Koh Phangan has become an increasingly popular place for people to train or advance their diving abilities and expertise in recent years.
With a variety of dive schools to select from, amazing marine life, and close proximity to the famous dive site of Sail Rock, it is not far behind Koh Tao so far as diving is concerned.
On the island, there are currently over 20 dive schools to choose from, and they can be found all over the place in places like Baan Tai, Haad Rin, Haad Yao, and Thong Nai Pan.
Ideal Time for Diving
Koh Phangan experiences dry and wet seasons every year, just like its two neighboring islands, Koh Samui and Koh Tao. Diving is feasible during both the dry and wet seasons.
The tropical climate of Koh Phangan keeps the water temperatures constant at 82–87°F/28–31°C, with October through December being the coolest months.
The sea temperature rises until it reaches its peak around May, after which it steadily drops until October. If you wish to see whale sharks, you must consider cruising at the coolest time of year.
When diving at Koh Phangan, you can adequately appreciate the rich coral environment because of the excellent 30m visibility.
If you plan to visit this paradise island any time of year, be prepared to see stingrays, barracuda, angelfish, and clownfish.
Diving Instructors in Koh Phangan
You can meet numerous diving instructors from all over the world because there are so many dive shops and so many people attempting to obtain their PADI license.
The enthusiasm of instructors for diving is contagious because they are so encouraging, comforting, and kind.
If you're not a natural English speaker, learning to dive on Koh Phangan has an added benefit.
The likelihood that you will encounter a dive instructor who speaks your native tongue is high, so if language is a barrier, ask about it, and you will probably find someone who can help.
Most Popular Diving Location in Koh Phangan
Chaloklum has the most diving schools and is the most populated area of the island for diving.
A wide range of PADI courses, including Explore Scuba Diving, Open Sea, Speciality, Rescue Diver, Adventure, Advanced, Deep Diver, and more, are offered by numerous schools in Chaloklum.
If you want to do the course or are only in town temporarily, they even provide enjoyable dives with PADI guides. The reason most schools choose Chaloklum for diving is that it has its own Pier and is not as congested as Thong Sala or Haad Rin.
Additionally, the town still maintains its roots as a fishing community, so diving just seems to fit in naturally.
Chaloklum is teeming with divers who live there. Some of them are long-term residents who are now teachers or also operate or own dive schools or even those who are learning to dive or assisting while on vacation.
Famous Dive Sites in Koh Phangan
Tropical and aquatic species are drawn to Koh Phangan's extensive collection of rough coral and surrounding reefs. Barracuda and hunting trevallies can both be seen darting in and out right in front of your eyes.
Here are some of the most famous dive sites in Koh Phangan that you should definitely check out.
1. Sail Rock
Sail Rock is the focal point of diving in Koh Phangan Diving. It is a 30-meter underwater rock pinnacle with caverns and chimneys where some of the strongest whale shark sightings have been recorded.
When the conditions are right, it may make for a very exciting dive. The South and West have sheltered, shallow portions that are less than 10 meters deep, whereas the North and East have sides that are around 20 meters deep.
Since this side is more exposed to currents, a magnificent variety of soft corals and sea fans thrive there. Due to the rock's very remote location, local marine life uses it as a beacon.
You can expect to be surrounded by large groupers, blue-spotted stingrays, large snappers, and groups of fusiliers. Barracudas and schools of batfish shimmer in the background as whale sharks pass by.
2. Haad Yao
Haad Yao is famous for having Koh Phangan's healthiest reefs, which run the entire length of this lovely sandy beach. The spot is excellent for swimming, snorkeling, and shallow dives.
Stingrays, wrasse, groupers, and gobies are just a few of the many colourful corals and barrel sponges that are abundant at Haad Yao and serve as shelter for a wide range of marine species.
3. Mae Haad
Mae Haad has a lovely reef with fringes in a sandy bay. It should not be disregarded if you want to observe a variety of coral reefs and aquatic life.
From rare species of nudibranchs, seahorses, cuttlefish, and sting rays to groupers, you may find them all here. No matter your level of skill, Mae Haad offers simple diving conditions that's suitable for everyone.
4. Koh Ma
A tremendous variety of hard and soft corals, as well as a wide variety of marine life, may be found at this reef dive site with a gentle slope.
You may expect to encounter all the "known suspects," including lionfish, angelfish, butterflyfish, and clownfish.
You'll witness sea horses, stingrays hidden on the sand, cuttlefish, hermit crabs, schools of razorfish, and some amazing macro life. Keep an eye out for barracuda in the blue while the currents are flowing.
Now that you have all the essential information about diving in Koh Phangan, nothing should stop you from getting started.
If you are wondering where to start, choose from these top diving schools in Koh Phangan that have been verified for skilled trainers and safety.
The diving prices in Koh Tao vary depending on the dive center and the type of dive you want to do. Generally, a single fun dive can cost anywhere from 800 to 1,200 Thai Baht (approximately $25 to $40 USD), while a full Open Water Diver certification course can range from 10,000 to 14,000 Thai Baht (approximately $330 to $460 USD).
When it rains in Koh Phangan, there are still plenty of things to do. You can visit the Phaeng Waterfall, explore the island's many temples, try a Thai cooking class, or visit the Koh Phangan Museum. You could also check out one of the island's indoor fitness centers, go shopping at one of the markets, or enjoy a spa day.
Koh Tao is known for its excellent diving, and there are many great dive sites to choose from. Some of the most popular include Chumphon Pinnacle, Southwest Pinnacle, Sail Rock, and Shark Island. It's difficult to say which one is the best, as each has its own unique features and marine life.
The diving season in Koh Tao is year-round, but the best time to dive is typically from March to September when the weather is warm and the sea is calm. During this time, you can expect excellent visibility and a wide variety of marine life.
There are many dive centers in Koh Tao that offer scuba diving trips to various dive sites around the island. Some of the most popular include Big Blue Diving, Roctopus Dive, and Crystal Dive Resort. You can also find smaller, independent dive operators around the island.
If you're a diving beginner in Koh Tao, it's important to find a reputable dive center that offers beginner-friendly courses with experienced instructors. You'll learn the basics of diving, such as proper breathing techniques, hand signals, and buoyancy control. Koh Tao's calm and clear waters make it an ideal place for beginners to learn to dive, and you'll have the opportunity to see a variety of marine life, including colorful fish, coral, and even sea turtles. It's also important to follow all safety guidelines and listen to your instructor at all times to ensure a safe and enjoyable diving experience.
Some recommended day trips in Koh Phangan include visiting the nearby island of Koh Ma for some snorkeling, taking a boat tour around the island, visiting the Thong Nai Pan Noi Waterfall, or renting a motorbike and exploring the island's many beaches and viewpoints.
There are plenty of free things to do in Koh Phangan. You can visit some of the island's beautiful beaches, hike to one of the many viewpoints, explore the local markets, or visit some of the island's temples. You could also take a walk through the lush jungle, or simply relax and enjoy the island's natural beauty.
Noah Zaidi is an ardent traveler who has been documenting her Thailand exploration through Thailand Nomads. Her aim is to inform and educate people around the world about the must-visit places in Thailand.