You may have read recently about the recent closure of many Thailand dive sites by the Thai government. While it is true it does not necessarily mean bad news for divers.
In response to an occurrence of coral bleaching, a number of locations have been temporarily closed to diving. It is a sensible move by the Thai government to protect those areas most damaged.
However as you will see from the facts below and the precise locations of the closures, liveaboard itineraries in the region remain almost entirely unaffected.
- There was a coral bleaching that hit Malaysia and Thailand in May/June 2010. Shallow water hard corals down to about 15m on fringing reefs have been affected.
- It has not affected soft corals and has not significantly affected the granite boulder sites for which the Andaman Sea is famous. eg Richelieu Rock has barely been touched and is not one of those closed.
- Approximately 18 dive sites all along the coast of west Thailand have been closed. This includes only 2 in the Similans (which has 30+ dive sites).
- A number of shallow water bays around Surin Island have been closed – these were not on many liveaboard itineraries
- No sites on most Hin Daeng/Hin Muang trips have been closed.
So fear not. The diving in Thailand is excellent right now. There are plenty of great sites to be visited and plenty of fantastic Thailand special offers and last minute deals.