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Koh Tao's 5 most popular dive sites by Manueella

Published: September 18, 2023 - 12:51
Updated: September 18, 2023 - 12:52
Koh Tao’s 5 most popular dive sites by Manueella

Thailand, Koh Tao with its impressive diversity and affordability, has emerged as a prime dive vacation destination.

It caters to a wide range of tourists, from those traveling on a shoestring budget to those who are on the lookout for affordable luxury. The country’s warm waters and rich culture offer an experience that is both diverse and memorable.

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For diving enthusiasts, Thailand presents an irresistible allure, particularly the island of Koh Tao. Known as a diver’s paradise, this island stands out as one of the most cost-effective places globally to achieve a diving certification. Koh Tao reputation as a diving hub isn’t unfounded. With over 60 dive shops scattered across the island, Koh Tao offers a plethora of options for both novice and experienced divers.

Each dive shop brings something unique to the table, allowing you to find one that perfectly aligns with your preferences and requirements. Whether you’re looking for a quick introduction to diving or aiming to advance your skills, there’s a school ready to cater to your needs.

turtle on Koh Tao
Koh Tao is full of amazing amrine life

Diving on Koh Tao is not the onlu atraction! You can find there stunning beaches, vibrant marine life, and a laid-back lifestyle that can turn any vacation into a tranquil retreat. All these factors combined make it more than just a diving destination; it’s a holistic travel experience that leaves you enriched long after you’ve left its shores.

Koh Tao’s 5 Most Popular Dive Sites:

Koh Tao, the number one dive destination in Thailand. You can scuba dive on this paradise island all year round, just like everywhere in Thailand. However, there are two distinctive seasons: Dry Season and Monsoon Season. The Dry season is from February to September, and the Monsoon season is from October to January. Global warming has made these seasons a bit blurry over time, and you can always have the odd rain in the Dry season and witness wonderful sunsets during the Monsoon.

The water on Koh Tao is warm and crystal clear most of the time.

Chumphon Pinnacle:

Located about 40 minutes by boat from the island, it is one of the furthest dive sites but also our personal favorite! This giant granite pinnacle is entirely submerged but visible from the Open Water level. The top of the pinnacle starts at about 14 meters and drops down to 35 meters. This dive site is home to a lot of pelagic species like Chevrons and Great Barracudas, Batfish, Lionfish, and Giant Groupers, and, if you’re lucky, it’s also the best place to find Whale Sharks! There is a big school of fish, and it is also great for training buoyancy as the top of the pinnacle is covered in anemones!


Type of dive: Coral Reef, Deep Diving/Advanced Course, Pelagic fish
Maximum depth: 35-40 meters
 Open Water Divers


This is one of the most diverse dive sites on Koh Tao, ranging from about 7 meters depth to 16 meters depth. You can train at all levels on this dive site and encounter an incredible variety of fish. This dive site is divided into three different pinnacles. Located on the island of Koh Nang Yuan, it’s about a 10-15 minute boat ride away.

From Christmas Tree worms to turtles, stingrays, moray eels, and even Nemo and shrimps, you will be amazed by the variety of this place! As it’s a shallower dive site and in a bay, the visibility is very often ideal for enjoying the grandeur of the place. It is very famous for night diving and UV night dives!


Type of dive: Eels, Rays, Training, and Diversity
Maximum depth: 16 meters
Level: Discover Scuba Diving

White Rock:

Hin Kaow in Thai, this dive site is one of the most visited, but for a reason! Accessible by boat and located between Twins and The Wreck, it’s only a few minutes away from the Pier and Sairee Beach! It has two distinctive rock formations and beautiful coral reefs all over, with a large variety of small fish, blue-spotted stingrays, turtles, and the occasional Whale Shark!

You might need a couple of dives to explore the entire site properly if you are a diver who likes to see every inch of a dive site! Legend says that an Italian guy discovered the dive site and two others and gave them colors of his flag (along with green rock and Red Rock!). It is also a very popular place for night diving and UV night dives.

Type of dive: Coral garden, Turtles, Swim Through
Maximum depth: 12-16 meters (22 meters if you go off the dive site west!)
Level: Open Water Divers

Red Rock:

Located northeast of Koh Nang Yuan, it is adjacent to Japanese Garden (another dive site popular for Open Water training!). Red Rock is a pinnacle whose top is about 2-4 meters from the surface depending on tides, so you can clearly see it from the boat before you jump! There are many crevasses, and it is amazing to use your torch to look for nudibranchs and shrimps!

Once you have been around the pinnacle, set your compass West to the East side of Nang Yuan, and you will find a coral garden and boulders that create swim-throughs for the most adventurous and curious divers! From this point (and depending on your air consumption), you will be able to either surface, return to Red Rock, or make your way towards Japanese Garden for your safety stop! Fish-wise, you will see some Angel Fish, Longfin Bannerfish, Butterfly fish, Anemone fish, Parrot fish, Pipe fish, Sea snakes, and more!

diving Koh Tao
Koh Tao is full of underwater wonders, photo by| Huw Penson Photography

Type of dive: Pinnacle, Muck Diving, Jenkins Whipray, Macro, Swim Throughs
Maximum depth: +20 meters
Level: Open Water

HTMS Sattakut (Aka The Wreck):

The first recreational diving wreck to be sunk in Koh Tao, this ship was gifted by the Thai Royal Navy and the DMCR to Koh Tao in 2011 to create this dive site for Advanced Divers to do their Advanced course and Wreck specialty! Before being sunk, it was cleaned of debris and toxic materials to ensure the well-being of corals and marine life surrounding it and encourage their growth on and around it.

It was sunk on June 18th, 2011. Its length is 49 meters, and its width is 7 meters. It was originally built in 1942 and equipped with two cannon guns, one at the front and one at the back. These are great points of interest and make for great photos and videos! You can also take on your Wreck specialty and get the chance to penetrate this incredible ship. You will find lots of Groupers and Harlequin Sweetlips in and around the wreck. You can also find a Jenkins Whipray if you are lucky! This dive needs to be planned carefully according to your NDL, as it’s very often done as the second dive after Chumphon Pinnacle!

Type of dive: Wreck Diving
Maximum depth: 35 meters
Level: Advanced Divers

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