Koh Tao’s Underwater Nightlife
We all know Koh Tao is famous for its scuba diving, but its increasingly becoming known for its vibrant night life with thousands of travellers flocking to this tiny island in the Gulf of Thailand to enjoy both. As the sun goes down, usually in a kaleidoscope of reds, oranges and yellows typical of our amazing sunsets, the lights come on and the fire dancers hit the beach wowing people with their skills.
And just like the human world on land, if we look beneath the surface in the waters around Koh Tao there are amazing changes happening as the day time marine life retires giving way to some amazing creatures of the night.
Diving In The Dark
Night diving is a favourite pastime of Advanced divers who like the added sense of adventure, as well as the tranquillity of diving at night with only a torchlight to illuminate the blackness around them. The darkness heightens our natural curiosity and our will to explore the unknown with the possibility to find things that you don’t usually see when diving during the day.
Night time brings a different feel and look to a dive site that you may be familiar with during a day time dive. One of the main reasons to night dive is the fantastic opportunity to view the nocturnal marine life that emerges from their hiding spots out on the reef.
The Place To Be On Koh Tao
Koh Tao’s number 1 night diving site is White Rock or ‘Hin Khaw’ in Thai. White Rock is situated off the west coast of Koh Tao. During a day dive White rock offers one of our most diverse dive sites with a large coral patch home to many different small fish and rock formations providing swim throughs, and holes for other life to hide away inside.
This is also one of the best places to spot Hawksbill Turtles around the island, with the dive site providing a home for one under the distinctive ‘White Rock’, located on the north end of the site, and the reason the dive site is named as it is. However, once the sun sets the smaller fish head to their hideaways and the bigger things come out to play.
The darkness brings out some of Koh Tao’s most famous marine creatures and White Rock offers you the best opportunity to get a glimpse of them. The Hawksbill Turtle that inhabits the site can usually be seen resting in his lounge which is a crevice in the rocks and for the lucky few he will emerge for a swim around the site.
Great Barracudas will come from deeper water looking for their hit of fish, they are out on the hunt looking for the smaller rabbit fish to dine on. These guys are used to sharing the water with scuba divers and will use your torch as a hunting aid when they are on the prowl.
Blue spotted stingrays will come out of their day time hides and now glide across the bottom of the site looking for snacks or mates.
Bring The (Northern) Lights
Obviously during a night dive on Koh Tao you will be using an underwater torch/flashlight which you not only use to see where you are going but also to communicate. In other places around the world you will also use marker lights so you can see your dive buddy. These lights are like little disco lights flashing different colours in the darkness.
But the coolest lights that you will come across on your night dive belong to the natural phenomenon called Bioluminescence. This is like a million twinkling lights that react to the touch of a diver. Bioluminescence is the production and emission of light by a living organism, created by microorganisms, and plankton from a chemical -reaction that creates neon green light as a defense mechanism.
Once you have discovered this you will not want to surface until your tank is empty!
Coolest Diver In The Club
Night diving is a pretty cool activity but you can also become a night diving specialist becoming a night dive guru. Taking the course will teach you how to safely and correctly enter, exit and navigate in the dark and help you to understand how plants and animals differ or change behaviour at night. You get to know what it feels like being underwater with no lights on as you turn off your torch for a few minutes during the dive – which is a good time to play with the bioluminescence.
Going To The After Party
Here at Crystal Dive Koh Tao, our night dives are finished by 8.30pm so it gives you plenty of time for a shower before hitting Sairee Beach. Once in the next village, which is just a short walk from Crystal, you can enjoy some of Koh Tao’s best nightlife spots such as Choppers Sports Bar, Maya Beach Bar or Lotus Bar with its world famous horizontal coconut tree sticking out over the sea.
Just make sure you do not have too many buckets..!!
Author: Crystal Dive