Diving in South Korea is not world famous and most dive centers don’t offer any training or services in English. However there are a handful of dive centers that are run by foreigners that cater specifically to the expat and traveler market, and for those taking the effort to organize some dives in South Korea, the country offers some real diving gems.
Most of the diving in South Korea happens on the East and South coast of the country, since the west coast is too salty with pretty bad visibility. Diving is very season dependent in South Korea, and sites are scattered around the country, which is why many dive centers do weekend trips to certain dive areas. The water temperature is warmest in the south and southeast coast, ranging between 18 and 23 degrees Celsius.
Jeju Island, off the South Coast of South Korea, offers a unique mix of cold water and warm water species. ‘Jeju is a mix of Norway and the Red Sea’, described an underwater photographer from Austria in 2004. Giant kelp forests grow in the cold season, but the area is also covered in soft coral in an array of colors. The topography around the island is magnificent, and dive sites include walls, caves, rock formations, and sandy bottom sites. Only an hour from Seoul by plane, Jeju is a must visit location for a South Korea diving holiday.
A popular dive site in Busan, especially for night dives, is Taejongdae. The site consists of a sandy bottom with rocky borders that offer an excellent chance to explore lots of nooks and crannies. During the day, divers may find flat fish, schooling fish, sea cucumbers, and maybe even a sea horse. At night, the dive site really comes to life with octopus, cuttlefish, flying gurnards, and crabs.
Buddha Dive, situated near Pohang, derives its name from a Buddha statue that sits in the crack of a rock at 17 meters deep. The underwater scenery here is quite interesting with solid rock formations surrounded by a sandy bottom at 20 meters that attract plenty of marine life. This site is good for seeing squid and the bright-coloured sun starfish.
Munsom and Little Munsom, or Mosquito Island, near Jeju, are popular islets for diving and offer 3 different dive sites. The vertical wall off little Munsom Island is especially exciting, and with depths of between 8 and 40 meters requires a good control of buoyancy. There are plenty of fish and soft corals on this site.
Another good islet dive from Jeju Island is at Supsom, or Forest Island. The island itself looks dramatic and beautiful, with steep rocks and pine trees; underwater, it’s not less interesting. With a little less coral growth compared to Munsom, Supsom still offers plenty of marine life, which may include squid, nudibranchs, and the occasional dolphin.
Located just north of downtown Seoul, Deep Blue Quest is the only English speaking 5-star PADI dive center in South Korea. They have been conducting dive courses since 2001 and are tailored specifically to westerners that live in South Korea. Deep Blue Quest offers total dive training from the beginner to professional level, including dive master and assistant instructor internships.
About 45km south of Seoul, where the hustle and bustle of the city seems far away, Aquatic Frontier is situated in Osan. Offering dive services since 2004, this American-run dive center is an excellent place for all diving needs in South Korea. They offer dive training & quality equipment, and organize weekend excursions to dive the east coast. In winter, Aquatic Frontier teaches dry-suit diving, and runs vacations to exotic destinations including the Philippines.
Sea World Dive Center in Busan is situated in the hub of South Korea diving and prides itself on offering top class PADI dive tuition for over 10 years now. The center is very active in the dive community: running a dive club to keep people diving, and organizing overseas diving trips and regular eco-projects like beach cleanups.
A NAUI dive center located on Jeju Island, Big Blue 33 is a German-run dive center that serves the international dive market on this beautiful South Korea dive paradise. They are a small operation with personal service that offers dive training and fun dives in English, German and Korean. Their top quality equipment shows their commitment to safety and the helpful operation is more than willing to answer any questions about traveling on Jeju Island.
Fill in the Form Below.
Our hand picked regional partners will deliver no obligation quotes.