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Thailand Coral Reef Conservation and Diving

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Thailand Coral Reef Conservation and Diving

Join this marine conservation and diving programme and experience life in the crystal waters surrounding Koh Tao, Thailand's most beautiful tropical island

Prices from $1,145

Thailand continues to be one of the most tempting destinations for those who are seeking a combination of enchanting natural surroundings, alluring culture, and incredible biodiversity. Breathtaking silvery beaches lapped by warm, crystal clear waters are complemented by friendly locals, mouth-watering local delicacies, and an ancient and fascinating historical heritage rooted in Buddhist origins.

Check out our Thailand Coral Reef Conservation video

Koh Tao is most definitely the jewel in Thailand’s royal crown, famed for its laid back atmosphere and immaculate coral reef diving. However, in recent years the island's land resources and coral reefs have come under increasing threat from rapid, unregulated and unsustainable development. Join our marine conservation and diving project and help protect this beautiful island and its pristine coral reefs for future generations whilst enjoying all this exotic country has to offer the adventurous traveller.

The work you carry out will be rewarding, challenging, and hugely beneficial to conservation efforts, as well as being amazing fun!  At the end of the day you will gain immense satisfaction from knowing that you have helped to save this precious marine wilderness.



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•    Learn to dive in this land of intense beauty
•    Make lifelong friends
•    Help to preserve the delicate marine ecosystems


  • Minimum age of 17 years
  • Intermediate level of English



Koh Tao, Thailand

Activities Learn to dive on the magical island of Koh Tao
Locate and map the coral reefs
Study the varied and abundant marine life living on the coral reefs
Carry out underwater visual censuses
Study the impact of external factors on the health of the coral reef
Record organisms that inhabit the marine ecosystem
Relax on white sand beaches in your free time

Make your own way to the project site

Accommodation Backpacker-style accommodation


Before you go

Pre-departure support
Travel & medical advice & documentation
Equipment advice
Discounted medical kit
Free Frontier t-shirt


Local orientation
Certificates, dive manuals, instructor fees and equipment provided
Additional dive courses available at extra cost
In-country emergency support
24-hour international HQ back-up


A variety of qualifications are available on many of our projects. For example, BTEC certificates and diplomas on our Group conservation projects and TEFL certificates and BTECs on most of our teaching projects. You may also be able to gain a CoPE to support your university application. For more information on these qualifications, please see the qualifications section of our website or ask your volunteer advisor.


The project has been running on Koh Tao since 2008, having been set up by members of the local community to help preserve their local culture, land resources and coral reefs. The project has three different components, land conservation; marine conservation; and education, each playing their own part in helping to preserve the island.

The main aim of the marine conservation aspect of the project is to monitor and evaluate the health, status and diversity of Koh Tao’s coral reefs in order to improve their current management and to ensure their long-term conservation. The regional economies and ecosystems depend largely on the health of coral reefs, which are declining in many areas due to human activities both on land and in the sea. Through research, the island communities hope to identify negative and positive trends in reef health and produce quantitative data that can be used to focus work efforts and influence policy changes. Through the use of passive and active restoration techniques they hope to reduce the impacts of human activities on Koh Tao’s Reefs and assist in new reef development by maintaining biodiversity at levels that allows for the succession of corals following disturbance events.

Koh Tao's luxuriant mangroves, luminous sea grass beds and dazzling coral reefs play host to a multitude of tropical reef fish, seahorses and graceful sea turtles.  Offshore there are dolphins and manta rays, and the deeper waters are a regular stop-off for giant whale sharks.



The marine research and conservation programme is run in association with a local Koh Tao community organisation.  This research and conservation project aims to provide the local stakeholders and government bodies with the information they need to design and implement management plans for the future protection of this marine ecosystem.  

To gather the data needed you will dive, locate and map the extensive coral reefs and study the various communities existing on them.  You may explore and record the living organisms that inhabit the luxuriant mangrove forests, dense seagrass beds and productive inter-tidals in the area.  To do this you will deploy a wide range of newly learned research skills and scientific techniques including; underwater visual census of reef fish such as cloud fish, assessment of algal and coral cover to determine the extent and degree of coral damage due to erosion, line intercept transects for benthic life and indicator invertebrate species such as nudibranchs.  You may even get to study the impact of tourism development is having on marine communities.

Although the work is challenging you will get immense satisfaction from having made a valuable contrbution to the conservation of this marine wilderness.  You will return home with the new friends you've made and a wealth of incredible memories. Whilst on your placement you will work with a group of international and local conservation volunteers, researchers and divers to learn about and be involved in local coral reef management through education, research, and restoration.


The project is located on the beautiful island of Koh Toa off the east coast of mainland Thailand. You could fly into either Koh Samui or Surat Thani airport where you will then use our easy to follow instructions to make your way to the connecting ferry. We will provide you with all the information you need prior to your departure to enable you to plan your journey.  Upon arrival at the main island pier you will be met by a friendly Frontier representative and taken to your accommodation!


Whilst participating in this project you will be staying in a simple room at a little family run resort right by the beach in the south of the island, a few minutes walk from the dive school. Local amenities, bars and restaurants are within walking distance from the resort which is surrounded by tranquil gardens making it the perfect place to relax after a fun day of diving.


Food is not provided as part of this programme. This is a fun element of travelling away from home as it gives you that added freedom and is a good opportunity to bond with fellow travellers while exploring local restaurants and market stalls! All meals are based on fresh produce that is purchased from the local area.  Enjoy fragrant Thai specialities, such as mild coconut curries, fragrant steamed rice, or dumplings.  Enjoy your meals alongside your fellow volunteers in the comfort of your peaceful surroundings.

Ten Most Recent Reviews for This Project

My time on the Koh Tao marine conservation project was fantastic. I spent 3 weeks there, and foun...

Read more

The course was well executed, organized, informative, productive and most of all fun  | 25 Jul 2018
My time with Frontier was fantastic. It was my first stop on a 5 month trip around Asia where I v...

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The turtle's name is Bim and he is due to be released into the ocean in September.   ...

Read more

...acquainted with a whale shark!  | 4 Jul 2018
  Stepping off the interisland ferry on to Koh Tao I had a feeling of nervous anticipati...

Read more


In your spare time you can explore the local area and absorb Thailand's captivating culture. Explore golden temples, with their ancient Buddhist carvings and magical atmosphere. Try some more adventurous activities, such as mountain biking through the stunning landscape, diving, sailing or even sea canoeing.  Enjoy a Thai massage, which really will give you a new sense of serenity! As you can see, there will be no shortage of ways to occupy your time off.


1 week $1,145

2 weeks $1,545

Extra week $345

For PADI Open Water - $1,156

For PADI Advanced Open Water training - $561

Please note that 1 week durations only available to participants with existing dive qualifications up to Advanced Open Water level or equivalent.

EFR, Rescue Diver and Divemaster training available at an additional cost.


Weekly, starts on a Monday.  

This project does not run between the 15th October and 15th December due to the monsoon season.

There will be no diving from 31th December to 2nd January; 13th and 16th April for Songkran holidays; 17th-20th June for Koh Tao festival and 25th of December, however alternative activities will be offered.


1 week +


Before you go

  • Pre-departure support
  • Travel & medical advice & documentation
  • Equipment advice
  • Discounted medical kit
  • Free Frontier t-shirt


  • Accommodation
  • Local orientation
  • In-country emergency support
  • 24-hour international HQ back-up


Nearest airport(s): Koh Samui (USM)


  • Flights
  • Visas
  • Insurance

For detailed information on flights, visas and insurance, click here.


Please read our legal statement regarding the running of NGO projects.

To apply for this placement, click on "Apply Now" below. Fill in the short application form and one of our advisers will then call you back to answer any questions and make sure this is the perfect placement for you. Applying doesn't cost a penny and you won't pay anything until you're completely happy and you're ready to reserve your place.

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