Here you'll find picture-perfect paradise beaches with white sand and glimmering azure waters that are surrounded by dramatic limestone mountains covered in luscious jungle fauna. While below the calm seas you find breathtaking seascapes and vibrant tropical marine life that entice divers to the magical depths that hold seemingly infinite species. Krabi is a destination not to be missed.
Nestled on Thailand’s Andaman Coast, the underwater action here is unparalleled and can rival even some of the best diving spots on Earth. With diverse topography and prolific amounts of marine life, beginners and seasoned divers are bound to endure an unforgettable subaquatic adventure.
On the world-renowned Andaman coast of Thailand’s Krabi province lies the idyllic island of Koh Lanta, where glimmering turquoise waters, pristine beaches, luscious rainforests and tropical mangroves are only the beginning for budding and seasoned nature-lovers.
With sparkling turquoise waters that bathe pristine white sandy beaches and mountainous jungles covered in lush greenery, Thailand’s Koh Phi Phi is a picture-perfect paradise where beach bums, nature-lovers and underwater adventurers alike can enjoy world-class experiences above and below the waves.
Diving in Krabi
Thailand’s idyllic southern province of Krabi always finds itself on the top places in the world to dive. With rich Info-Pacific tropical marine diversity and a number of varied dive sites to explore, it’s the perfect destination for beginners and seasoned divers alike.
Dive centers and resorts dot the beautiful shores of Railay Beach and Ao Nang, as well as other picturesque islands like Koh Lanta, Koh Hai, the Phi Phi Islands and Koh Haa. The region itself makes all kinds of dive courses possible, from absolute novice to professional levels, thanks to extremely varied training sites. Krabi’s tropical climate means diving is amazing all year, though the best season is from November to April, when the seas are calmer, visibility is clearer, and the weather is most stable. The half-moon period is generally a better time to dive, as minimal tidal variation causes the least currents and best visibility. Water temperatures are welcoming throughout all seasons, averaging between 27°C-30°C (80°F-86°F).
Boat diving by two or three tank-dive trips is common practice, though some shore diving is possible. The reef diving in Krabi is astoundingly good, in addition to the many shipwrecks and exhilarating wall dives. Cave diving is available due to interesting topography that dominates many of the world-famous spots in this region, and night diving is also unparalleled, when nighttime critters come out to hunt and bioluminescent plankton form glowing tornadoes.
Liveaboards cruise all around the sites of Krabi, though the most popular safari destination are the Similan Islands, which mostly depart from Khao Lak, around 90 minutes from Krabi by car. Often said to be Thailand’s best diving spot, the Similans can be enjoyed by divers of all skill levels, as conditions are generally good, with mild currents and great visibility.
The Ao Nang local Islands are only ten minutes by speedboat from the mainland, and offer fantastic diving for beginners and experienced divers. Macro diving is particularly special here. They’re a good choice for divers staying on the mainland itself, that want great diving without the long boat rides.
The Phi Phi Islands are known for their huge marine diversity, where magnificent coral gardens and a plethora of fish make colorful displays. Beginners will find the shallow reef diving here very easy, while advanced divers can relax and enjoy the chilled-out diving here. There are sites suited for those with more experience, such deeper sites around the Bida Islands, which also boast a few exciting caves. Iconic sites nearby here include the King Cruiser wreck, Shark Point and Anemone Reef, to which many operators take divers every day from Krabi and Phuket. The journey to these spots is around two hours by boat, or alternatively you can stay on Phi Phi Don Island and benefit from shorter travel times.
Koh Lanta also boasts unforgettable sites, and operators here even visit the Phi Phi Islands. The star of the show in Lanta is of course Koh Haa, which offers spectacular underwater scenery, including large caves for qualified divers to discover. Koh Haa Yai, where cave diving is possible, is a 2.5 hour boat trip from Krabi, though staying on Koh Lanta means shorter travel times.
Within the Mu Ko Lanta National Park, lies Hin Daeng and Hin Muang, which are among Krabi’s top dive sites, not only for the insane amounts of marine life and bright red and purple corals, but also because of the frequent manta ray and whaleshark visitors. Home to Thailand’s highest vertical wall, they’re bucket list-worthy dive sites.
Best places to dive
The Cathedral at Koh Haa Yai is a memorable cave dive at around 20 meters. You can surface inside the cave after exploring its swim-through. Recommended for experienced divers, it’s a must for any adventurer in the area.
Hin Daeng and Muang are two unmissable sites that are dived together. Boasting insane amounts of red and purple corals and vibrant schools of fish, there’s a good chance to encounter mantas and whale sharks. Currents can be challenging, so care is advised.
Bida Nok and Bida Nai are two limestone islands that are as gorgeous underwater as they are on land. Boasting long reefs, schools of fish, reef sharks, walls and caves, they’re suitable for beginners and seasoned divers.
The Ao Nang Local Islands are several islets that boast diverse topography and marine life, from macro critters all the way to sharks and turtles. King Cruiser, Shark Point and Anemone Reef are also iconic sites that are often dived together in the same trip. The encrusted wreck hosts tons of lionfish and pufferfish, while the other two are home to colorful corals and an array of tropical fish, sharks and turtles.