People come to Koh Tao for many reasons, but scuba diving tops a long list of marine and coral reef based activities. If you only have a limited time, we’d hate you to miss the best dive sites around Koh Tao, so we have compiled a list of the best locations for you.
SHALLOW DIVE SITES
HIN WONG BAY DIVE SITE
Hin Wong Bay is on the east side of KohTao. Here we can find lots of little reef fishes as well as Parrotfishes and Rabbitfishes.
The highlight of the dive site is the big school of Fusiliers but you can also see Banded Sea Snakes, Unicornfish, Parrotfish and the occasional passing Black Tip Reef Shark.
Depth 4-14 meters.
JAPANESE GARDENS DIVE SITE
Japanese Garden is a shallow dive site in Koh tao. On the sandy bottom, there are nice coral formations with good reef life. If you are lucky you might even spot Eagle Ray flying by!
Here you can see the widest variety and diversity of corals on Koh Tao and is bursting and teeming with marine life.
Depth 2- 15 meters.
AOW LEUK DIVE SITE
Aow Leuk is in the bay situated on the East Coast of Koh Tao with white sandy beach and Shark Island in the background. Aow Leuk is a shallow and very easy dive site. It is a perfect spot to learn scuba diving. The sandy bottom is gently going down with several nice coral formations along the slope. The reef life is nice with beautiful parrotfishes, snappers, juvenile groupers and turtles. You can spot a school of yellowtail barracuda too.
Depth 4-16 meters.
MANGO BAY DIVE SITE
Mango Bay is a nice and easy dive site. The depth ranges from 2 m to 15 m and it is a perfect place to learn scuba diving in Koh Tao. It consists of sandy bottom and a shallow reef.
The east side of Mango Bay offers a large coral garden full of large Mushroom and table corals with lots of Staghorn mixed in and barrel sponges that are home to an abundance of varied reef life.
Depth 2-15 meters.
TANOTE BAY DIVE SITE
Tanote Bay is made up of a large sandy bay with fringing coral reefs on either side and surrounding Tanote rock. This bay also hosts a number of artificial reef structures such as reef-balls which provide a wonderful starting point for broken coral to regrow. These balls also afford excellent hiding places for all sorts of reclusive marine creatures.
Depth 2- 18 meters.
THREE ROCK & POTTERY DIVE SITE
Located just 2 minutes from Mae Haad pier, these two dive sites are an excellent choice for beginners. 3 Rocks can be seen from the surface, and underwater there are many boulders and a swim through to explore. Pottery is slightly deeper and is made up of many small rock formations.
Things to see: porcupine pufferfish, Jenkins stingray, blue-spotted stingray, angelfish, seahorse, bannerfish, butterflyfish.
Depth 6-14 meters.
TWINS DIVE SITE
Twins as it is commonly known is one of Koh Tao’s most popular dive sites.
As the site features two nearly identical rock formations sitting next to each other surrounded by soft white sand. Regular sightings include Blue Spotted Stingray, Saddleback Clownfish, adult and juvenile Blue Ringed and Six-Barred Angelfish, Gobies, Grouper.
Depth 6- 18 meters.
LAEM THIAN DIVE SITE
It is an easy and relaxing diving spot suitable for all levels of divers. The topography is interesting with small caves and swim-throughs worth exploring. The Marine life is great with good chances to spot a Green Turtle, a blue Spotted Stingray, a Grouper or a school of Jacks. It is also an interesting spot for macro lovers with a good density of nudibranchs and Sea Slugs.
Depth 2-15 meters.
DEEP DIVE SITES
WHITE ROCK DIVE SITE
White Rock is one of the most popular dive sites of Koh Tao for both day and night dives. The rock structures are a number of elevated shelves that provide shelter for honeycomb groupers, long-spined black sea urchins and various sea anemones, along with the soft coral mixed with knob and pore corals and the colourful Christmas tree worms.
Depth 6-22 meters.
CHUMPHON PINNACLE DIVE SITE
Chumphon Pinnacle is located 11km to the northwest of Koh Tao and is considered by many as the best dive site in the region. Made up from one huge granite pinnacle and a series of smaller ones, Chumphon’s main difference to Sail Rock is that the pinnacle starts 14 metres underwater and drops off to over 36 metres. Marine life found here includes whale sharks (seasonal), giant groupers, barracudas, batfish and tuna.
Depth 14-36 metres.
GREEN ROCK DIVE SITE
Green Rock is located North of Koh Nang Yuan. It consists of several interesting rock formations creating small caves and swim-throughs worth exploring. Here you can see blue-spotted Stingrays, groupers, different types of triggerfishes, hawksbill and green turtles and banded sea snakes. The visibility usually ranges from 10 m to 20 m depending on the season and current.
Depth 4-28 meters.
HIN WONG PINNACLE DIVE SITE
Hin Wong Pinnacle is located on the East side of Koh Tao. Starting at 10m and descending to 30m. This dive site is recommended for intermediate and above divers because the current is relatively strong on many days. The main rock is not very large, but the entire dive site is wide and has a few scattered rocks. Often can be seen Turtles and Banded Sea Snakes at this dive site, as well as Snapper and various types of Groupers.
Depth 10- 30 meters.
RED ROCK DIVE SITE
This pinnacle off the East coast of Nang Yuan juts out like the proverbial sore thumb from the sea bed to just below the surface. The rock is adorned with Wart Slugs and a Jenkins Ray or Banded Sea Snake can often be seen snoozing in the huge crack close to the bottom of the pinnacle. Regular sightings of Turtles, Jenkin’s Whipray, Moray Eels, Pipefish, Triggerfish.
Depth 2- 21 meters.
SAIL ROCK DIVE SITE
This spectacular dive site is an explorer’s dream, complete with a rare vertical swim-through affectionately known as ‘the chimney’ which runs from at 5 meters down to the exit at 18 meters. Located almost halfway between Koh Phagnan and Koh Tao. Look out for King Mackerel, Queenfish, huge shoals of Bigeye Trevally, Grouper and Whalesharks.
Depth 5-40 meters.
SHARK ISLAND DIVE SITE
Shark Island is a twin rock outcrop consisting of steeply sloping reefs reaching down to the sandy floor at twenty metres. It features beautiful boulder formations occupied by blacktip reef sharks and barracuda. Among the corals, divers will find snappers, angelfish, blue-spotted stingrays, anemone fish and other reef fish. Occasionally a seasonal whale shark can be seen feeding in these waters.There is occasionally a strong current and it gives a good chance for drift diving.
Depth 3- 24 meters.
SOUTH-WEST PINNACLE DIVE SITE
The dive site is made up of seven granite pinnacles that rise from a maximum depth of 28m to 8m below the surface. This dive site is in the open sea and as such,
strong currents can run here.
Marine life includes schools of snapper, bannerfish, fusilier and yellowtail barracuda. Parrotfish, sweet lips, triggerfish and whale sharks can all be found here.
Depth 6-28 meters.