...Highlights: whale sharks, turtles, schooling fish/big pelagics, non diving activities...
...Diving environment: beginner divers, advanced divers, very popular...
One of Thailand's best loved islands, Samui's charms are evident as soon as you arrive at its award-winning thatch-roofed airport.
When you stay on the island of Koh Samui you will not only enjoy the excellent beaches and wonderful nightlife, but you will also have access to the best scuba diving in this part of Thailand. The sites around Koh Tao can also be dived via daytrips from Samui. Show more
Sail Rock - This is a 30m tall granite pinnacle half way between Koh Phangan and Koh Samui and is thought of as the best dive site in the Gulf of Thailand. There are no other rocks nearby so it acts as a congregation point for all fishes in the surrounding area. It is a real highlight because whale sharks are commonly sighted here. Whether you are on the surface or below, you will be amazed at how long these sharks stay around seemingly enjoying the presence of divers. Show more
These dive sites can be visited by high speed daytrip boats from Koh Samui Island. For more information on these great options, and all the other travel information you might need to visit Samui and the Gulf of Thailand, read our Koh Samui day trips section.
The high speed catamaran departs every morning, normally in small groups. You will normally return in time to return to your resort and relax for the late afternoon.
You can book these dive daytrips separately, or combine them with an accommodation package in one of our recommended Koh Samui resorts.
The dive sites in the Gulf of Thailand can be enjoyed throughout the year. However the peak season, which sees the optimum conditions, runs from March to September, with underwater visibility reaching up to 30-35m at its best. There may be a reduction in visibility during the October to November period when monsoon winds and swells can be present. However these are rarely sufficient to interfere with diving trips, except for maybe making boat journeys a little bumpier.
If you are planning a dive trip between November and February, Koh Samui is not the best bet since rain and wind, brought by the northeast monsoon, can visit the Gulf, causing waves and a drop in visibility to 10m.
Water temperature ranges between 27°C and 30°C, with the coolest water in the months of October and December. The coolest time of the year however, is also the best chance to see sharks in the area as they prefer colder waters.
Whale sharks mainly visit the area in March and April, and again in September and October.
Review our maps below of Koh Samui and its host country Thailand. Here, you will find information on how to get to Samui.
Depth: 5 - 40m
Visibility: 5 - 25m
Currents: Can be strong
Surface conditions: Calm to choppy
Water temperature: 27 - 30°C
Experience level: Beginner - advanced
Number of dive sites: ~6, but >20 including Koh Tao
Recommended length of stay: 5 days