Dive Sites of Koh Tao

 

OWreck Diving DJL Divingne of the most common questions I get asked is "What are the best dive sites on Koh Tao?". My stock answer is "That depends.  What do you enjoy seeing most when you are diving?" If the answer is specific, such as, "I love wrecks" then I'd happily recommend the 49m long, purposely sunk, former WW2 US Navy/Thailand Navy, Sattakut wreck.  However, I do explain that in certain weather conditions the visibility at the wreck can be less than a metre. Alternatively, on a good day, the visibility can be incredible and the whole wreck can be seen as soon as you start to descend towards it from the surface.  So it's important to check the Koh Tao dive site report before you go, and to pick the time you dive wisely.

 

 

When people aren't too specific on what type of diving they like, I tend to recommend dive sites that have a bit of everything for everyone.  Chumphon pinnacle, for example, has both big shoals of fish, such as, Trevally, Fusiliers and Barracuda, along with plenty of smaller groups of fish, such as, Pink Anemones and Moon Wrasse.  You will almost always see Giant Groupers and a few Lionfish too. Many of the macro organisms, such as Nudibranchs, Shrimp, and your only-just-visible-to-the-eye Crabs live in the cracks found on the sides of the pinnacle, so it's well worth taking a dive torch with you when you dive there.

 

pipefishSince the start of June, Davy Jones Locker has been diving on the East side of Koh Tao more frequently than on the West.  The sea is much calmer on that side of the island at this time of year, which can make the whole dive more enjoyable for everyone.  I love showing divers around the catamaran and motorcycle at Tanote bay for several reasons. Firstly, there are a couple of Pipe fish (picture a Sea Horse's head on the body of a tiny Banded Sea Snake) that live on the catamaran that are always entertaining to watch.  Secondly, it's incredible to see how the ocean has turned a moped into a part of the reef, with coral using it's hard metal surface as a substrate. Also, if you are lucky you can sometimes see a small, shy, Yellow Boxfish between the catamaran and the moped.

 

Another great dive site on the East Coast of Koh Tao is Hin Wong Bay.  The massive shoal of Fusiliers there are fantastic to dive in/through/around.  Just look for the underwater cloud and soon enough you'll find them. Night dives from the shore at Hin Wong beach are as good as night dives at any site around Koh Tao.  Last time I was there, we saw five Blue-Spotted Rays swimming around almost the moment we descended to the bottom. We spotted some active hermit crabs and even a Spiny Lobster waving at us on that dive too.  So it made all the effort well worthwhile, and not once did I think I'd rather be in a bar drinking a beer.  

John