About 70 Km north of Samui is the island of
Koh Tao (Turtle Island). There are numerous
dive sites in and around Koh Tao, which is
is a mini-tropical paradise offering jungle
walks and white sandy beaches. Here the
water visibility ranges from 15-30 meters
and includes the popular dive spots of
Chumporn and Southwest Pinnacles, Nang Yuan,
Green Rock, White Rock and Red Rock. The
waters around Koh Tao are home to an
abundant range of marine life, including
barracuda, tuna, snapper and sea turtles.
Considered one of the more challenging dive
sites with occasionally strong currents and
depths of 10-35 meters, this site consists
of fascinating submerged pinnacles. The
highest of these rocks is approximately 16
meters below the surface. At Chumporn, you
can swim with man-sized groupers and other
large pelagic fish, including schools of
barracuda, tuna and mackerel.
The Southwest Pinnacles consist of three
rock formations which range from 4-30 meters
below the surface, representing a series of
short wall dives. At the top of the
pinnacles are blankets of underwater plant
life in a stunning array of rainbow colors.
Between the rocks are many bushy black coral
sea whips and gorgonian sea fans. Leopard
sharks are often encountered and it is even
possible to meet an occasional whale shark.
Giant groupers are common here, as are
scribbled filefish, masked porcupine fish,
yellowtail, barracuda and snapper.
This dive site tends to attract the more
advanced diver as the water is deeper and
the currents are certainly much stronger.
The rocks are submerged in 12 meters of
water and attract large schools of jackfish
(bigger varieties), trevally and giant
Green Rock provides a good selection of
swim-through opportunities in depths of 4-25
meters. The rock consists of large archways,
caverns, caves and crevices. Common
sightings include harlequin sweetlips,
blue-ringed angelfish and moray eels.
Sometimes you can spot whitetip reef sharks,
and further out in deeper water, large
groupers, schools of yellowtail, fusilier
and silver fish.
This dive explores two submerged pinnacles
which are only two meters above the surface
but extend between 18-22 meters underwater.
Schools of butterfly fish and angel fish
predominate and colonies of staghorn corals
attract breams and damsels to make their
homes here. On any given dive look out for
the more exciting sightings of sea snakes,
turtles, morays and blue spotted stingrays.
An interesting and equally exciting part of
your dive will hopefully be an encounter
with White Rock's resident titan trigger
fish -- territorial by nature and supremely
North of Samui between the islands of Koh
Tao and Phangan is the internationally
renowned dive site of Sail Rock. Although
only 15 meters above the water, the
structure extends 40 meters below the
surface. The main attraction of Sail Rock is
a naturally formed 15-meter high underwater
dive wall or chimney.
Divers can ascend from 18 meters up the
chimney wall to the surface, making this a
unique diving experience. Visibility is
usually excellent at around 30 meters. The
structure itself is pocked with small holes
which are ideal homes for white-eyed and
yellow margin moray eels, as well as large
sea anemones. Sightings of reef sharks and
manta rays are also common, as are large
schools of tuna, jacks, trevally and
barracudas. During the winter months whale
sharks can be seen on occasion.
Angthong National Park
Ang Thong National Marine Park lies
approximately 30 Km to the northwest of
Samui. Popularized by the movie "The Beach"
starring Leonardo Di Caprio, the park
comprises 80 islands and offers some of the
best diving in Thailand.
Koh Wao and Koh Yippon are the most popular
dive sites, featuring incredible
swim-through experiences, not to mention
other encounters with caves, tunnels and
passageways. The water visibility is 15-25
meters and the area is best visited between
the months of September through January. The
marine park is a proverbial spawning ground
for many fish species and is home to
hundreds of different varieties of colorful
soft and hard coral.
Located east of Koh Tao, Hin Wong is a large
and varied site, with depths ranging from
10-30 meters. Unfortunately, the only
shortcoming of the site is the unpredictable
water visibility, which cannot be assured at
Nevertheless, the site abounds with delicate
sea fans and spiraling wire coral and is
home to many types of fish including
groupers, filefish, snapper, etc. If you are
lucky and keep your distance, you may even
see sea turtles feeding off the rich variety
of food the reef has to offer.