2 April 2018
The Gulf of Thailand is the body of water below Bangkok, to the East of the Thai peninsula. Some of the best diving here is around Koh Tao and Koh Chang. These are also less developed than, say, Koh Samui and Koh Phangan.
Thailand has very clear waters and an average sea temperature of 28 oC. The best time to visit is between late December and June, although most of the year is good for diving in the Gulf of Thailand. Avoid November though, as this is when the monsoon arrives. For cheap hotel deals on the larger islands, see the Agoda site.
Thailand has thousands of dive operators - which to choose? Read on for divers' reviews and recommendations for each of the Gulf of Thailand diving areas.
Thailand Liveaboards - Compare prices online. Book now & pay later.
Compare prices and book diving in Koh Samui…
Koh Samui is one of Thailands larger islands. It is quieter in the south and west of the island - if you want crowds and nightlife head for the north and east. There are many high-end resorts on Koh Samui.
Staff speak English, Dutch, German, French and Thai. Provide childcare for parents wishing to dive during the day using qualified teachers from the International school, as well as a qualified, English-trained, paediatric nurse - Alexandra Donald - who is married to one of the diving instructors..
119/21 Moo 2
Surat Thani 84320
Tel: +66 77 413 106
Mobile: +66 9 591 2631
"I found Blue Planet very helpful and had a really good instructor who helped me get some magnificent photos. I went on a trip to the Similan Islands with them and had the best time of my life. So am going back in November to move on to my rescue course and hopefully move on all the way."
"I hade 4 great days and will dive again with them as soon i arrive in Koh Samui again. You learn more than you can teach in the books and you get another perspective of the blue world. (But they are a bit hard to contact by e-mail.) "
"I cannot praise Blue Planet highly enough...superb 1 to 1 tuition from a very experienced instructor, but tremendous fun too. Small school, just complete dedication to our enjoyment and 100% care from day 1! Can't praise them highly enough, we were waited on hand and foot! Taking my 14 year old son to do his Open Water with them next year. We were warned about the dubious practices at some Thai dive schools - and saw several taking out complete beginners that had 10+ per instructor....fine until something goes wrong! We definitely made the right choice compared to the others. "
In Sea Speedboat
16/1 Moo 4
Scuba diving on In Sea Speedboat's Discover Scuba Diving tour to Koh Tao was amazing! Hotel transfer, breakfast, lunch, equipment, PADI Divemaster, 2 dives and insurance was included in the 4,100 Thai Baht I paid, which was the cheapest I could find on Koh Samui. The instructor was amazing and very patient with me as a beginner. He showed me all the best stuff like stingrays, puffer fish and moray eels, and we even went through a couple of swim-throughs! Thoroughly enjoyable and highly recommended. Speed boat was large, lots of room to move. Shared with the snorkeling tour who go on the islands while we dive, leaving the whole speed boat free for just 3 of us!
David Dulson, 2012
A fantastic dive company and great customer service in Koh Samui, Thailand. Prices are low but fully inclusive, all diving trips are by speed boat, their equipment is in great condition and they take free underwater photographs and upload them to Facebook.
Mike Fuller, 2011
PADI IDC on Koh Samui. PADI Course Director Camille Lemmens. 12 IDC programs per year.
Mobile: +66 8 1272 6829
|Turtle's Dive||Koh Samui|
7/5 Moo 4
Tel: +66 872812133
|Dive Point Samui||Koh Samui|
|Samui Dive Tribe||Koh Samui|
24 / 36 Moo 1
Bophut Koh Samui
Tel: +66 77 310 934
"Samui Dive Tribe, has been open for 2 years and is building a reputation for the premier dive company in Koh Samui. Accommodation at Samui Diving Resort, Boat travel to dive sites."
John Baker (owner Samui Dive Trive), 2016
Compare prices and book diving in Koh Tao…
Koh Tao has some of the best diving in the Gulf of Thailand. (Read our dive site descriptions.) However, the dive sites are often very crowded - especially the well known ones of Japanese Gardens, Twin Peaks, Sai Ree Beach, Aow Leuk and Hin Ngam. If you are diving here ask your dive operator if they also go to some of the less busy sites.
There are over 40 dive operators on the island. The name Koh Tao means Turtle Island, and it has been a breeding ground for Hawksbill and Green Turtles.
Booking office for selected dive schools in Thailand, including those on Koh Tao.
Our dive center is located on the south of the scuba diving paradise island Koh Tao, in Chalok baan Kao. Koh Tao is a small island in the Gulf of Thailand, known for itís beautiful beaches, calm weather and crystal clear water. Our dive school specializes in providing small-scale, personal service, a relaxed atmosphere and high standards, so you and your family can concentrate on having fun! We have an excellent safety record and promise to provide an amazing experience for all our customers.
"I have done my open water and Advanced Course with Alvaro Diving. Besides the great location of the Shop,the guys at Alvaro really made me feel like part of the Family and thought me in a very professional way (I actually feel like i know what I'm doing:). I recommend for anyone who likes to Dive in a easygoing,professional Atmosphere to contact Alvaro!
Great staff,great time,lots of fun. Will be back for my Divemaster :).
Coral Grand Divers
84280 Surat Thani
Tel: (66-77) 456431-3
Fax: (66-77) 456430
"The Staff at Coral Grand Divers were one of the best & most hospitable I have dived with in over 250 Resort Dives. A lovely liveaboard. Very spacious."
"I dived Koh Tao in April 2004 with the Coral Grand and found the Resort and Staff excellent. Thanks to Brian and his crew for their service in the dive shop. Also all the resort staff at the Happy Snapper. Found the diving o.k but the sea was a bit full of algae due to the unusually high water temps this year. Saw and photo'd the shark at Chumpy. I Recommend the dive school and resort highly. "
"Fantastic, can't wait to go back! highly recommended team and service."
Mae Haad Pier
Tel: +66 (0)7741 3050
Fax: +66 (0)7723 1242
"Excellent value for money! Tuition was spot on, instructors and DM's had great knowledge of the area and dive sites and were a great laugh! Very professional"
Tel: +66 77 45 65 27
Fax: +66 77 45 65 28
"I have dived with many dive operators and this dive school was really one of the best. Very professional and safe. Very friendly staff, good value for your money.
Peter Nieuwhof, 2007
PO Box 4
Tel: +66 77 456 314
Fax: +66 77 456 765
"Absolutely brilliant-safe, friendly, fun.
Anna Minogue, 2011
"Great friendly team with progressive courses all the way to extreme tech diving available. Amazing dive sites from novice to pro available. I have had a great reception and expert help training for divemaster. Recommend you to try this firm.
Prof Tim Evans, 2007, Divemaster trainee at Master Divers
Koh Tao Island Resort
9/5 Sairee Beach
Tel: +66 (0) 77 456 296
Fax: +66 (0) 77 456 296
"Reasonable and fair prices, good value for money. Small groups for safe diving and more fun ensured! No rushed courses. Their passion for diving is truly addictive. Excellent management and ensurement of safe and responsible diving practises.
Dominique Barth, 2006
Tel: +66 77 456164
Fax: +66 77 456013
"It's what I think is the best dive operator in Koh Tao. They don't take more than 4 people in a group. Have awesome instructors, especially David. All the staff are just like friends. We dived with them and looking forward for more vacations in Koh Tao.
Shibsankar Bagchi, 2008
Buddha View Dive Resort
45/1 Moo 3
Tel: +66 77 456 074
Fax: +66 77 456 210
Mob: +66 (0) 854713815
"I found Buddha View Dive resort on Koh tao extremely professional, informative and loads of fun.
Dave Ray, 2010
10/3 Moo. 2 T. Koh Tao
A. Phangan Suratthani 84280
Tel: +66 (0) 7745 6010
Fax: +66 (0) 7745 6321
"Really nice and professional. I was very nervous but they made it fun and made me feel safe.
"Really professional and fun. A lot of the other dive shops are run like factories they don't even remember your name, but these guys are different. All of the instructors are really nice and very experienced and look after you all the way. They have a really nice boat and good equipment too. I am definitely going to dive with them again!
PADI and SSI training with the emphasis on small groups and a relaxed atmosphere. Offers accommodation to suit all budgets with landscaped gardens and swimming pool.
Tel: +66 (0)77 456 033
Fax: +66 (0)77 456 034
"Just completed a 6 fun dive package with Phoenix Divers and was very impressed with their service and facilities. Excellent service and very professional experienced instructors - nice pink boat.
"Been coming to Koh Tao on and off for about three years and have tried many different shops, but never really felt totally happy until I dived with Phoenix Divers on Sairee Beach. Shop and resort staff made me and my girlfriend feel totally at home - bar is a little noisy, but from what I gather it is nowhere near as bad as it used to be.
The dive staff where incredible, making sure that all customers where equipped and ready to go and safety was excellent; diver checks, boat checks & so forth, without being to in your face to make you feel uncomfortable. Me and my girlfriend were doing some fun dives, but from what i could see all customers were getting excellent value for money and professional instruction.
Excellent value for money. Will be going back there in the near future so see you there! "
Tel: +66 (0)86 0699 244
"Opposite In Touch restaurant. Very nice crew and professional teaching even though modest-looking dive center."
Tel: +66 7745.6061
"I have just done my PADI open water and all classes were safely taught, not large numbers and well organised."
"100 rooms, pool, young and friendly place, great bar, very professional outfit, DM Course (internship included unlimited diving) 25000baht! Special rooms for DMs for 5500baht per month - great value! I stayed and did my divemaster course with those guys. Extremely good value for the money and the most fun dive center on the island. Same prices all of the island, but i believe that the quality is much higher here at least for professional level courses. Assisted on 7 courses during my training and did 130 dives!"
"I did a 2 month divemaster course at Ban's and was consistantly verbally abused, even physically threatened by their very nasty team of in-house instructors. I would avoid this place like the plague.
Dave Cummins, 2008
Diving on Koh Tao
GPO Mae Haad Road,
Tel: +66 (0) 835438682
I've book and dive with this people and they were really nice. They took care of everything for including and from the day I arrived in Koh Tao they were there not only teaching me how to dive but also making sure my trip on the Island was perfect.
Dutch and Canadian, they were also teaching in Dutch and French. Very good people and I do recommend!
Seashell Dive Resort
9/1 Sairee Beach
Tel: +66 (0) 812718826
Fax: +66 (0) 77 456 271
I learned to dive on Koh Tao with Seashell Divers. It was amazing, the highlight being the Chumphon Pinnacle. Vibrant coral reaching from the sea bed 30 m below the surface, with the sun glinting off schools of fish all around. I've now dived on Koh Phi Phi and Cozumel (Mexico) as well and I have yet to see such varied life in one place. Especially amazing for new divers. Koh Tao is a beautiful and cheap place to do dive courses. I can't wait to go back--still haven't seen my whale shark!
Brad Bonnell, 2012
New Heaven Resort
Tel: +66 774 56462
"We've just returned from the most amazing diving holiday in Thailand. We all have fast-pace lives and wanted something as quiet and relaxing as possible. Boy, did we find it! It takes a while to travel to remote Koh Tao island, but it's worth every km. We found a real gem in New Heaven resort and dive-shop, run by Devrim. This is NOT the place for those looking for partying. They have two resorts, both very quiet, the one we stayed in can only be reached by longtail boat. As a result, it has the feel of a genuinely private beach, and I was often the only person on it, especially every morning at sunrise. No frills here - just beach and mountain huts - but the food is great and Phi Kay who runs the resort is wonderful - looking after us as if we were family. The amazing rates meant we could stay for two weeks.
As far as the diving itself goes, the dives were always organised around our preferences and diving levels. We were often the only people on the boat. Our dive-masters and instructors were very professional and the emphasis was always on fun and safety. Devrim, who owns the diveshop, is one of those calm, gentle souls who spreads a feeling of life being good wherever he is.
So if you are looking for real peace, and indescribably lovely diving, this is the place to advise them to go."
One of the longest established dive centers on Koh Tao
Specialise in luxury diving.
Speak English, French, German, Russian and Spanish.
One of the only dive schools on the island that operates with own speedboats
One of the first dive schools to open on Koh Tao.
"We have just
returned from a week's diving in Koh Tao. I can highly
recommend Carabao Dive Shop. If you are going out there pop in and do your diving with them as there is quite a lot of competition out there with dive shops and some ...no names... just have loads of people packed onto the boats. "
"Everything was fine. Good dive boat, excellent dive guide! Breakfast, tea, coffee included. Quite cheap..but hey..it's Thailand
Peter, 9 February 2017
Dive in small groups, teach all padi courses. Boat leaves at 10 am.
Golden Divers Koh Tao
84280 Mae Haad
Telephone: +66 77 456 823
Blacktip Diving and Watersports
P.O. Box 8
84360 Surat Thani
Tel: +66 77 456 488
Fax: +66 77 456 489
BSAC underwater video training school Koh Tao. HD underwater video courses from PADI speciality up to the full BSAC professional underwater videographer.
G5, Sairee Plaza
17/18 Moo 1
Tel: +66 84 440 8005
14/102 Moo 2
Tel: +66 (0)77 456 604
Fax: +66 (0)77 456 303
Davy Jones Locker offers PADI courses from Open Water through to MSDT level and also boat handling and BSAC courses. The dive school is also specialises in Tech Wreck diving.
Koh Tao, Suratthani
Specialise in offering scuba diving internships to all levels.
Tel: (077) 456107
Fax: (077) 456105
Located on a small private island near Koh Tao.
46 Moo 1
Koh Tao (Nangyuan)
Tel: +66 (0)77-456088-93
Fax: +66 (0)77-456088
"Did our Padi open water at Koh Nan Yuang off Koh Tao. Lovely experience for first time divers and not too challenging. We were actually attacked by Trevor the Triggerfish on our first dive! Saw a sea turtle on our first unaccompanied dive too.
The Dive Inn is a PADI 5-Star resort offering small groups, personal attention, quality service, professional, unbiased advice and some of the most experienced and qualified staff on Koh Phangan island. We are totally committed to a customer-focused approach to the way we do business, rather than the impersonal "student factories" encountered on neighbouring islands. Whether learning to dive, continuing to dive, or even joining us on a snorkelling trip, we shall endeavour to make your time with us one of the most memorable of your trip.
Haad Rin Divers Koh Phangan offer day trips and liveaboard diving, PADI courses and free accommodation. Small groups. Flexible schedule. They dive Koh Tao everyday. Snorkel tours and non diver activities. They have their own resort in Koh Phangan and rooms in Koh Tao.
Tel: +66 (0)77 375415
Fax: +66 (0)77375414
Phangan Fun Factory
Moo 1 79/22 - Koh Phangan
84280 Surat Thani
Tel: 081 677 2101
"I would definitly dive again with the Fun Factory. Dive sites include: Sail Rock, Marine Park, Chumphon Pinnacle, South West and Samran Pinnacle, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao. High speed dive catamaran, build 2009, cuts normal travel times by two thirds. "
Andrew Hunt, 2010
94 moo 6
Haad Yao Divers
Haad Yao Beach
84280 Koh Phangan
Mobile: +66 (0)86 2793085
Mobile: +66 (0)84 8412102
"Great Dive team, best boat on the island, relaxed diving with lost of fun. Would definitely recommend if you are diving on Koh Phangan
Hella Fuchs, 2011
From Pattaya you can dive two wrecks near Sattahip, but the visibility on them is generally low and strong currents mean you need to dive them at slack water. Otherwise the best diving is around Koh Phai and the nearby islands.
P J Scuba Co., Ltd (Mermaids Group)
75/124 Moo 12
Jomtien Beach Road Nongprue
20260 E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
"Truly superb. Very friendly. I had problems that slowed the course down and everyone was really cool with that. Really relaxed, safe, professional - not one bad word.
"The Benchmark. Excellent. Fun, safe, loved it!.
Opposite the Jomtien Beach on the way up to the Soi Welcome Hotel
Tel: +66 038-232-476
"Real Divers are a pleasure to dive with they took care of all our diving needs and made all of us in the group feel very safe and have plenty of fun. Their experience of living in Thailand was also very helpful to my family and friends. Would advise any diver to vist or contact their dive shop. I will be back to dive with them again and again.
Gary Ball, 2009
"Real Divers in Pattaya was excellent. I was a novice diver and their instructor was knowledgable and very patient. I would definitely recommend!
Dorothy Martin, 2007
392/3 Sukhumvit Road
Tel: +66 (38) 373-700/1
Fax: +66 (38) 373/273
78/20 M.9 Weekender Hotel
Tel: +66 (38) 361-616
Fax: +66 (38) 429-461
284/19 Soi 12
Tel: +66 (38) 429060
Mobile: Neil +66 (0) 871423784
Mobile: Rob +66 (0) 848703846
551/2 Moo 10
Tel: +66 (0)38 71-0029
PADI courses, internships available. Daily diving trips to Pattaya, Sattahip and Samaesan.
Thailand scuba diving, PADI, PSA scuba courses and dive trips in Pattaya, Phuket, Koh Tao, Koh Samui. Similan liveaboards.
174/25 Moo 9
Tel: 661 902 7611
Located in Bangkok and Pattaya. "Lots of equipment, liveaboards, education and lots more."
Tel: +66 (0)26512632
Fax+ +66 (0)26512633
Can take you diving with sharks in the Siam Ocean World Aquarium.
666 Sukhumvit Road
(In betwween Soi 24 and 26)
Koh Chang (Elephant Island), in the Gulf of Thailand, is a large island close to the Cambodian border. The Ko Chang Sub-district encompasses 28 islands of the Ko Chang Marine National Park of which Ko Chang is the largest and most developed.
47/2 Moo 1 Bang Bao Pier
Tel : +66 (0)39558134
Fax: +66 (0)39558134
Mobile +66 (0)852797627
Claim to have the most comfortable dive boat on Koh Chang. Do wreck trips out to new wrecks they discovered.
Tel: +66 (0) 811528092, +66 (0)87 9264973
Fax: +66 (0) 89619602 email@example.com
"Had a great experience with Scuba-evolution. These guys know their stuff when it comes to the wrecks and technical diving. The only company to cater for tec diving divers like myself. The boat is fantastic and completely unlike any of the other boats on the island. The food is a massive plus and its hot from the kitchen. Other than that the whole team is a great pleasure to dive and socialise with. Always happy to have a beer with you and give you plenty of technique tips that the other instructors never let you know or they don't know themselves. I will be bringing my daughter to do her PADI Openwater as they have the best swimming pool on Koh Chang and the most qualified instructors on the island. 100% clean record of safety and they are the only dive centre I have ever dived with that update their equipment every 12 months. I will be back to dive on Koh Chang and to dive with Scuba-evolution everytime. Value and safety all wrapped into one nice package! 2600 baht 2 dives. Tec diving trips 6000 baht per day.
Tim Street, 2008
All prices are include: Pick up, drop off, lunch, equipment, drinks, biscuits and everything needed for the day. Price example: 2 dives (1 day) costs 2700 Baht.
Big Elk Shop
Tel: +66 (0) 039 696 530, +66 (0) 89 401 39 27
"I enjoyed the days with the crew from Scandinavian Chang Diving Center. They are professional and friendly, not only on the boat but also later in the shop or when we met them in the evening. Beside that the Scandinavian Chang Diving Center stand for quality in everything: divetrips, equipment, tanks, food, pickup, education and with the underwater life! Next year I will do my advanced Course with them. I saw how they taught and I was so impressed. The Dive sites are full of fish and a lot of corals: the dive guides from Scandinavian Chang Diving Center know them so well that even when you go twice on one spot they can show you different sides. Thanks for the dive.
"Scandinavian Chang Diving Center made my dive trip perfect. The staff are proffessional and give a hand in anything. The equipment is new as well as the tanks. They explained a lot about the underwater environment and gave me useful tips for my bouyancy. It helps me now using less air. A BIG THANK YOU to Scandinavian Chang Diving Center and i will come back soon.
18/8/1-2 Bang Bao Plaza
Tel: +66 (0)852 79 76 27
"Went diving with "DivingScool Koh Chang" located at the beginning of Bang Bao. I really appreciated the patience they had with me, a modest beginner. Thanks a lot guys and I will certainly be back next year!!!
Danny Bernhardt, 2011
Bang Bao Pier 16/2
|Klong Chao beach|
next to Away resort
Tel: +66(0)39 55 80 40
Mobile: +66 (0)6 129 23 05
"Last month I dived with my friends with bb divers Koh Kood. We could choose to dive around Koh kood, Koh Maak, Koh Rang and Koh Chang. We went to Koh Kood. 2 of my friends donít dive, so they went with us for snorkeling. We went to 2 different divespots, where we were the only dive school. So it was very quite and relaxing. We dived with Pui, a dive master who works already for years in this area. We saw a lot of beautiful fish and the corals are still so alive... Great. In between we went to a totally white small beach.. again nobody :-) it was a great day.. Staff professional and friendly, give us a lot of info about koh kood. For sure I go again to dive with them and enjoy the relaxing area of Koh kood.
Wilma Willems, The Netherlands, 5 September 2012
"I did my open water diving course here (Koh Chang). The instructor Hanah was great. We had a great time. Dive sites good. Planning to come back.
Andrew Gordon, 2012
"Instructor help me a lot with my Advance Open Water (Koh Chang). So professional and friendly....U would say this is the best dive operator on Koh Change...see you next holiday...Natt
Natthapong Sanguansri, 2012
38/7 Moo 4 Klong Prao
23170 Koh Chang
Tel/Fax: +66 (0)39 557030
"Small groups, personal attention, Thai management, international instructors (English, German, French, Spanish), speed boats. Fun dives (2 dives + equipment + lunch + transport from/to the hotel) 2500 THB. Night dive 2.000 THB. PADI courses: OW 13.500 THB. ADV 12.500 THB. Special prices for multiple courses or trips.
Lydia Arteaga, Ploy Scuba Diving, 2009
9/69 Moo 4
White Sand Beach
Tel: 668 9071 0941
"Went diving with "DivingScool Koh Chang" located at the beginning of Bang Bao. I really appreciated the patience they had with me, a modest beginner. Thanks a lot guys and I will certainly be back next year!!!
Danny Bernhardt, 2011
Koh Mak is a small island 60 km from Trat and 20 km from Koh Chang. There are hourly buses to Trat from Bangkok, and two flights a day. From Trat connect to the Laem Ngob pier by local taxi ( THB 60 - 80 ) and from there go by boat to Koh Mak.
Koh Mak Buri Hut Natural Resort
There are full service dive shops on Koh Mak.
Koh Mak Divers
Wong Si Ri road 59/4
Tel: +66(0)8 329 777 24
"A really nice friendly dive school. They are totally relaxed and I had a great time diving with them on the Thaitanic.
This page is regularly updated, so please revisit soon. Meanwhile, these books lists dive operators in other areas of Thailand.
Diving Guide Books
- Dive Thailand
- by Paul Lees, Paperback, 176 pages
Covers both the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand. Gives plenty of information and not just on dive sites. In fact is a mini guide book, covering travel, dive operators, money, when to go and Accommodation. Filled with colour pictures, it features sections on sea life, underwater photography and first aid. All dives are given a star rating and are well described. If you're planning to dive in Thailand you won't regret buying this book.
Two good guidebooks for travelling in Thailand are the Rough Guide and Lonely Planet. We'd choose the islands and beaches edition: lighter to carry and includes Bangkok. The Rough Guide has more information than the Lonely Planet.
- Thailand's Islands and Beaches
- Paperback, 448 pages
- Thailand Rough Guide>
- Paperback, 816 pages
Please add your comments on diving in Thailand. Do you want to add your dive shop or recommend a dive operator? Let us know.