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Best Diving Spots in Koh Tao

The popular diving destination in the lower Gulf of Thailand, known as Turtle Island by the locals, is bursting at the seams with fringing coral reefs and sunken shipwrecks.

This section contains useful information about the dive sites in Koh Tao, including the depth limits and what kind of aquatic animals scuba divers and snorkelers can see.

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 Koh Tao Island

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, 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.

List of Koh Tao Dive Sites

Aow Leuk

Koh Tao has no shortage of shallow picturesque bays with crystal clear water that are ideal spots for scuba beginners and snorkel swimmers.

This guide contains useful tips and information about Aow Leuk and Hin Ngam dive sites on the southeast coast, with extra details about the local marine life.


Chumphon Pinnacles

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").


Green Rock


Hin Pee Wee

There are around 80 dive schools on Koh Tao and they visit some spots less often than others. This cluster of small pinnacles is one of them!

This segment contains information about the Hin Pee Wee dive site off the west coast of Sairee beach, with extra details about the unique marine life living in the area.


Hin Wong Bay

There's a superabundance of stunning dive sites in Koh Tao, and choosing a favourite spot to scuba dive or snorkel is not easy.

This segment contains useful information about the diving at Hin Wong Bay on the east coast of the island, with extra details about the resident marine life.

Hin Wong Pinnacle

Divers with experience in deep and drift diving can enjoy an unconventional dive around tabletop pinnacles a little over one kilometre from Hin Wong.

This guide contains helpful information about scuba diving at the Hin Wong Pinnacle on the northeast coast of the island, with facts and figures on the depth levels and sea life.


HTMS Sattakut Wreck

Over the years, the Royal Thai Navy has donated a number of decommissioned and inoperable vessels for the intentional scuttling and creation of artificial underwater reef systems.

This section contains important information for divers heading out to the HTMS Sattakut dive site situated around two kilometres off the west coast of Koh Tao.


Japanese Gardens


Laem Thian Bay and Caves

The rocky coastline on the eastern side of Koh Tao is somewhat remote and less travelled. So, you will need a boat to reach the best dive sites.

But, the popular diving spots at Ao Laem Thian are excellent locations for beginners to explore the shallow bay and for experienced divers to go deeper at Laem Thian Caves.


Lighthouse Bay


Mango Bay


Red Rock


Sail Rock

Head south from Koh Tao to Koh Phangan and a monumental granite mountain rises dramatically from the sea bed to create the dive site called Sail Rock.

This guide contains information about Sail Rock diving site, including the maximum depths, recommended diver training, and the local marine life.


Shark Island

Koh Tao shark island gets its name from large granite rocks, rising several metres above sea level, bearing some resemblance to a shark's dorsal fin.

This guide contains information about Shark Island dive site, such as the depth levels, recommended diver training, and the marine biodiversity living around the reefs.


Southwest Pinnacle


Tanote Bay


Twins


White Rock


Related Information and Help Guides

Pro Tip: This short video clip [1:01 seconds] presented by "PADI®" contains footage about the best places in Koh Tao for scuba diving and snorkeling.

Getting to Koh Tao Island

Daily ferries depart from Chumphon, Surat Thani, Koh Samui, and Koh Phangan to the central hub of Mae Haad Pier on Koh Tao Island.

In addition, the Lomprayah High Speed Catamaran takes less than an hour to travel from Koh Samui to Koh Tao. There is also a six-hour sleeper crossing ferry available on the mainland at Chumphon Pier.

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