Want to scuba dive in Thailand? Most Thailand travelers visit the popular dive island of Koh Tao, however, there is a lesser known dive island you can visit with less people in the water! Welcome to Koh Chang, a big island in the upper Gulf of Thailand, near Cambodia, that is surrounding by a treasure trove of underwater gems.
When scuba diving off Koh Chang, divers can expect a vibrant underwater world teeming with diverse marine life and captivating dive sites. Here’s what you can anticipate encountering beneath the waves:
Koh Chang boasts stunning coral reefs, showcasing a kaleidoscope of colors and providing shelter to a myriad of marine species. Soft corals, hard corals, and sea fans create a mesmerizing underwater landscape.
From tiny, colorful reef fish like clownfish and angelfish to larger species such as groupers and barracudas, Koh Chang’s waters are home to a wide array of fish. Divers can also spot schools of snappers, triggerfish, and fusiliers darting around the reefs.
Keep an eye out for moray eels, which often inhabit crevices and holes within the coral reefs. These fascinating creatures come in different sizes and patterns and are a common sight for divers.
Koh Chang offers opportunities to encounter stingrays gliding gracefully along the sandy seabed. Additionally, lucky divers might spot leopard sharks, known for their distinctive appearance with dark spots and stripes.
Koh Chang’s waters are a paradise for macro photographers and critter enthusiasts. Various species of nudibranchs and sea slugs, with their intricate patterns and vibrant colors, can be found on the reef and sandy bottoms.
Divers might have the chance to observe the remarkable intelligence of octopuses and the mesmerizing displays of cuttlefish. These cephalopods are skilled at camouflaging themselves and are fascinating to watch.
Koh Chang offers exciting wreck diving opportunities, including the HTMS Chang Wreck, T11 Wreck, and the historical Thonburi Wreck. These sunken vessels are now thriving artificial reefs, providing habitats for a variety of marine life.
In addition to wrecks, divers can explore intriguing dive sites like Hin Luk Bat, known for its diverse marine life and the possibility of encountering dolphins, and Koh Wai, where daring divers can come face-to-face with reef sharks and leopard sharks.
Overall, scuba diving off Koh Chang promises an unforgettable experience, combining vibrant marine ecosystems, fascinating critters, and captivating underwater landscapes.
When you go scuba diving near Koh Chang, here are the sites you’ll likely visit or can request to see…
Prepare for an underwater adventure like no other at the HTMS Chang Wreck, Thailand’s largest sunken treasure measuring a whopping 117 meters! You can catch a glimpse of this massive wreck just 5 meters below the surface, but the real excitement begins at 12 meters, where you’ll find the captain’s cabin. Venture even deeper to a spine-chilling 30 meters, where the ship’s bottom deck awaits. Sunk in 2012, this wreck has transformed into a vibrant artificial reef bustling with marine life, from curious groupers and barracudas to octopus, squid, and the majestic whale sharks!
Calling all thrill-seekers to Hin Luk Bat, the go-to rock pinnacle in Koh Chang! It’s not just easy to reach; it’s also a hotspot for diverse marine life. Encounter playful dolphins, graceful stingrays, and colorful parrotfish just 15 meters beneath the waves. And here’s a secret: night divers are in for a mesmerizing treat as the enchanting glow of Christmas Tree Worms illuminates the underwater darkness!
Buckle up, novice divers, because the T11 Wreck is breaking all the rules! Unlike other wreck dives, this one’s a breeze at just 16 meters deep. Despite its compact size, this 30-meter-long wreck is teeming with life, making it a thrilling experience for divers of all levels. Explore the ship’s cabins and get up close and personal with the vibrant marine community!
Step back in time at the Thonburi Wreck, a sunken Thai warship with a fascinating history dating back to 1941. Now resting 15 meters below the surface, it’s a hidden gem covered in colorful corals. While the ship itself may be a bit elusive, the surrounding waters are home to barracudas, moray eels, and lionfish, providing a glimpse into the past amid a bustling marine ecosystem.
Attention daredevils! Koh Wai is your ticket to an adrenaline-packed experience with sharks. Brace yourself for close encounters with reef sharks and leopard sharks, adding an extra thrill to your diving escapade!
Koh Chang, located in the Gulf of Thailand near the border with Cambodia, is the country’s second-largest island and a popular tourist destination. Known for its lush rainforests, stunning beaches, and diverse marine life, Koh Chang offers a wide range of activities and attractions for travelers. Here’s what you can expect to do and explore on this picturesque island:
Koh Chang is blessed with numerous beautiful beaches, including White Sand Beach, Klong Prao Beach, and Lonely Beach. Visitors can relax on the sandy shores, swim in the crystal-clear waters, or engage in water sports like snorkeling, kayaking, and jet-skiing.
The island’s interior is covered with dense rainforests, waterfalls, and hiking trails. Adventure enthusiasts can embark on jungle treks to explore the island’s natural beauty, visit the Klong Plu Waterfall, or go ziplining through the treetops for an adrenaline rush.
Koh Chang is a paradise for divers and snorkelers. The surrounding waters are home to vibrant coral reefs, colorful fish, and other marine creatures. Diving expeditions, snorkeling tours, and boat trips to nearby islands are popular activities for those who want to explore the underwater world.
Koh Chang serves as a gateway to other nearby islands, such as Koh Mak and Koh Kood. These islands offer serene beaches, clear waters, and a more tranquil atmosphere, making them perfect for day trips or overnight stays.
While traditional elephant rides are discouraged due to ethical concerns, Koh Chang offers ethical elephant sanctuaries where visitors can observe and interact with these gentle giants in a responsible and eco-friendly manner.
Explore the island’s fishing villages and experience the local way of life. Visit local markets, sample traditional Thai cuisine, and interact with friendly locals to get a taste of the island’s culture and hospitality.
Koh Chang has a vibrant nightlife scene centered around beach bars, live music venues, and restaurants. Travelers can enjoy beachfront parties, fire shows, and socializing with fellow tourists in the evening.
Koh Chang is dotted with spa resorts and wellness centers offering massages, yoga classes, and holistic treatments. Visitors can unwind and rejuvenate in the midst of nature, indulging in relaxation and wellness activities.
Overall, Koh Chang caters to a wide range of interests, whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or cultural experiences. Its natural beauty, combined with the array of activities it offers, makes it a must-visit destination for travelers in Thailand.
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In 2011, I left Seattle with just $200 in my pocket to travel the world solo. Today, I'm the founder and creator of The Solo Girl’s Travel Guide, the #1 travel guide book series for women - and the author of The One-Way Ticket Plan.