Koh Chang diving is a busy and vibrant scuba scene with many different sites, good well-run companies and plenty to see, including the wreck, HTMS Chang, recently sunk, sitting pretty and accepting both fish and divers.
The diving runs throughout the year, but the best time is from November through to May when the seas are calmest and visibility is usually very good, 10 metres at least but often more. Koh Chang’s lack of strong currents or great depths make it a great place to learn to dive or to refresh your skills.
Koh Chang Diving – Dive Sites
The principal dive sites are the rocky formations of Hin Luk Bat, Hin Rap, Hin Nam Tai (Blueberry Hill), Hin Rua Tek (Banana Rock), Saam Sao Hin, Hin Rap North which all lie 3 to 5 kilometres south and south west of Koh Chang or in the marine park itself at Koh Rang, where sites include The Pinnacles (Hin Daeng Ga), Koh Yak and Koh Laun, Koh Thain West and Kuak Hin Ma (3 Finger Reef). Depths range from 8 to 30 metres with the usual dive time at 1 hour.
Staghorn, Christmas Tree, Table, Gorgonian Fans and Soft coral are found across the sites, with fish, often seen in large shoals, ranging from Moray Eels, Groupers, Trigger, Barracuda, Angel, Clown, Porcupine to Stingrays, with plenty of Nudibranches and Sponges, Sea Turtles and the odd Whale Shark.
Koh Chang Diving – Wreck Diving
HTMS Chang, sunk in November 2012 around 5km off the coast of the island, is, at 100 metres, the largest diving wreck in Thailand. It sits upright in 30 metres of water, with the main deck at 20 metres. It is suitable for all qualified divers, with Open Water able to dive around the tower, the captain’s cabin, above deck and the gun turrets, whilst Advanced can go deeper with some very good swim-throughs. All the companies offer Nitrox and wreck speciality courses.
Koh Chang Diving – Prices
Prices are consistent across the companies with little aggressive undercutting but companies do offer deals on courses, multiple days of diving, groups and accommodation and prices might go down a little at the end of the main tourist season or during the rainy season.
Prices also vary slightly on location, with dives more expensive down at the marine park in Koh Rang, simply because it is further. Pool dives are used for instruction as needed during the courses.
Please note that there is a 200bt (100bt kids) government tax or 40bt/20bt (Thai Nationals) for visiting Koh Rang. Collection is either in Bang Bao before you leave or on site by the rangers in an inflatable dinghy. This fee is not included in our guide to the diving prices.
DSD – 1 to 2 days, with 1 pool dive & 2 boat dives
3,500bt to 4,500bt
Scuba Diver – 2 days with 1 pool dive & 2 boat dives
9,000bt to 10,000bt (Limited Certification to 12m, accompanied)
2 Fun Dives – 1 day
2,700bt to 2,900bt
3 Dives including wreck
3,000bt to 3,700bt
1,500bt to 1,900bt (Minimum 5/6 people)
Open Water – 3 to 4 days with 2 pool dives & 4 boat dives
13,500bt to 14,500bt (Full certification to 18m)
Advanced Open Water – 2 to 3 days, 5 dives
800bt to 950bt (Mask, snorkel and fins)
Koh Chang Diving – Dive Schools
Shops in White Sand Beach, Lonely Beach, Bang Bao
Owned by Belgian, Kristel, senior Koh Chang dive shop with 10+ years experience. Wooden boats, pool in Lonely Beach, professional staff, well-maintained equipment, cited as benchmark company. 5 Star PADI IDC, wreck diving.
Shops in Kai Bae, Lonely Beach and Bang Bao
Recently changed hands and with perhaps the lowest prices, 3 boats, all courses, wreck diving, friendly and professional. Based at Cliff Cottages in Bang Bao. Busy and popular, not just for price. PADI, RAID, DAN, Gold Level Instructor.
Shop in Bang Bao
Run by experienced UK diver. All courses taught, fun dives, DAN, wreck diving, reef check and kids programs. As is normal with the smaller companies, hop on the larger companies’ boats, an arrangement that has no effect on the customer.
Shop in Klong Prao Beach, southern end
5 years on Koh Chang, Swiss owned company with branch in the Emerald Cove. All courses taught, fun dives and accommodation offered for duration of courses, with 5 star PADI Dive Resort accreditation. Speedboat.
Shop, south end, White Sand Beach
Experienced Koh Chang divers, all scuba courses, wreck diving. Large well stocked shop, specialising in technical equipment for Nitrox and Trimix trips.Share boat.
Other small operations include OK Diving, Thai owned with western instructors, southern end of Klong Prao Beach, Kontio Diving, same area, Finnish and the sometomes open, Lonely Beach Divers which operates out of Lam Yai Bungalows in the village in Lonely Beach.