The waters of Koh Chang and the surrounding islands have plenty of reefs and there are some great diving and snorkelling opportunities. Koh Chang diving is predominantly at reasonably shallow depths and most of the good reefs are at depths ranging from five to 25 metres. Visibility can get up to 30m but this varies depending upon weather conditions and time of year.
Diving in Koh Chang is possible all year round but the peak season is between October and the end of May. During the monsoon heavier seas can from time to time reduce visibility or make it difficult to reach the dive sites, but there are also calmer periods in the rainy season when diving conditions are good. There is also the occasional turtle and if you’re really lucky you might be here for one of the sporadic whale shark visits.
The reefs of the region are formed from a variety of soft and hard corals including massive, columnar and stagshorn corals. These corals provide a home for an abundance of tropical marine life and divers can look out for blue tipped rays, moray eels, trigger fish, grouper and batfish.
Around the seamounts and small islands to the west of Koh Chang there are a series of dive sites that offer good diving from around five to 18 metres. These include Koh Man Nok and Hin Sam Sao. Some deeper diving can be experienced off the islands and seamounts to the south of the Archipelago.
Hin Luk Bat has a lot of good coral and some good swim-throughs. Hin Raap is a deeper rocky site with good soft corals. Additionally there some good sites lying off Koh Rang island. This island is a bit further away from Koh Chang but it is a worthwhile journey to dive some interesting pinnacles and see some of the best corals in the region.
Booking a dive trip on Koh Chang is straightforward. You can visit the offices of one the ten or so dive companies or enquire at your resort or and travel agencies.
As a guideline on what you can expect to pay the price for a two-day Discover Scuba course is around 4,500 baht whilst full PADI certification costs in the region of 14,000 baht. Fun dives cost around 3,000 baht for two dives with lunch, a little more for the more remote sites.
Most of the dive companies stock diving equipment or alternatively Koh Chang Dive Supply is a large retailer of all kinds of diving gear. They also offer a full repair and servicing workshop for all sorts of scuba equipment. Their office is located at Hat Kai Mook between White Sand Beach and Chai Chet.
Snorkelling in Koh Chang
Whilst the beaches themselves offer little opportunity for snorkelling in Koh Chang, other islands in the chain can be reached by boat trips and there is some excellent shallow reef for snorkelling at these sites. On Koh Chang itself the beaches generally have sandy bottoms that don’t offer much for snorkellers but the rocky shorelines at Hat Kai Mook and Bang Bao Cliff Cottages offer good snorkelling opportunities.
Recommended Koh Chang Dive Shops
Scandinavian Chang Diving Centre: Specialising in teaching northern Europeans about the underwater world, this acclaimed dicing centre is PADI five-star certified and offers small groups for a full range of fun dives and courses. They even offer swimming lessons for land-lovers.
Scuba Zone: This Koh Chang diving operator runs regular excursions on its MV Evolution boat to all the best reefs in the area. Relax with instructors at their Scubar beer garden in Lonely Beach at the end of the day.
Sea & Sun Divers: This international Koh Chang diving school offers lessons in French and is deservedly popular. Their expert instructors know all the waters around the island intimately and offer decent dive trips all year around.
BB Divers: A popular and reliable five-star Padi IDC Belgian diving school offering dive services year round, BB has a solid reputation on Koh Chang with dedicated instructors. They also operate a training centre in Lonely beach, which is acompanied by the BB Gym and World of Tapas (think tasty tapas and Belgian beers).