I'm hoping to do some diving while in Thailand and was wondering if anyone has any suggestions for the 'best' places. I've read that depending on the time of the year divers can see mantas and potentially whale-sharks. Thanks!
#1 kman has been a member since 11/11/2007. Posts: 2
hello again kman,
there are three articles in the features section on diving in thailand. they are listed in under the diving guides heading. give them a read and see if they have the info you are seeking. my best experience seeing mantas and whale sharks was on the andaman side on a multi-day dive trip out of phuket. good luck.
If you want to get away from the crowds and still do some great diving, check out Laoliang Island. I just got back and I had a blast.
#3 stockamole has been a member since 19/11/2007. Posts: 10
The west coast of Thailand has the best diving, while the east coast has the best partying.
The Similan Islands are world famous as a place to dive - you need to go on a liveaboard trip, typically 4 days, to enjoy it to its fullest. You can do daytrips by speedboat but it's a bit of a schlepp. At Koh Bon you may well see manta rays - it's famous for it. I've been there 4 times and seen them every time. Unforgettable.
If you don't want to do a liveaboard, you can do daytrips from Phuket, Phi Phi and Koh Lanta. My personal fave is Lanta, which will let you go to Koh Haa, one of the best dive sites around that's still not so well known. Lanta is also a lot more laidback and a little less crowded than Phi Phi and Phuket.
Over on the east coast, Koh Tao has some great diving - I spent six months living on the island when i did my instructor course - and while it's not as speccy as the west coast, it's still awesome. Chumphon Pinnacle, South West and Sail Rock in particular. Tao also has a big apres-dive party scene which is what makes it special for many people - that you can both dive and party.
I work for a couple of companies that go to the Similans and Lanta, so I am biased - but my opinion above is pretty much the consensus about diving in Thailand, I reckon.