Judging merely from the rather poor water quality at Pattaya’s main beaches, you may easily get a misleading impression of the hidden marine beauty the Gulf of Thailand has on offer for divers. Indeed, only a few miles offshore the tourism-spoilt coastline, the Eastern seaboard’s coastal waters turn out to be a real “mekka” for scuba diving enthusiasts and provide numerous scenic diving sites in close proximity to Pattaya.
Pattaya boasts a 365-day diving season and more than 30 dive sites all reachable by day trip. The shallow waters are home to a variety of maritime life forms such as colourful tropical fish like large rays and barracudas, sea turtles, spectacular coral reef, and sharks of the gigantic yet harmless whale shark species.
Visibility at all dive sites ranges from five to 15 metres. It’s at its best from November through May but is more than adequate for most dives and training for the entire year.
Pattaya’s most popular dive sites include the nearby islands of Koh Larn (Coral Island), Koh Sak and Koh Khrok (often referred to as the “Near Islands”) and archipelagos of small tropical islands around Koh Phai (the so-called “Far Islands”). Further down south, off the coast of Sattahip, the Koh Samae San chain of islands has some of the best diving sites at the Eastern seaboard both for recreational and educational diving.
Additional underwater attractions and a real incentive for more experienced divers are the several shipwrecks on the ground of Pattaya’s shallow waters, for example, the “HTMS Khram”, “Petchburi Bremen” or the “Hardeep” that have become artificial homes to coral and other forms of maritime life.
Pattaya and Jomtien have a dozen and more scuba dive centers which all offer a variety of courses and excursions to the most popular dive sites in the Pattaya area.
Unless you’ve got experienced diver friends who have used the services of a particular dive center before and can give you recommendations, you might find it hard to make the right choice and find a dive center that is most suitable for your individual requirements. Aspects you should take into consideration include the prices for dive trips and individual training programs, but also the value you get for your money, i.e. the standards of their training facilities and equipment, the quality and speed of their dive boat, qualifications of their instructors, which training material/manuals they provide for certification courses etc. If you’re not a native English speaker, a dive instructor who can speak your language can also be of great additional value.
All dive schools listed below provide a variety of courses for beginners and ambitious diving enthusiasts. Training programs range from basic instruction courses, various advanced certification courses to programs that earn you Master Scuba Diver and Instructor qualifications. For more details on dive programs and rates, please contact them directly or visit their websites. For free listing on this page, please contact us.
Finally, how about a diving career, dive internships or dive jobs in Thailand? Especially if you’re staying in the kingdom longer than just for a week or two, a professional scuba dive course which earns you internationally recognized qualifications may be a great opportunity to enhance your vacation or even make an exciting change to your life.
Learn-in-Asia is the official Scuba diving internship website for the Mermaids dive center based at Jomtien. Their Scuba dive career training programs ensure that you’ll soon be the “most employable dive professional” and gain dive jobs easily, no matter whether in Thailand, elsewhere in Asia or anywhere in the world. Their informative website provides you with all the info you need about Scuba diving courses in Pattaya and how to start your professional dive career. Their extensive FAQ pages give you straight-forward answers to all your questions related to Scuba diving in Pattaya and Thailand.
- Adventure Divers
391/ 77-78 M.10 Thappraya Road (between Pattaya and Jomtien), Tel. 038-364 453
This PADI-certified dive center has been in Pattaya since 1998 and offers all levels of recreational dive instruction. They provide easy and safe trips on their own dive boat, with a professionally trained crew and experienced instructors. Party boat cruises and deep sea fishing expeditions are on offer as well. If you’re new to scuba diving, their dive shop provides equipment for rent or purchase.
- Dive South East Asia
137 Central Pattaya Road (Pattaya Beach Road corner), Tel. 038-362 300
Dive South East Asia offers a variety of PADI courses and arranges daily dive trips to 16 popular dive sites along the Eastern seaboard, including daily excursions to the so-called “Far Islands” and the HTMS Khram shipwreck. They cater both to snorkelers and more ambitious scuba divers.
- Mermaids Dive Center
15/166-167 Moo 12, Thappraya Road, Jomtien Beach, Tel. 038-303 333
Mermaids is the longest serving scuba dive center in Pattaya. Established in 1990, they’ve trained thousands of PADI certified divers and 1,600 PADI instructors. On their own three dive boats they run daily dive trips to the “Far Islands” and popular nearby wrecks. Officially rated as a PADI National Geographic Dive Centre, they offer a variety of training courses from beginner’s to Divemaster and Instructor level. Training for disabled divers is also available.
- No Limit Divers
Mike Shopping Mall, Pattaya 2nd Road, Tel. 033-070 600
No Limit Divers specialize in teaching all levels of scuba diving and having fun underneath the water, incl. snorkeling trips and wreck diving. They also have a Facebook page with many videos and pics.
- Pattaya Dive Centre
Pattaya Beach Road (between Soi 10 and 11), Tel. 038 422 133
The Pattaya Dive Centre, one of the longest established dive centres in Pattaya and in the same location for more than a decade, is a British-owned and operated PADI five-star IDC dive centre – a status achieved by helping thousands take their first underwater breaths and learn to dive with a full range of PADI dive courses, from basic try dive lessons to master/professional levels.
- PJ Scuba
75/124 Moo 12, Jomtien Beach Road, Tel. 038-232 219
As part of the Jomtien-based Mermaids CDC (Learn-In-Asia) Group, PJ Scuba caters to divers on all sorts of levels and offers introductory courses for beginners through to professional scuba training leading to dive careers.
- Private Scuba
Safe and fun PADI dive lessons for complete beginners around shallow coral reefs and advanced courses on deep sea sunken ship wrecks. Daily guided boat trips for diving adventures and family snorkeling tours.
- Real Divers
334/117 Soi Welcome 2, Jomtien Beach Road, Tel. 038-232 476
This British family-owned PADI five-star IDC centre runs daily dive and snorkeling trips and offers a full range of diver training courses both for beginners and advanced divers seeking to reach professional levels.
- Seafari Dive Centre
Soi 12 (off Pattaya Second Road), Tel. 038-429 060
Seafari, established in 1970, wasn’t only one of the first Scuba dive centres in Thailand but also the first PADI five-star Instructor Development Center. A pioneer in scuba diving with more than 40 years of experience, they have specialized in advanced diving courses that can earn you Master Scuba Diver, Divemaster and instructor qualifications.
- weDIVE Pattaya
315/4 Soi Lengkee (between Pattaya Third Road and Soi Buakhao)
Scandinavian-owned and operated dive center with friendly and experienced multilingual staff. Passionate about scuba diving and eager to ensure you the very best services, they offer daily dive trips and snorkeling tours, professional PADI scuba diving courses and training, as well as boat trips around the nearby islands for passengers who just want to relax. Welcome aboard!
Snorkeling in Pattaya
- Pattaya Snorkeling Trips
Tel. (mobile) 087-145-7508
Pattaya snorkeling tours are an easy, relaxing and affordable experience and great Fun for all the family. Even though most people can snorkel safely by themselves, and snorkeling trips around Pattaya don’t need any formal training, we have trained professionals who can guide and assist you to enjoy the entire water-based experience.