Liveaboard Diving in Thailand

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, with 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. 

The marine life in Thailand, given its location on the edge of the Coral Triangle, is extremely varied and the corals are 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 short or long liveaboard dive safari to the Similans or southern destinations like Koh Phi Phi, Koh Lipe, and Koh Lanta National Marine Park.


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

  • Thailand offers a variety of dive sites from fringing reefs, deep drop-offs, wrecks, walls, caverns, tunnels, pinnacles and open ocean adventures.
  • 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

  • 9.1 Superb
  • 372 Verified Reviews
  • 9.2 Superb
  • Ozlem I
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

I really enjoyed every minute and it was my first diving safari, I improved my skills , and got new friendships as well... I want to doing it again in the future .... I really love it

Diving Thailand in November on the Manta Queen 3

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Allee E
  • United States United States

I love it. There is so much more for me to explore!

Diving Thailand in November on the Manta Queen 7

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • BRIAN H
  • United States United States

We loved it and would recommend to many.

Diving Thailand in November on the Sawasdee Fasai

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Scott H
  • Switzerland Switzerland

Water warm and visibility was very good. Will go again. At some locations there are too many dive boats. Also some large boats move in to the dive sites to drop off and pick up divers - it would be better if all would use small inflatables or similar - it is (hopefully) safer and better for the dive sites.

Diving Thailand in December on the White Manta Thailand

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Thomas M
  • South Korea South Korea

Good experience, but overall not the trip of a life time given the limited amount of things to see and experience. Still very nice dive trip and I really liked it though. It is a good value-for-money experience!

Diving Thailand in February on the White Manta Thailand

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • steven G
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

As above

Diving Thailand in April on the White Manta Thailand

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Gerardo M
  • United States United States

Amazing experience, would totally recommend.

Diving Thailand in November on the Manta Queen 2

  • 8.4 Very good
  • Victoria H
  • United States United States

Great! Many fish!

Diving Thailand in November on the Merdeka 1

  • 6.0 Review score
  • Yauheniya K
  • Belarus Belarus

Relaxing and light dives, no big stuff but maybe we just were not lucky enough. Great wreck experience very close to the shore, Also Richelieu rock can be mentioned as the most diverse and abundant dive site.

Diving Thailand in November on the Manta Queen 8

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Simon G
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Great with varied site and loads of life

Diving Thailand in November on the Manta Queen 8

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Antony P
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Warm waters, loads of life down there. It was great.

Diving Thailand in November on the The Junk

  • 8.0 Very good
  • Jacqueline Y
  • United States United States

We would definitely come back for more diving

Diving Thailand in November on the Deep Andaman Queen

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Tamara R
  • Germany Germany

Sehr vielfältig und schön

Diving Thailand in November on the Oktavia

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Chiaki J
  • Japan Japan

We can see big and rare things, and the number of fish is exceptional.

Diving Thailand in November on the Manta Queen 7

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Won Jeung L
  • South Korea South Korea

Amazing. Would love to come back.

Diving Thailand in November on the Sawasdee Fasai

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Ludwig S
  • United States United States

Wonderfully warm water and rich wildlife; quickly changing weather — when I come back it’ll be slightly later in the season than beginning of November!

Diving Thailand in November on the Camic

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Brian C
  • United States United States

The seas were a bit rough and the vis slightly lower than our previous dive trips, but I believe that’s because we were here in the shoulder season while the Southeast monsoon was still in effect. Overall though we got to see so much, it was amazing!

Diving Thailand in November on the Manta Queen 2

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Lindsay W
  • Canada Canada

Incredible - probably the best diving we've ever done!

Diving Thailand in October on the Giamani

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Lara Dyann S
  • United States United States

Dive sites were really lovely, being the beginning of the season (October) we had low viz and rain. Make your trip in December/January for Whale sharks, mantas and better viz.

Diving Thailand in October on the Giamani

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Olivier V
  • Canada Canada

Need to see more.. see you soon again!

Diving Thailand in December on the White Manta Thailand

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Jonathan M
  • United States United States

I fell in love with Thailand and I am coming back.

Diving Thailand in October on the Hallelujah

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Anita W
  • Germany Germany

one word: great

Diving Thailand in March on the Deep Andaman Queen

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Thomas M
  • United States United States

We are glad we made arrangements to do so. The company of quests on the boat was just right. The crew was excellent and kind. Special mention should be made about the gentle giant, Kim Mortensen. He proved very helpful. Of course Mike, B.J., Chris, and not to be forgotten the 3 woman and Jeab &Sik..

Diving Thailand in November on the White Manta Thailand

  • 9.2 Superb
  • jagat C
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

overall the diving was good. the viz was no so great probably due to the season. no big stuff.

Diving Thailand in December on the White Manta Thailand

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Rohit B
  • India India

Very good.

Diving Thailand in December on the White Manta Thailand

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Steven D
  • United States United States

Plus Plus

Diving Thailand in March on the White Manta Thailand

  • 8.4 Very good
  • ARIELA B
  • Italy Italy

Very pleasant and relaxing

Diving Thailand in March on the White Manta Thailand

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Aimee K
  • South Korea South Korea

Very good

Diving Thailand in March on the White Manta Thailand

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Alastair B
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Very impressive. With better policing and expansion of the marine reserves then it could be even better! All reefs definitely need more mooring lines to prevent anchor damage and perhaps restrictions on number of boats at the same locations.

Diving Thailand in January on the White Manta Thailand

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Shiou H
  • United States United States

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

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Tanja S
  • Germany Germany

very good

Diving Thailand in January on the Thai Sea

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Katherine D
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Outstanding

Diving Thailand in January on the Thai Sea

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Erica W
  • Canada Canada

The crew were amazing especially the boat boys that help you with everything!!

Diving Thailand in January on the Pawara

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Carl O
  • United States United States

Good dive sites with artificial and natural reefs.

Diving Thailand in July on the Giamani

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Katie D
  • United States United States

I had fun but would like to come back in the dry season for a different experience. Visibility wasn’t great during rainy season.

Diving Thailand in July on the Merdeka 3

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Fynn Joshua C
  • Germany Germany

Very good! Clear sight and interesting marine life.

Diving Thailand in July on the The Junk

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • John P
  • United States United States

I have dove all over the world and this was one of the best. I hear we were lucky with the weather in July - seas were flat and skis clear. Great crew, personable and took care of everything!

Diving Thailand in July on the The Junk

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Fernando J
  • Brazil Brazil

It was perfect in Similan park and places close to it. The other place in Thailand is quite above these average.

Diving Thailand in April on the Sawasdee Fasai Live Aboard

  • 8.4 Very good
  • Angela W
  • China China

Good. Warm water, some currents but only occasionally, very beautiful corals.

Diving Thailand in April on the The Phinisi

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Zbigniew L
  • Poland Poland

I dived 4 years ago in the same places. The first imperssion was better.

Diving Thailand in April on the The Phinisi

  • 9.2 Superb
  • james E
  • Chile Chile

Buenisima buenos equipos , visibilidad estupenda y instructores y staff muy profesional

Diving Thailand in April on the Manta Queen 5

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Ben A
  • Israel Israel

Diving in Thailand has its charm, but it will take a couple of dive to sink in. But definetlly a wonderful experience

Diving Thailand in April on the Sawasdee Fasai

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Peter R
  • Australia Australia

Good value, suitable for both experienced and inexperienced divers.

Diving Thailand in April on the Hallelujah

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Christian G
  • United States United States

Fun, exciting and well worth going again.

Diving Thailand in April on the Thailand Aggressor

  • 7.6 Good
  • Keith B
  • Australia Australia

One of the better places of been in Thailand

Diving Thailand in April on the Deep Andaman Queen

  • 8.0 Very good
  • Manfred Z
  • Germany Germany

sehr zu empfhelen - immer wieder schön...

Diving Thailand in April on the Sawasdee Fasai

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Gerald B
  • United States United States

It was a great experience, our dive guide helped me increase my bottom time to nearly an hour to enjoy the dives longer!

Diving Thailand in May on the Merdeka 3

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Nathan V
  • Australia Australia

Great - would recommend

Diving Thailand in April on the Gentle Giant

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Adrian H
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

I dive regularly in the Gulf of Thailand, However this trip to the Islands was a real eye opener. like nothing else I've seen before. can't wait to do it all again.

Diving Thailand in April on the The Phinisi

  • 9.2 Superb
  • james S
  • United States United States

The diving is second to none! Will be doing this very soon! To bad it takes 24 hours to get there from the USA! Well worth the time!

Diving Thailand in April on the Oktavia

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Kellen J
  • United States United States

Thailand is a great country for diving, for beginners to more experienced, everyone can enjoy it.

Diving Thailand in April on the Manta Queen 5

  • 8.0 Very good
  • Jeongyeol R
  • South Korea South Korea

It was a tremendous experience, it could meet those two big. Manta and whale sharks. Besides, Similan was really beautiful.

Diving Thailand in April on the Manta Queen 3

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • YUKYUNG K
  • South Korea South Korea

Great

Diving Thailand in March on the Hallelujah

  • 9.2 Superb
  • YOKO K
  • Japan Japan

Great experience.

Diving Thailand in March on the Similan Explorer

  • 7.6 Good
  • ANDREW L
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Diving good

Diving Thailand in March on the Pawara

  • 6.8 Review score
  • Ron D
  • Australia Australia

It it something everyone should do

Diving Thailand in March on the Manta Queen 3

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Matthew Q
  • United States United States

Fantastic!

Diving Thailand in March on the Sawasdee Fasai

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Marcel B
  • Switzerland Switzerland

Nice tropical waters with reefs and many big and small things to see

Diving Thailand in March on the Manta Queen 8

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Tess H
  • United States United States

Good, but did not live up to hype

Diving Thailand in March on the Giamani

  • 8.0 Very good
  • Junyi Z
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Good

Diving Thailand in March on the Hallelujah

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Myles M
  • United States United States

excellent.

Diving Thailand in March on the Pawara

  • 8.0 Very good
  • Petter Kvinge T
  • Norway Norway

Good

Diving Thailand in March on the The Phinisi

  • 8.0 Very good
  • Petter Kvinge T
  • Norway Norway

Good diving, as expected

Diving Thailand in March on the The Phinisi

  • 8.0 Very good
  • YUEN FAI DICK W
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

good but as it is sort of an easier dive location, some guests with less experience and awareness are common.

Diving Thailand in March on the Oktavia

  • 8.0 Very good
  • John B
  • United States United States

Excelent

Diving Thailand in March on the Manta Queen 8

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Hyungyu H
  • South Korea South Korea

완벽 :)

Diving Thailand in February on the Oktavia

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Johann B
  • France France

For this first nice experience, and also can enjoy the holidays in Thailand with family or friends, I would certainly go again for diving Liveaboard in other nice areas around the world!

Diving Thailand in February on the Deep Andaman Queen

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Jesse G
  • United States United States

One of the best places in the world to dive for value for your money.

Diving Thailand in February on the Manta Queen 1

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Michael K
  • United States United States

Okay. I wouldn't make Thailand a dive destination but if you're in the country already it is definitely worth it.

Diving Thailand in February on the Manta Queen 2

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • bo H
  • China China

I thinks it is good for beginners diving in Thailand.

Diving Thailand in January on the Sawasdee Fasai

  • 8.0 Very good
  • Chang Hoon L
  • South Korea South Korea

So far, so good!

Diving Thailand in February on the Genesis I

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Diana M
  • Germany Germany

Always worth it

Diving Thailand in February on the Diva Andaman

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Kurt L
  • Switzerland Switzerland

Very good, well organized, friendly staff and dive guides and good food

Diving Thailand in February on the Manta Queen 2

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Leo L
  • United States United States

Thailand is awesome. Look forward to going back!

Diving Thailand in February on the Manta Queen 7

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Alexander K
  • Canada Canada

Very good

Diving Thailand in February on the Oktavia

  • 6.8 Review score
  • Molly M
  • United States United States

Positive. I have dived Similan Island 6 times.

Diving Thailand in February on the DiveRACE Class E

  • 8.4 Very good
  • Kurt B
  • United States United States

Great first live aboard experience lots of fish

Diving Thailand in February on the DiveRACE Class E

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Kenneth L
  • Singapore Singapore

It’s been relaxing and great

Diving Thailand in February on the Thailand Aggressor

  • 8.0 Very good
  • Jacek K
  • Poland Poland

Very Nice

Diving Thailand in February on the Manta Queen 1

  • 8.0 Very good
  • Filip D
  • Belgium Belgium

Exceptionnel. Mes meilleurs plongées depuis mes débuts

Diving Thailand in February on the Pawara

  • 7.6 Good
  • Gilad L
  • Israel Israel

Very average, other than Richelieu rock and given that you don’t get to witness manta rays or whale sharks (pretty rare even in the season) then the reefs are not as good as the Red Sea, barrier reef or tubbataha in the Philippines.

Diving Thailand in January on the Hallelujah

  • 8.0 Very good
  • Sungha C
  • South Korea South Korea

super wanna come again

Diving Thailand in January on the Pawara

  • 9.2 Superb
  • sung hak K
  • South Korea South Korea

평균..

Diving Thailand in February on the Thailand Aggressor

  • 4.8 Review score
  • Christian O
  • Germany Germany

Ok

Diving Thailand in February on the Manta Queen 6

  • 8.4 Very good
  • Elaine T
  • United States United States

In order to provide details of each site I would have to look over notes and photos, and don't have time right now. Overall - beautiful soft and hard coral reefs and impressive granite peaks with some swim throughs and caverns. Large schools of fish in the blue and many tropical fish on the reefs. I saw mantas, jacks, porcupine fish, ...... . Lots of macro life. Octopus - really exciting. Sea horse. Sea whip garden at night. Great color and variety. Really nice diving. Nice that Gentle Giant did night dive and sunset dives.

Diving Thailand in March on the Gentle Giant

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Bruno P
  • Portugal Portugal

The dives were very good, the sea was calm and the weather fantastic Visibility was not the best but didn't ruin the dives

Diving Thailand in January on the Bavaria

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Kyle T
  • United States United States

Professional guides, stunning views, challenging, and unforgettable views

Diving Thailand in March on the Oktavia

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Reynaldo M
  • United States United States

Great diving!

Diving Thailand in March on the Sawasdee Fasai

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Thomas S
  • Germany Germany

Overall, I was impressed with the diving in the majority of the locations.

Diving Thailand in March on the The Phinisi

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Alexandre R
  • Switzerland Switzerland

Great, looking forward to doing it again as soon as possible

Diving Thailand in March on the The Phinisi

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Carly H
  • United States United States

Great!

Diving Thailand in February on the Deep Andaman Queen

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Vanessa L
  • United States United States

Loved it

Diving Thailand in February on the Dolphin Queen

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • peter C
  • United States United States

Good

Diving Thailand in February on the Hallelujah

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Michael C
  • United States United States

Pretty much the best!

Diving Thailand in February on the Genesis I

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Anibal R
  • United States United States

Awesome. Will remember this for the rest of my life.

Diving Thailand in January on the Manta Queen 5

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Sebastian I
  • Spain Spain

Wonderful diving in general

Diving Thailand in February on the Genesis I

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Brian G
  • United States United States

Not including weather conditions, 9/10

Diving Thailand in March on the Manta Queen 3

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • SANGWON J
  • South Korea South Korea

Overall good diving.

Diving Thailand in February on the Hallelujah

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Ben T
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Very good

Diving Thailand in March on the Camic

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Taylor L
  • United States United States

Thailand remains a bit crowded for diving, and liveaboard boats in Thailand don’t offer the extreme luxury of those in the Maldives. However, the range of marine life to see - from sharks and big things through to macro life - is outstanding. The food is exceptional and Thai crews are friendly, polite and super helpful. I would highly recommend diving Thailand.

Diving Thailand in March on the Camic