If you simply want to know the best way to dive on Koh Chang, get in touch with my good friend Andi at Scandinavian Chang Dive Center. They have everything you need, a boat painted to look like Nemo and the dudes and girls running the place and the boat are good fun.
Things to see
There’s definitely luck involved in seeing something special, but over the past few years I’ve seen several whale sharks, white tip sharks, turtles and lots of squid, barracudas, shrimp, blue spotted rays etc.
In Koh Chang you’re rewarded with warm water between 29 and 32 degrees, beautiful corals, schools of fish and hopefully some good visibility.
Koh Chang has a ton of sites you should check out, all of them 30 minutes to 90 minutes from the island by a large wooden boat.
- HTMS Chang
- T11 Gunboat
Both of the wrecks currently in Koh Chang have been purposely sunk and of the two, the HTMS Chang is a clear winner, it sits at 30m deep, 100m in length and is home to a variety of species. Don’t miss this dive.
- Hin Raab North
- Hin Sam Sao
- Hin Luck Bat
- Blueberry Hill
- Secret Reef
- Hin Raab South
- Hin Rua Tek
- Koh Rang Pinacle
- Koh Tien
- Koh Yak
- Koh Loan
- 3 Finger Reef
Note that all customers have to pay ‘government tax’ for entrance to the marine park – 200 baht for adults, 100 baht for kids or 40 baht and 20 baht for Thai Nationals. The fee isn’t usually included in dive prices and will either be collected at the shop or on the boat.
All of the sites can provide a nice dive, especially in the high season when visibility is often around 30m, but my recommendation is to first dive the HTMS Chang, followed by a close-by local site such as Hin Luk Bat (we often see turtles here), Hin Raab or Blueberry Hill. If the weather is particularly good and you have an extra day, consider a day diving in the national park, it’s stunning. The high season (dry season) in Koh Chang runs from 1st October to mid June. The rainy season runs from mid June to mid Sept).
Bang Bao – There are dive shops scattered all around the island, but their boats are situated at Bang Bao pier. If you’re staying in Lonely Beach, Bang Bao or Bailan Bay then this is convenient.
Klong Prao – If like us, you’re staying on the Northern or Eastern part of the island, we recommend Scandinavian Chang Dive Center, they’ve become good friends of ours over the past two years and their shop and boat is located in Klong Prao.
Prices are mostly consistent across the island, with some companies aggressively undercutting others. A DSD (discover scuba diving) course will cost approximately 3,500 baht, PADI Open Water course 13,000 baht and two fun dives around 3,000 baht.
Koh Chang has great shallow dives for beginners but for experienced divers the deepest dive is only around 30m on the HTMS Chang. That said, night diving on a coral reef or the wreck can add some adventure. I recommend penetrating either of the wrecks if you have a wreck specialty already.
Here are some of my favourite shots.