#1 Whale Shark
This is a must see for all divers. The biggest fish in the ocean!!! There is nothing more breath-taking than seeing a Whale Shark swimming towards you. I have seen it many times, but the excitement is always the same. All year round we have Whale Shark sightings, so there is no specific time of year that they are guaranteed. This makes diving, especially around Chumphon Pinnacle, very exciting as you never know when one may appear. Remember to look but NEVER touch!
#2 Sea Turtle (Green Turtle & Hawksbill Turtle)
Koh Tao means Turtle Island in Thai and got the name due to the fact the island itself resembles the shape of a turtle, apparently. Seeing a turtle on a dive is always a highlight. They have such a placid nature that you can get very close (don’t touch) and watch them eating coral. Sometimes you are waiting on the boat to dive, and you see a turtle come to the surface for a breath of air. This always motivates people to get suited up a bit quicker! Hin Wong Pinnacle and White Rock are dive sites where you have a good chance of seeing them.
#3 Yellow Boxfish
This little gem always makes divers smile. The Yellow Boxfish is very small (1-5cm when juvenile) and is also very shy. They are shaped like a box (hence the name), which means they are not very streamlined and not the most gracefull of swimmers. When they reach adulthood, they lose their vivid yellow colour.
#4 Pickhandle Barracuda
The Pickhandle Barracuda can get very large, well over a meter in length. The best place to see them on Koh Tao is at White Rock at night. They come here to hunt and follow divers around the dive site using their torches as a hunting tool. If you get chance to do a night dive here during your stay, it’s a must.
#5 Banded Sea Snake
Banded sea snakes are very poisonous, but don’t be afraid as they don’t attack divers. More often than not, you will see them exploring small holes and cracks looking for small fish to eat. Seeing them gliding through open water is an amazing spectacle. As they are quite rare around Koh Tao, you will be a lucky diver to see them.
IMPORTANT NOTE – My ‘best 5’ changes from day to day. There are so many creatures that I would like to also include like the Scribble Filefish, Titan Triggerfish, Razorfish, many Nudibranch, Blue Spotted Stingray, Bearded Filefish, etc. I could easily change the title to my best 50 marine life found around Koh Tao……..but for now, this will have to do. Fingers crossed you get to see at least one of these during your time diving on Koh Tao!!!