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Chumphon Pinnacle Dive Site Details

Imagine having the opportunity to dive around huge, submerged rock pinnacles rising up from the ocean floor and all within a short boat ride from a major tourist destination.

This guide contains information for scuba divers heading out to the best Chumphon Pinnacle diving spots less than 11 kilometres north of Koh Tao ("Turtle Island").

What's the Best Season to Dive at Koh Tao?

There are 44 sun-drenched islands in the Chumphon Archipelago. But, the major hot spots for diving and snorkeling are:

Koh Tao is a compact kidney-shaped island that has about twenty one (21) square kilometres of total land mass.

Nonetheless, the pristine white sand beaches and azure blue water has transformed Koh Tao Island into one of the best places to scuba dive in Thailand.

Here's the thing:

Most scuba divers want to explore destinations that are sunny and have calm conditions underwater. Well, Koh Tao has over three hundred days of year-round sunshine and the temperature of the water is a constant 29° Celsius (84° Fahrenheit).

As a consequence of that, it's fair to say diving in Koh Tao is an annual activity. But, divers need to be mindful that the southwest monsoons usually arrive towards the end of October and may continue until the end of January.

At certain times of the year, the south western gulf can have thirty (30) metres of underwater visibility. Hence, the best months for divers to enjoy clear water dives are July, August, and September.

Pro Tip: Check out our sea life section for interesting facts about whale sharks that tend to make an appearance around the islands near Koh Tao during the months of April and May.

Marine Life at Chumphon Pinnacles

The island of Ko Tao is smaller than Koh Phangan (about 45 kilometres to the south) and Koh Samui. Even so, the underwater scenery is better for divers who enjoy swimming around coral-encrusted rock pinnacles and diving on shallow artificial wreck structures.

Koh Tao dive sites are good places to see big fishes (e.g. pelagics). Plus, divers should expect to catch sightings of macro marine life as well, especially during the months for plankton blooms (e.g. March and April), including:

The island has become a key breeding ground for large marine reptiles, such as hawksbill and green turtles. There are regular events to reintroduce juvenile turtles back into the vibrant ecosystems and help stimulate the growth of colourful coral reefs.

Tips for Diving at Chumphon Pinnacle

The short boat trip from Koh Tao puts divers above a deep sprawling pinnacle dive site. Below, you find carpets of brightly coloured sea anemones contrasting against a background of fluttering pink skunk clownfish (Amphiprion perideraion).

Divers with keen eyes should explore the narrow cracks and natural fissures in the rock. These large overhanging stone shelters have become the ideal habitat for several species of sea crabs and camel shrimp (Rhynchocinetes durbanensis).

Descend a little deeper, and boundless schools of orbicular batfish will close in on you. Clouds of rabbitfishes (also called spinefoots) and several different species of lionfish will keep underwater photographers fully entertained and occupied.

Cruising around Barracuda Rock

Divers with less experience should be able to swim over the highest peak of the towering pinnacles around sixteen (16) metres below the surface. There are two more large, granite, rock structures to the northeast around twenty two (22) metres deep.

Swim to the southwest of Chumphon Pinnacle dive site and you will stumble upon Barracuda Rock. This is the best place to see the marbled grouper (Dermatolepis inermis), Janss' pipefish (Doryrhamphus janssi), and nudibranchia (the sea slug phylum).

Pro Tip: This popular diving destination has several hazards to be aware of. The deepest dive spots at Chumphon Pinnacle will be around 40 metres (131 feet). Thus, the Advanced Open Water Diver, PADI® Deep Diver Specialty, and the Nitrox certification (EANx) contain the recommended scuba training before you make this trip to the open seas.

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