SCUBA DIVING KOH PHANGAN

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Koh Phangan is the fifth largest island in Thailand, and although it’s best known for its vibrant nightlife, tourists truly come to this island for the water activities and scuba diving. The rich, natural beauty and gorgeous, clear waters provide the perfect opportunity to exploit the beauty of its marine and coral environment.

KOH PHANGAN DIVING

Koh Phangan is one of the coveted destinations in the Gulf of Thailand. There are plenty of things to do on this island for those looking to exploit this tropical paradise. Diving is among the top items on anyone’s list of things to do in Koh Phangan. Hence, it is no surprise to find a wide variety of local dive sites and operators to cater to those interested to explore the area’s underwater life.

Koh Phangan is located close to other popular diving destinations in Thailand such as Koh Samui and Koh Tao. In fact, Koh Phangan is located between these two islands. But Koh Phangan has earned its distinction as the best choice for those who seek out whale shark sightings.

There are also several palm-fringed, white sand beaches all over the island. The vibrant nightlife and gorgeous sunsets are merely bonuses for your holiday in this tropical paradise.

One of the most unique features of diving in Koh Phangan is that shore dives are aplenty. This is only possible within the small island of Koh Ma. On top of that, there are fringing reefs scattered throughout the island for those who want to explore hard corals and vibrant reef.

Except for a few dive sites, the waters in Koh Phangan are mostly calm. This makes it a suitable destination for beginning divers. But there are enough options for advanced divers in Koh Phangan, too.

BEST DIVE SITES

whale shark in koh tao

Sail Rock

This is the most popular dive site in Koh Phangan. The dive site is named after a 30-meter rock pinnacle that is submerged underwater. It is considered as not just one of the best dive sites in Koh Phangan, but in all of the Gulf of Thailand. You could potentially spot whale sharks too.

Since there are plenty of pinnacles in the area, Sail Rock is home to a variety of fish species. When exploring the site on a sunny day, the way that the sun’s rays filters through the surface is a view to behold.

Koh Ma

Koh Ma is a gently sloping reef dive site. It provides a wide range of underwater attractions including hard and soft corals, along with a richly diverse marine life. Among the marine life that you can find are angelfish, clownfish, butterfly fish, and lionfish. You might even spot a barracuda, too, when the current is running.

Samran Pinnacle

This is one of the most interesting dive sites in Koh Phangan. It is made up of several boulders and pinnacles that form around one large pinnacle. While you cannot find many corals here, you can find an interesting array of underwater plants if you choose to go deeper underwater. Other highlights of this dive site are soft white corals and various fish species like trevallies, whale sharks, and cobias.

Angthong Marine Park

This marine park consists of 42 limestone islands, which makes it one of the best dive sites in Koh Phangan. In this dive site, you will encounter numerous caves, sloping reefs, overhangs, and swim throughs. The diverse coral environment is also a sight to behold. Among the coral species that are available in the area to explore are anemones, soft corals, and barrel sponges. If you explore the deeper sections of the dive site, you will likely encounter yellowtail barracudas, fusiliers, large snappers, and blue-spotted sting rays.

Mae Haad

This fringing reef is located on a sandy bay. Mae Haad is the best dive site if you like to explore diverse reefs and marine life. Due to the easy diving conditions in Mae Haad, it is a great choice for beginners. During your dive, expect to encounter fish species like cuttlefish, seahorses, and sting rays.

BEST TIME TO DIVE

Thailand is part of the tropics. Koh Phangan and most regions of Thailand experience warm weather all year round. The months of July to August offer optimal diving conditions with good underwater conditions.

There are two seasons in Thailand: monsoon season (May to September) and dry season (November to mid-March).

GET THERE

By Air:

To get to Koh Phangan, you must book a flight via the nearest airport to the island: Koh Samui Airport. There are numerous flights that fly directly from Bangkok to Koh Samui. Once you get to Koh Samui, you must take a ferry ride for about half an hour to get to Koh Phangan.

By Land:

From Bangkok, you can take the bus or train to Koh Phangan. There are also transport companies that offer bus+ferry or train+ferry ticket combo options. You can take overnight buses from Khao San Road that will leave at around 6PM and you will arrive in Surat Thani the next morning. There are also overnight trains from Bangkok to Surat Thani. Once there, you must take the boat to Koh Phangan.

KOH PHANGAN HIGHLIGHTS

koh lanta diving

The island was made popular by the infamous Full Moon Party. This is a monthly dance music festival that is held on the Haad Rin Nok Beach, which takes place every full moon of the month.

Over 30,000 party-goers partake in this festival. But since then, there have been many other family-friendly activities and destinations in Koh Phangan. With a wealth of natural attractions and resources, there are plenty of things to see or do during your visit.

This endless list of things to do will give you enough to stay busy during your holiday. As you would expect with any island on Thailand, you will have plenty of white, powdery sand beaches in Koh Phangan. These are complemented by coconut tree groves, clear aquamarine waters, and small villages that offer a cultural experience.

If you see a pattern, it is that Koh Phangan tourist attractions are closely tied to nature. You can indulge in various activities involving waterfalls, beaches, marine parks, and coral reefs.

Among the most popular tourist destinations in Koh Phangan are Hat Rin, Phaeng Waterfall, Than Sadet-Ko Pha-ngan National Park, and Mu Koh Angthong National Marine Park.

WHERE TO STAY

 

GEOGRAPHY

Koh Phangan is located along the east coast of Thailand. It belongs to the Surat Thani province of Thailand. The name of the island is derived from the Thai word “ngan”, which means “sand bar”. It refers to the fact that there are plenty of sand bars in the island. The island has a total land area of 125 square kilometers.

One of the reasons why Koh Phangan quickly gained popularity among tourists is because of its proximity to other popular islands in Thailand. From mainland Thailand, it is about 55 kilometers away. Meanwhile, it is approximately 15 kilometers from Koh Samui and 35 kilometers from Koh Tao. The highest point on the island is at 630 meters.

According to history, the early inhabitants in Koh Phangan were coconut farmers and fishermen. Coconut remains as an integral part of the island’s economy, although it now thrives due to tourism. The 40-kilometer coastline of the island is filled with resort developments. You can also find plenty of beach areas to explore and swim from. The inner portion of the island consists of a tropical jungle and mountainous landscape.

Time zone:
UTC+07:00

Calling code:
+66

Closest airport:
USM

Plugins:
220-240 V

Currrency:
37THB/1USD

“Hello” in Thai:
Sawasdee (sah-wah-dee)

SIMILAR DESTINATIONS

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