Watching and swimming with whale sharks is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The majestic whale shark is the world’s largest fish. With a size of up to 15 meters and a weight of 40 tons, this vast and beautiful creature attracts divers worldwide. Thailand is known for its brilliant, colorful coral reefs and abundant exotic marine life, which can be seen at some of the world’s top dive sites. And it is interesting to know that whale sharks can only be seen at a few dive sites in Thailand and a few other places worldwide. So here’s a complete guide to your next adventurous trip to the land of smiles.
Best Time To See Whale Sharks in Thailand
April is the month when whale sharks are most frequently spotted among divers. And if you’re lucky, you might also see one in February and March. Unfortunately, whale shark sightings have decreased drastically due to ocean pollution. And the illegal killing of whale sharks. During these months, Richelieu Rock in the Similan Islands is packed with crowds from all over the world just here to catch a glimpse of the world’s largest fish. Liveaboard tours start to see whale sharks. In October and until May.
Keep in mind, however, that no tour guarantees that you will see one. Don’t worry if you don’t manage to spot a whale shark; there is still plenty of marine life you will encounter. The many are manta rays, sea turtles, and barracuda.
Where to See Whale Sharks In Thailand
If it’s your lucky day, you can see whale sharks almost anywhere except at the most familiar dive sites, where these graceful fish can be seen at Sail Rock, Chumphon Pinnacle, and Southwest Pinnacle on Koh Tao in the Gulf of Thailand. Whale sharks are also sometimes spotted in Phuket. Koh Tao is very popular with a variety of marine life divers spot. Besides the whale sharks, you can also see trevally and barracuda.
Here are the Best Places To See Whale Sharks In Thailand
During whale shark season, which runs from March to June, you can snorkel alongside a whale shark at Shark Island, Koh Tao’s most shark-sighting dive site. Sharks swim close to the surface. They can dive a hundred meters into cold water but come to the surface in search of warmth. They are regularly seen on Koh Tao, feeding on plankton brought in by underwater currents.
Whale sharks are often spotted at Chumphon Pinnacle, a dive site about 15 minutes by boat from Koh Tao Island. Koh Tao is famous for its cheap diving, and this peak is an excellent place to swim with harmless whale sharks.
Hin Daeng translates to red rock and is one of the best places to find whale sharks in Thailand. Whale sharks are common here because it is a feeding and cleaning station. There is red carpet coral and whale sharks and manta rays year round. You can spot two or more whale sharks on a single dive if you’re lucky. However, you must find out if they will be recognized.
Whale sharks at Richelieu Rock are a diver’s delight. Richelieu Rock is considered the best spot for a whale shark encounter in Thailand. This dive site guarantees multiple dives. The main whale sightings at Richelieu Rock occurred in 2001, 2012, and 2014.