What you need to know...
We try to answer some of the more common questions about diving around Koh Lanta.
Is Koh Lanta Good For Diving?
Due to its proximity to many of southern Thailand?s best dive sites, Koh Lanta is one of the best diving bases in the country.
The extensive diversity, variety, and health of the coral reefs, together with the huge number of marine life species found living around the coral reefs is far better than anything you will find in the Gulf of Thailand.
The Mu Koh Lanta Marine Park contains the Koh Haa Yai islands, Koh Rok, and the famous Hin Daeng & Hin Muang. These are some of our favourite dive spots.
The Mu Koh Phi Phi Marine Park is just a short boat trip from Koh Lanta, and includes Koh Bida Nok & Koh Bida Nai, together with the Phi Phi Islands. Also around Koh Phi Phi, but not part of the Marine Park, we love diving around Hin Bida, the HTMS Kledkeao Wreck, Hin Klai and Shark Point & Anemone Reef.
What time do your dive and snorkel trips depart and return to Koh Lanta?
High Season dive trips and snorkel trips to Koh Haa, Koh Bida / Phi Phi, etc., depart at 09:00, usually returning around 13:45 - 14:00.
Trips to Koh Rok depart 08:00, usually returning around 13:30 - 13:45.
Further away sites such as Hin Daeng & Hin Muang, or Shark Point & Anemone Reef depart at 08:15, with a return normally around 14:00 - 14:15.
Where do your boats depart from?
Our boats normally depart from the south end of Long Beach at Lanta Castaway Beach Resort each morning during High Season, returning again to Long Beach in the afternoon. A beach departure reduces journey time to many dive sites.
Can I do 3 dives a day?
Our speed boats are designed for speed and as such, there is less space on board for extra tanks or a compressor. This means that we do 2 dives per day, returning to Koh Lanta in the early afternoon.
How big are your diving group sizes?
For teaching, our maximum group size is 3 students with an instructor, though this is typically smaller, often 2 students with an instructor.
For certified divers, we try to match up divers of similar abilities/experience with our typical group size being just 2 or 3 divers with each dive master (maximum group size is 4 certified divers per group).
How many divers do you take on your boats?
We normally take a maximum of 10 diving guests on each of our Speed Boat during High Season, plus our diving staff and boat crew in addition to this.
What can I expect to see in the water?
We have collected lots of information on our local marine life, hopefully giving you an idea of what to expect while you are diving or snorkeling with us.
Book online to save 10% on scuba diving trips and PADI courses.
Can I make an Online Booking for tomorrow?
Sometimes we are quite busy in our office and it could be a few hours before we can reply to an online message.
If you are already on Koh Lanta and you would like to dive tomorrow then it's best to come and see us in our office at Lanta Castaway Beach Resort between 10 am and 5 pm to check availability and make a booking.
You can also call us on 089 050 3009 to check availability and let us know that you're coming to see us - in that case we're happy to hold spaces on our boats for 30 minutes so that you have plenty of time to get to our office.
Do you provide snorkel guides?
We will always try to provide snorkel guides on our trips, however sometimes this may not be possible. If it is not possible to provide a snorkel guide then we will always inform you of this before you make any booking with us.
Do I need to be able to swim to book a trip or diving course?
Technically you don't need to be a good swimmer to go snorkeling or try diving with PADI Discover Scuba diving (e.g. in a swimming pool). Our trips are conducted at coral reefs with areas that include deep water, and are exposed to nature. From a common sense/safety perspective, you should be able to take care of yourself while in the water and for this reason, we do not accept non swimmers on our boats.
Do you do pick ups in the south or east of Koh Lanta?
We are a small dive operator with limited resources which means that we can only offer free transport for beaches/areas in the central/north west coast of Koh Lanta, including Kaw Kwang Beach, Klong Dao Beach, Long Beach (Phra Ae), Klong Khong and Klong Nin Beach areas.
Please be aware that most pick-up locations are on the main government road next to your resort.
For resorts further south than this, or located on the east side of Koh Lanta, we ask that you arrange your own transport to and from our office on the day of your trip.
Do I need Dive Accident Insurance?
Even though we are sure that you will have a great time diving here on Koh Lanta, we do strongly recommend that your holiday insurance also covers scuba diving as in the very unlikely event that something does happen, private medical treatment can be quite expensive here in Thailand.
What is included in your prices?
Our dive and snorkel prices include dive guide, equipment rental, lunch and soft drinks on the boat and free resort transfers for all resorts in north and central Koh Lanta (west coast).
Do you offer vegetarian food?
We serve delicious Thai food on our boats with vegetarian options every day. If you have a specific food allergy then please let us know in advance and we will make sure that this is not on our boats.
If you are really fussy then please bring your own food.
What is the National Marine Park Fee?
For all dive and snorkel trips within the Mu Koh Lanta National Marine Park and Mu Koh Phi Phi National Marine Park, including the islands of Koh Haa, Koh Rok, Hin Daeng & Hin Muang, Koh Bida and Koh Phi Phi, there is a Marine Park Entry fee of 400 Baht per adult and 200 Baht per child under the age of 14.
All divers must also pay an extra 200 Baht diving fee in addition to the entry fee. This fee is used to set mooring buoys around the park so that boats do not damage the corals by using their own anchors, to patrol the park against illegal fishing, etc.
Why do I need to check in with you the day before my first dives or snorkel trip?
All diving equipment and supplies are transported from our equipment store to our boat pier in Saladan at 6.30am each morning, and loaded to our boats around 7.00am (6.00am for Koh Rok trips).
All equipment is packed the evening before a dive trip and during high season when we are busy, this process can take quite some time.
For this reason we need to know all equipment sizes by 5pm in order to prepare the packing lists and start the packing. We also need to arrange staff, logistics, food and many other things which means that we are unable to accept any check-in with us after 5pm.
Can I book in advance and then decide my dive dates once I am on Koh Lanta?
We have limited spaces on our boats, so just like booking a flight or resort, we need to know your dive or snorkel dates at the time of booking.
Can I have a discount?
We are happy to discount 10% for all online bookings confirmed with a deposit before you arrive on the island, and at least 5 days in advance as this helps us to plan our dive trips, logistics and staff needs in advance.
As you may appreciate, a professional, well run dive operation has higher costs than other, less professional or less well run dive operators, and as with anything in life, you get what you pay for. This means that if you don't want us to reduce the quality then please don't ask us to reduce the price.
Book online to save 10% on scuba diving trips and PADI courses.
Can I make a booking over the phone?
Due to the number of no-shows, all bookings are confirmed on receipt of a deposit. If you are already here on Koh Lanta and you give us a call then we're happy to hold space for you for 30 minutes to give you time to get to our office at Castaway Resort on Long Beach to complete the paperwork and confirm your booking with a deposit.
Can I pay by credit card?
Yes, you can. And we don't add a 3% credit card fee like everyone else here on the island.
You can pay with a credit of debit card in your own currency, at the real exchange rate using https://wise.com/ to the email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can find easy details on how to do this here https://wise.com/help/articles/2932105/can-i-send-money-to-someone-with-only-their-email-address.
You can also download the wise.com app to your phone and use Google Pay or Apply Pay for your dive trips!
We tried to call you in the evening but nobody answered the phone?
As a small dive operator, unfortunately we do not have the resources to operate a 24 hour service so please contact us during the day to make a booking for the following day.
I'm not sure if a speed boat is for me?
Speed boats, by their nature are smaller boats which allows them to travel faster. Each of our speed boats is 11m (35 feet) long with lots of space for everyone to sit comfortably.
If you like to walk around a boat or to top up your tan on the sun deck then a speed boat is not for you and we recommend to book with one of the other dive operators on Koh Lanta using a larger, slower dive boat.
Is Diving Koh Lanta Safe?
Many thousands of divers visit Koh Lanta every year, and many of these people spend several days around our fantastic dive sites. Currents are mild to medium and most dive sites are relatively shallow, rarely exceeding 30 meters, and mostly in the 5 - 20 meters depth range.
Given the sheer number of divers and dives, diving incidents are extremely rare.
Most diving related problems here on Koh Lanta are due to things like sea-sickness, sun-burn, and too much alcohol the day before diving.
Decompression sickness and other serious problems can occur, for example in those with undiagnosed heart conditions, however on the whole, a diving related incident on Koh Lanta is extremely unlikely.
For those who have not dived in a while, or are feeling a little nervous, we provide a Scuba Skills Refresher which is conducted on the first day of diving.
Can I do a night dive?
We are unable to conduct any night dives by speed boat, as travelling fast at sea in the dark can be dangerous.
Can I bring my children on the boat?
For the comfort and enjoyment of our guests and staff, we do not allow anyone under the age of 8 years old on our boats except on private charters.
All persons under the age of 16 must be supervised by their parents at all times unless they are taking a PADI scuba diving course with us in which case our instructors will provide the supervision along with the parents.
Can you take larger sized people on your speed boats?
This is a tricky one as our boats are built for speed which means that they are more compact than the traditional, larger and slower dive boats.
This means that our boats may not be suitable for people who are quite a bit larger than average (height or width). If in doubt, please let us know your height and weight before booking.