Scuba diving

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Photo of Scuba diving, , Ko Chang

What we say: 3.5 stars

Ko Chang is no Ko Tao when it comes to scuba, but the area does offer several worthwhile dive sites and is a fine place for anything from a resort dive to a full PADI course.

While there are some interesting pinnacles and swim-throughs near Ko Chang, the best diving is around Ko Rong. Here you'll find some majestic coral reefs, although some have unfortunately been damaged due to dynamite fishing. The "can't miss" site is reported to be Three Finger Rock, a stone slope that's covered on one side in coral. Any site should offer a good glimpse of the resident marine life, including barracuda, eel, stingray, angelfish, and if you're lucky, sea turtles and the occasional whale shark.

As of 2013, it's also possible to dive the wreck of the HTMS Koh Chang (formerly USS Lincloln County), an American-built warship that saw significant action in the Pacific theatre of World War II, and the Korean War, before being passed to the Royal Thai Navy in the 1960s. At 100 metres long, it's the largest shipwreck in Thailand. Located near Ao Salak Phet, the ship was intentionally sunk here as a scuba-friendly memorial to the Thai vessels that were sunk by French forces in 1941 in the same location, but have since disappeared in a blanket of silt.

With multiple offices throughout Ko Chang and the surrounding islands, the ever-present BB Divers is the largest scuba operation in the region. The Belgian-run company offers a wide variety of programmes, including multi-week training courses. Their commitment to reef conservation is evidenced by an Eco Divers course that trains divers specifically on reef protection and rehabilitation. Though smaller, Scuba Dawgs is another excellent choice.

BB Divers
Main office in Bang Bao, satellite offices in Haad Sai Khao, Khlong Prao, Kai Bae, Lonely Beach, Ko Maak, Ko Kut
T: (039) 558 040 ; (086) 129 2305

Scuba Dawgs
Main office in Bang Bao, side office in Kai Bae
T: (085) 904 6706 ; (080) 038 5166

Last updated: 25th May, 2015

About the author:
Usually found exploring Bangkok's side streets or south Thailand's islands, David Luekens is an American freelance writer & photographer who finds everyday life in Asia to be extraordinary. You can follow his travails here.
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