Pattaya diving sites are well known all over the world because of the two rings of coral islands that are located offshore around 20 to 30 kilometres away. Since some of these islands are the property of the Thai Navy, they are still unspoiled as construction activity is not permitted on them. As a result, colonies of fish and other sea creatures make their home in the coral reefs surrounding these islands, making scuba diving in Pattaya exciting.
When you are wondering what activities in Pattaya you should try, you don’t have to cross out scuba diving from your list just because you haven’t done it before. There are beginner’s courses that you can take to learn the basics of diving in a few days. The beginner’s scuba course usually includes a dive off shore at a diving site that is of a low level of difficulty, giving beginners a peek into the colourful life underwater.
There are also Pattaya diving courses for divers of different levels of expertise, from Open Water Diver certifications to Instructor level courses. Your best option for finding a dive suitable to your skill level would be to enquire at one of the diving Pattaya centres in the town.
Thailand has several famous diving sites, the best of which are part of the Similan Islands or in the southern part of the country. However, one advantage that Pattaya diving sites have over the others is that they are open throughout the year with good visibility and calm waters. Most of the other sites are closed during the monsoon season. So whichever part of the year you plan to visit, diving can be one of the activities on your list of what to do in Pattaya.
The Near Islands are the closest diving sites off shore. The three islands belonging to this ring of coral islands are Koh Larn, Koh Sak and Koh Krok. In the reefs around these islands, you will see different types of fish depending on the depth of the waters. These include Butterfly fish, Angel fish, Damsel fish, Jacks and Rabbit fish. At places where the reef shelves to greater depths, you might spot Nurse Sharks or sea turtles, if you are lucky.
The Far Islands, which are further away from the shore, are calmer and offer better visibility than the Near Islands, mainly because there is no disturbance from water sport activities such as jet skiing. They are a group of five islands around Pattaya of which the best diving sites are around Koh Rin, Koh Manwachai and Koh Phai. Besides the smaller fish that you can see at the Near Islands, you will have higher chances of spotting barracudas, moray eels and different types of hard and soft coral around the Far Islands.
For those who like to dive around ship wrecks, Pattaya has some of the best dive wrecks in the world. Among the popular Pattaya diving wrecks are the HTMS Khram shipwreck located off Koh Phai, HTMS Kood wreck off Koh Sak and Hardeep, a World War II ship that was wrecked off the Samae San Bay. At all these sunken ships, divers get the opportunity to see an artificial reef underwater and experience the excitement of exploring the wreck.
Diving is an exhilarating activity that teaches you to appreciate the peaceful life at the bottom of the sea. When you are in Pattaya on vacation, going on a Pattaya diving trip can be one of the most memorable experiences of your lifetime. All you have to do is find a suitable dive school to organize your training and trip out to sea.