Scuba diving in Koh Lanta is an extremely popular activity for the ever-increasing number of international and local tourists who visit this tropical island in the south of Thailand. For some, Koh Lanta is a forgotten gem, as being such a close neighbour to the world-famous islands of Phuket and Koh Phi Phi causes many visitors to bypass it and go on to spend their vacation at these latter two tourist hotspots. Koh Lanta offers scuba diving holiday makers something quite different when compared to Koh Phi Phi and Phuket. Scuba diving at Koh Lanta can be done very locally, or at some of Thailand’s best diving sites on day trips or even scuba liveaboard diving cruises.
There is a whole range of scuba diving options available on Koh Lanta. While some visitors to Koh Lanta have already passed their PADI certification and either want to take part in ‘fun dives’ or advance their level and skills, there are also lots who have never tried scuba diving before and want to learn to dive in Thailand or just try scuba diving to see if they like it or not. The diving centers in Koh Lanta are set up to take care of both groups of people, even at the same time. In addition, there are plenty of great places to snorkel around Koh Lanta, either by just walking off the beach or joining a scuba diving day trip.
Fun Diving From Koh Lanta
Joining fun dives while based on Koh Lanta is extremely easy, and even easier if you are prepared and book in advance. The actual diving itself is fantastic, and very good value. The boats come in all sizes and travel to the best diving sites in Thailand, including Hin Daeng, Koh Haa and the ten best dives sites at Koh Phi Phi. Koh Haa is most often visited by Koh Lanta diving boats due to it being so near. Hin Daeng is also not very far away and the dive centers make trips there almost every day during the diving season. Koh Phi Phi has some excellent diving sites, which are easy enough for absolute beginners but good enough for all levels to enjoy. The famous King Cruiser Wreck lays on the seabed between Koh Phi Phi and Phuket, right next to Anemone Reef, which it hit and caused it to sink. Finally, there are very local fun dives around Koh Lanta as well as less-visited locations and islets. There’s so much good fun diving around Koh Lanta that visitors often extend their stay to fit it all in.
Never Dived Before? Are you old, young, fat, physically-impaired or can’t swim? You can still dive!
For those who have never dived before and want to either just try it, or learn to become a certified PADI or SSI Open Water Diver, there are plenty of options starting at just a single dive known as ‘Discover Scuba Diving’ or an ‘Introduction Dive’. Almost anyone can try scuba diving, even if they have health, age, body weight/size issues or can’t swim! Initial skills learning can be done in depths of about 1m in specially-designed swimming pools, then as confidence grows, the divers progress to deeper pool depths, then the sea. For anyone who has never dived before and wants to try scuba diving in Thailand, they will be accompanied by properly-qualified and experienced PADI or SSI instructors in very small groups, and often one-on-one. It’s absolutely natural for people to be apprehensive about diving, especially if they have never snorkeled before or can’t swim. Having your face submerged in water is unnatural enough, but breathing while doing so really can be quite a scary thought. The best PADI instructors are very patient and have wonderful techniques to help even the most cautious people to enjoy the experience and very quickly find it an easy thing to do. While most people who try scuba diving for the first time want to do more, and even go on to take part in a scuba diving course, there will always be those who try it once and say ‘that’s enough’. The options for diving in Koh Lanta easily accommodate for all possible outcomes, including those who sign up for one dive and want to do more, or vice versa.
Taking part in a PADI (or SSI) Open Water course is one of the most popular options for visitors to Koh Lanta. Some have already dived once or twice, and want to spend three or four days of their vacation on Koh Lanta learning to do it properly and become a certified scuba diver. Others may have never dived before, but already made the decision to start a course and really ‘jump in at the deep end.’ Both can easily and inexpensively take part in an Open Water course on Koh Lanta. Typically, the course takes three or four days, but this is flexible, depending on the students’ schedules and enthusiasm. There are also plenty of people who choose to learn the theory online before they travel, so they can make the most of every minute of their vacation. Starting your diving course online in your home country by E-learning, is an excellent idea and will of course reduce the cost of the course you pay here in Thailand.
Already a diver and want to advance your level or certification? Koh Lanta is ideal for you.
Taking part in an Advanced or Specialty diving course on Koh Lanta in Thailand is both easy and good value. There is also the option of becoming a professional scuba diver by completing a Divemaster or IDC (instructor) course.
Open Water divers who want to improve their skills by becoming an Advanced Open Water diver can do so easily from Koh Lanta, as there are plenty of excellent diving sites which offer depth, water clarity, wrecks and some interesting and colourful marine life to photograph. Specialty courses, such as Nitrox, Drift, Deep, or Digital Photography can all be done by those based on Koh Lanta, Thailand. The best diving sites in The Andaman Sea are just a boat ride away.
Finally, due the fact there is a constant flow of fun divers and those taking part in courses, there are plenty of opportunities to guide and teach diving in Koh Lanta. When compared to its neighbours Koh Phi Phi and Phuket, Koh Lanta is actually a better tropical island in paradise to live on. The constant parties are attractive for many tourists, but actually living in such an environment is neither easy nor cheap. Living in Koh Lanta while enjoying the best diving in Thailand and getting paid for it makes so much sense. Parties are easy enough to find, when you want to, but there’s no need to have them on your doorstep every night of the diving season.