Diving in Thailand gives scuba divers the chance to experience the lush underwater life of the Andaman Sea with relative ease and comfort.
Liveaboard diving in Thailand offers enough to tempt any serious diver- healthy reefs, schools of fish, barracuda, whale sharks, and manta rays- but the country's food, people, and landscapes put the icing on the cake. It's no wonder that Thailand is a world favourite for divers and Southeast Asia-lovers alike, who return year after year for affordable liveaboard dive trips to incredible underwater destinations. Thailand is filled with some of the world's best dive sites, the most popular areas being Koh Tao and Koh Samui in the Gulf of Thailand, Koh Phi Phi, Koh Lanta and Phuket in the Andaman Sea. Thailand's dive sites include fringing reefs, deep drop-offs, wrecks, walls, caverns, tunnels, pinnacles and open ocean adventures. Marine life, given Thailand's location on the edge of the Coral Triangle, is extremely varied and the corals very healthy.
The Similan Islands, Richelieu Rock and its whale sharks, Mergui Archipelago and its undisturbed Burmese waters, and the southern pinnacles off Phuket promise dramatic underwater topography and a wealth of marine life. The relative closeness of these destinations to the Thai mainland makes Thailand the perfect country for a dive certification trip; once you have earned your PADI Open Water card on the mainland, check out the array of options for a short liveaboard dive safari or even day trips to the Similans or southern destinations like Koh Phi Phi, Koh Lipe, and Koh Lanta National Marine Park.
Thailand - 28 liveaboards
The beautiful S/Y Diva Andaman Liveaboard is a stunning classic sailing yacht offering fantastic journeys diving the Similan Islands with 7 luxury AC, en-suite cabins she delivers personal attention
Explore the Similan Islands aboard the MV Hallelujah liveaboard. She is one of the most comfortable & largest dive liveaboards cruising the Andaman Sea from November - April. She has 13 en-suite cabins to cater to 25 guests
Explore the Andaman Sea aboard the world class Thailand Aggressor liveaboard. With up to 5 dives a day you are sure to see the best of Thailand & Burma in comfort with exceptional Aggressor serviceThailand Aggressor
Liveaboard Destinations in Thailand
Liveaboard diving in the Similan Islands is the peak of Thailand dive experiences. Its huge granite boulders with caverns and arches offer shark diving, schools of fish, huge sea fans, and general world-class quality of habitats and species. Elephant Head Rock, West of Six, and Christmas Point are only a few of the 20 plus dive sites. Similan scuba diving varies in difficulty, but currents in certain areas makes them better-suited for experienced divers. Lush greenery and white sand beaches ring the nine islands, completing the view from above water.
Liveaboard boats diving at Richelieu Rock will bring you to the pelagics capital of Thailand. Around this limestone pinnacle jutting from the depths of the ocean, upwellings rich with plankton invite whale sharks, mantas and barracudas, not to mention the macro-life hiding amongst Richelieu's famous purple soft corals and sea fans. The strong currents here call for experienced divers. Koh Tachai and Koh Bon, members of the Similan Island National Park, are often visited en route to Richelieu and offer more pelagics, Napoleon Wrasse, and even night diving for macro-critters.
A Liveaboard dive tour in the Andaman Islands includes the crown jewels of Thailand diving (Similans and Richelieu), but they don't stop there. One additional highlight of these trips is the lush Surin Islands, where non-divers and divers alike are bewitched by the small cove beaches, island wildlife, and accessible snorkelling sites- not to mention the highest hard coral diversity in Thailand. Another incredible North Andaman dive area is the Mergui Archipelago of Burma, which opened to divers in the late 1990s; its undisturbed ecosystem offers the whole range from huge pelagics down to tiny macro-critters. Experienced divers will be best suited to week-long North Andaman itineraries, which visit some remote destinations with currents and open water.
North Andaman liveaboards run from October through May for best visibility and surface conditions. The water temperature averages a comfortable 27-30 C. Usually, North Andaman liveaboard itineraries include the Similan Island, Richelieu Rock, the Surin Islands, and sometimes south Burma, depending on the itinerary length.
Liveaboard diving in the South Andaman Sea presents a wealth of offerings just off the front door of Phuket. Leading the way are Hin Daeng and Hin Muang, underwater pinnacles covered with carpets of anemones, sponges, and sea fans, which host regular whale sharks and manta rays. Experienced divers are best suited to the currents swirling around these pinnacles. South Andaman liveaboards also visit Koh Ha and Koh Rok; these uninhabited, white-sand islands offer one of the best-preserved coral reefs in the country. Entry-level divers can find their niche in the South Andaman, where dive certification courses are offered on Phuket and Koh Phi Phi.
The length of liveaboard itineraries in the South Andaman Sea ranges from two to six nights, giving entry-level divers a chance to experience a liveaboard along with more seasoned enthusiasts. The budget ranges from about 150 to over 400 euros per night, and the boats are M/V or S/V diving yachts. Trips usually run from April through October, departing from Chalong pier in Phuket or Pak Bara pier near the town of Hat Yai.
More about diving in Thailand
- Submerge at Koh Phi Phi's coral gardens and limestone slopes, hosting everything from seahorses to sharks.
- Wreck dive in Khao Lak on your way out to the North Andaman Sea.
- Dive the untouched Mergui Archipelago in Burma, newly open to diving and rich with life.
- Koh Tachai hosts pelagics just like Richelieu- dive here for mantas, whale sharks, tuna, and fun underwater topography.
- Koh Bon is a premier manta site, but it also adds reef sharks and macro to the mix.
- Lose yourself in the profusion of marine life on and around Hin Daeng and Hin Muang's vertical cliffs.
- Maximize your dives per day by living onboard and have dive sites on your doorstep daily.
Ports of departure and how to get there
North Andaman liveaboard trips usually depart from Khao Lak or Phuket. Getting to Phuket is easy with a 1 hour flight from Bangkok or direct international flights from Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Singapore, and other Southeast Asian destinations. Phuket is also reachable by train, bus, and car within Thailand. Hat Yai can be reached by domestic or select international flights (from Kuala Lumpur). Trains and buses run to Hat Yai from within Thailand, and even from Malaysia. Khao Lak can also be reached from Bangkok by overnight buses headed toward Phuket, but make sure they're taking a route that allows you to disembark in Khao Lak.
Getting to Khao Lak is easy by car or bus from Phuket, about 70 kilometres to the south. The travel time is roughly one hour. Khao Lak has no airport. For entry-level divers, Khao Lak's proximity to the Similan Islands makes it a great place to combine a PADI Open Water course with amazing day trips to Thailand's premier Andaman dive destination.
Divers with extra time in Phuket can visit the pristine coral garden of Shark Point or the Kingcruiser Wreck, not to mention taking advantage of nightlife, food, and land tour options. If you're planning a dive certification trip, Phuket or its neighbours (Koh Phi Phi, Koh Lanta), are the perfect locations for your PADI Open Water course
Best Time to Travel
The best time to dive in Thailand is year-round. However, the peak Thailand diving season for the Gulf of Thailand is from May through September and from October through April for the Andaman Sea. The water temperature in Thailand ranges from 28 degrees Celsius (82 Fahrenheit) to 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit). Visibility in Thailand's waters is optimum throughout the area with an average of 30 meters (100 feet). Diving depths will typically vary depending on the dive site, but usually, do not exceed 36 meters (120 feet). Currents are usually mild and the overall air temperature is hot with high humidity.
Thailand Diving Reviews
We dived in Thailand before but Similan is the best diving we have had in the country so far.Diving Thailand in March on the Dolphin Queen
Fantastic, I would definitely dive with this company and boat again.Diving Thailand in February on the Similan Explorer
Really love diving in Thailand, compared to other countries we have been in. Good food, friendly people, and healthy reefs!Diving Thailand in March on the Manta Queen 2
Very relaxing which was made even more enjoyable with the quality of the dive guides and the boat crew. If diving Thailand I would definitely recommend a liveaboard rather than a day boat.Diving Thailand in February on the DiveRACE Class E
C'était notre 3eme séjour plongée en Thaïlande et pour le moment nous n'avons été déçu par aucun !!Diving Thailand in February on the Dolphin Queen
Very nice. Thai people and friendly and helpful. In the meantime, the dive guides there are mostly professional.Diving Thailand in February on the Giamani
Thailand is a country with diverse experiences and enjoyment.Diving Thailand in February on the Pawara
Great, amazing, I think come back soonDiving Thailand in February on the Manta Queen 1
beautiful and clean underwater. Diving guide shows many under water creatures and makes safe diving. Weather is warm and hot. But water temp is a little cold.Diving Thailand in February on the Oktavia
Fantastic experience, would recommend to anyone who wants to dive in & discover ThailandDiving Thailand in February on the Pawara
Very warm water in the Andaman - 29-30°C Good rental equipment in dive centers I've been so far to. Good organization. I liked it.Diving Thailand in February on the Manta Queen 2
I had expected visibility to be better. Overall, I enjoyed some of the dives and the others were alright. I'm just happy to be under water and see fishes.Diving Thailand in January on the Giamani
Good . I wish to come back next year.Diving Thailand in February on the Sawasdee Fasai
People are very friendly. Even diving from a liveaboard, the sites are very crowded. Easy diving. Great introduction to scubaDiving Thailand in February on the Deep Andaman Queen
Much much better on this Similan Islands Liveaboard trip than around Krabi/Phi Phi Islands.Diving Thailand in January on the Manta Queen 8
De watertemperatuur, de vriendelijke behulpzame mensen, het eten etc.alles werkt mee aan een goed welbevindenDiving Thailand in January on the Manta Queen 7
Very good. Will come back for more. Visibility was top notch!Diving Thailand in January on the Manta Queen 6
Fantastic people and still have many good dive sites.Diving Thailand in January on the Pawara
Dives in koh tao before which is Good but similan are simply excellentDiving Thailand in February on the Manta Queen 5
So good that I'm already planning to dive there again!Diving Thailand in February on the Manta Queen 2
I'm diving a lot in Thailand and I love itDiving Thailand in January on the Giamani
Très bien. Belles journées chaudes et humides en janvier. Les eaux sont chaudes (28-29 degrés)Diving Thailand in January on the Genesis I
Great, I will do it again!Diving Thailand in January on the Manta Queen 1
Good, well organised, but sometimes CrowdedDiving Thailand in January on the Manta Queen 5
very good dive site. i will come.here againDiving Thailand in January on the Hallelujah
I would very much recommend diving in the Similan Islands to anyone with a passion or interest in diving. The sunsets are beautiful, water clear and warm (85 F) and the sea life is plenty!Diving Thailand in January on the Manta Queen 5
Fantástica! Muy recomendable!Diving Thailand in December on the Diva Andaman
I have dived in Similian, Richelieu Rock, Koh Tachai, Koh Bon and Koh Tao in Thailand, of these, Richelieu Rock has been my favourite. It is nice for diving with good visibility, warm water and helpful people. Many of this places will give you the feeling of diving in an aquarium.Diving Thailand in January on the Oktavia
Similan islands were great. It got good visibility and beautiful underwater world.Diving Thailand in January on the Manta Queen 5
Very nice, a lot of marine life, very wel organize with a lot of options for all styles but a little bit crowdedDiving Thailand in January on the Giamani
Overall I really liked Thailand as a place to dive. Probably one of the best in the worldDiving Thailand in December on the Dolphin Queen
Overall we enjoyed experience diving in the Andaman Sea. Pelagic life, litter-free waters and healthy corals were stunning!Diving Thailand in December on the Giamani
Très bon rapport qualité prix parfait pour passer son niveau de plongéeDiving Thailand in December on the Similan Explorer
Great lots so see and be awe-inspiredDiving Thailand in December on the Deep Andaman Queen
Diving in Thailand have a lot of marine life with really nice weather and warm water. They are good dive masters and good equipment to rent. It is confortable diving and you can find things that you dont see nowhere else!! Alrhough there are a lot of people.Diving Thailand in December on the Manta Queen 3
You can experience very budget and luxury experience at the same time. Lots of selections to choose from.Diving Thailand in December on the Hallelujah
The weather conditions might change very rapidly and impact currents and visibility. Visiting in the pic season I’ve experienced the crowded sea. Happy to be on the liveaboard where the crew made decisions on the schedule trying to make the trip more exclusive for us.Diving Thailand in December on the Giamani
It was good and relax dive trip. It make me feel like I want to visit again.Diving Thailand in December on the Miss Moon
Great, each dive was full of beautiful landscapes and living organisms to watch. The preservation of the seabed is appreciable.Diving Thailand in December on the Similan Explorer
Croisière riche en rencontres corail poissons et requin baleineDiving Thailand in December on the Hallelujah
Very nice, the amount of sea life and soft corals were the most impressive part.Diving Thailand in December on the Manta Queen 2
This is my second time diving I. Thailand and in both occasions I haven’t been disappointed. Will definitely recommend to othersDiving Thailand in December on the Giamani
Gut, erholsam, abwechslungsreich, bunt, easy, stressfrei Hat Spass gemacht! Empfehle ich weiter.Diving Thailand in December on the Thailand Aggressor
Awesome! Thumbs up for everything!Diving Thailand in December on the Manta Queen 5
Wanna go back there and dive again! You can never get enough of Thai dive spotsDiving Thailand in January on the The Junk
Another great trip despite rough water. Will be back.Diving Thailand in December on the Hallelujah
One of the best places to dive in the world - probably only rivaled by indonesia and french polynesiaDiving Thailand in October on the Pawara
다른 지역과 비교할 때 무난함, 리브어보드를 다른 지역보다 저렴하게 할 수 있는 장점Diving Thailand in November on the Thailand Aggressor
Incredible, the fishes there are really colorfull. I have to say that it is one of the only places in the world where I dived though.Diving Thailand in May on the Manta Queen 2
I enjoy diving in Thailand due to the convenience, the relaxed and easy diving and the dive sites that for the most part are still in good shape.Diving Thailand in May on the Manta Queen 1
très bonne expérience en plongée, de beaux sites, colores, remplis de choses à voir mais peu de gros poissons un super souvenir avec le requin baleine instructeur sérieux sur le bateau, qui parlait le français, ma langue natale, ce qui simplifie la compréhension en plongée et rassure, un guide de confianceDiving Thailand in October on the Manta Queen 1
Highly recommended! Amazing and affordable! Everyone should tryDiving Thailand in November on the Manta Queen 3
We could not have had a better dive trip!Diving Thailand in October on the Hallelujah
Thailand diving is always fun and amazing value for money.Diving Thailand in February on the Similan Explorer
It was great so much sea life and the water was amazing. It was like no where I have doven before.Diving Thailand in June on the Giamani
I loved it. Every dive there were more types of sealife than you could count. Coral seemed to me to be still healthy, did not see any bleached coral. Water temp very pleasant.Diving Thailand in April on the Similan Explorer
Loved it, want to go back and dive again!Diving Thailand in May on the Similan Explorer
a very different experience from what I am used to in Australia but just as mesmerizing and beautiful. although there is a lack of sharks (which is a pity) the rest of the marine life makes up for it. snakes, moray eels, loads of large predators, and the manta. I thought the number of dives was a bit high. in the end, I wanted more dives. but I think that is always the case.Diving Thailand in April on the Manta Queen 2
Really enjoyed seeing many new species while diving Thailand. Everything big and small. Loved searching for so many nudibranches, Pipefish and fish big & small.Diving Thailand in April on the Sawasdee Fasai
I loved it. I will absolutely recommend diving in Thailand and the Similan Islands to everyone. Definitely do a liveaboard rather than a day trip to get the most out of it. There's too much to see in too many places and day trips just won't cut it. Also, invest in a GOOD liveaboard. The comfort and peace of mind are worth the cost. I would also recommend having the Peak Performance Buoyancy and Nitrox specialization as well as at least 20-30 dives under your belt so that you make the most of your trip.Diving Thailand in April on the Diva Andaman
Overall. It was amazing. An adventure never to be forgotten, and I will definitely consider another trip on a liveaboard. The negatives were only on 2 or 3 dives, and we still got something out of those. So no major complaints or moans, only great memories from a fantastic experience.Diving Thailand in March on the Manta Queen 2
Thailand was my third diving country, and I must say it was the hardest one. Relatively deeper and stronger currents made the dives challenging, but rewarding in the end. I would come back to Thailand for Koh Smaui and Koh Tao next time.Diving Thailand in March on the Giamani
The experience is a "bucket list" item.Diving Thailand in April on the Similan Explorer
Thailand diving is a must do activity for every diver!Diving Thailand in March on the Pawara
Amazing and unforgettable experience. If you want to dive Thailand, LOB is the way! EAT, SLEEP, DIVE throughout!Diving Thailand in March on the Manta Queen 6
Incredible. Amazing sealife with beautiful coralDiving Thailand in March on the Similan Explorer
Been to Thailand many times and its always a great place to visitDiving Thailand in March on the Pawara
Diving was good. The sea conditions were favourable as a weather system was coming into the area on the last day. The marine life and dive sites were pleasantly in great condition. The dive crew and captain made great choices in how the divers entered and exited the water.Diving Thailand in March on the Manta Queen 2
Overall the diving experience was the best part of my Thailand trip.Diving Thailand in March on the Dolphin Queen
Tauchen in Thailand schwer in Ordnung und jederzeit wiederDiving Thailand in March on the Sawasdee Fasai
Very nice people + enjoyable cultureDiving Thailand in March on the Manta Queen 1
I love diving in Thailand via a Lievaboard, you get to see the most amazing scenery both above and below waterDiving Thailand in February on the Sawasdee Fasai Liveaboard
Jeder Tauchgang war auf seine Art besonders, man hat jedes Mal neue Tiere, neue Korallen oder Pflanzen gesehen. Perfekte Organisation, ob Dive Crew oder Schiffscrew, alle sehr sehr freundlich und hilfsbereit. Man hat es uns an nichts mangeln lassen. Wir kommen gerne wieder, und empfehlen diesen Trip weiter!!! Danke!Diving Thailand in February on the Similan Explorer
Really good although it would have been better if we had seen a whale shark! Have dived in more spectacular places like Sipidan but it was a well organised liveaboard trip.Diving Thailand in February on the Deep Andaman Queen
feel the ecosystem is well protected.Diving Thailand in February on the The Junk
near to china good service chinese language dive instructor good foodDiving Thailand in February on the MV DiveRACE Class E
Thailand is variable but Richelieu Rock is definitely the best I've experienced in the countryDiving Thailand in February on the Manta Queen 6
Excellent dive sites, visibility depending on the site and time of the day but not less than 10 meters and up to 40 meters. Large variety of species, too long to enumerate.Diving Thailand in February on the The Junk
Very good experience. I recommend it greatly.Diving Thailand in February on the Dolphin Queen
Good dive sites with good visibility and some fishes. Not much corals at all and not much big school fishes.Diving Thailand in February on the Deep Andaman Queen
Thailand is a well known location for diving. Viability and fish life is fantastic.Diving Thailand in February on the Sawasdee Fasai
Ok we saw mantas, leopard shark....Diving Thailand in February on the Manta Queen 2
To be repeat again and again,Diving Thailand in February on the Manta Queen 6
Great. I would love to come back again.Diving Thailand in February on the DiveRACE Class E
Good, not the best ever, but relaxed and there are interesting dives and things to seeDiving Thailand in January on the Diva Andaman
Diving in Thailand is a relaxed but rewarding experience.Diving Thailand in February on the Hallelujah
Good, no large fishes, but plenty of marine lifeDiving Thailand in January on the Similan Explorer
Great and good value for money.Diving Thailand in January on the Hallelujah Liveaboard
没在泰国其他地方潜水，不过船潜价格来说这家mq算是性价比很高了Diving Thailand in January on the Manta Queen 1
Fantastic! Throughput the trip MV Thai Sea crew improvised the trip itinerary based on the weather condition at the moment. Many times the wave behavior was different than the ones recorded in history. Due to the professionalism of the crew, our dives were barely affected at all!Diving Thailand in January on the Thai Sea
Serendipity - unexpected pleasant surprise.Diving Thailand in December on the Thailand Aggressor
The best in my life so far.Diving Thailand in December on the Manta Queen 3
It was so good that we're already planning a return trip!Diving Thailand in December on the Manta Queen 3
Amazing, could see so many fish and awesome coral.Diving Thailand in December on the Dolphin Queen
nice places with nice coral and rock formation lots of different fishes who live in big groupsDiving Thailand in November on the Deep Andaman Queen
Maravilhosa, super indico. A cultura e o povo foi um plus na viagemDiving Thailand in October on the Deep Andaman Queen
Thailand are a little bit crowed when it comes to diving. We were also in Myanmar where there is no other boatsDiving Thailand in November on the Deep Andaman Queen
Didn't know what to expect, but got to see alot of new sealife. For example seahorses. Alot of new experiences. Sometimes there where surges which wasn't good for my equalizing, but it was possible to manage. Sweeping thermal clines which was a bit of a surprise because of the bad visibillity and cold water. But our guide managed to guide our group around them most of the time.Diving Thailand in May on the MV Pawara
The diving is excellent even in the off seasonDiving Thailand in July on the Giamani
The Similan Islands were very nice. The diving around Phi Phi island was very nice, but very crowded. And it was the end of the season.Diving Thailand in April on the The Junk
not great visibility overall, but incredible exciting dives of all kinds (drifts, wrecks, caverns/caves, deep dives, etc.) and a super fun, safe experienceDiving Thailand in April on the Deep Andaman Queen
It can be great - but you have also few bad dives betweenDiving Thailand in March on the The Junk
Its always great diving in Thailand will definitely go backDiving Thailand in March on the MV DiveRACE Class E
Very good, I would love to do it again!Diving Thailand in February on the Diva Andaman
Visibility generally good, fish variety average, damaged sites and bleaching but good enough for an enjoyable tripDiving Thailand in February on the Diva Andaman
Extremely fortune to play with manta rays up close at Koh Bon. Incredible experience!!!Diving Thailand in February on the Deep Andaman Queen
Similans and Surin Islands generally just too busy. Astounding how many boats are out there. Richelieu is a stand out awesome dive site, the rest is okay.Diving Thailand in January on the Panunee
Excellent except I didn't count on so much coral bleaching but glad to see positive recoveryDiving Thailand in January on the Deep Andaman Queen
Pretty good in terms of variety, colours and abundance of life.Diving Thailand in December on the MV DiveRACE Class E
Very good, boat goes to the places everybody goes. Marine parks are reasonably priced, water is warm enough for a shorty.Diving Thailand in December on the MV DiveRACE Class E
The # & variability of fish phenominal. Very poor visibility.Strong currentsDiving Thailand in December on the Diva Andaman
I missed seing big fish except from that very good.Diving Thailand in November on the Giamani
Good but also disappointing. Sharks really seem to be endangered in this area. Someone should also remind the fishing boats to keep their distance from protected waters.Diving Thailand in November on the The Junk
Super - but too many boats and turist at timesDiving Thailand in February on the Deep Andaman Queen