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Best Big Animals Dive Sites In Thailand

Discussion in 'Thailand' started by cleung, Nov 27, 2018.

  1. cleung

    cleung Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Mississauga, Canada
    765
    74
    28
    Would it be correct to assume that the best big animals dive sites in Thailand would be Richelieu Rock, Koh Tachai and Koh Bon especially for whale sharks and mantas? So if this was my main targets, then I'm thinking I should book a liveaboard that dives these three locations. Perhaps even the Similan Islands would not come close to these three spots.

    I'm hoping to do a liveaboard that focuses on these three locations in spring of 2019 before they close up for the season. It seems April is the sweet month. March would be too early for me to travel but I an even do early May. I did notice that some liveaboards would not sail in May but some do. Would this late in the season in early May be a risk in terms of weather and/or lack of the big animals?
     
  2. divinh

    divinh ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: San Francisco
    959
    473
    63
    I personally saw my first Whale Shark at Koh Tao. Whale Sharks do go by the island, but it's not a common occurrence.

    The dive shop I went to on Koh Lanta, Andaman Dive Adventure, has been posting photos of Whale Sharks and Mantas, as of late. When I was diving from Koh Lanta, late March into first week of April 2016, it was the start of low season and we didn't see either, Whale Sharks or Mantas.

    My understanding is that it's rainy season from May through August on the Andaman side of Thailand, which is probably why you're seeing a lack of liveaboards operating during that time frame.
     
  3. stevenl

    stevenl Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Kata, Phuket, Thailand
    2,403
    304
    83
    That time of year, preferably March I'd say, yes, Tachai, Richelieu and Koh Bon.

    Year round IMO Hin Daeng and Hin Muang are better though.
     
    naui_bigfoot likes this.
  4. Buadhai

    Buadhai Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Korat, Thailand
    713
    174
    43
    I've seen more whale sharks at Losin than any other dive site in Thailand. But, that doesn't really mean much; just that I happened to be there on the right day.
     
    Wingy likes this.
  5. Dan V

    Dan V Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: DeTour Village, Michigan
    12
    1
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    I'm flying into Phuket, and will be there from April 2nd (diving the 4,5, and 6th)to the 7th. I have no plans lined up as of yet as far as accommodations, dive sites or dive shops. I want to see big critters. Keep in touch on the dates you'll be there.
     
  6. Divemaster No.1

    Divemaster No.1 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Koh Phangan, Thailand
    30
    7
    8
    There were over 50 whaleshark sightings at Sail Rock (Koh Phangan/Tao) in 2018, and at least 1 a week on the Koh Tao divesites too. May - June and October are usually the best months for them; for example there over 30 whaleshark sightings in October from Koh Tao!
     
  7. Dany_1984

    Dany_1984 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Hangzhou
    8
    1
    3
    Hi guys!
    I need some advice: in february (from 10 to 17) i will go to phuket and i was trying to understand if to get more professional dive center and that offere more choice about interesting dive site if is better stay in phuket or go to some island like phi phi (for example) if someone had good experience with some diving center please can you mention it to me? thank in advance to everyone!
     
  8. Wingy

    Wingy Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Perth West Aust.
    2,665
    2,266
    113
    Richeleiu, Tachai, Koh Bon, Hin Muang and Hin Daeng ... Not too sure about Chumpeon early in the year.
     
  9. String

    String Master Instructor

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Grand Cayman
    8,509
    365
    83
    If you go to Koh Tao in the summer months you'll see lots of Whale Sharks. You'll also see potentially 10s or 100 of divers at the same time. Other than the Whale Sharks, the rest of the diving is distinctly average BUT if seeing big stuff is your goal, its likely your best option.

    As for Similans/Richelieu, the area used to be famous for Mantas from about February onwards but the last 2 season these havent showed with sightings being few and far between. The end of last season had a few trips with a Whale Shark on each one.
    On average though, most boats are seeing 2 or 3 "big things" a month on the itineraries. There are weeks where an animal hangs around a few days then times with nothing so its far from guaranteed.

    Ko Bon and Tachai can have Mantas or Whale Sharks, Richelieu gets Whale Sharks semi regularly.

    Remember its the Andaman so the reason there are no operators in the summer months is because all the national parks are closed due to the monsoon. This is between mid May and mid October.
     
  10. Bubble Junky

    Bubble Junky Course Director

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: In paradise...
    1,878
    131
    63
    Diving from Koh Lanta, there have been a few mantas about at Hin Daeng/Hin Muang recently, and there have also been a few whale shark sightings both there and at Koh Ha.
     

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