Whale sharks are the biggest fish in the world, growing up to a staggering 15 metres in length. yet they are completely harmless to humans and one of the most amazing underwater sights for scuba divers in Thailand.

Whales sharks are by no means only found in Thailand - Donsol in the Philippines and West Australia's Ningaloo Reef are two other big whale shark havens - but for many divers, Thailand is where they see their first whale shark. It's hard to express the sense of awe seeing one of these creatures for the first time - it's like watching a spaceship come out of the blue, serenely gliding towards you with a squadron of cleaner fish flanking it on all sides. It's only as it gets nearer, unphased by your presence, that you start to realise the speed it's moving at and the sheer power within its immense body. Most whale sharks are around 4 to 6 metres - at minimum, twice the size of a human. It's one of those moments when you realise that you are very much a privileged guest in another realm when you're scuba diving.

In Thailand, there are three key dive sites for seeing whale sharks - Chumphon Pinnacle, accessible from Koh Tao; - Hin Daeng, accessible from Phuket, Koh Phi Phi and Koh Lanta; and - Richelieu Rock, which is north of the Similan Islands and accessible only as part of a Similan Islands liveaboard.

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About this author

  • Chris Mitchell

    My site, www.Divehappy.com is a personal guide to scuba diving in South East Asia and Australia edited by me, Chris Mitchell, a…

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