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Koh Tao Dive Sites
Koh Tao dive sites offer a wide range of environments, from deep offshore pinnacles to calm sandy bays. During your stay on Koh Tao, whether taking a diving course, fundiving or snorkeling, we can recommend the following dive sites.
Location: Between Koh Tao and Koh Phangan Depth: Average 18 m / Maximum 40 m Level of Diving: Beginner to Experienced Divers
Sail Rock can be easily located in the Gulf as it is an impressive pinnacle that breaks the surface. A great way to begin the dive is to enter through the magnificent chimney at around 4 m, which then presents an exit at a depth of 18 m. Keep your eyes peeled for an encounter with a giant green moray eel and clustering coral-banded shrimp. An easy dive site to navigate by circling the rock formation, you may also come across pelagic fish such as whale sharks and bull sharks.
Location: About 7 km Southwest of Koh Tao Depth: Average 17 m / Maximum 28 m Level of Diving: Beginner to Experienced Divers
A row of pinnacles offering wall dives and great schooling marine life, such as snapper, trevally, and barracuda. The shallower points are carpeted with gardens of sea anemones, and the deeper gullies are filled with healthy gorgonians and whip corals.
Location: About 5 km northwest of Koh Nang Yuan Depth: Average 20 m / Maximum 36 m Level of Diving: Experienced Divers
This deep pinnacle is typically reserved for advanced divers but can be accessed on your final open water training dives in good conditions. Chumphon Pinnacles offers majestic views, breathtaking rock formations, and large marine life, with an increased chance of whale shark sightings.
Location: 1 km off the southern tip of Koh Tao Depth: Average 15 m / Maximum 28 m Level of Diving: Beginner to Experienced Divers
Shark Island is named not for its carnivorous marine life but for the island’s resemblance to a shark fin from certain angles. The occasional currents bring in nutrient-rich waters, encouraging an abundance of marine life. Groupers, turtles and schools of raccoon butterflyfish inhabit the shallower depths, and nudibranch nurseries line the eastern coast.
Location: Western side of Koh Tao Depth: Average 16 m / Maximum 28 m Level of Diving: Beginner to Experienced Divers
White Rock is one of the most popular dive sites of Koh Tao for both day and night dives. It is home to the titan triggerfish, some of which occasionally act quite aggressively. The rock structures are a number of elevated shelves that provide shelter for honeycomb groupers, long-spined black sea urchins and various sea anemones, along with the soft coral mixed with knob and pore corals and the colourful Christmas tree worms. If you enjoy underwater photography, this dive site provides the composition and marine life for great pictures.
Titan trigger fish at White Rock
Location: Western Side of Koh Nang Yuan Depth: Average 10 m / Maximum 18 m Level of Diving: Beginner to Experienced Divers
Scattered around the three rock pinnacles, you will find numerous black sea cucumbers, boulder corals and Neptune barrel sponges covered in long white alabaster tubeworms. Between two shallow pinnacles (12 – 14 m), you will find the Clarks anemone fish family protected by a ring of shells. Off to the north of the middle pinnacle, you will find Buoyancy World, an ‘alternative’ dive site to help lessen the number of divers at Twins. Here you will find artificial structures built from materials that will attract fish life and coral development, along with buoyancy structures used for novice divers to enhance their diving skills.
Location: 30 m from Hin Pee Wee Depth: Average 18 m / Maximum 30 m Level of Diving: Experienced Divers
The HTMS Sattakut (LCI: Landing Craft Infantry 724) shipwreck has become a favourite dive site of Koh Tao. This former US World War II Navy vessel that runs 48 m in length along the sea bed was sunk on 18 June 2011 to create a new artificial reef. As a US Navy Ship, the Sattakut participated in the Battle of Iwo Jima, one of the most strategic battles between the USA and Japan during World War II. The wreck’s keel or base sits in the sand at a maximum depth of between 27 and 30 metres while the top of the mast reaches a depth of 18 metres – making this dive most suitable for divers with the Advanced Open Water certification. She lies 30 m from Hin Pee Wee, providing a complimentary dive site with abundant marine life nearby. You will find large schools of fusiliers, juvenile yellowtail barracudas, various snappers, wrasse and groupers.
Location: North-West of Koh Nang Yuan Depth: Average 12 m / Maximum 30 m Level of Diving: Beginner to Experienced Divers
A spectacular dive site northwest of Koh Nang Yuan offering adventurous swim-throughs provided by large archways, caverns, caves and crevices which cut through the submerged, bouldering rocks.
Home to the yellow margin triggerfish, divers may encounter a ‘trigger- attack’ during the spawning season, as they become very territorial and protective over their nests which makes for an exciting dive.
Koh Nang Yuan
Nang Yuan Pinnacle
Location: North-East of Koh Nang Yuan Depth: Average 12 m / Maximum 20 m Level of Diving: Beginner to Experienced Divers
Nicknamed ‘Red Rock’ – a pinnacle that stems from 18 m to just below the surface shelters stingrays, turtles and scorpion fish in the crevices formed through erosion over decades. Taking a heading of 240 degrees toward the coast of Koh Nang Yuan, you may encounter the infamous titan triggerfish that lingers at the base of a cave opening. This narrow cavern may be explored at depths of 12 m. Before entering, be aware that training in cavern diving is necessary for this penetration.
Hawksbill turtle at Hin Wong Pinnacle dive site, Koh Tao
Hin Wong Pinnacle
Location: East Coast of Koh Tao Depth: Average 12 m / Maximum 26 m Level of Diving: Beginner to Experienced Divers
The less explored dive sites of the east coast offer a different variety of marine life to the west coast of Koh Tao. These pinnacles at depths of 26 m offer blue soft sponge corals, colourful sea fans and sea whips. The resident hawksbill turtle may be found hidden under his ledge along with the porcupine pufferfish and angel fish.
Aow Leuk Dive Site, Koh Tao
Location: South-East of Koh Tao Depth: Average 6 m / Maximum 12 m Level of Diving: Beginner to Experienced Divers
A sheltered bay with gorgeous views, Aow Leuk is home to much juvenile marine life. Sheltered from the strong winds, this shallow dive site has a sandy bottom that is home to garden eels, scorpion fish and bottom dwellers. The scattered coral boulders are home to butterfly fish, sergeant majors, and schooling yellow-tail barracudas.
School of Fusiliers at Mango Bay
Location: North of Koh Tao Depth: Average 5 m / Maximum 16 m Level of Diving: Beginner to Experienced Divers
A breeding ground for all small fish, Mango Bay has reefs on the east and west coastlines of the bay, along with coral boulders in between, providing a natural ‘coral garden’ as we know it today. This bay is perfect for snorkelers and beginner divers to gradually transition from shallow sandy topography to deeper depths with rocky contours. Many operators from neighbouring islands visit Mango Bay for its beauty and pristine conditions.
Location: East of Koh Nang Yuan Depth: Average 6 m / Maximum 16 m Level of Diving: Beginner to Experienced Divers
Located on the east side of Koh Nang Yuan, Japanese Gardens is separated by one of the world’s only sandbars connecting three teardrops of land. With fantastic snorkeling and excellent conditions for beginner divers, this dive site offers sandy bottoms to prepare initial divers to adjust their buoyancy before venturing to the reef areas. The reef dive itself is magnificent, home to many juvenile fish, including blue-ringed angelfish, moon wrasse, damsel and chromis fish, with multiple porcupine pufferfish hiding within the crevices. Occasionally, you may spot the black and white banded sea snake.
Hanhak Sattru Wreck and Suphairin Wreck Dive Sites, Koh Tao
Hanhak Sattru Wreck
Location: Mao Bay, Koh Tao Depth: Maximum 24 m Level of Diving: Experienced Divers
Location: West of Koh Nang Yuan Depth: Maximum 28 m Level of Diving: Experienced Divers
On the 7th and 8th of September 2023, an exciting addition was made to the Koh Tao Dive Sites list. The Royal Thai Navy’s HTMS Hanhak Sattru and HTMS Suphairin, two formidable Fast Attack Craft (Guided-missile) battleships equipped with the Gabriel anti-ship missile system, were strategically placed beneath the ocean’s surface. Manufactured by Singapore Shipbuilding and Engineering Ltd., these vessels had dutifully served Thailand since November 6, 1976, and February 1, 1977, respectively, before being decommissioned on October 1, 2018. Both ships share identical dimensions, with a length of 44.90 meters and a width of 7.00 meters.
Hanhak Sattru now rests on the eastern coast of Koh Tao in Mao Bay. Its keel lies peacefully in the sandy depths, reaching 22-24 meters, while the mast’s pinnacle stands 13 meters below the surface. Meanwhile, Suphairin found its final resting place near No Name Pinnacle west of Koh Nang Yuan. The keel lies at depths ranging from 24 to 28 meters, with the mast’s highest point reaching 16 meters below the waves.
These two impressive wrecks have been transformed into new dive sites of Koh Tao. Beyond the thrill of exploration, their placement serves a greater purpose – restoring the natural coral reef ecosystem. By diverting divers’ attention from the fragile natural coral reefs, we aim to minimize the impact on Koh Tao’s delicate underwater ecosystems.