If you’re planning to dive in Koh Chang, timing matters. The best season for optimal diving conditions is between October and May, offering excellent visibility, warm water temperatures, and calm seas. However, diving is possible year-round, with the low season from June to September presenting its own set of challenges, including reduced visibility and a higher likelihood of trip cancellations. Here’s what you need to know to make the most of your underwater adventure in Koh Chang.
Visibility: between 5 to 30 meters
One of the key factors that make October to May exceptional for diving in Koh Chang is the visibility. During these months, the water clarity can be extraordinary, often reaching up to 30 meters. This allows divers to fully appreciate the intricate details of coral formations, observe the vibrant colors of marine flora, and get up-close views of various fish species. High visibility not only enhances the overall diving experience but also provides excellent opportunities for underwater photography.
Water Temperature: Just Right
Water temperature is another crucial element for an enjoyable dive. In Koh Chang, during October to May, the water temperature hovers between a comfortable 27-30°C (81-86°F). This is especially beneficial for those planning multiple or extended dives, as the warm water helps to reduce fatigue and makes for a more comfortable experience overall. It’s warm enough to dive in a shorty wetsuit, or even just a rash guard if you prefer.
Sea Conditions: Smooth Sailing
Calm sea conditions are a hallmark of the October to May period in Koh Chang. Smooth waters make it easier to enter and exit, whether you’re diving from a boat or from the shore. This is particularly important for beginner divers or those who may not be strong swimmers. While the sea is generally calm, it’s always a good idea to stay updated on daily weather forecasts and ocean conditions. Sometimes Mother Nature has her own plans, and it’s better to be prepared.
The rich biodiversity of Koh Chang’s waters truly comes to life between October and May. During this season, divers have the opportunity to encounter a wide array of marine life, ranging from the adorable clownfish to the majestic whale sharks. Schools of colorful fish like angelfish, butterflyfish, and parrotfish are common sights.
Diving in the Low Season: June to September
In the low season from June to September, diving in Koh Chang comes with some challenges. Visibility often drops to 5-15 meters due to monsoonal rains and winds stirring up plankton and sediment. While water temperatures remain warm, the sea can get choppy, making it more difficult for entry and exit, especially for less experienced divers. The variety of marine life may be less diverse, but the increased plankton can attract larger filter feeders like manta rays and whale sharks. It’s also worth noting that the chance of dive trips being canceled is higher during this period due to unpredictable weather conditions.
Comparing High and Low Seasons for Diving in Koh Chang
If diving is on your Koh Chang agenda, the season you choose will make a difference. From October to May, you’ll experience top-notch diving conditions: visibility can reach up to 30 meters, the water temperature stays comfortably warm, and the sea conditions are generally calm. This period also boasts a rich diversity of marine life, from colorful corals to majestic whale sharks.
On the flip side, the low season from June to September presents some challenges. Visibility often reduces to 5-15 meters due to the monsoon influence. The sea gets less predictable and can be choppy, which is something less experienced divers should consider. The marine life spectrum narrows, although you might still encounter some larger species attracted by the increased plankton. Also, the likelihood of trip cancellations due to adverse weather conditions is higher during these months.