Koh Tao Dive Sites
Koh Tao has just over 25 dive sites to explore all within easy reach of the island. These are scattered around the island and virtually all are only accessible by boat. The two furthest away Chumphon Pinnacle (45mins) and Sail Rock (90 mins).
We operate as two dive trips and these can be either morning or afternoon dives. There’s a great variety of sites; a lot have calm shallow bays, coral gardens, limestone formations, artificial reefs, reef nursery’s and a couple of wrecks too. Diving is all year around as there is always somewhere sheltered to hide from the wind. The monsoon hits around November time, and seas get choppy and visibility drops.
A Great PADI Koh Tao Video
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An artificial dive site, Buoyancy World is a unique creation that was designed so that new divers in training can practice buoyancy control without damaging the fragile reef or marine life.
There are many different structures such as a shark, turtle, and even a giant octopus. There are also specific structures to allow beginners to practice buoyancy.
Hin Fai (Bio Rock)
Hin Fai is situated on the northwest coast of the island facing Koh Nang Yuan. This artificial reef was developed by the Save Koh Tao group. They used electrolysis to promote coral growth hence the reef was named ‘Hin Fai’ which means electric rock in Thai.
Hin Ngam, Suan Olan and Aow Leuk
Aow Leuk Bay is one of most spectacular bays. With a gently sloping contour, you can enter straight off the beach. Given the heath of the reef there it is a great location for conservation activities on the island. It is home to coral nurseries, artificial reefs and recently was the focus of turtle release and of all things the release of giant clams.
It does have a great range of reef fish however on good days you may be lucky to see some blacktip reef sharks swim by.
Japanese Garden has probably Koh Tao’s most diverse range of coral at one dive site. There is a great mixture of hard and soft corals. When conditions are good it can be a beautiful dive site. It is not very deep (less than 15m max) and it is also popular with snorkelers. The usual reef fish are here and there is also a good chance to find some nudibranchs.
Mostly dived from Koh Samui, the sheltered bay is located in the north of the Angthong Marine Park. A popular site for scuba divers and snorkelers because of its shallow depth.
It is blessed with a nice mix of coral including anemone and selected hard corals and plenty of fusiliers, barracuda, butterflyfish, and all the common reef fish. Rarely dived from Koh Tao.
Situated on the northeastern tip of the island is a dive site called Lighthouse Bay. It is affectionately named after a lighthouse that is situated on the cliffs nearby.
It is a popular dive site given that it often has good visibility and some of the best coral and healthiest corals on the island.
With a good number of barrel sponges and staghorn coral, it attracts good numbers of common reef fish such as the butterflyfish, bannerfish, parrotfish, wrasse, and so on.
There are a few triggerfish around so watch out and on the outer part of the bay you will come accross some bit boulders that are worth a look at.
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A very simple dive site situated on the north-east coast of the island. A very good dive site for beginner divers and divers needing a refresher.
The dive site gentle slopes down to about 14 metres. There are a number of different ways to dive the site, either east or west or deeper outer water swimming shallower. There is a nice range of hard corals and very nice selection of reef fish,
Both the Yellow Fusiliers and Yellowtail Barracuda are present, a great range of wrasse and loads of very big groupers. Another site that is popular for snorkelers.
Pottery and 3 Rocks
A couple of dive sites only two minutes from Mae Haad Pier. Shallow dives that are often used for night dives give their close proximity to the pier.
Three Rock are named after three rocks that can be seen from the surface. There are pufferfish and rabbitfish and for divers with good eyes, there is the odd nudibranch to be found.
There is also a nice little swim through to keep divers entertained.
Tanote Bay is home to one of Koh Tao’s most beautiful beaches. It can be accessed easily accessible by boat or by land. As with most bays on the island, it is well sheltered and provides a good selection of marine life straight off the beach.
Popular for snorkellers and can be dived however its shallow waters (maximum about 12 metres) has most divers looking for something a little more challenging.
Here you will find two separate groups of pinnacles. One of Koh Tao’s most popular dive sites and is suitable for both students and experienced divers. The shallower of the two pinnacles reach a maximum depth of around 12m, and the second and deeper pinnacle slides down to about 18m.
Blue Spotted Rays and common as to are White-Eyed Moray Eels, all you favourite reef fish are there including wrasse, angelfish and bannerfish.
A common dive site visited by PADI Open Water students. It is only 10 minutes from the main beach of Koh Tao, Sairee Beach. An easy dive site that features two rock pinnacles separated by a narrow sandy channel and is surrounded with ledges and steps. On the side of the pinnacle exposed to the currents you will find some healthy fan corals.
As with most healthy pinnacles, they are home to moray eels, cleaner shrimps and other reef fish. The dive site is healthy with an abundance of marine life including triggerfish, wrasses sea snakes, porcupinefish, turtles, Moorish idols, and a range of butterflyfish and a nice selection of angelfish.
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Considered the premier dive site on the west coast of Thailand Sail Rock is situated between Koh Pha Ngan and Koh Tao. The dive site is 90 – 120 minutes boat ride from Koh Tao.
Also called “Hin Bai” in Thai and it is a large rock rising 7 meters above sea level. The maximum depth is about 30 meters. A highlight is a large chimney that runs vertically from about 7 metres through to 15 metres.
The dive site has an abundance of marine life but the highlights are the large pelagics that roam there such as large tuna, Giant Groupers, King mackerel, Chevron Barracudas.
It is considered one of the best sites in Thailand to bump into a whale shark. It is a dive site that should not be missed if you are diving in Koh Tao.
An easy, relaxing, and shallow dive site situated on the east side of Koh Tao. The normally good visibility has the dive site appealing to all levels of divers. It is a little different to other sites in Koh Tao and there are some small caves and swim-throughs which entertain divers.
Green Turtle ae around. groupers, jacks and rays are there and as with most Thailand dive sites the Titan Triggerfish are there to keep divers alert.
If you are a macro lover with good eyes then you should be able to find some nudibranchs and sea slugs.
]ne of Koh Tao’s and Thailand’s most famous dive sites. Located in the northwest of the island and is located within reach of Koh Tao. The name is a little deceptive as it probably should be called Chumphon Pinnacles as there are in reality composed of four granite pinnacles. All pinnacles are covered with anemones.T
The pinnacle is home to batfish, giant groupers, trevally and giant schools of barracuda and snapper. It is again, one of the best places in Thailand to stumble across a whale shark. Coral lovers will enjoy not only the carpet of anemones but also the branching corals, sea whips and barrel sponges.
Along with Sail Rock this is one of the two must-visit dive sites whilst scuba diving in Koh Tao.
This is one of Thailand’s premier wrecks. The HTMS Sattakut started her life as the USS LCI -739. She is 48 metre long and was sunk on 18 June 2011 in about 30 metres/100 feet of water near Koh Tao.
She was deployed in World Ware 2 as the landing craft for the infantry and one of several amphibious assault ships during that period. She is now home to dense schools of fusiliers and yellowtail barracuda as well as groupers, trevally, moray eels and blennies. The longer she is under the water the more she will thrive with marine life and coral.
Definitely a dive site for advanced divers.
Much to the disappointment of some Shark Island is named after the dorsel fin shape rather than an abundance of sharks residing there. Having said that, it is claimed that whale sharks, leopard sharks and blacktip reef sharks occasionally make a visit.
To the north of the island, you should be able to find some soft corals that are unique on Koh Tao. These corals provide a home to moray eels, angelfish, scorpionfish, pipefish, nudibranch, shrimp, and a nice selection of small critters that should keep macro lovers happy.
There is a rocky outcrop to the southeast which is a more difficult dive given it stronger currents and poor visibility.
After Sail Rock and Chumphon Pinnacle, South-West Pinnacle rates as probably the third best dive site out of Koh Tao. The dive site can also be called Southwest Rocks. There is a series of rock formations that beginning at around 4 metres extending down to roughly 30 metres. There are some stunning soft anemone corals that come in a vast range of colours including brilliant greens, pinks and blues. These are the home to the pink anemone fish.
There are plenty of crevices and ledges throughout the pinnacles and you should not have too much trouble finding snappers, emperor fish and harlequin sweetlips. Leopard sharks and whale sharks are occasional visitors swim by and as is common through the region the pinnacle is home to large schools of snapper, yellowtail barracuda and fusiliers. Scorpionfish and stonefish can be found camouflaged throughout the dive.