When conditions are good and the visibility is amazing, Chumphon Pinnacle is the best dive site Koh Tao has to offer. Located 40mins boat journey from Koh Tao, Chumphon is a deeper divesite going down to 30m. There is one main pinnacle that comes to about 14m below the surface, and a second smaller pinnacle called Barracuda Rock. If you’re going to see a Whale Shark on Koh Tao, chances are you will see it here! Apart from the Whale Shark sightings, you are likely to see big skools of Barracuda (Yellow tailed and Chevron Barracuda), Trevally, Queenfish, and Batfish.
Some will argue that Southwest Pinnacle is better than Chumphon Pinnacle; but it’s a close call. The dive site is located 40mins boat journey to the South West of Koh Tao and is another deep dive site (28m). Made up of many small pinnacles, with one large pinnacle in the middle that reaches up to 5m below the surface. There is a huge amount of fish life here from large skools to hidden Scorpion fish. A short swim away is another pinnacle called ‘the Secret Pinnacle’, also good for fun diving. If you are extremely lucky, you may see Bryde’s Whales, but they come around maybe once a year.
There are no sharks at Shark Island, sorry. The island got its name from its appearance at the surface, looking like a shark fin. Located to the South West of Koh Tao, Shark Island is a great dive site, available for all levels of diver. It has amazing soft corals located to the south, and deeper, you can explore around the large boulders. This is one of the best places for fun dives and large enough to keep you happy for more than just one dive. However, sometimes Shark Island does have strong currents, so be prepared to kick.
Green Rock really is a ‘fun’ dive. Located just to the North West of Koh Nanguan, it offers a diver so much to explore. The main attraction is its many ‘swim throughs’. This is a great test for your buoyancy and also a great experience. Another attraction is the ‘Trigger Pit’. This is an area of sand that both Yellow margin and Titan triggerfish have made their home for mating and nesting. Be careful when swimming close to triggerfish, as they can sometimes get quite aggressive (if they feel threatened).
White Rock is one of the most popular dive sites on Koh Tao, and also one of the largest too. Just 10mins boat journey from the pier, White Rock is accessable to all levels of diver (as its depth ranges between 5m – 20m). This a great site for seeing a huge selection of marine life, from Turtles to Nudibranch, it has it all. You also need to try a night dive here and see the Pickhandle Barracudas using your torch as a hunting tool…….very exciting!!!
Sail Rock (the unofficial #1)
Sail Rock is a 2 hour boat journey from Koh Tao, so can’t really be included in the top 5 of Koh Tao’s dive sites. When conditions are good, Sail Rock is the best dive site in the Gulf of Thailand! You need to see the amount of fish life there and the ‘Chimney’, a vertical cave. A ‘must see’ dive site.