Scuba Diving in Koh Tao, Thailand

Reader Reviews:
Dive Site: The Torpedo Wreck
Location: 2 hours north of Koh Tao, Gulf of Thailand
Description: Japanese cargo ship
Length: 60 metres (197 feet)
Depth: 42 - 54 metres (138 - 177 feet)
Visibility: 10 - 15 metres (30 - 50 feet)
Rating: *****
The Torpedo Wreck lies upright in 54m, is 60m long with two large holds and a crane collapsed onto the deck. Three levels of easy penetration on the stern - engine room, accommodation, wheelhouse. Bit of a wriggle into the bow compartment. Nice big bow, loads of fish.
Charlott Ragnarsson, PADI Divemaster


Scuba Diving in Koh Tao, Thailand

Reader Reviews:
Dive Site: The Unicorn Wreck
Location: Koh Tao, Gulf of Thailand
Description: Steel freighter
Length: 60 metres (197 feet)
Depth: 38 - 50 metres (125 - 164 feet)
Visibility: 5 - 10 metres (15 - 30 feet)
Rating: *****
The wreck is of a large modern 1960's-70's steel freighter. The vessel leans slightly on its port side at an angle of 60 degrees with the top of the bow at 38m and the keel of the bow area several metres above the seabed allowing divers to swim under this area of the hull. The wreck is completely intact. All penetration is very tight with only room for one diver. Big schools of jacks, barracuda and bat fish patrol the area directly above the wreck.
Charlott Ragnarsson, PADI Divemaster




Scuba Diving in Koh Tao, Thailand

Reader Reviews:
Dive Site: Chumphon Pinnacle
Location: Koh Tao, Gulf of Thailand
Description: Underwater pinnacle
Depth: 30 metres (98 feet)
Visibility: 20 - 25 metres (65 - 80 feet)
Rating: ****
I was lucky enough to do my first deep dive at this site and was not disappointed. As we descended through thousands of fish to about 18 metres we were surrounded by curious batfish. On the side of the pinnacle the rare site of a lionfish was pointed out by our dive leader. As we neared 30 metres we could see a single cobia which we initially mistook for a shark. A few minutes later several grey reef sharks came into view. After looking at us curiously they went into the thermocline.
As we slowly ascended following the pinnacle we saw white-eyed moray eel, trevally, a solitary scorpionfish and thousands of blue damsel fish. As we neared the end of the dive coming over the top of the pinnacle at about 12 metres sea anemones are in abundance with the ever present pink anemonefish.
I have dived this site many times in my short diving career and I have always been thrilled at the vast numbers of fish.
James Howard, PADI Advanced Open Water


If you go to Koh Samui or Koh Tao to dive, this is a site not to be missed. It is about 75 minutes in a speed boat from Koh Samui and 15 from Koh Tao. From Koh Samui I would recommend The Dive Academy or Captain Caveman's dive school. Both have excellent staff, are well run schools with customer care and safety being a priority. Both have new dive boats that leave early for the dive site.
Suitable for divers of all levels with the top of the reef about 14m below the surface and the bottom at approx 31m. There is very little current with visibility usually about 18m and on a good day 25m. The reef is a granite rock formation and is covered in hard and soft corals. There are loads of anemones and loads of pink anemone fish. You will see a variety of fish including shoals of batfish, some large barracuda (the big fish are usually on their own and have large yellow eyes) they are quite inquisitive and will come up to you and take a look but will then gracefully swim away. There are some large shoals of small barracuda, large groupers, parrotfish, white eyed moray eels, triggerfish, angelfish, the list is endless there are a lot more that I don't know the names of.
On most dives you will see grey reef sharks. Most of the dive guides have a little trick to draw these up off the bottom. Some tap their cylinder, others take an empty plastic water bottle and keep making a noise by crunching it up. The sharks that are about 2m in length come up from the bottom to investigate; the most I have seen at any one time was five. You do get the odd sighting of whale sharks at this site but I have not seen one myself yet. For the underwater photographer there is a never ending amount of subjects to take pictures of. As you make your way up the shot line take your time and look at the fry that gets in the weed on the line.
This is a site that you can dive over and over again and always enjoy yourself and see something new. It is one of the best sites in this area. Thousands of fish, big and small, loads of corals, water temperature around 28 centigrade most of the year - what more can you ask for.
One last point that is worth a mention October and November are not good months to dive the Gulf Of Thailand. The weather is changeable and the visibility reduced, but is still better than most U.K. dives.
Brinley Meredith, PADI Advanced Open Water


Chumpon Pinnacle may be considered to be Koh Tao's premier dive site. Underneath the southern most buoy line lies a large hole and fairly short swim-through exiting at approximately 24m, the perfect depth for this site. Head SSW and after 50m encounter the southern most pinnacle 'Barracuda Rock' where, surprise surprise, you will find a few large groupers and schools of various 'cudas.. chevron, pick handle, yellow tails. Lots of Spanish mackerels and the greys are here. Some get quite large, maybe 3m, although many suspect that these are in fact bull sharks. We also see infrequent visits by whale sharks and brides whales.
Claude Kelly, PADI OWSI
view more Chumphon Pinnacle photos



Scuba Diving in Koh Tao, Thailand

Reader Reviews:
Dive Site: Mango Bay
Location: Koh Tao, Thailand
Description: Reef
Depth: 18 - 20 metres max (59 - 66 feet)
Visibility: 10 - 20 metres (30 - 60 feet)
Rating: ****
Mango Bay is located on the north side of the island. It is an ideal site if you have a partner that does not dive but loves the sun or likes to snorkel or you have a young family that wants to have their first underwater experience.
As you pull into the bay the most beautiful blue calm water greets you. The dive boats go right up to the beach with its nice sandy bottom so getting on and off the boats is no problem. The bay is ideal for all divers but may not hold the interest of the more travelled and advanced diver (I personally love it there is always something to see or photograph). The maximum depth is around 18 metres, there is no current and the visibility is usually between 10 and 15 metres, with the addition of 30C water temperatures you can't go wrong.
You will see various soft and hard corals on the dive, small clams that are the lushest purple/blue you can wish for. There is an abundance of fish to see most of them small but very colourful all the same. These will include blue spotted rays, six banded angelfish, parrotfish, wrasse, triggerfish, white-eyed moray eels, pufferfish and many more that I can't name. You will come across a large shoal of fusiliers that checking back through my log I have described as a wall of fish, there are that many. They look like little silver and yellow bricks all lined up. If you are careful you can actually get inside the shoal of fish - it is a great sensation to be literally surrounded by them.
As I mentioned earlier this might not be the best dive for the more travelled and advanced diver but the dive schools will take care of that. Ask to dive Chumphon Pinnacle and after that dive get them to take you to 'The Drop Off', an area that enters Mango Bay. This is the deeper area of the site at about 18 metres. The boat will then go to your love ones who have been enjoying the delights of the bay while you do the 45 minutes plus dive back to the beach for your lunch and surface interval before moving to the next dive site.
Brinley Meredith, PADI Advanced Open Water
view more Mango Bay photos



Scuba Diving in Koh Tao, Thailand

Reader Reviews:
Dive Site: Sail Rock
Location: North of Koh Pha-ngan, Koh Tao, Thailand
Description: Huge rock island
Depth: 32 metres max (105 feet)
Visibility: 10 - 30 metres (30 - 100 feet)
Rating: *****
Sail Rock is a large granite pinnacle which is situated mid distance between the islands of Koh Tao and Koh Pha-ngan. The pinnacle emerges 12m above the water surface and goes down to around 28m in places. Great for all types of divers.
Ian Scrowther, PADI Advanced Open Water


A large granite rock that has no interest from the surface. That all changes as soon as you go under the surface, it's full of fish and various hard and soft corals. The dive site is suitable for all levels of diver going to a depth of around 32m, this is the site I did my deep dive for my Advanced Open Water. There is a nice training ledge at approx. 10m where the divers enter the water. Another feature is the "chimney"; you enter this at 18m and can exit through a window at about 10m or go to the top and come out at 5m. Two divers at a time can come up the chimney, take care when entering so you cause no damage and look out for small shrimps. If you are really lucky you can see whale sharks at this site, I saw my first and only one up to now in August of this year. Visibility is usually between 10m and 20m. Current is usually mild at worst, have had one dive there when I found it strong but I am not the strongest of swimmers. Overall would recommend this site. Macro fans take your camera.
Brinley Meredith, PADI Advanced Open Water


Scuba Diving in Koh Tao, Thailand

Reader Reviews:
Dive Site: Southwest Pinnacles (South West Rock)
Location: Southwest of Koh Tao, Thailand
Description: Huge rock island
Depth: 30 metres (100 feet)
Visibility: 10 - 20 metres (30 - 65 feet)
Rating: ****
This was my pick of the dives we did at Koh Tao. Following the mooring line to the base of the pinnacle we were greeted with anemones and their resident pink anemone fish, more anemones and anemone fish, more anemones and anemone fish. and a couple of stonefish!
Unusual dive. Very nice.
Rick Davies, DiveCon Specialist Instructor

More can be found here.