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Scuba diving in Koh Tao

The turtle island of Koh Tao is located in the Gulf of Thailand. Koh Tao is called Turtle
Island because one of the island’s attractions is the diverse species of turtles.
Koh Tao is about 45 north of Koh Samui. Koh Tao has only been settled since 1933.
The use of the island was that of a pure prison island with prisoners from all over Thailand.
Since 1947 the island has only been used for civil purposes. Tourists have been coming
to Koh Tao for diving since the 1960s.

The island’s attractions include Hin Taa Toh…
The so-called Buddha Rock.

The best travel time for Koh Tao is from December to early March.
This is also the time when you have the best visibility for diving . The period from June to September is also suitable for diving on Koh Tao. From October to November is the rainy season. During this time you don’t get much from diving.
But this is the case throughout Thailand.

There are several ways to get to Koh Tao. As with most destinations in Thailand, you first need a flight to Bangkok. From Bangkok you can take a flight
to Koh Samui and take a ferry to Koh Tao.
The ferry from Koh Samui to Koh Tao runs six times a day.
The crossing over the crystal clear water alone is one of the attractions of a diving holiday on Koh Tao. There are also ferry services from Suratthani (twice a day), Chumphon (seven times a day) and Phagan (six times a day).

The hotels on Koh Tao are ideal for diving. Although they don’t offer any big frills,
there is also something on offer for non-diving travel companions. A special attraction and recommendation on Koh Tao is the “Koh Tao Coral Grand Resort”,
which is well-known throughout Thailand .
The affiliated diving center and diving school allows diving directly from the hotel.

Diving and diving areas in Koh Tao / Thailand
For the relatively small island, there are many diving centers and diving schools on Koh Tao.
This is probably because Koh Tao and the surrounding region is rich in diving attractions. Here is a small selection of dive centers on Koh Tao:

Big Blue Diving
Christal Dive Resort (German speaking)
Easy Divers Koh Tao
Master Divers
New Way Diving (German speaking)
Phoenix Divers
Seashell Diving
Scuba Junction

The finest diving spots on Koh Tao are all within a 5 to 50 minute drive radius. The dive sites in Koh Tao are considered to be the best in Thailand, and by some the best
in Southeast Asia. Koh Tao is also ideal for snorkeling, as many dive sites
start just above or just below the surface.

Chumphon Pinacle, Sail Rock, Nang Yuan Pinacle and Shark Island are considered to be the biggest diving attractions. In total there are around thirty dive sites for diving around Koh Tao.

Chumphon Pinacle is up to 35m deep. Visibility is up to 30m, despite the sometimes strong current. One of the attractions of Chumphon Pinacle is the large number of large fish. Chumphon Pinacle is suitable for advanced surfers due to the sometimes strong current.

Although Sail Rock also has a strong current at times, Sail Rock is more suitable for beginners. Sail Rock is up to 30m deep and is an attraction with visibility of up to 30m.
Unfortunately you only occasionally see big fish at Sail Rock.

Nang Yuan Pinacle is “only” 25m deep and is not one of the attractions of Koh Tao with a visibility of 5-15m, but is particularly suitable for diving beginners. The current is low.

Shark Island is a diving attraction. The visibility is only 5m if you are unlucky, but can also be up to 25m. Shark Island is 25m deep, has a sometimes strong current but is still good for beginners.


Scuba diving in Phuket

One of the most famous islands for diving and one of the main attractions in Thailand is Phuket.
The 50km long and 22km wide island is located in the Andaman Sea.
Phuket is located 870km south-southwest of Bangkok. Phuket is the largest island in Thailand.
Phuket is the only island in Thailand that is its own province. Phuket hasn’t always been an island. In 1784, Captain Forrest reported an isthmus more than a kilometer long
and 750 meters wide that connected Phuket to the mainland.

Phuket is a green oasis in Thailand simply because of its countless coconut palms, rubber plantations, pineapple plantations and banana plantations, each of which is one of the island’s attractions.
The island is not only very popular for diving.

The European influence of the Portuguese, who maintained trading posts in Thailand, can still be seen in many of the streets of Phuket. The influence can also be seen in Phuket’s architecture,
which is one of the island’s attractions.

Another attraction on Phuket is the unique Chinese temple Put Yaw in Thailand,
which is almost 200 years old and dates back to the time of Rama I. Rama I was the first king of Thailand from the current dynasty. Another of Phuket’s many attractions is Laem Phromptep.
Laem Phromptep is the southern cape of Phuket, which is very popular with residents from Thailand because of the endlessly beautiful sunsets. You will rarely find tourists here.

Phuket Airport offers both domestic and international connections.
It is possible to book a flight to Bangkok and to book a flight from Bangkok with Bangkok Airways, Thai Airways or Orient Thai Airlines. But there are also flights that fly directly from Frankfurt to Phuket or from Munich to Phuket. These flights are with Condor or LTU. The advantage of flying to Phuket with the Condor or flying to Phuket with the LTU is
that the diving luggage is transported relatively cheaply.

However, those who want to experience the attractions of Thailand up close can
take the bus to Phuket after taking a flight to Bangkok. There are daily bus connections from Bangkok.

Phuket has all types of accommodation from quiet resorts to luxury hotels on bustling Phuket Beach. The Laguna Beach Resort is particularly recommended for diving.
One of the most famous diving centers is integrated in the Laguna Beach Resort, the Euro-Divers Laguna Beach.

Diving and diving areas in Phuket / Thailand
The diving schools and diving centers on Phuket can hardly be counted. There are some that need to be taken a little critically in terms of the condition and age of the equipment.
If in doubt, have the equipment shown to you before diving.
Furthermore, care should be taken with diving licenses, as these are not always awarded according to the rules of the respective association. Here is a short list of the diving schools and diving bases that have long been known to be reputable for diving in Phuket:

Armins Diveteam
Calypso Divers
Dive Community
Elixir Divers
Euro-Divers Laguna Beach Resort
International Dive Academy
Nautica Divers
Ocean Divers
Ocean Lovers Diving Center
Ocean Zone Divers
Paradise Diving
Phuket Pro Dive
Scandinavia Divers
Scuba Guards
Scuba Quest
Sea Fun Divers
Sharkey Scuba

The best time for diving around Phuket is from November to April. Visibility on the dive sites is up to 35m. That’s quite a lot for Thailand.
Only Racha Yai is suitable for diving for beginners . The other dive sites that are approached by the diving centers are more recommended for advanced divers. Dive sites around Phuket known as attractions are
King Cruiser Wreck, Shark Point, Racha Noi, Anemone Reef and Koh Dak Mai.

The beginner dive site Racha Yai is up to 25m deep. The visibility is between 15m and 30m,
so it is quite good for diving.
There is only a very light current. Dive site attractions include trumpet fish, rays, barracuda and staghorn corals.

The wreck of the car and passenger ferry King Cruiser is one of the attractions of the diving area around Phuket. The wreck can be dived for lionfish, scorpionfish and barracuda.
The wreck is 83m long and 24m wide. For diving it is between 12m and 35m deep.
There is a strong current around the wreck. Visibility is 20m.

Another of the attractions of the Phuket diving region is the Shark Point dive site.
Shark Point is 22m deep. Although there is hardly any current, this dive site is more for advanced divers. For diving visibility is between 5m and 20m.
The underwater attractions are leopard sharks, moray eels and seahorses.

Racha Noi is the deepest dive site around Phuket. Racha Moi is between 5m and 40m deep.
The visibility of 15m to 35m makes this dive site one of the very special attractions. Manta rays and, with a bit of luck, whale sharks can also be encountered while diving. Racha Noi is also only
recommended for advanced users.

At Anemone Reef the current is only moderate. Here too, however, the reef is one of the attractions in the Phuket diving region, but is only for advanced divers.
The reef is between 5m and 25m deep. Visibility is 20m.
When diving you will encounter fan corals, parrot fish and trumpet fish.

Another diving attraction around Phuket is Koh Dok Mai.
Koh Dok Mai has a sometimes strong current. The dive site is 30m deep.
Visibility is variable. The maximum is 20m. Seahorses, leopard sharks and lionfish can be seen while diving


Scuba Diving in Koh Lanta

Koh Lanta is also a very young holiday region for diving in Thailand. Koh Lanta belongs to the
province of Krabi and is located 70km south of Krabi. The region is divided into two parts.
There is Lanta Yai and Lanta Noi. Big Lanta and Little Lanta.

The islands together have 22,000 inhabitants.
About 80% of the inhabitants of Koh Lanta are Muslims. The high proportion of Muslims is not one of the attractions in southern Thailand.

Koh Lanta has only been connected to the electricity grid of Thailand since 1995. The residents of
Koh Lanta are very close to nature and connected to their island. Most of the islands are made up of coconut trees. One of the attractions that is unparalleled in Thailand is the regulation
that no hotel may be higher than a coconut tree. Since this is not very interesting for foreign investors in Thailand, 2/3 of the hotel complexes also belong to the locals.

Koh Lanta can be reached by flying into Bangkok. From Bangkok then either a
flight to Krabi or a flight to Phuket. There are direct ferries to Koh Lanta from Krabi.
Coming from Phuket, a transfer to Koh Phi Phi is required. Minibus services are also available from Krabi. The Krabi Ferry runs irregularly every day
from 6am to 10pm.

The island’s hotels are mainly located on Lanta Yai and there only on the west coast.
Hotel Layana Resort & Spa is considered the best hotel for diving in Koh Lanta.

Diving and dive sites in Koh Lanta / Thailand
Thailand diving is not widespread on Koh Lanta. All diving schools and diving bases are in the small village of Saladan, which is not really one of the attractions.
The diving schools and diving centers are:

Dive Zone
Koh Lanta Diving Center
White & Blue Diving

As manageable as the range of diving schools and diving centers is, Koh Lanta is worth diving in Thailand. Attractions in the Koh Lanta diving region include:
Fantasy Rock, Koh Ma, Koh Ha, Ko Ngai, Hin Muang, Hin Daeng and Koh Waen.
Except for Hin Muang and Hin Daeng, all dive sites are suitable for beginners.

Fantasy Rock is also called Koh Bida Noi and is 8m to 28m deep. Visibility is
pretty good for Thailand diving at 25m. Fantasy Rock is more suitable for advanced surfers, as there is sometimes a strong current. Underwater attractions include batfish, moray eels, scorpion fish and leopard sharks.

Koh Ma is particularly suitable for beginners. Koh Ma is a fairly shallow dive site.
He only goes from 8m depth to 10m depth. Koh Ma consists of hard coral fields.
You can also dive to scorpionfish and moraines.
Koh Ma has hardly any current and visibility ranges from 5 to 15m.

Another attraction for beginners in Thailand diving is Koh Ha. Koh Ha is
between 8m and 25m deep. There is hardly any current on Koh Ha either. The visibility is
15m to 30m but better than in front of Koh Ma. The sea creatures off Koh Ha are attractions in themselves. Manta rays, glassfish and also whale sharks have been sighted while diving.

A very nice dive site is Koh Ngai. Koh Ngai is also called Koh Hai. Koh Ngai is between 8m and 25m deep. Since there is hardly any current here either, Koh Ngai is also ideal for Thailand diving beginners. The visibility is unfortunately only 5m to 10m.
This is a great pity, as interesting sea creatures live off Koh Ngai. Parrotfish, triggerfish, batfish, lobster, tuna, turtles and very nice hard coral patches are seen off Koh Ngai.

The Violet Rock, that’s what Hin Muang is called. There is hardly any current around Hin Muang, but
due to the depth Hin Muang is only suitable for experienced Thai diving.
Hin Muang is between 8m and 70m deep. This depth is one of the attractions of Thailand diving.
Hin Muang is the deepest dive site in Thailand. Batfish and soft corals live around the rocks.

Right across from Hin Muang the purple rock is Hin Daeng. Hin Daeng is the Red Rock.
Hin Daeng is not quite as deep as Hin Muang with its 10m to 60m depth. Nevertheless, you
reach the limits of Thailand diving here. The current is low, but even at a depth of “only” 60m
, only experienced Thailand divers should dare to go to the dive site.
Mackerel, barracuda and fusiliers swim around Hin Daeng.

One of the very special attractions when diving in Thailand is Koh Waen. Koh Waen are
diveable caves. Koh Waen is between 8m and 15m deep. The visibility is very different. They are between 5m and 25m. Since there is hardly any current, Koh Waen is one
of the beginner attractions in Thailand. In the caves themselves, however, only advanced divers should
dare to dive in terms of Thailand. Giant zacki, puffer fish and remoras have
found their habitat around Koh Waen.