Diving

Ko Tao is famous for it

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Love Koh Tao Diving!
I came to Koh Tao not really planning on diving but decided to try it out anyway. I HIGHLY recommend...

By smj10j

What we say: 4.5 stars

The most popular sites, including Chumphon Pinnacle, Sail Rock and Southwest Pinnacle, are some kilometres from the island, where fish gather in larger numbers. Many other sites are a matter of 20 minutes' away and offer great training and fun diving too.

Diving visibility and weather conditions tend to be best around the middle of the year. The monsoon kicks into full swing in November and many dive shops close for that month. Things slowly start to pick up again from December, although visibility in March is often obstructed by large amounts of plankton in the water. The plankton, however, heralds the arrival of the whalesharks.

The biggest event on the diving calendar is the Underwater World Festival, usually held early in the year. The festival has some great environmental projects and lots to offer non-divers too, with music and entertainment over two nights. For more information on the festival and other diving-related events on Ko Tao, check out http://www.marineconservationkohtao.com.

Dive schools
More than 40 dive schools on Ko Tao compete for business, with instructors speaking a multitude of languages. Most try to keep their groups small, with four to six students in a PADI or SSI Open Water Course, but be sure to inquire. At some of the bigger resorts you might feel you're diving with more humans than fish.

Typical prices are: 9,800B for an open water course, 8,500B for an advanced open water course, 1,800B for two fun dives, and 25,000B for a divemasters' course.

Many dive resorts also provide free or discounted accommodations for their students and discounted diving after certification. At busy times some dive resorts will not allow non-divers to stay as they require the accommodation for divers, but sharing a room with a non-diver is usually ok.

Mae Haad
Crystal Dive Resort
T: (077) 456 106
F: (077) 456 105
http://www.crystaldive.com

Divepoint
T: (077) 456 231
F: (077) 456 231
http://en.divepoint-kohtao.com/

Easy Divers
T: (077) 456 010
F: (077) 456 321
http://www.thaidive.com

Golden Divers
T: (077) 456 823
http://www.goldendivers.com/

Impian Divers
T: (089) 650 4657
http://www.impiandivers.com/

Master Divers
T: (077) 456 314
F: (077) 456 765
http://www.master-divers.com

Planet Scuba
T: (077) 456 110
F: (077) 456 110
http://www.planet-scuba.net

Sairee beach
Ban's Diving
T: (077) 456 466
http://www.bansdivingresort.com

Big Blue Diving Resort
T: (077) 456 415
F: (077) 456 772
http://www.bigbluediving.com

Coral Grand Divers
T: (077) 456 432
F: (077) 456 430
http://www.kohtao.coralgranddivers.com/

Davey Jones Locker
T: (077) 456 604
http://www.daveyjoneslocker.asia

Island Dive Club
T: (077) 456 296
F: (077) 456 680
http://www.islanddiveclub.com

Koh Tao Divers
T: (08) 069 9244
http://www.kohtaodivers.com/

Phoenix Divers
T: (077) 456 033
F (077) 456 034
http://www.phoenix-divers.com

Pura Vida Diving
T: (090) 154 6021
http://www.puravidakohtao.com/

Sairee Cottage Diving
T: (077) 456 374
http://www.saireecottagediving.com/

Seashell Resort
T: (077) 456 299-300
F: (077) 456 299
http://www.seashelldiverskohtao.com/

Scuba Junction
T: (077) 456 164
F: (077) 456 013
http://www.scuba-junction.com

Siam Scuba Dive Center
T: (077) 456 628
http://www.siamscuba.com/

Simple Life Divers
T: (077) 456 329
http://www.simplelifedivers.com

Sairee Village
Asia Divers
T: (077) 456 055
F: (077) 456 016
http://www.asia-divers.com

New Way Diving
T: (077) 456 527
http://www.newwaydiving.com

Roctopus Dive
T: (077) 456 611
http://www.roctopusdive.com/

Chalok Baan Kao
Alvaro Diving
T: (085) 782 6569
http://www.divingcourseskohtao.com/

Big Bubble Dive Resort
T: (077) 456 669
http://www.bigbubble.info

Buddha View Dive Resort
T: (077) 456 074
F: (077) 456 210
http://www.buddhaview-diving.com

Carabao Diving
T: (077) 456 635
F: (077) 456 402
http://www.carabao-diving-kohtao.com/

Ihasia
T: (085) 790 9811
http://www.ihasia.net/es/inicio

New Heaven Dive Shop
T: (077) 456 587
F: (077) 456 587
http://www.newheavendiveschool.com

Sunshine Divers
T: (077) 456 597
http://www.sunshine-divers.com

Tanote Bay
Calypso Dive Center
T: (077) 456 745
http://www.calypso-diving-kohtao.de

Mon Talay Dive Resort
T: (077) 456 488
F: (077) 456 489
http://www.montalaybeachresort.com/

Haad Sai Daeng
Coral View Resort
T: (077) 456 058
F: (077) 456 497
http://www.coralview.net

Snorkelling
If you're not keen on diving, snorkelling is still a fantastic -- and much cheaper -- way to explore Ko Tao's aquatic life. Fins, snorkels and masks can be rented from almost anywhere on the island and usually cost 100B per day. Snorkelling trips or you own personal longtail can be booked at your resort. Please be aware that many bays are now banning the use of fins while snorkelling in a move to protect the coral reefs. Remember that these are fragile organism which you shouldn’t touch and certainly not stand on or collect parts for souvenirs.

Ko Tao's best snorkelling is on the isolated east coast, which has a lack of beaches but an abundance of rocks and boulders to use as jumping off points. Ao Tanote, Ao Hin Wong and Ao Leuk and Laem Thian are each home to many types of fish and coral. Sharks can be seen at Haad Thien, Ao Leuk and Haad Sai Daeng, they are harmless and shy, so be quiet and patient. Good snorkelling can also be found in the north at Ao Mango and around the rocky bays of the south and southwest.

Sairee Beach has some good snorkelling but when the tide is low it can be difficult to get out and back in over the reef. If you know what you are looking for you will find a lot of juveniles hiding out among the coral. Boat traffic can be quite busy so keep a keen ear out! The northern end of Mae Haad and out around the headland offers some great snorkelling too. A shallow wreck lies just offshore and makes for an interesting poke around. Strong swimmers can easily reach Ao Jan Som too and be rewarded with clear water and lots of fish.

Last updated: 4th October, 2013


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Read 1 opinions from Travelfish readers

  • Love Koh Tao Diving! 5 stars

    15th September, 2012

    I came to Koh Tao not really planning on diving but decided to try it out anyway. I HIGHLY recommend anyone else who is undecided to just go and do it - you won't regret it!

    Also, if you get a chance to go to Chumphon - take it!

    Diving reviewed by smj10j (1)
    Written on 15th September, 2012, rated 5 out of 5. Visited here in September, 2012

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