|Koh Tao diving
offers a rich variety of dive sites. The name which means "Turtle Island" is derived from the fact that the waters of Koh Tao were rich in hawksbill and turtles but these are not so common nowadays but can be seen occasionally. Koh Tao is fringed by coral reefs, deeper offshore pinnacles and sheltered bays that provide perfect conditions for novices while the more advanced divers can visit the deeper sites. Not to miss, the occasional whale shark visit that happens around March and April.
Always dive according to your level of training. Check with your dive center for safety, additional information and level required for each dive site before entering the water.
Diving is possible at all times of the year, although visibility changes depending on the season. The best season to dive here is May to September. The water temperatures range between a comfortable 26 and 30°C (79 - 86°F) and the currents are generally minimal.
A few of the dive sites of Koh Tao:
Chumphon Pinnacle consists of a large pinnacle surrounded by smaller ones that rise from depths of approximately 35 to 15 metres (114 - 49 feet). The underwater plateaus boasts rich corals, barrel sponges and sea whips. Occasionally manta rays are spotted here and seasonal whale sharks can be seen. At Chumporn Pinnacles you can spot huge groupers, whalelshark, graysharks, blacktip and bullsharks, including schools of barracuda, tuna and mackerel. The currents can be strong though.
Unicorn Wreck lies off Mango Bay in about 50 metres (164 feet) of water and is still pretty intact. Unicorn Wreck is home to red snappers and groupers.
White Rock is composed of two large granite boulders and has an extensive coral garden teeming with butterflyfish and angelfish. Commomny spotted here are blue spotted rays.
Hin Wong Pinnacle is located on the eastern side of Koh Tao and is made up of huge granite boulders blanketed in sea fans and whip corals. Also present are shrimpfish, coral groupers and a variety of reef fish. With some luck you may encounter the resident green turtle.
Green Rock is characterised by several swim throughs, crevices and caves. Due to the strong currents here this site is recommended for the experienced diver. Regularly seen is the titan trigger fish and yellow margin breeding, blue-ringed angelfish, moray eels and even the whitetip reef sharks sometimes.
Sail Rock is a pinnacle below the surface situated between Koh Phangan and Koh Tao. It's known for its underwater vertical swimthrough which can be entered at a depth of about 6 metres (19 feet) and exited at about 18 metres (59 feet). Marine life here includes mackerel, barracuda, tuna and trevally. Manta rays and whale sharks may also be seen seasonally. Currents can be strong.