Diving Koh Tao

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Diving Koh Tao

Koh Tao Diving Highlights by Fat Fish Movies

 Dinamic Map



In the last decade on the island Scuba Centres and Diving Schools have grown exponentially. Currently on the island there are more of 40 centres and diving schools that make Koh Tao one of the most active diving destinations in the world. Most of them have own dive boats, some of these are very large and can accommodate up to 50 divers, many other are smaller to ensure a better service. The diving equipment offered by schools is usually new and of high level. In the island there are also many shops that selling equipment and offer assistance to divers.

In Koh Tao there are also some of the major Diving International Agencies like PADI, SSI and SDI, which constantly monitor the quality of service offered by the schools. Unlike the dive destinations on the Andaman Sea, in Koh Tao most of the dive sites are in the immediate vicinity of the island and reachable within 10 or 20 minute by boats or directly from the shores, only Chumphon Pinnacle, Sail Rock and the diving sites in the Mu Ko Ang Thong Marine National Park are about one hour away by boat. On the island aren't organized multi-day diving cruises, but only daily tours with big or small dive boats. As there are over 40 dive operators the competition is high, this means that the dive prices in Koh Tao are generally quite low. The scuba centres that use large diving boats usually sell Fun Diving Packages. The prices vary between 1,000 THB for a dive, 4,500 for 6 dives to 7,000 for ten dives; in the cost it is also provided all the diving equipment.

Phuket Diving

Phuket Diving

The low cost has two disadvantages, you will find yourself in a boat with several other divers and at the time to dive the chosen site will be quite busy. An alternative is to rely on diving centres that use smaller boats few divers on board. This scuba centres organize day trips that usually depart from Mae Haad or Haad Sairee between 06:30 and 07.30 a.m., provide one, two or three dives and the return is between 17.00 or 18.30. The costs depend on diving equipment, services on board and the chosen sites, a little more expensive if you want to dive on Chumphon Pinnacle, Sail Rock and Ang Thong. Indicatively the prices range from 2,000-2,500 THB for one dive, 3,500-4,000 THB for two dives and 4,000.5,000 THB for three dives. The prices include the round trip by dive boats, diving gear, tanks, weights and weight-belts, assistance by assistance by PADI Divemaster guides, fresh fruit, drinks and meal on board, is excluded Nitrox.


Chumphon Pinnacle

Chumphon Pinnacle is the best spot to dive around Koh Tao. It is also considered one of the most beautiful diving sites in the Gulf of Thailand. The site is located 11 Km to northwest of island, about 50 minutes ride with dive boats. The topography of spot consists in a main submerged granite pinnacle surrounded by several smaller ones and large underwater boulders scattered around. The huge granite formation rises dramatically from the seabed at about 35 metres deep and soars up to its top 14 metres below the sea surface. Chumphon Pinnacle is the most challenging site close to Koh Tao, suitable only to advanced divers due to the strong currents and also because there aren't areas of the site shallower than 14 metres. The granite pinnacles and boulders are covered with patches of hard and soft corals, anemones, sea whips, branched corals and barrel sponges. The dive site is famous for its fantastic marine life and the great chance of spotting huge Whale Sharks. The best chances to encounter these harmless sharks are from February to May as well as September. Majestic Manta Rays are also occasional visitors in these waters. Offshore Chumphon Pinnacle it is possible to see juvenile Bull Sharks. This is one of the few places in the world where is possible to spot this rare and sometimes aggressive shark. Apart from these largest pelagic species, the marine life is excellent all along the granite formation and in the surrounding waters with frequent sightings of Clownfish, Giant Groupers, Chevron Barracuda, Batfishes as well as Jenkins Rays, Reef Sharks, Tunas and a lot of others tropical reef fish.Read More  

 Site Features


  • Access: Day trips by diving boats
  • Distance from Sairee Beach: About 11 Km to northwest, 50-minute boat ride
  • Water Temperature: Between 28-30° C
  • Surface Conditions: Calm to slightly choppy, can be rough
  • Current: Medium, can be strong
  • Diving Depth: Between 14-35 metres
  • Visibility: Ranges from good to excellent between 10-25 metres
  • Experience Level: Suitable to advanced divers

Whale Shark at Chumphon Pinnacle by Fat Fish Movies


Sail Rock

Sail Rock is a small rocky outcrop that emerges 15 meters above the sea located approximately halfway between Koh Tao and Koh Pha Ngan, 21 Km southeast of Sairee Beach. The site is considered by many divers the most beautiful diving site in the Gulf of Thailand and certainly one of best dive spots around Koh Tao. The site consists in a single pinnacle that rises from 40 meters deep and then soars up over the sea surface. Sail Rock is very popular among drivers for its natural underwater vertical swim-through that ascends from 18 to 8 metres. Also known by divers as the ‘Chimney’, this natural rock tunnel has many windows on the deep blue along its walls and a stunning garden of anemones and coral that surrounding its top. The underwater pinnacle surface is teeming of marine life and mostly covered by nice colourful soft coral, hard corals, gorgonians and sponges. The rock formation is shelter or home for White-eyed and Yellow-eyed Moray Eels, Lionfish, Blue-spotted Sting Rays, Titan Triggerfish and lots of others reef fishes and invertebrates like Seahorses, Nudibranchs and Octopus. In the surrounding waters swim large schools of King Mackerel, Barracuda, Trevally, Jack Fishes, Tuna and even harmless Leopard Sharks. Into the deep blue are also reported sightings of Whale Sharks and Manta Rays, less frequent than other sites but still possible in the right season.Read More  

The Best Dive Site in The Gulf of Thailand by Fat Fish Movies

 Site Features


  • Access: Day trips by diving boats
  • Distance from Sairee Beach: About 21 Km to southeast, 60-minute boat ride
  • Water Temperature: Between 28-30° C
  • Surface Conditions: Calm to slightly choppy, can be rough
  • Current: Medium, can be strong
  • Diving Depth: Between 0-35 metres
  • Visibility: Ranges from good to excellent between 15-30 metres
  • Experience Level: Suitable to advanced divers

Koh Kong aka Shark Island

Koh Kong is an islet situated to the southeast of Koh Tao, just a twin rock outcrop 500 metres offshore Ao Leuk Bay. The tiny island is one of the best dive sites around Koh Tao, also known as Shark Island to divers due to its resemblance to a shark's dorsal fin. The islet rises from sandy bottom 25 metres deep and each side of rock outcrop offers different features and marine life. The east side is covered by purple, crimson and gold soft corals, sea fans and sponges while the west is mostly covered with hard coral formations. Both sides are rich in marine life with many species of reef fish, however, the biggest specimens and interesting are on the side towards the open sea. Closer to the rock outcrop or hidden among its crannies, soft corals and sea fans you'll see Nudibranches, Harlequin-fish, Six-banded Angelfish, Puffer-fish as well as Moray Eels, Sting Rays and dangerous Titan Triggerfish. Here you will swim between Needlefish, Barracudas, Turtles, Leopard Sharks and Reef Sharks.Read More  

 Site Features


  • Access: Day trips by diving boats
  • Distance from Sairee Beach: About 4 Km to southeast, 20-minute boat ride
  • Water Temperature: Between 28-30° C
  • Surface Conditions: Calm to slightly choppy
  • Current: Mild, can be strong
  • Diving Depth: Between 3-25 metres
  • Visibility: Ranges from good to excellent between 10-25 metres
  • Experience Level: Suitable to all level of divers

Diving in Shark Island by Aquatic Images


White Rock

White Rock is one of the most popular dive sites around Koh Tao due both to easy accessibility and the high quality of the dives. The site is suitable to divers of all experience levels and it is also a popular night dive spot to enjoy the stunning effect of “Bioluminescent Plankton”. White Rock is located few hundred metres south of Koh Nang Yuan, just one Km offshore Sairee Beach and consequently easily accessible. The dive spot consists of two large granite boulders submerged that start 8 metres below surface and then drop down to 23 metres deep on a sandy seabed. In the middle of two pinnacles there is an amazing coral garden teeming with marine life, such as Parrotfish, Angelfish and scarlet Coral Crabs. Butterflyfish, Titan Triggerfish and Moray Eels are also resident here. In the waters around granite boulders are reported sightings of Blue Spotted Rays, Trevallies, Barracudas and even Turtles and Tunas.Read More  

Exploring the sights of White Rock with The Film Company

 Site Features


  • Access: Day trips by diving boats
  • Distance from Sairee Beach: About 1 Km to north, 5-minute boat ride
  • Water Temperature: Between 28-30° C
  • Surface Conditions: Calm to slightly choppy
  • Current: Gentle
  • Diving Depth: Between 8-23 metres
  • Visibility: Ranges from good to excellent between 10-25 metres
  • Experience Level: Suitable to all level of divers

Twin Peaks

Twin Peaks or more simple 'Twins' is a beautiful dive site just off the west side of Koh Nang Yuan, the small island north of Koh Tao. It is one of the best diving spots close to Sairee Beach and consists of two large submerged groups of rocks, which start at around 7 meters below the surface and then drop to a depth of 18 metres on sandy bottom. Twin Peaks is an ideal site for beginners due to its shallow depth of immersion and also because it can be reached directly from the shore of Koh Nang Yuan. Despite its shallow waters the site is rich in marine life. Closer to the reef or hidden among crevices and cracks you'll see Clownfish Moray Eels, Stingrays, Scorpionfish and a lot of other reef fish and invertebrates. Inside small caves seek refuge Blue-ringed and Six-barred Angelfishes. In the surrounding waters are reported sightings of Green Sea Turtles, Trevallies and Yellow-tail Barracudas. In the deep waters near the seabed can be seen big Groupers, White-eyed Moray Eels and Blue Spotted Rays; among the hard staghorn corals are Cushion Seastars, Shells and occasionally Black Tip Reef Sharks.Read More  

 Site Features


  • Access: Day trips by diving boats or from shore of Koh Nang Yuan
  • Distance from Sairee Beach: About 1,5 Km to north, 10-minute boat ride
  • Water Temperature: Between 28-30° C
  • Surface Conditions: Calm to slightly choppy
  • Current: Weak
  • Diving Depth: Between 7-19 metres
  • Visibility: Ranges from good to excellent between 10-20 metres
  • Experience Level: Suitable to all level of divers

Diving in Twin Peaks with Calypso Diving Koh Samui


Japanese Garden

Japanese Garden is an easy dive site on the east side of Koh Nang Yuan, the small island located about 1 Km north of Sairee Beach. The site derives its name from the stunning gardens of corals that cover the shallow reef. The reef is crowded with staghorn corals, table corals, brain corals, plate corals and mushroom corals. Japanese Garden is a shallow dive site, between 3 to 14 metres deep, with several beautiful swim-throughs. It is easily accessible from the shore of Koh Nang Yuan and suitable to all level of divers and also for snorkellers. Between coral gardens are resident a lot of species of small reef fish and even Blue Spotted Stingrays, Porcupine Fishes and Crocodile Needlefish.Read More  

Eagle Rays at Japanese Gardens by Daydream Pictures

 Site Features


  • Access: Day trips by diving boats or from shore of Koh Nang Yuan
  • Distance from Sairee Beach: About 1,5 Km to north, 10-minute boat ride
  • Water Temperature: Between 28-30° C
  • Surface Conditions: Calm to slightly choppy
  • Current: Medium, can be strong
  • Diving Depth: Between 14-35 metres
  • Visibility: Ranges from good to excellent between 10-25 metres
  • Experience Level: Suitable to all level of divers

Mango Bay

Mango Bay is located in the far north of Koh Tao, and is probably the most beautiful bay of island. Its shallow coral reef and the crystal waters are ideal for snorkelling or diving courses for beginners. The bay is accessible by boats or motorbike thanks the new road from Sairee Beach. The depth of bay ranges from 2 to 15 metres and there are no currents. The hard and soft coral formations here are not very beautiful with evident signs of 2010 Coral Bleaching Event. However, the site is still interesting and sufficiently full of marine life although, unfortunately, during the high season it is often crowded.Read More  

 Site Features


  • Access: Day trips by diving boats or from shore
  • Distance from Sairee Beach: About 5 Km to north, 20-minute boat ride
  • Water Temperature: Between 28-30° C
  • Surface Conditions: Calm to slightly choppy
  • Current: Weak
  • Diving Depth: Between 2-15 metres
  • Visibility: Ranges from good to excellent between 5-20 metres
  • Experience Level: Suitable to all level of divers and snorkellers

Highlights from Mango Bay by Victoria Collins


Ao Leuk Bay

Ao Leuk is a beautiful sandy bay on the southeast coast of Koh Tao. The sandy bottom of the bay slopes gently downward with several scattered boulders and beautiful coral formations. With a depth between 6 and 14 meters Ao Leuk Bay is a perfect spot to learn scuba diving and to practice snorkelling all year around. Due to its proximity to the coast and the mild currents the site is also a great location for night diving. However this easy dive spot is very popular and easy to reach, accordingly as well as Mango Bay it is often crowded during the high season. The shallow reef is rich of marine life. Here you can spot Masked Porcupine Fish, Titan Triggerfish, beautiful Parrotfishes and Back-spotted Puffers. Corals offer shelter to Cleaner Wrasse, Cushion Seastars and Nudibranches. Snappers, Groupers and Yellow-tail Barracudas swim around in hunting of baitfish. Green Turtle and Hawksbill Turtles are also sometimes spotted here.Read More  

Snorkelling in Shark Bay & Ao Leuk Bay by Simon J. Richardson

 Site Features


  • Access: From shore of Ao Leuk Bay
  • Distance from Sairee Beach: About 4 Km to southeast, 20-minute boat ride
  • Water Temperature: Between 28-30° C
  • Surface Conditions: Calm to slightly choppy
  • Current: Weak
  • Diving Depth: Between 6-15 metres
  • Visibility: Ranges from good to excellent between 10-25 metres
  • Experience Level: Suitable to all level of divers and snorkellers

Mu Ko Ang Thong Marine National Park

Mu Ko Ang Thong Marine National Park consists of 42 beautiful islands and islet, which extend from north to south between the mainland and Koh Samui, about 47 Km south of Koh Tao. Ang Thong means golden bowl in Thai language, while Mu Ko simply means group of islands. The archipelago has the scenery topside similar to Phang Nga Bay, with many limestone formations and rocky outcrops surrounded by pristine white beaches and crystal clear waters. The underwater scenery is even more amazing, with beautiful reefs covered with stunning corals and rich of caves, swim-throughs and overhangs, a true paradise for divers and snorkellers. The health conditions of the corals here are the best in the whole Gulf of Thailand, with many types of sea fans, soft and black corals.The shallow reefs are teeming with marine life. Here you will swim between Turtles, Blue Spotted Sting Rays, Banded Sea Snakes and a lot of other species of reef fish, pelagic fish and invertebrates. Ang Thong Archipelago is also one of the few dive spots where are reported sightings of Dwarf Minke Whale. There are several dive sites in the group of islands, the two most popular are Hin Yippon and Koh Wao Yai. Hin Yippon is located in the north of the Marine Park. The dive site is well known by divers for the beauty of its hard and soft corals and the huge variety of marine life. The small rock outcrop is surrounded by huge submerged boulders with exciting swim-throughs hiding places for Red Snappers and Groupers. The maximum depth at Hin Yippon is 25 metres with an average depth of 18 metres. Koh Wao Yai is northernmost island of Park, and one of best dive spots in the archipelago. It is characterized by a sheltered and shallow bay with a maximum depth of 18 metres, suitable to all level of divers and snorkellers. The gentle sandy slope is covered by patches of whip corals, mushroom corals, black coral and sea fans. Around the western corner, there are a series of overhangs and narrow swim-throughs. Here you can spot Harlequin Sweetlips, Blue Spotted Sting Rays as well as Banded Sea Snakes, Neon Rainbow Fish and Beaked Coral-fish. Schools of Rainbow-fish and Yellow-fin Barracuda swim around the reef.Read More  

 Site Features


  • Access: Day trips by diving boats
  • Distance from Sairee Beach: About 47 Km to south, 90-minute boat ride
  • Water Temperature: Between 28-30° C
  • Surface Conditions: Calm to slightly choppy, can be rough
  • Current: Medium, can be strong
  • Diving Depth: Between 5-25 metres
  • Visibility: Ranges from good to excellent between 10-20 metres
  • Experience Level: Suitable to all level of divers and snorkellers

Diving in Ang Thong Marine Park by Brano Gege




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