Scuba Diving during your holiday on Koh Lanta Island, Thailand
A triple tank dive day with Kon-Tiki Dive Center
During my stay in Koh Lanta, I went on a triple tank dive trip with Kon-Tiki Diving and Snorkeling center, it was an amazing experience! Although it was only one day, it was quite a long day and it felt a bit like being on a liveaboard! Their service was excellent, the diving was great, the food delicious and I made some new dive friends! Although it was quite a big and full boat, I was positively surprised by how well everything was organised and how the diving took place in small groups. Read on to experience this amazing dive day with me!
Homemade cereal bread for breakfast
At 07.00 am I´m picked up for a short ride to the Saladan pier in Koh Lanta. We board the big Kon-Tiki boat where fruits and coffee are already awaiting us. After a very clear briefing, we are ready for our breakfast. I´m surprised to see homemade cereal bread and scrambled eggs among other nice things. I have to watch myself not eating too much right before my first dive because we´re going to Koh Haa and I´m all excited!
Diving and snorkelling Koh Haa, from Koh Lanta
Koh Haa is the Thai name of the site and it means the 5 islands. The dive site is suitable for beginners as well as for advanced divers. Snorkelers will also enjoy these uninhabited islands full of lagoons and turquoise, crystal-clear water. The divers can enjoy some diveable caves and swim-throughs on top of that. The place is full of life and after my dive briefing about the first dive site of the day, named Koh Haa Yai, I keep my fingers crossed for the turtle or the tiger tail seahorse.
The first dive site: Koh Haa Yai
My dive group only exists of one other girl and a Divemaster. What a service! Most other groups I see are diving also in small groups of 4 divers max. This way we´re not one bunch of divers but we are kind of spread out over the whole dive spot. I see many trumpet fish and fall in love with a super small yellow boxfish. When we reach the bottom at about 18 metres, next to a wall, where usually the tiger tail seahorse is seen, I´m a bit disappointed that he isn´t ´home´ today. However, the amount of fish life and other things we see makes me soon forget about it. We continue the dive and pass a cave and in the second cave, we see a ray. We enter one of the caves and then come up to the surface to see the damp covering the sea and it is amazing! When we continue our dive we also see, among other things, two big lobsters, a hawksbill turtle and many nudibranchs. Great, this is already a dive to remember!
A whale skeleton at 33 metres, at the dive site Koh Haa Lagoon
On our second dive site, Koh Haa Lagoon, we see a huge skeleton of a whale laying on the bottom of the ocean at about 33 metres of depth. Nobody knows how the skeleton ended up here, but it’s very intact and it looks like it’s been there for a very long time. No life has started to grow upon it yet. It is, however, something different to see underwater and well-liked among the advanced divers who are certified to go to that depth. From the skeleton, we continue our scuba dive to the reef with a plateau on our right giving a home to a huge amount of fish life. Big schools of fish and tiny glassfish are to be seen here as well some bigger stuff including a huge potato grouper. To complete our dive experience we also see a few more lobsters and morays among, again, a variety of macro and smaller stuff.
Here is a short video of the whale skeleton:
The fish is getting more active in the afternoon!
After a nice lunch and some meeting and chatting with fellow divers, we get ready for our third dive. On this scuba dive I can feel another vibe amongst the fish and marine life. Sometimes typically for an afternoon dive, it looks like the bigger stuff we spot, like barracudas and yellowfin tunas, is getting hungry. The big schools of fish, probably feeling a bit threatened, are constantly moving around us and sometimes suddenly moving in another direction. We also see octopus, huge morays, very big groupers again, anemonefish (clownfish), scorpionfish and some shrimps and small crabs. Right at the end of the dive, we see a stingray laying in the sand.
This was the last dive of the day and I´m very satisfied with it all altogether. I did see much more than I expected beforehand.
My experience with Kon-Tiki has exceeded my expectations
The dive team really spoils us. Now we can choose between strawberry or chocolate pancakes, at the same time being remembered to drink enough water and electrolytes drinks. All are offered free of charge.
A skilled underwater photographer joins your dive tour
There is also a very skilled photographer on board who takes nice photos of the diving in general, specific creatures seen during the day and each diver. You can buy your photos at the end of the day to take a memory home with you. You can find his contact details together with details about Kon-Tiki dive centre a bit further down.
Friendly and professional dive staff at Kon Tiki Dive Centre
My experience is only positive about this day, the diving and Kon-Tiki Diving Center. The staff is professional and friendly, having a lot of time available for your pre-dive briefings as well as discussing some fish life or any questions afterwards. Around 06.00 pm we got dropped off again at our accommodation where I enjoy the rest of my stay on Koh Lanta.
Information about travelling to Koh Lanta
Where is Koh Lanta located?
The islands of Koh Lanta are located in the province of Krabi, at about 100km southeast of Phuket. Most travellers stay on Ko Lanta Noi, which is the smaller one of the two biggest islands. Ko Lanta Yai, the biggest island, is connected by a bridge with Ko Lanta Noi. Therefore you can reach Koh Lanta overland from Krabi international airport. You can also take the boat (ferry or speedboat) from Krabi, Phuket, Trang or many of the surrounding islands. Krabi, however, offers the nearest airport to Koh Lanta.
Tip – Find your cheapest transport or flight option to Koh Lanta
No matter if you need an international flight to Phuket or Krabi, or if you just need to book your boat from those places to Koh Lanta, you can book both with 12go.asia and 12.go.co. I receive a small commission on your purchase through those links. Before they already could scan the best available deal for you in regards to travelling within Asia, but now they also scan all available international flights for you so you can book the best deal. Use the links above, or the search box below, to find whatever transport to Koh Lanta you need for your diving holiday!
I receive a small commission on your purchase through this search table
A great alternative if Phi Phi Islands are too crowded for you
Ko Lanta is a great alternative for the more famous, but therefore also more crowded, Phi Phi islands. Koh Lanta Noi is much bigger than Phi Phi, so there will always be a quiet beach to find for you on this 30 km long and 6 km wide island.
There are many other things to do at Koh Lanta
There are amazing sunsets to see from Koh Lanta and there is a huge variety of restaurants, bars and nightlife. Other things to do around Koh Lanta include kayaking through the mangrove forests, exploring waterfalls, caves, forests and the Mu Ko Lanta national park. There are more than 70 small islands surrounding Koh Lanta, so it´s very unlikely for you to get bored on this island. You can rent a motorbike and explore on your own or book an excursion through Get your Guide. I receive a small commission on your purchase through the link in the advertisement below.
Where to stay at Koh Lanta?
Especially in the busier season from November till April I can recommend booking your accommodation well in advance. Some places can be fully booked and all accommodations are quite spread over the island so you don´t want to search around with all your luggage to find a place to stay! There are all kinds of accommodations at Koh Lanta from budget and basic to expensive and luxury.
My recommendation for simple accommodation and travellers on a budget: the Bamboo Hut on Koh Lanta
From personal experience, I can recommend the Bamboo Hut (I receive a small commission on your purchase through this link) if you´re looking for simple, budget accommodation. I paid only 600 Thai Baht for a simple, but clean, bamboo bungalow with a mosquito net, fan and a private bathroom with cold water. The place was recently opened when I was there (2017) and so everything was new. The girl running the place is extremely friendly and helpful, one of these places where you arrive as a guest and leave as a friend! She also has scooters to rent, a restaurant opposite the bungalows and can help you do a day tour for a cheaper price than the tour offices. The beach is just behind the street opposite.
My tip for a bit more luxury or flashpacker style on Koh Lanta: Sea Shell Beach Resort & Oasis Yoga Bungalows
Another time I stayed at the Sea Shell Beach Resort (I receive a small commission on your purchase through this link), which is a different price category and style. I paid 1100 Thai Baht for a room with air conditioning and hot water but the accommodation is located right on the beach. The food in the attached restaurant was delicious with a good vegetarian choice. My friend had a good experience staying at Oasis Yoga Bungalows (I receive a small commission on your purchase through this link), they are located close to the centre of town and offer yoga lessons and healthy food. Book them well in advance since they are fully booked on many dates.
Book your stay on Koh Lanta with booking.com
If you like to go to Ko Lanta and this article helped you in some way, you can do me a favour by booking your accommodation with booking.com by clicking through on one of the links here on the Splashpacker website. They offer the same price as booking directly with your accommodation. On many occasions, you can cancel free of charge and just pay upon arrival. Click here if you prefer to book through Agado and to find current accommodation deals on Agoda. I receive a small commission on your purchase through the links mentioned.
Kon-Tiki Diving Center in Koh Lanta
Kon- Tiki Divers is a Swedish-run, well-organised, 5-star PADI IDC centre in Thailand. The dive centre has dive bases in Phuket, Khao Lak, Krabi and Koh Lanta, offering day trips as well as liveaboards. Click here for their overall website if you´re interested in diving other places in Thailand.
Other dive sites from Koh Lanta with Kon Tiki
Other dive tours you can do with Kon Tiki from Koh Lanta include Phi Phi Islands, Phi Phi night diving and if you´re looking for something different you can do a ´dive safari´ in which you focus on one sea creature in particular and study this one a bit more profound. Another spectacular diving site you might enjoy is the King Cruiser Wreck: an 85-meter-long passenger ferry which sunk in 1997 and is situated at a depth of about 30 meters. For the more experienced diver, I recommend the famous dive site called ´Hin Daeng & Hin Muang´. Diving these dive spots is also be done on a triple tank day tour. The site is famous for many wonderful pink- and purple-coloured corals and is known for bigger fish like manta rays and the whale shark.
For more information about prices, availability and opening times and seasons, you can check out their website: https://www.kontiki-lanta.com/
A big thanks to Kon Tiki Diving Center and Peter, for making this trip available to me. Another big thanks to Gonzalo Apesteguía Zamorano for providing most of the photos in this article. If you like the photos you can follow him on Instagram as Gonzalopz or check out his Flickr account.
My next article is a travel blog update about island hopping the Andaman Sea and this is part of a series in which I´ll bring you to 9 islands in the Andaman Sea. You can also follow me on Facebook, check out Splashpacker Instagram or subscribe to the Splashpacker YouTube Channel
What is a splashpacker?
If you don´t know what a splashpacker is, then read on! In my case, I have been working as a scuba diving instructor in a variety of countries but have now decided to do more travelling. A splashpacker can also be a backpacker who loves to scuba dive or a diver who loves travelling. A backpacker travels around on a low budget, a flashpacker does it with a bit more luxury and usually with a laptop or other electronic device and a splashpacker travels around, loves to scuba dive and is chasing the best dive spots around the world. That easy! If you´re also diving and travelling, you can join the Splashpackers Around the World- Facebook group!
Happy Bubbles, Safe Travels and Enjoy Reading!
Ellis the Splashpacker