SCUBA DIVING PATTAYA
Pattaya is a popular resort city in Thailand. It is approximately 147 km from Bangkok, which makes it the most accessible destination for those seeking a tropical escape from the capital city. Since being named as a city, Pattaya is a self-governing municipal area with a population of about 320,000. Tourists who visit Pattaya do so to explore a wide range of activities, with scuba diving among those on their list.
Pattaya dive sites offer a wide range of attractions and variations that make them suitable for beginners to advanced divers. This makes it a great destination for those seeking the ultimate underwater adventure. If you are planning to go on a scuba diving trip to Pattaya, you won’t be disappointed.
The diving sites are well scattered so that there are options on various sides of the island. The Near Islands is approximately 10 kilometers from Pattaya that offers up to 7 potential dive sites. On the Far Islands, about 15 kilometers from Pattaya Beach, you can find more diving sites to explore.
One of the most unique features about diving in Pattaya is the abundance of shipwreck sites. If you are particularly into shipwreck diving, you might as well head to Pattaya to dive one of many shipwrecks on the area. The most recent shipwreck took place in 2006, which sunk 30 meters deep off the island of Ko Sak.
BEST DIVE SITES
This dive site is located on the northernmost portion of the Far Islands chain in Pattaya. The average depth of the dive is at 10 meters but some portions of the dive site can go as deep as 18 meters. This lower reef-slope features many soft corals. These corals are well-maintained due to the excessive siltation of the water within the area.
The hard corals are often found at the shallow portions of the water in the dive site. In terms of marine life, it is fair and varied.
This dive site represents the largest islet located at the bottom of the Far Island chain. It is one of the shallow dive sites in the area, with a maximum depth of 18 meters. This dive site features a steadily sloping reef that is home to fallen rocks that are covered by foliaceous corals. The rich diversity of the marine life in Koh Rin is one of the most distinctive features about it when compared to other dive sites in Pattaya. It also comes with a shallow bay that is ideal for snorkeling.
This dive site circumnavigates a rocky outcrop on the southern portion of Koh Man Wichai. It might be more suitable for expert divers because it has the tendency to have strong currents. But despite its strong currents, this is a relatively shallow dive site with a maximum depth of 15 meters.
In terms of the marine and coral life, this is one of the best sites in the Far Islands chain of Pattaya. It is home to mainly patch corals. Among the marine species that you can find during your dive include barracudas and gray bamboo sharks.
This is one of many shipwreck dive sites in Pattaya. This ship was donated by the Thai Navy after it sunk on January 2003. Today, this shipwreck serves as an artificial reef with a depth range of 15 to 30 meters. This shipwreck is home to a rich marine life that includes bat fish, barracudas, scorpion fish, jacks, crabs, and shrimps. There is also a spectacular soft coral environment on this site.
Petchbury Bremen Wreck
This 60m steel freighter called Petchbury Bremen suffered from a fire on its engine room, causing the vessel to explode and sink in 1930. The sink currently sits on the bottom of the ocean floor, 60 meters from the surface. It is one of the most popular dive sites in Pattaya.
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BEST TIME TO DIVE
There are two seasons in Pattaya (as with most of Thailand): tropical wet and dry climate. The hot and dry season takes place from December to February, while the hot and humid months are from March to April. Rainy season happens from May to November.
If you are visiting Pattaya for diving, avoid the rainy season if you want to experience optimal diving conditions.
HOW TO GET TO PATTAYA
If you are traveling from outside Thailand, you can take a flight via Bangkok International Airport and take a metered taxi from the airport to Pattaya. You can also take a flight to the closest airport in Pattaya – U-Tapao Airport. However, there are no direct international flights that travel to this airport.
There are two main options when traveling to Pattaya by land: bus or minivan. Most tourists who travel to Pattaya from Bangkok do so via bus. You can take a bus from the Eastern Bus Terminal located next to the Ekkamai BTS Station at Sukhumvit Road. You can find air-conditioned buses at the terminal that leave every half hour. The bus ride costs 117 Baht.
You may also take the second-class air-conditioned buses that cost 97 Baht. However, it will take longer to get to Pattaya. You can also rent a car or mini-van to get to Pattaya.
HIGHLIGHTS OF PATTAYA
Pattaya is a popular tourist destination that usually comes up when people consider traveling to Thailand. The reason for its popularity is clear – just like most islands in Thailand, it is gifted with natural beauty in the form of powdery, white sand beaches and rich marine life.
The vibrant marine and coral life has drawn an influx of tourists who seek out adventure activities such as scuba diving and snorkeling. Its proximity to Bangkok is also a factor behind its popularity.
The intense water sports activities are the tip of the iceberg when you visit Pattaya as it has more to offer. It has developed from a seedy beach town to a destination that appeals to a wide range of tourists – from couples, families, business travelers, and adventure travelers.
Jomtien Beach is one of the most popular attractions in Pattaya. This long beach is sought after by those who love water sports, plus there are plenty of restaurants and dining options nearby. Another notable attraction in Pattaya is the Sanctuary of Truth, which is a massive temple that is carved out of wood.
Any mention of Pattaya won’t be complete without its vibrant nightlife. It has also built an infamous reputation because of it. The Walking Street is one of the best districts to go to for that. Nonetheless, if you enjoy the party and disco scene, there are plenty of bars and disco houses that are worth checking out while in Pattaya. You can drink and go dancing until the wee hours of the morning.
Pattaya is known for a lot of things and not just diving (though it remains as one of the reasons why tourists come to the area). Pattaya belongs to the province of Chonburi and is located along the east coast of the Gulf of Thailand.
Pattaya is a relatively small region with a land area of 22 square kilometers. There are many beaches and islands in Pattaya, but the two principal beachfronts are located on the main sweep of the bay area. The Pattaya Beach – the most popular of the beaches in the city – is located parallel to the city center. It spans the length of 2.7 kilometers.
There are also three offshore islands that are known as part of Pattaya: Ko Lan, Ko Sak, and Ko Krok. In addition, there are also “far islands” that are located west of the offshore islands mentioned above.
Due to the reputation of the city as a resort city, it is one of the major contributors to Thailand’s Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC). This is a far-cry from the coastal city that rose to the international radar as far as tourism is concerned in the 1980s. Since then, it is a sought-after destination for the sun worshippers and adventure junkies.
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