The two main group of dive sites in Pattaya that our organised scuba and snorkeling tours favour are the appropriately named Pattaya Near & Far Islands. Generally, the additional thirty minutes travelling time is worth the effort and cost for the increased safety and enjoyment of our guests. In an effort to save fuel costs, many of the cheap speed boat tours congregate around the near islands which generally results in a less personalised and rewarding experience. All of the dive sites have a similar underwater topography, but the main reason that we target the distant sites is for the better clarity of water and almost zero surface traffic.
1) What is the diving like in Pattaya?
Scuba Diving in the Holiday Beach Resort of Pattaya, Thailand offers ocean aquanauts a choice of shallow coral dives and deeper shipwreck diving. There are numerous flat crescent shaped island inlets that provide a calm, sheltered place for novice divers to take the plunge and try scuba in a controlled and relatively predictable environment. The bays near to the pinnacle shorelines provide large sandy areas for a safe descent away from the delicate coral formations and after you've submerged the typical dive sites allow beginners to practice general diving and buoyancy skills away from deep water.
Divers with more experience will undoubtedly appreciate the shipwreck diving in Pattaya. Boasting two WW II US Landing Crafts already resting on the seabed of the Thai Gulf, there is a genuine agreement that more wrecks of varying structures will be sunk in the near future to attract more wreck diving enthusiasts. Maybe a train, a plane and some automobiles would stimulate additional fish development and a wreck diving frenzy.
2) Where are the best dive sites in Pattaya?
Of course, the response would be relative to your previous diving experience and certification level, but generally, the better sites for scuba divers tend to be furthest away from the Pattaya Shoreline. The appropriately named 'Far Islands' offer increased underwater visibility and comparatively scarce varieties of fish families. The distinct lack of noise and danger from surface traffic also adds to the overall peaceful and therapeutic ambience. The wreck dives in the local area are more appropriate for divers with advanced scuba training as they rest on the sand at thirty meters. However, the shipwreck structures attract larger fish and small crustaceans to develop a safe, natural habitat in the ships' nooks & cranny's.
3) When is the optimum time for divers in Pattaya?
The eastern seaboard area in the Gulf of Thailand enjoys three fairly predictable seasons for weather and although they differ in wind direction, humidity levels and average daytime temperatures, recreational divers travelling to Pattaya can expect to participate in a dive trip almost any day of the year. November to March occasionally brings high seas when the wind blasts down from the north-east. This also has a 'refreshing' chill to air and sea temperatures and the water is generally around 27 - 29 degrees during these winter months. From April until August, the days get hotter with rising humidity but the lack of strong winds can offer scuba addicts optimum conditions for diving and similar water sports. September through to November usually brings the heaviest rainfall to the region though this rarely interrupts the annual sport of scuba diving and snorkelling in Pattaya.
4) Why is Pattaya a popular destination for scuba divers?
Although it's 'probably' not in Jacques Cousteau's list of top ten world class diving destinations, the Pattaya Coral Islands and Wreck Dives offer a welcome relief for tourists who may be visiting the city for its typical attractions. The 'Party Town' of Thailand takes its toll on even the most resilient of its visitors, we suggest that a fun, relaxing day on the dive boat could be the breath of fresh air that saves your holiday from complete party overdose. Pattaya remains one of the cheapest places in Asia to get a diving license and the full range of PADI Scuba Courses is available from a developing number of well equipped and professional Dive Centers in Pattaya and Jomtien.
5) How do I reserve a space on the boat for dive trips in Pattaya?
Simple - Please send us your requirements and we will reply with a prompt and friendly service. We pride ourselves on our superior customer service and with more than twenty years in the diving industry we feel that our personal approach to scuba tuition continually benefits our customers and friends.
Pattaya Far Islands - Koh Rin, Koh Man Wichai and Koh Phai
Koh Rin - The Island of Koh Rin has great diving spots, including two small pinnacle islands called North Rock and South Rock. With a variety of hard and soft corals, whips and feather stars, you shouldn't be disappointed with the aquatic life around these sites. Here you will be almost guaranteed to see Angelfish (Large multi colourful discuss shaped fish) Barracuda (Large torpedo shaped predatory fish) Brain Coral (Generally a spheroid shape resembling an animal's brain) and Butterfly Fish (A tropical marine fish with an elongated snout).
Koh Man Wichai - The main diving area has staghorn coral, table corals and here's where you're most likely to see larger fish such as Barracuda and Jacks.
Koh Phai - Because it is controlled by the Royal Thai Navy, the beaches of this island and many others are restricted but the south of this large island offers the best diving, with a small sheltered bay offering ideal conditions for divers and snorkelers.
Pattaya Near Islands - Koh Sak, Koh Larn and Koh Khrok
Koh Larn is translated to 'Coral Island' in Thai, and Thai people think that Koh Sak and Koh Khrok look like a mortar and pestle, so they named them after the kitchen tools that they use for crushing peppers. The islands rest about 6 km from Pattaya, and the short boat trip takes less than an hour to reach the nearest islands.
Koh Sak - This sheltered, shallow bay is very popular for diving and snorkeling in Pattaya with large sandy areas and small crops of coral reef providing homes for Rabbitfish, Butterflyfish, Octopus, Morays, Stingrays, Wrasse, Angelfish and Damselfish.
Koh Larn - The Golden Sandy Bay to the west of Koh Larn has colourful varieties of hard and soft corals and here is best chance of spotting Tawny Nurse Sharks and blue spotted Rays.
Koh Khrok - This finger shaped island is very close to Pattaya Port and is often a good place to visit on the return journey in the afternoon. You will be extremely unlucky if you don't see anemones, clown fish, nudibranchs, and turtles.