Koh Tao Diving is on so many travel itineraries. Scuba diving is a popular thing to try when visiting a tropical island such as Koh Tao. There is diving all over Thailand, but let’s find out specifically what the diving in Koh Tao is all about.
Many agree that the reefs around Koh Tao are designed for diver training. The water is warm and most of the time crystal clear. In addition, the weather is great, visibility good and currents mild for most of the year. As a result, we can dive all year round. This is why Koh Tao is a great destination for beginner divers to take their first breaths underwater.
With a choice of over 20 dive sites around the island, there is something for everyone. Sometimes we need shallow sand for skills practice, other times we want to dive deeper. The reefs around Koh Tao can accommodate all levels of divers, from beginners to very experienced.
Already certified divers can enjoy the diverse marine life on calm and relaxing dives.
And, yes of course, the best of all is the chance to see a majestic whale shark!
The best time to dive on Koh Tao
We are quite blessed here. Like most diving destinations, Koh Tao’s water temperature and visibility fluctuates throughout the year. The water temperature is a cosy 26 – 30 degrees Celsius all year round. Visibility is varied ranging from several meters up to 25+ meters.
February to May
During this time it is nice and hot on Koh Tao and around April is one of the best times to see whale sharks on Koh Tao. Visibility tends to improve through out this season. A great time to escape the heat on the island and see some amazing marine life. The water temperature increases through out this season, sometimes reaching a top of 30 degrees Celsius.
May to October
During this time the temperature begins to cool a little. We have a nice breeze in the air. Water temperature starts to drop again towards the end of this season. Visibility peaks during this time of year, sometimes up to 30 meters. It is a good idea to book your diving courses and accommodation ahead of time during these months.
October to February
We tend to get more rainfall during these months, with the most rain normally during November and again in January. The temperature drops on land to a low of 25 and water temperature a low of 26 degrees Celsius. Furthermore, visibility can be lower during some of this time. October and November however is another great time to spot whale sharks on the deeper dive sites.
Read more in our Koh Tao weather guide
Koh Tao Dive Sites
There are over 20 dive sites around Koh Tao and 14 that Sairee Cottage Diving sails to regularly. Our dive site schedule is fixed for the week and we adjust it according to the latest updates and information on conditions such as visibility currents and also experience based on the current season.
A large, submersed granite pinnacle, starting at around -14 meters descending to -35 meters. Known for pelagic species, such as queenfish, travelly, rainbow runners and mackerel. A large dive site, common spot to sight whale wharks.
South-West Pinnacle is located about 13 km south of Koh Tao. A scattered broken granite rock pinnacle ranging from -6 meters to -27 meters. Divers regularly spot huge groupers, schools of barracuda, cobia and whale sharks at South-West.
Often referred to as the best dive site in the Gulf of Thailand. An abundance of marine life and biodiversity makes Sail Rock an excellent dive site. The granite rock pillar protrudes the surface from a depth of -35 meters.
Read more about our top 3 dive sites on Koh Tao
Why is Koh Tao diving ideal for diver training?
Koh Tao diving schools operate all year round. Our combined experience and operational efficiency makes Koh Tao one of the best places to learn how to dive. On top of that we have dive sites that seem almost built for diver training. They have sandy bottoms at required depths of 12m, 18m and 30m where skills can be practiced if needed. Around these sandy patches, we have beautiful coral reefs that thrive on large granite boulders teeming with a large variety of marine life. These parts of the dive sites are ideal for the exploration part of diver training.
Fun Diving in Koh Tao
Koh Tao offers a diverse underwater world, comprised of granite rock formations, caverns and many excellent swim throughs. Generally we conduct our morning dives at the more advanced dive sites around the island. We dive Chumpon Pinnacle, South-West Pinnacle, Shark Island and the famous Wreck the HTMS Sattakut for instance.
In the afternoons we stick to the shallower and closer reefs. These are ideal for relaxing afternoon fun dives. Afternoon dives are a great option if you haven’t dived for a while and want to get back into it.
Most sites are large granite rock formations, some in tact and others broken up. There is a great variety of coral species that grow all over these underwater pinnacles.
Various sites also offer specific marine life. Sites further out, such as Chumpon Pinnacle and South-West Pinnacle feature more pelagic species and schools of barracudas, queenfish, even sailfish and occasionally whale sharks. Other sites are known for macro life with different species of nudie branches still being discovered, colourful reef fish and the sometimes naughty triggerfish.
The east coast of the island is known for the elusive orange spine unicorn fish and Lham Tian for its awe inspiring swim throughs. Let one of our highly experienced guides give you a tour for an unforgettable dive experience.
How to get to Koh Tao?
Koh Tao lays in the of the Gulf of Thailand near Koh Samui and Koh Phanghan. There is no airport on the island, making it a little more remote. This does not mean it is difficult to travel to Koh Tao. There are several different ferry companies that offer several scheduled trips to the island every day.
You can also fly to Koh Samui and take a ferry from there or fly into Surat Thani or Chumpon town from Bangkok directly.
Read our complete guide on how to get to Koh Tao
A Final Word
For many visitors Koh Tao diving is their primary goal for visiting this tropical paradise. In saying that, Koh Tao has much more to offer than scuba diving. Many people love their time on Koh Tao because they can discover a beautiful underwater world as well as eat great food, party and explore the island above the surface.
If you have any questions about Koh Tao and how to best book diving courses or fun dive trips, please don’t hesitate to shoot us a message! We’d love to hear from you.
More helpful information about Koh Tao can be found in this guide