Reef And Coral Diving, Pattaya, Thailand
Pattaya has an excellent range of hard and soft corals between 3-25 metres down, including sponges, sea whips, barrel sponges, table corals, sea anemones and sea fans. Marine life includes angelfish, sand rays, blue-spotted rays, pufferfish, moray eels, box fish and schooling fish. Turtles are also seen on a daily basis.
Get stuck into your Macro Diving whilst cruising along the Pattaya Reefs. With a good guide you can easily slip away from the main coral lines and explore deep reefs sections and sand muck diving areas. This is where some of Pattaya’s best keep diving secrets are found. You may encounter anything from rare species of Nudibranch, to exotic shrimps or crustaceans, perhaps even a leafy filefish, octopus or snake eel with the right dive guide to show you!
There are many coral dive sites around the Pattaya islands and as far south as Samae San and Sattahaip. The best is Koh Rin, which is 22 km away from Pattaya beach and has a few great dive sites around just one island. Also out on the Pattaya far islands, Koh Manwichai is a very nice dive site. Max depth.25m. The biggest creatures we usually encounter here are turtles, Blue spotted rays, Barracuda and once in a while big marble rays will pay a visit.
The Pattaya near islands also have a few surprises. turtles are seen regularly at many of the nearby dive sites and for more experienced divers, the near island ship wrecks now have a large amount of coral growth. Also on the Pattaya near islands it is possible to find seahorses with the most common species being the Hedgehog seahorse hippocampus spinosissimus.
Coral growth rates vary between species. Some species, such as staghorn coral can grow as much as 10-20 cm per year whilst other corals can be as slow as 1 cm per year.
Growth rates are influenced by environmental conditions and change in response to any environmental disturbances including changes in ocean chemistry, changing ocean temperatures and sunlight etc.
Seafari has joined Ocean Quest in a program to propagate and grow new natural coral reefs around the pattaya area.
The most common species of coral around Pattaya are stony varieties, such as the finger-like Porites lutea, the table coral Acropora formosa, Acropora nobilis and Acropora humilis and brush corals like Pocillopora damicornis.