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Exploring The Underwater World In Thailand

Jul 17, 2008
Diving in Thailand is a hugely popular leisure activity, attracting a wide range of people. Whether you are a complete beginner, exploring the underwater for the first time, or perhaps an enthusiastic amateur or an experienced diver, Thailand can offer some of the most spectacular diving opportunities around. Furthermore, whether you are in a group, or a solo diver, or after a fantastic family excursion, there will be a dive that is right for you. Many companies will offer taster sessions, beginner courses and child friendly dives, so everyone can join in.

Thailand has some excellent diving, with the Andaman Sea off the western coast in particular being a popular spot, although there is also very good diving on the East coast, in the Gulf of Thailand. The best time to dive, when the water is most clear, is during the dry season which is between October and April. The crystal clear, warm, tropical waters are then perfect to see the natural beauty of Thai marine life. Some areas are natural feeding grounds for stunning and diverse species of aquatic life such as Angel and Clown fish, Barracuda, Octopus, Manta Rays, Grey or Whale Sharks, to name a few. Popular diving spots around Thailand include Hin Daeng (Red Rock) and Hin Mouang (Purple Rock). Carpets of anemone stretch into the distance, and coral reefs are an explosion of colour in this tranquil underwater world. Hin Daeng has an unusual underwater plant, the Bryazoan, which is a white, straw-like reed that grows upwards at eight metres long.

Other popular places to dive are around the Koh Kraden wreck, the remnants of a Japanese destroyer; Hin Nok, which is home to the unusual Ghost Pipefish; or Koh Dok Mai, which can be done at night. The diving around the Similan Islands is simply stunning, and a world class dive destination. Tranquil waters and white sands are the backdrop to a plethora of marine life. Various dives around these islands include the Breakfast Bend (so called because it is often the first dive one does on arrival, usually after breakfast), East of Eden, Turtle Reef and Sharkfin Reef (all self-explanatory although there are copious amounts of other fish and underwater plant life to be seen too!).

It is always wise to check the diving in the area of Thailand which you are planning to visit. Some are obviously better than others, but it stands to reason that those spots that are heavily populated by tourists will be less spectacular. For example, Pattaya advertises itself as a great place for families to learn, as the seas on the East coast are relatively unaffected by the sudden weather that can sometimes fall in on the West coast during the rainy season. While this may be true, there might not be the awe-inspiring diving of other locations such as the Similan Islands. However, if you want diving to be a part of your holiday, rather than the reason for your holiday, then this may not matter as much.
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