Thailand Scuba Diving with Whale Sharks

One of my most memorable experiences was when I got my PADI Open Water Certification in Koh Phangan in Thailand and ended up swimming with whale sharks. This happened in the Gulf of Thailand which is located North of Koh Phangan. Although whale shark sitings are rare, we were lucky enough to have numerous encounters with them on the days we were diving and it’s one of those moments you’ll never forget. Thailand scuba diving has become a destination for adventures looking for a glimpse of the exotic underwater world of Southeast Asia.

Sail Rock in the Gulf of Thailand

Sail Rock Scuba Diving

Hin Bai aka Sail Rock is a swimmable chimney rock structure in the Gulf of Thailand known for its sheer abundance of schooling fish and the occasional whale shark sitings. This large vertical formation can swim through from the bottom at 18m up to the top until around 8 meters. The interior of the chimney is very peaceful and secluded away from the noise of the waves, boats and other divers outside.

hin bai sail rock scuba diving lessons

With large schools of smaller fish as well as a variety of larger kinds including Barracuda and Mackerel, the rock provides for a pretty incredible ecosystem. Numerous interesting species of marine life such as Scorpionfish, Moray Eels, Shrimps, Nudibranchs and Sea Slugs can also be found both on the wall and amongst the hard and soft corals surrounding the rock.

Whale Sharks in Thailand

Scuba diving with Whale Sharks

Depending on the season and water conditions, Sail Rock is one of the Gulf of Thailand’s most commonly visited sites by the world’s largest fish, the massive Whale Shark. Swimming with whale sharks is a life-changing experience, but it must be done responsibly, unlike places like Oslob in the Philippines. Unfortunately, some places go too far to make a buck off tourists eager to feed and see whale sharks. But the practices that allow for these kinds of controlled daily sitings are unnatural and detrimental to the animals’ true lifestyle.

Thailand Scuba Diving with Whale Sharks in the gulf of Thailand for the PADI Open Water Certification at Sail Rock in Koh Phangan.

Considering these are the largest fish in the world it should come as no surprise that so many people travel every year to see them. They are giant, peaceful and impressive creatures but we should do everything we can to preserve their environment and natural way of life. Whale sharks are actually sharks and aren’t related to whales even though they can grow up to 14 meters or 40 feet in length! On top of that, they can weigh up to 12 tons or 24,00 pounds! Fortunately, they’re docile creatures that primarily eat plankton and krill. The best time to see them is in March or April, but you can be lucky outside of this time too.

Thailand Scuba Diving

thailand scuba

Thailand may be best known for its food and beautiful beaches but “the land of smiles” is also famous for its colorful corals and diverse marine life.
There are a number of great Thailand scuba diving spots around the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea. With the warms waters and marine diversity, it’s become of the most popular places in the world for divers worldwide.

thailand scuba diving with whale sharks

Whether you decide to go diving in Thailand in the Gulf at places like Sail Rock, Koh Tao, or Shark Bay or in the Andaman Sea at locations like Khao Lak, the Phi Phi, or Similan islands you’re practically guranteed to have a good time.

thailand scuba lessons

Whether you’re just starting out and getting certified or are an advanced international diver you can count on meeting some interesting people. The tropical climate in Thailand means you can enjoy diving year round but with monsoon season being from May to September, it’s recommended to come from November to March. Happy Diving!

Scuba Diving with Whale Sharks Video

Thailand Scuba Diving with Whale Sharks

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Nomadic Nava

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