With white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and dense tropical rainforest Khao Lak offers a remote island vibe with excellent scuba diving. There are three local wrecks all boasting huge varieties of marine life.
When you’re not staring at barracuda and batfish passing through the blue, you’ll notice the vibrant colors of the reefs. Manta rays, whale sharks, leopard sharks and silvertips grace the waters of the nearby Similan and Surin Islands.
Among the usual suspects you’ll find octopus chasing each other and shimmering giant cuttlefish. Macro lovers won’t be disappointed with nudibranch, mantis shrimp, yellow and bluestripe snapper and porcupinefish all on show. Immerse yourself in lush coral and giant sea fans - diving in Khao Lak is a world-class favourite.
Diving in Khao Lak is scattered along the Andaman Coast, where the climate is tropical. It’s lovely and warm all year with sea temperatures ranging from 78-86°F/26-30°C. Visibility during the dry months (October-April) reaches 30m, but the wet season can be quite beautiful.
Sea snakes, leopard sharks and reef sharks can be spotted whilst diving in Khao Lak all year. Encounters with manta rays and whale sharks are especially good during the months of February to April.
The National Marine Park for the Similan and Surin Island is open for divers from early November to mid-May. Waters are calm in these months, making the trip to the islands more enjoyable. Cruise out on flat seas and look out for dolphins dancing in the wake.
Find local PADI dive shops and explore the top dive sites with our map.
Khao Lak is located on south Thailand’s western coast. For diving in Khao Lak, the main point of access is via Phuket or Krabi Airport. If you are coming from Bangkok (the main gateway into Thailand) it will take 1h30m to fly to Phuket/Krabi.
From either of these airports, you can reach Khao Lak by taxi or bus in a matter of hours. Buses from Bangkok, Chumphon, Phuket, Ranong, or Surat Thani all pass through Khao Lak.
If you're departing from the southern reaches of Thailand - Koh Tao or Koh Samui - take the ferry to Surathani on the southern mainland of Thailand, followed by a four hour bus journey to Khao Lak.
Once on the island, getting around Khao Lak is easy. The more adventurous travellers can explore independently by renting a moped or car (think leisurely day trips to remote beaches) - but there are many taxi services at hand in the area.