Koh Tao Diving
Koh Tao is the northernmost and smallest in the chain of the three ‘inhabited’ islands in the Samui Archipelago, with an area of 21 sq km. The south and west coastlines are dotted with white sandy beaches: the north and east coasts have a couple of small sandy bays but are predominantly formed by large granite boulders stacked high above the water and rising to fringe the island’s forests.
The island’s single town, Mae Haad, is located on the western coast. There’s a bold selection of restaurants with international and local menus, and a post office, internet services, general provisions shops and a handful of diving centres and credible retail outlets purveying diving equipment and accessories.
Koh Tao Dive Sites
Diving around Koh Tao
The diving around Koh Tao is amongst the best in the Gulf of Thailand with enough variety to satisfy all levels of divers. There are deep shipwrecks, (some only suitable for technical divers) and towering submerged pinnacles, with their craggy rock faces seemingly alive with various hard and soft corals.
These sites are constantly visited by large pelagics. In contrast are dives along gentle sloping coral reefs. These are good places to see many different species of laminate and foliaceous corals and a rich diversity of marine life. There’s a few good snorkelling sites which can be reached off the beach of Nang Yuan island.
Koh Tao is second only to the Great Barrier Reef in the annual number of people who take their PADI Open Water courses there. The dive sites are busy with large numbers of divers and are not recommended for people who like uncrowded dive sites. While Koh Tao is the cheapest place in Thailand to take an Open Water course, it's not the best - Ao Nang is better if a little more expensive, as the dive sites are more interesting, and the number of divers on them lower.
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