If you have dived in Koh Tao before, please share your experiences: Dive spots you would recommend, which Dive Center you used, Fishes & Diving, Visibility, Currents, etc. Please post your comments in the section below, by doing so you will help fellow divers to plan their next trip
In this page you will find more detailed information about scuba diving in Koh Tao.
Table of contents
Photos Koh Tao
Eagle Rays Flying AwayPhoto by Jihye Lee
SeahorsePhoto by Jihye Lee
Fish Disguised Sea BottomPhoto by Jihye Lee
Shrimp Taking Refuge Under Sea ShellPhoto by Jihye Lee
Hand Drawn Nudibranch Black Patterns On WhitePhoto by Jihye Lee
Spiked Yellow White Black NudibranchPhoto by Jihye Lee
Koh Tao Underwater StructurePhoto by Jihye Lee
ThresherPhoto by Jihye Lee
Moray Eel And Sea UrchinsPhoto by Jihye Lee
Underwater TowerPhoto by Jihye Lee
Best Dive Review
Whale Sharks are sometimes spotted around Koh Tao, and on offshore dive sites like Chumphon Pinnacle, it is possible to see Bull Sharks. It is actually one of the few places in the world where it is possible to spot them from up close. They have been misidentified for a long time as Grey Sharks. Bull Sharks can be curious, and sometimes aggressive, but in years of diving on these sites, there hasn’t been any problems reported of attacks or the like.
Apart from the big stuff, you will also spot turtles, reef sharks, Leopard Sharks, barracudas and all the usual reef life of South East Asia.
Don’t expect to be alone underwater! The most popular dive spots are often very crowded during high season…
Where to stay?
I usually use this website to book in advance my hotels in Koh Tao as they usually have the lowest rates I find. I like it because it's free to cancel and change the dates.
Lowest Price Guarantee: if you can beat our price, we will pay you twice the difference!
Best time to dive in Koh Tao
It is possible to dive in Koh Tao all year round. The best diving time runs from May to August when the conditions are excellent. Luckily it is also the off season on the West coast of Thailand. Water temperature is about 29 °C all year round.
Koh Tao is where there is the highest number of Padi open water certifications completed in the world after Cairns in Australia!
People from all over the world come here to take cheap (around US$ 24 for a dive) diving lessons as the Island features very easy dive sites with gentle currents and shallow coral reefs. Experienced divers come to get higher certification and many dive centres propose all inclusive dive master courses with accommodation provided.
As there are over 30 dive operators, competition is high, meaning dive prices in Koh Tao are generally quite low. Always visit several dive shops and ask questions before choosing as they may not all have the same standards. It is sometimes better to spend more money for better service and safety.
Scuba Diving conditions
Conditions underwater are excellent. No current on most of the dive sites, nice and shallow coral reefs.
Visibility can be sometimes poor especially in November after heavy rains. You can expect from 10 to 20 meters visibility otherwise. Water temperature is around 29 °C all year round
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jelle82/4802659392/
Snorkelling in Koh Tao
You can find great snorkelling spots around Koh Tao. It is possible to arrange snorkelling tours to take you to the best places around the island. You can also try to reach the beaches by scooter but it can be very difficult and even dangerous. You will often have to finish by foot.
If you are planning an upcoming dive trip or travelling to Koh Tao, it is a really good idea to invest in travel insurance for scuba diving, because you never know what could happen and when you might need it (because accidents do happen!). I recommend this diving insurance as they offer worldwide coverage and focus on providing scuba divers a quality insurance and medical assistance service.
Diving in Ko Samui
It is actually possible to dive around Ko Samui and Koh Phangan but most of the dive shops will take you on a day trip diving around Koh Tao. Note that visibility is usually poor and diving interest low around Ko Samui. It will take about one hour by speed boat to reach the Koh Tao dive sites and as the fuel is expensive, the average cost of a dive is higher on Ko Samui than on Koh Tao. Snorkelling in Ko Samui is also poor.
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/davespencer/3789837841/
“Actually we use speed boats and dive on Sail Rock and Koh Tao area. To
Sail Rock travel time is 45min and to Koh Tao/Chumpon Pinacle around 1h
Water is really shallow around Koh Samui and waves disturb sand bottom and
visibility. Here are couple of dive sites, but not so good that we use
them very often.” Padi Instructor in Koh Samui.
Now that you know all about the underwater world, you might want to start planning your scuba holiday! Check out our Koh Tao Travel Review for information about how to get there, activities and excursions, where to stay, and more.