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Diving in Thailand

INTRO

Squad! At Ease for your Diving in Thailand Mission Briefing: Brace yourselves! To be Blown Away by Pristine Coral Reefs, Haunting Ship Wrecks and Jaw Dropping Creatures like Mighty Whale Sharks and Graceful Manta Rays. 

Visiting Thailand is an Unforgettable Experience. Renowned for Breathtaking Landscapes, Mystical Temples and a never ending source of Adventure, it’s no wonder that this Magical Country; the Land of Smiles, is a Travellers Paradise.

Now let’s cut to the chase! Thailand is also home to some of the Best Places to Scuba Dive in the World as well as the Hands Down Cheapest Diving!

But SPOILER! Thailand is a big place with a heap of variety. And the Oceans around it, where you’ll be diving, are even bigger and more varied. So where the hell do you Start?

What are the Best Places to Dive in Thailand of all time? Are those the best for beginners or advanced divers? Booze chugging backpackers or hand holding honeymooners?!

How about the Top Liveaboards in Thailand or when Diving Season even is?

Wait! Don’t’ close your browser and bail on Thailand Diving – You need not be confused. DivingSquad are here to answer all your questions with this WHALE of an article – it’s the ultimate guide to Scuba Diving in Thailand.

Ok Squad – Let’s Dive in!

(Psssttt – Need to Brush up on Your Scuba Skills? Check This Out!

THAILAND DIVING STATS

Why are we so Obsessed with Thailand as an Insane Diving Destination?! Hover Over This Box to Find Out.
Thailand encompasses 1,430 islands, many of which are uninhabited; it has 3219 km of coastline, it's Seas contain an astonishing 153 Squared KM of Reef and are home an insane variety of marine biodiversity including 2125+ fish species, turtles, sharks, whale sharks, manta rays, dolphins and more! The Surin and Similan Islands are considered among the World's Best Dive Destinations!

5 Reasons You Will Love Diving in Thailand

Insane Diving

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

With adrenaline pumping drift dives like Red Rock, World Famous Wrecks such as the King Cruiser and even mind warping psychedelic UV Night Dives in Koh Tao, Thailand has more diving variety than almost anywhere else.

This, combined with the unbeatably low prices of diving, makes Thailand the world’s Top Destination to get the skills and experience needed to attain your scuba certification. 

Gorgeous 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.

Whale Sharks, Manta Rays, Reef Sharks...and more!

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

Because of this, large pelagics such as Whale Sharks, Manta Rays and Blue Fin Tuna (to name a few!), are frequently spotted by Divers around Thailand’s Seas. 

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.

Cheapest Country in the World to Scuba Dive

Thailand is the cheapest place 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!

Beautiful Culture and 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. 

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.

THE CHOICE: Thai Diving Schools vs Thai Liveaboards

Soon to be Thailand Divers – you have a choice to make for how you want to experience Diving in Thailand. 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….right…about…. NOW:

Thailand Liveaboards

What the fish is a liveaboard you ask? It’s where you live aboard a luxury yacht specially outfitted for divers, travelling to otherwise unreachable dive destinations. Nine times out of ten, you’ll have these dive spots all to yourself without having to share!

That’s because the dive destinations liveaboards visit, are too far to reach in a single day, hence why dive schools visit sites that are closer to where they’re based.

Because of this, liveaboard divers also get to enjoy the most pristine diving environments, where the fewest scuba divers have boldly dived before.

Life aboard a liveaboard is pretty cushty – many are outfitted with Jacuzzis, Spas, Cinema Rooms, Luxury Private Cabins and then some more! That said they come in a range of prices, so that whatever your budget, there is a liveaboard out there for you.

Don’t now how to find just the right one? Check out our Best Thailand Liveaboards Article! Aint got time for that shit?! No worries. We’ve summed up the TOP 3. Thailand Liveaboards below.

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Diving Squad Presents:

Best Thailand Liveaboard Overall

The Junk

  • Iconic liveaboard with a fascinating history.

  • Best Value

  • No Minimum Logged Dives Required

  • Operates Year Round .

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.

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.

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!

  • Visits the Best Liveaboard Dive Sites.

  • No Minimum Dives Required

  • October – May

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

  • No Logged Dives Required

  • Operates November – April

What is it that makes a luxury liveaboard in Thailand truly luxurious? 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.

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.

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.

Best Places to Dive in Thailand

Best Thai Dive Destination Overall 1: Similan Islands

Located in the Andaman Sea of Thailand’s Western Coast, the Similan Islands are a Small Archipelago of 11 granite boulder islands, which together form the legendary Koh Similan National Marine Park.

The Islands themselves are covered in lush jungle and home to an incredible ecosystem of bats, insects, reptiles and tropical birds. But hey – we know it’s what lies beneath the crystal clear waters around these islands that you’re really interested in…

Harbouring immense drop off and intricate caves and tunnels for the boldest of divers, perhaps the most awe inspiring feature of the Similan Islands is the pristine, psychedelic coloured coral reef that grows here.

Living among it, are countless reef fish, molluscs and crustaceans, as Turtles, Manta Rays and Whale Sharks cruise above. You can only dive in the Andaman Sea if you go aboard a Thailand Liveaboard. Hailed as one of the top diving destinations in the World, it’s well worth the excursion!

Similan Islands Diving
Surin Islands Diving

Best Thai Dive Destination Overall 2: Surin Islands

100km North of the Similan Islands, lies the Surin Islands – another Thailand Diving Destination that can only be reached by a Thai Liveaboard.

Even less frequented than the tranquil Surin Islands, the Similan Islands truly provide the closest you can get to stepping back in time to an era when man had yet to make a splash in the sea.

Indeed, the Moken or “Sea Gypsies” still set up temporary camp on these island throughout their seafaring nomadic lifestyle, which has remained unchanged for thousands of years.

Featuring insane coral reef and marine biodiversity, these islands are famous for the huge pelagics that can be spotted here – including Mantas, Whale Sharks and even Bryde’s Whales.

In fact, Richelieu Rock, which forms part of the Surin Islands archipelago is cited as the easiest place in South East Asia to spot a Whale Shark!

Best Easily Accessible Thai Dive Destination: Phi Phi Islands

Located within the myticall Krabi Province is the gorgeous 6 Island Archipelago of Koh Phi Phi. Regarded as the most beautiful island group in the world, it’s easy to see why.

The islands here are immense towering limestone cliffs scattered with beaches, coves and bays to make for an array of varied and dramatic landscape.

For centuries these islands have been an important cultural melting Pot for Thai and Chinese Buddhists, Moken “Sea Gypsies”, Muslims and now: backpackers!

There are countless dive sites around Koh Phi Phi, many comprised of coral and sea fan coated wall dives, caves and swim throughs as well as numerous adrenaline soaked drift dives.

The marine diversity here is incredible; and as well as Mantas, Turtles and Whale Sharks, keep your eyes peeled for the numerous reef shark species that prowl these waters including Black Tips and Leopard Sharks!

The best thing about Koh Phi Phi?! It is both accessible to Liveaboards and Diving Schools! You can dive here, whatever your style!

Best Place to Learn to Scuba Dive in Thailand - Koh Tao

Koh Tao Diving
Koh Tao Diving

Koh Tao really does have it all. Not only is it regarded as the Best Place in the World to Get Scuba Certified, it is also the Cheapest.

In addition to sporting the amazing coral reefs and diverse marine life you should be coming to expect with Thailand’s Best Diving Destinations, the island itself is simply breathtaking. 

One half of the 21km squared island Koh Tao is home to a vibrant party scene whereas on the other part, it would be hard to imagine there are more than a few dozen people on the entire island.

This makes it perfect fr partiers and nature lovers alike.

Located 74km of Thailand’s Eastern Shore, in the Gulf of Thailand, Koh Tao boasts an INSANE variety of dives.

These include Wreck Diving, Wall Dives, Drift Dives, Deep Dives and more, which is one of the reasons it’s so great for getting diving experience under your weight belt.

There are dozens of Dive schools on Koh Tao, many of them specialising in providing different types of diving experience. Many are committed to turning diving newbies into diving pros, and have decades of experience doing so!

For More Information, Check out the Squad’s Article on Diving in Koh Tao!

Best Place to Dive in Thailand for Endless Adventure - Phuket

Phuket is a rainforested, mountainous island in the Andaman Sea and Thailand’s largest island at that.

It boasts some of the countries all time best beaches, nightlife and resorts as well as… the clearest waters!

Rated among the Top 10 Diving Destinations in the World, Phuket is abound with Diving Schools catering from every level to dive noob (doob?!) to dive master (chief).

Phuket hosts an immense array of dive sites – everything a diver could desire is found around this immense island – wreck dives? Check. Drift Dives. You got it. Cave Dives? Yessir!

How about a Fluorescent Rave Glass Toting Night Dive? We could go on…

Those who find themselves upon the white sandy beaches of Phuket can also say hello to other extreme water sports, intrepid island exploration, pumping full moon parties, yoga classes, luxury resorts and more.

Did we mention, Phuket is just 45km away from Koh Phi Phi? Say hello Island Hopping!

Phuket Diving

Thai Diving Schools

Ok, we’ve done Liveaboards. Now what the squid is a Diving School!? Don’t worry, you wont get a detention if you get caught smoking a cheeky fag outside (thanks a lot Mrs. Boomfluff). 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.

Now that’s out of the way, let’s take a look at Diving Squads Top Thai Dive Schools:

Best Thailand Dive School Overall

  • Provide local dive tours around Phuket & also Liveaboard Experiences to the Similan Islands.

  • Offer PADI and SSI Courses from Open Water to Divemaster.

  • Great discount offers on diving packages.

  • Critically acclaimed staff!

Best Thai Dive School to Get Scuba Certified

  • Offer Extended Diving Course Lengths.

  • Additional Training where necessary, Free of Charge.

  • Small Group Sizes of 2 – 4.

  • $ – One of Koh Tao’s Cheapest Dive Schools.

  • Warm and Encouraging Staff!

Best Diving School in Thailand for Advanced Divers

  • Offer Advanced Diving Courses, including Rescue Courses, Dive Master & Speciality Programs. 

  • Teach both PAI and SSI. 

  • Highly Experienced Staff.
     
  • Take your FREE Dive Master internship here!

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.

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: 

Eco 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. 

Eco 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.

Dive 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. 

Diving Squad 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

Diving in Thailand is possible all year round! But not in the same place! 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.

This means 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.

Andaman Sea:

October – May: This marks the best time to dive in the Andaman Sea, of Thailand’s Western Coast – this includes all Liveaboard Destinations (Similan and Surin Islands) as well as Koh Phi Phi and Phuket.

From the months March – April, water visibility in the Andaman Sea is somewhat reduced on account of the large plankton clouds that accumulate around this time – but these attract Whale Sharks and Manta Rays. Hardly able to complain right?

June – October: This marks monsoon period around the Andaman Seas. Thai Liveaboards are off limits and not available for booking during these months. Diving can still be had on islands such as Koh Phi Phi and Phuket, but water conditions are choppy, and visibility is reduced.

This does not mean there are not still some great diving days to be had, but they are hard to plan due to the unpredictable weather.

Gulf of Thailand:

March – September: This marks peak diving season in the Gulf of Thailand at locations such as Koh Tao, with July and August typically being the best months for clear and calm waters, especially from April onwards.

April – May are great months for seeing Whale Sharks and Manta Rays on account of the large clouds of plankton that gather in the Gulf of Thailand at this time of year. Consequently water visibility is somewhat reduced, but that’s totally worth it if you get to see a Manta Ray, eh?

October – February mark monsoon period in the Gulf of Thailand resulting in poor visibility and choppy waters. Although most diving schools operate around these months, due to the inconsistent weather, it is much more difficult to rack up a series of great dives in this part of Thailand during these months!

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.  

Price of Diving in Thailand

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.

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. 

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!

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:

EcoKohTao

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

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

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

EPIC FAIL HUMANITY:

  • 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).