone you know and make a donation. 

Diving Squad – We are thoroughly committed to Marine Conservation to and just by reading this article you are helping out! READ MORE!

How to Give up Plastic - A Crucial Guide

“It is one world. And it’s in our care. For the first time in the history of humanity, for the first time in 500 million years, one species has the future in the palm of its hands. I just hope he realises that that is the case.”
Sir David Attenborough
Broadcaster, Natural Historian and Knight.

Some 12.7 million tonnes of plastic enters the ocean every year, devastating the marine ecosystem by killing countless fish, seabirds, turtles, marine mammals and other creatures. 

How to Give Up Plastic is the definitive guide to learning what you can do in your home, commune and workplace to start bringing about the end of our plastic dependent age.

It covers everything from easy wins such as using a reusable keep cup for your morning coffee, to lesser-known hacks like fixing a filter to your washing machine to catch some of the microfibres released from your clothes (microfibres are responsible for up to 30% of plastic in the ocean).

This is an essential overview of why we should all be working together no matter where we are in the world to reduce the amount of plastic being produce. Diving Squad is thoroughly committed to ending plastic pollution and marine conservation. 

Diving Squad Debriefing

Alright Squad. We’ve covered the best dive centres in Thailand, the best places to dive in Thailand, snorkelling in thailand, cost of diving in Thailand (and the best places for cheap diving in Thailand!), eco diving in thailand as well as marine conservation in thailand…and more!!


Give yourself a hearty slap on the back. You are now empowered with the knowledge of everything you need to know about diving in Thailand. You are now ready to get out there and dive! (…Or Snorkel).


Truly, Thailand is a beautiful country with some of the world’s best diving locations, a vibrant culture with beautiful people and delicious food, cheap enough for any budget backpacker to live like a king and a range of genuinely really exciting eco diving opportunities to get involved in.


In conclusion: Thailand is one of the best places in the world to dive. Time to get your fins and mask on.

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Help Diving Squad with Marine Conservation


  • Over 18 billion pounds of plastic enters the World’s Oceans every year. That’s enough trash to cover every foot of coastline around the world with five full trash bags of plastic (Every. Year).


  • As well as containing it’s own toxic chemicals, like BPA, plastic absorbs even more potent toxins from other pollutants in the Ocean such as oil, untreated sewage and radioactive waste.


  • Plastic is indestructible and never degrades. Instead it simply breaks down into smaller pieces which accumulate together, en masse.


  • Today, each square mile of ocean has over 45,000 pieces of plastic floating in it.


  • Plastic is mistaken for food and eaten by marine animals. Because it can’t be digested, it fills their stomachs and causes them to starve to death.


  • For those “lucky” individuals that don’t eat plastic, the toxic chemicals present in every part of sea water from plastic, wreck havoc throughout the ecosystem causing changes in animals behaviour, immune systems and reproduction.


  • There are 200 known ‘dead zones’, or areas deprived of oxygen and devoid of life, (area between 1 and 70,000 km²),  in the world ocean, due to plastic: this number has doubled every decade since 1960.


  • Chemicals in heavily polluted waters can make their way back to us and cause serious health issues like reproductive problems, hormonal problems, kidney damage, and nervous system damage.


  • It’s estimated that by the year 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish (by weight). AND IT’S GETTING WORSE

The Time to Act is NOW

To Diving Squad, the grizzly stats above are appalling, tragic and completely UNACCEPTABLE. That’s why we are working hard towards combating plastic pollution in the ocean.

How do we do this? Through spreading awareness, providing informative guides on eco friendly diving and donating
10% of all profits that we make towards combating plastic pollution in the Ocean.

So, how does Diving Squad make money? Through You! Every time you click on one of our painstakingly, yet lovingly researched liveaboard, gear or insurance links and spend money – we earn a % commission thanks to affiliate partnerships.

We then donate 10% of this towards Marine Conservation Schemes that target plastic pollution.

What does this mean? It means that if you book a Liveaboard through a Diving Squad link – some of that money goes directly towards Marine Conservation. Buy a piece of Gear through a Diving Squad link?

 Nice! You’ve just contributed money towards Marine Conservation. Booked yourself Diving Insurance through Diving Squad? Go, go Marine Conservation!

So help us…help you…help the Ocean. Together, we can do this.

To which Marine Conservation charity do we donate, you might ask?
Our squad is already hard at work selecting the ideal candidate. The winner will be announced at the end of 2019. Have a suggestion? We’d love to hear… If we pick your suggestion, there just might be something in it for you…

Contact us at: Alex Hatton:
[email protected] (Grand Admiral at Diving Squad).