What is Diving in Thailand like during the Monsoon Season
May 17th 2013. When I look outside I can see clouds and sun shine. Its is so hot it’s around 40 Celsius and according to all the calendars in the world it should be “Monsoon Season” now in Thailand. Yes the number of tourists seems to be less, yes the number of cars driving around in Phuket seem to be less, yes if you look at the hotel prices in Phuket they are down 50% but its still a tropical paradise regarding the scattered raindrop. The prefect place for Holiday makers, snorkelers and divers of all levels.
Thailand has 2 seasons instead of 4 like in Europe or the US. The seasons are called “Monsoon Season” and “High Season” It used to be like this;
East Coast: High Season May – October and Monsoon Season November – April
West Coast: High Season November – April and Monsoon Season May – October
The last few years the seasons have been upside down. No one knows anymore when its Blue Skies and Sunshine only. The weather does what it wants to do. All I know is that we are in Phuket and its hot as can be while its “monsoon season”
Some people might think that the weather and the diving are related to each other. In a way thats true in Thailand. From may until the end of October the Similan’s Marine park is closed for Diving Boats and Snorkeling trips as the waves in mid ocean can become quite rough. Phuket though is a complete different ball game.
During the so called “monsoon season” the Phuket Dive Boats” go into the dock for maintenance but they have made sure they do not go in all at once. The dive operator have made sure that there are always 4-5 diving boats available during this time of year. They have adjusted their schedule though. Instead of 3 days a week diving Phi Phi (about 2,5 hours away from Phuket) they now dive racha Yai (1 hour away from Phuket) more often. Also some have adjusted the amount of dives from 3 to 2 dives a day. This is due to demand and size of the waves.
At the moment the visibility is amazing in Racha Yai and racha noi, about 20-30 meters. This is also the time some Manta Rays come out and play.
If you do have a weak stomach, no problem what so ever, You need to make sure you take seasickness tablets at least 30 min BEFORE you get onto the boat. Let me say this again BEFORE you get on the boat and you can enjoy the diving or snorkeling as much as when its flat like a mirror.
Talking about the ocean being flat like a mirror, last year during the “low season” we had many days of these conditions. as we all know the weather world wide is changing heaps due to rising sea levels and melting icecaps. I think this is why the seasons in Thailand and the rest of South East Asia are changing as well.
So Diving Monsoon Season Thailand, Phuket the water becomes less hot which means the larger animals come a little closer to the surface, ergo closer to us divers as well. We see that reef sharks, leopard sharks and Manta rays come out to play more often during low season which makes our dives even better than in the “high” season.