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  • Diving in Koh Pha-ngan - an Ideal Dive Spot

    Diving in Koh Pha-ngan - an Ideal Dive Spot

    Imagine colourful coral reefs, rocky outcrops, diverse marine life, and surreal underwater landscapes. Diving and exploring this natural wonderland gives a sense of freedom and connection to the deep blue expanse, leaving scuba divers with lasting impressions of wonder and amazement. And it’s different every time you go.

    And it’s little wonder Ko Pha-ngan is popular with beginners through to expert divers, as it offers dive experiences for all levels. It is ideally located with Koh Tao to the north and Ang Thong Marine Park to the west. Both areas boast fantastic diving sites. Koh Samui, a tourist mecca, is also close by. It is accessible by a 2.5 to 3.5 ferry ride from Surat Thani. 

    Whether planning a vacation or moving to Thailand, and you are into diving, snorkelling, water sports, or simply exploring a beautiful tropical island and experiencing Thai hospitality, add this haven to your list. This guide sets out some of the key dive sites.

    Where to Dive
    The lower Gulf of Thailand, including Koh Tao, Ang Thong Marine Park and Ko Pha-ngan, are deemed to be one of Thailand’s best diving areas. Take a look…..

    Sail Rock features a 15m granite pinnacle rising above the water. The underwater topography showcases diverse marine life like barracuda, trevally, fusiliers, moray eels, butterfly fish, and the odd whale shark. Novices enjoy shallow coral gardens while experts delve into deeper waters and the thrilling 3m wide vertical swim-through chimney passage.

    Chumphon Pinnacle is located north of Koh Tao. It exhibits several pinnacles and underwater boulders, ranging from around 14 to 36m depths. Batfish, snappers, barracuda, fusiliers, groupers, tuna, mackerel, and leopard sharks frequent these waters. The shallower section is home to anemones with beautiful pink anemonefish.

    Ang Thong National Marine Park includes 42 limestone islands worth visiting for hiking to the Blue Lagoon, viewing breathtaking scenery, kayaking and snorkelling. Some excellent quiet dive sites are also in the northern part of the archipelago.

    Ko Pha-ngan Dive Sites
    Ko Ma
    is a boulder and reef dive with 5 to 20 m visibility, weak currents, and a favourite for novices. Many schools of fish, bannerfish, grouper, barracuda, queenfish, and hard corals are prolific.

    Ko Tae Nok, just off the west coast, features gorgonian sea fans, sponges, hard corals puffer fish, parrot fish, wrasse and snapper. Blacktip reef sharks are sometimes sighted too.

    Haad Yuan, near Haad Rin Beach, is great for training dives, with a depth of 12m and usually weak currents. Some nice hard and soft corals, nudibranchs and many other reef fish are visible. Ko Kon Rin, also nearby, is a boulder dive site with strong currents sometimes. 

    Other locations offering relaxing coral reef dives to about 15m, showcasing a splendid array of reef fish and hard corals, include Haad Salad, Haad Yao and Ao SriThanu reefs.

    Dive Schools
    PADI dive courses are available year-round, and with approximately 20 dive schools on Koh Pha-ngan, it can be hard to choose. Chaloklum has the most dive shops, as it has its own pier and is away from Thong Sala Pier.

    Courses include introductory first diving certification, open water, speciality courses, rescue, deep diving and more. Koh Pha-ngan diving centres also have dive instructors from many countries, in case you prefer an instructor who speaks your own language. Single, multi-day and live aboard are available.

    More prominent schools include Sail Rock Divers, Chaloklum Diving, Haad Yao Divers, The Dive Inn, Blue Horizon Diving and France Plongee. 

    Best Time to Visit
    Diving may be enjoyed throughout the year, with water temperatures of 28 to 31 degrees, the coolest being around January and February. The best time for optimal diving conditions is from March to September, with visibility reaching 30m in the latter part of the season. 

    Ko Pha-ngan offers an abundance of dive spots. If you are an expat living in Thailand and perhaps looking for a Bangkok getaway, Ko Pha-ngan is a top choice. In addition to water-based activities, locals and holidaymakers enjoy exploring the island, dining and drinking, keeping fit and simply relaxing.

    Those considering buying property in Ko Pha-ngan can see Lazudi property listings here. Stay tuned for our next post, a neighbourhood guide to living in this tropical wonderland.

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