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Koh Tao Diving - Top 5 Koh Tao dive sites

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Author: Luke Thomson

Choosing the best Koh Tao Diving sites

Guide to the top 5 Koh Tao diving sitesBut as an experienced diver it can be difficult getting honest advice to determine the most gratifying dive sites for you to visit.

Like any commercial entity, dive schools are bound by a number of factors which will influence their preference of dive site each day.  This includes having to choose suitable dive sites to accommodate student divers, [often more lucrative and numerous for the dive school than certified divers], or logistical constraints such as scheduling or fuel saving.  And that’s without introducing weather and diving conditions such as current or visibility into the mix.

So to help make sure you don’t get sold a ‘red herring’ diving Koh Tao, Thailand, here’s an honest run down of the top five must-see Koh Tao dive sites, compiled by Simple Life Divers:

1. Chumphon Pinnacles

A patent choice for the best Koh Tao diving site, the Chumphon Pinnacles is located 45 minutes north-west of Koh Tao [traveling by hard dive boat]. In past Koh Tao diving seasons the big draw of the Chumphon Pinnacles were resident juvenile bull sharks, recurrently spotted by divers.  We’ve not been so opportune during 2009, but blessed with excellent visibility have enjoyed many whale shark sightings to add to the chevron barracuda, giant groupers and batfish around the dive site.

2. Southwest Pinnacle

Koh Tao diving sitesAnother exciting prospect for deep diving, the Southwest Pinnacle lies approximately 7 nautical miles off Koh Tao, so again has better than average visibility for Koh Tao diving. One central pinnacle is encircled by smaller, deeper, rocky outcroppings, with the summit of the core pillar completely carpeted by magnificent anemones and pink anemone fish. The dive site is swarming with large populations of pelagic species.

3. Sail Rock

Equidistant between the diving Mecca of Koh Tao and neighboring Full Moon Party island Koh Phangan, Sail Rock is a small rocky isle, less than 70M in diameter. From above the surface Sail Rock’s sheer faces descend vertically down to a depth of 25 – 30M where they meet a sloping bottom composed of sand and silt. The most remarkable feature of the dive site is a narrow ledge which snakes across the undersea wall at a depth of around 6M. Some years ago, the Thai Military used Sail Rock as a target for Naval Munitions exercises, and on striking this ledge created an undersea chimney which descends vertically down through the ledge from six till eighteen meters depth. Nautical charts still show Sail Rock [or Hin Bae in Thai] marked as a dangerous area, but the Thai Navy has long since ceased any exercises.

4. Green Rock

Underwater caverns at Green RockTaking a quick look at the island of Koh Nang Yuan just a few minutes ride from Koh Tao, above the waterline you see giant scattered boulders, randomly cascading down the contour of the island to the ocean’s edge. So it’s not too difficult to imagine the same topography existing below the surface. Koh Tao’s Green Rock dive site is a maze of giant scattered boulders, creating a fascinating mix of overhangs and small caverns which are intriguing to explore. North of this Koh Tao dive site lies a flat sandy plateau, which serves as a nesting ground for Yellow Margin and Titan Triggerfish. Be sure to avoid this vicinity at certain times of year, else you’ll be in for a ‘breathtaking’ surprise.

5. Twins

We can’t compile a top five Koh Tao diving sites listing without mentioning Twins.  For a shallow coral dive site we couldn’t have formulated a better design. The name derives from two areas of rocks, one at 6M separated from the second at 12 to 18M by a narrow sandy belt. Finally there’s a deeper third rock down at 18-20M, which means divers can pick their depth depending on their dive objectives. Best of all, within a small area you can see all our common tropical reef varieties including porcupine fish, blue spotted sting-rays, moray eels and trigger-fish. On the sandy plain adjacent to Twins, you can even spy tiny seahorses, making a great opportunity for digital underwater photography diving Koh Tao.

For a full description of all twenty five of the Koh Tao diving sites visit

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By Simple Life Diving Koh Tao Tel/fax: +66 77 456 329