Scuba Diving Koh Chang

Scuba Diving Koh Chang: The Ultimate Diver’s Guide

Koh Chang is the third largest island in eastern Thailand, but its popularity amongst tourists falls well short of many of the smaller islands in Thailand. It’s far less well-known, making it a great option for those looking to get off the tourist path and escape the crowds.

Despite being less developed than some of Thailand’s more popular and touristy islands, Koh Chang has some thriving bars and restaurants to go along with its great white-sand beaches. Koh Chang is still well worth a visit and a great option for those looking for some peace.

Let’s not forget, this fascinating and peaceful retreat is still an island and offers some immense diving! Scuba diving Koh Chang offers warm, crystal clear blue waters and unrivalled amounts of species of tropical fish and other marine life. You’ll never get bored of discovering new vibrant soft coral and beautiful coloured fish. You’ll also find far fewer crowds than other islands.

Scuba Diving Koh Chang

What’s Good About Koh Chang Diving?

As if the postcard-worthy beaches with soft white sand and lush green palm trees aren’t enough, Koh Chang offers a range of fascinating dive sites ensuring you’ll get the most out of your island retreat. Here are some of our favorite bits!

Value!

Southeast Asia is famous not only for its beautiful beaches and waters, but the incredible value for money you can get, and that definitely extends into their diving.

Many divers come here from other parts of Asia and Australia to complete their open water certification as it’s highly regarded as the best place to do so. Many backpackers and travelers opt to dive here too in order to save money.

Location

Its remote island location leads it to be so peaceful and untouched.

That’s not the only reason we love its location, though! Koh Chang sits amongst the action in the Gulf of Thailand, near Phu Quoc, and offers some incredible diving spectacles not to be missed on any trip to Southeast Asia.

Diverse Marine Life

If you’re a bit of a marine biology geek, or just like pretty colorful fish, you’ll fall in love beneath the surface of the crystal clear waters of Koh Chang. The warm waters attract an abundance of beautiful, vibrant marine life that’s sure to please the eyes.

Koh Chang Scuba Certification

Scuba Certification

In general, you aren’t required to be certified in order to scuba dive on Koh Chang. In fact, there are many tour operators that cater to those of all levels of ability, no issue for a first-time diver. There are plenty of beginner-friendly and easily accessible dive sites to get your flippers wet for the first time.

What’s more, there’s plenty of opportunities to get scuba certified while you’re on Koh Chang. It’s an ideal location to learn to scuba dive, with calm conditions and many beginner-friendly dive sites. Check out our recommended open water course below to get yourself scuba certified!

Having said that, it’s always recommended to get scuba certified to give yourself the best, most enjoyable diving experience possible. While you’ll have a great time scuba diving Koh Chang as a first-time diver, there’s a lot you can miss out on without the extra confidence and diving experience, such as the more challenging cave dives and wrecks.

In addition, becoming scuba certified will help you feel more comfortable and confident underwater. This leads to maximum enjoyment and safety from your diving experience and something worth considering.

Koh Chang Scuba Diving Requirements

Scuba Diving Safety

Koh Chang doesn’t have any specific laws or regulations with regards to diving. As always, tour operators state that you must be in good physical condition and have some swimming ability. Children must be at least 10 years old to scuba dive with a tour operator.

With that said, it’s always highly recommended to have a dive buddy when you’re out scuba diving in the waters of Koh Chang, as it is anywhere else. This is particularly the case if you’re out diving without a tour operator or guide. In this situation, it’s also good practice to make use of diver down flags.

Best Sites for Scuba Diving Koh Chang

Koh Chang offers plenty in the way of a luxury island getaway, with many bucket list items available to tick off here. Diving is one of its best traits, too. Here are some of our favorite Koh Chang dive sites.

Koh Rang National Marine Park

Vibrant Coral

There are several dive sites in this area:

HIN KUAK MA (AKA 3-Finger Reef)  – This has a depth of 10-16 meters and is situated approximately 1km north-east of Koh Rang. I encountered stingrays, parrotfish, angelfish, and a turtle! Other members of the group saw a bamboo shark! There is an abundance of beautifully colored corals as well as nudibranch.  The rock wall on the south offers a great opportunity to see stonefish and different types of eels. 

KOH LAUN; KOH YAK – The depth here ranges from 7-12 meters with visibility from 5-30 meters. On this dive, you will see the most spectacular corals all the way around these 2 tiny islands. I’ve never seen so many incredibly beautiful and colorful coral fish darting in and out of crevices, making this a firm favorite of mine.

HIN GA DAENG (AKA Koh Rang Pinnacle) – The Gulf of Thailand has many striking pinnacles of granite and limestone, and this one offers an amazing dive of up to 30 meters. With a façade resembling a sub-aquatic cathedral, there’s so many wonderful fish to see so take your camera! I spotted large shoals of batfish as well as triggerfish, sweet lips, pufferfish, barracuda, and a couple of turtles! Visibility was up to 30 meters making this an amazing dive experience.      

If this sounds ideal to you, be sure to check out our recommended experience below!

HTMS Chang Wreck

Shipwreck

Situated very close to Koh Chang, this is an artificial reef created when the 100-meter longship of the same name was sunk in 2012. It created an incredible dive site with the hull situated at a depth of 30 meters. 

You can dive in and around the Captain’s cabin and the mast reaches just 5 meters below the surface. It’s a real feast for the eyes as we saw scorpionfish, batfish, filefish (aka leatherjackets), HUGE grouper, and even a whale shark! Being the largest shipwreck in Thailand, it was incredibly exciting, and a dive to remember.

Check out our recommended experience below, this one is not to be missed on any diving trip to Koh Chang.

Hin Luk Bath

Underwater Rocks

Another spectacular pinnacle dive with depths from 12-25 meters and visibility from 3-20 meters.  It’s a great night-dive site as it has a huge array of

Christmas tree worms in a myriad of colors. I saw stingrays, butterflyfish, fusiliers, snappers, and lots of eels.  There were also bannerfish, angelfish, and parrotfish.  We were even lucky enough to spot some dolphins on the way back!  It doesn’t get much better than this!

Check out our recommended experience below for more details!

Best Time to go Diving in Koh Chang

Regardless of the time of year you decide to visit Koh Chang, you’ll have the opportunity to spot various marine life such as Whale Sharks, Seahorses, Rays, and Dolphins.

What’s more, Koh Chang truly is a tropical island paradise and features great diving conditions year-round with consistent water temperatures hovering at around 83 – 87°F. The crystal clear waters will also treat you to brilliant visibility.

Diving aside, you may want to avoid the rainy season from October-December. The high season runs from January to April and offers beautiful weather with very little rain.

How Much Does Scuba Diving Cost in Koh Chang?

If you’re looking at booking an experience through a tour company on Koh Chang, you’ll find prices between $100-$150. The price includes gear rental so there are no extra fees.

In addition, a PADI Open Water Certification will set you back around $500, if that’s what you’re looking for.

Scuba Diving Gear in Koh Chang

Scuba Gear

There are plenty of dive shops situated on the blissful Utopia of Koh Chang so renting equipment for your dives is an option.

It’s worth noting, you’re left with one less thing to think about when going with a guided tour operator as all equipment and gear are included.

However, buying your own gear might be ideal for you if you’re a more keen and experienced diver!

Be sure to check out our buyer’s guides if you’re looking for scuba gear. There you’ll find all of our top recommendations for a range of scuba gear, including masks, dive computers, and complete gear packages!

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