Explore the Best Dive Spots of Koh Phangan
Jutting out of the emerald waters of the Gulf of Thailand, Koh Phangan is the perfect carefree island for some relaxed diving. Offering easy access to the stunning AngThong Marine Park, it is bordered by some interesting underwater worlds that just beg to be explored.
Smaller and somewhat less dynamic than its nightlife rich neighbour Koh Samui, Koh Phangan offers a laid back base, where you can enjoy lazing with the sand between your toes and the sun beating on your skin, in between some scuba diving…
Can I learn to dive whilst on holiday in Koh Phangan?
The island is scattered with a number of diving centres, which offer training programmes and courses for those who are new to the sport. You will learn the basics of diving, usually within a swimming pool or in the shallow sea waters, before embarking on your first trip into the sea.
The island is enclosed by some excellent shore diving sites, where beginners can practise in some shallow water, catching glimpses of colourful reef fish, fusiliers, nudibranchs and groupers. The bays of Haad Yao and Haad Salad are ideal starting points for some shore dives. Mae Haad is also a great destination for beginners, with a gently sloping sandy shoreline that sweeps beneath a host of marine life.
What can experienced divers expect to see?
Many experienced scuba divers visit the area in search of the mysterious whale shark, and the craggy summit of Sail Rock is one place you might just be able to spot one. Other sea-life sights along this location include batfish, trevally and barracuda.
Deep sea divers can head to the captivating Chumphon Pinnacle, which can also be reached by boat from the island. Plunging to depths of 40 metres, this site boasts some impressive residents, from black tip reef sharks and giant barracuda, to groupers and whale sharks.
When is the best time to go?
Like much of the local islands, Koh Phangan enjoys a tropical climate, so it is blessed with hot, sunny weather throughout the year. It does, however, have a monsoon season from October until early December, when the temperature lowers and strong winds and floods can occur. This can result in dive cancellations, as the bad weather can cause rough seas and unsafe conditions. To be sure you’ll experience the finest conditions, it is best to book your flight to Thailand between late December and early October.
Those who want to spy some sharks should visit over the cooler months of the year, between March and May, and then again in September and October, when the water temperature drops to around 29C.
Do I need to bring any equipment?
Whether you would like to join an organised trip, or you just want to hire some equipment, Koh Phangan’s diving centres offer everything you might need for a successful scuba dive. Most courses include equipment hire within their trip fee, and beginners who are taking lessons will be introduced to the necessary equipment and shown how it works.
Many diving shops also offer the chance to hire underwater camera equipment, so you can capture some of your diving memories on film.
From its deserted, untouched sandy bays, to its full moon parties on the sands, the island of Koh Phangan provides the perfect base for some stress free scuba diving. Whether you want to spend every day delving into the sea, or you just wish to experience one trip of underwater exploring, you won’t find a much better place to call home whilst you do.