Koh Tao Diving - Red Rock
Red Rock, sometimes called ‘Nang Yuan Pinnacle’ is a unique dive site located on the east side of Koh Nang Yuan approximately 50 metres from the shoreline. With a maximum depth of around 20 metres divers can descend onto the site directly, swim a slow lap of the red rock before navigating west into the shoreline.
Here you will have the opportunity to swim through ‘Nang Yuan Cave’ – a small cave or long swim through – whichever way you want to describe it – with lots of light coming through from various directions. Well worth a visit.
There is one buoy line attached to Red rock itself although many Red Rock dives tend to be ‘drop offs’ for the more experienced – divers are dropped off and once they have made a full circuit of the Pinnacle and they have navigated to and through the cave you can then make a long relaxed dive, along the Nang Yuan shoreline and swimming into neighbouring Japanese Gardens where they will find the boat.
Red Rock’s maximum depth ranges from 16 meters to 20 meters and the rock rises up to around 4 metres from the surface. Most divers make a free descent, using the rock face as a visual reference.
Don’t forget your torch on this dive as there is a large crack that works its way around the eastern and northern sides of the rock at around 16 metres harbouring all sorts of different species such as shrimps and Moray Eels. Often we see Jenkins Whiprays resting inside this crack.
Hawksbill turtles are regularly visitors to this site as are many other species commonly associated with the waters around Koh Tao. These include friendly Batfish and not so friendly Triggerfish (titan and yellow margin), many different types of Groupers, Butterfly Fish, Bannerfish and Angel fish.
Once you have done a full circuit of Red Rock, swim west from the most westerly side of the rock at around 16 metres, into the shoreline towards Koh Nang Yuan. While swimming towards the shoreline keep your eyes peeled as you may see a Banded Sea Snake.
If you want to go in the cave then after swimming west from red rock it’s to the left once you hit the coast line, Entry to the cave is at about 12m. You will not need a torch inside, however if you already has one from the Red Rock portion of this dive do switch it back on as you will see even more.
At the entrance to the cave there are many small fish and sometimes you will see a Giant Puffer resting on the bottom or 6 banded angel fish exploring the cave. Swim slowly, so you will be able to see lots of smaller marine life such as Glass Cleaner Shrimps, Varicose Wart Slugs and Pipe Fish.
Sometimes Blue Spotted Ribbon Tail Rays can be found here. When you exit the cave at the end, keep the reef on your right and swim along viewing the beautiful corals present at depths of 8-14 meters.
When you initially reach the coastline (and have either been through the cave or will leave it until later) you will have two choices depending on where the boat is moored. If the boat is moored at Red Rock then you can swim along the shoreline, in a north easterly direction with the shoreline on your left hand side, before swimming back on yourself and navigation back to Red Rock and the boat.
While swimming along the shoreline you will pass some beautiful hard and soft corals, schools of golden Trevally, Snappers and well as schools of Yellow Tail Barracudas. Once again, keep your eyes open for turtles that are regularly seen on this dive. If you will swim far enough, there is only one pinnacle where you can see rare pink tale triggerfish. There are very small so no need to worry!