Simple Life runs two resorts on Koh Tao, both situated along Sairee Beach.
Offers a wide range, from dorm rooms to beachfront villas at the south end of Sairee Beach.
The dive sites surrounding Koh Tao offer some of the best diving in the Gulf of Thailand. We have 20+ sites within a small area, offering a diverse range of diving including shallow coral reefs, small islands and rocks and isolated deep sea pinnacles and even wreck diving.
Around these Gulf of Thailand dive sites you can witness a massive variety of marine species, from tropical reef fish [triggerfish, butterfly and angelfish], moray eels, stingrays and sea snakes, turtles, big pelagic species and even sharks. Our Koh Tao dive sites even offer a chance to view seasonal whale shark visits and eagle rays!
All our diving is done from our dive boat, with typical journey times of 20-45 minutes.
At Simple Life Divers we make a big effort to rotate around all of the 20+ dives sites around Koh Tao, [weather and diving conditions permitting]. If you spend a few days diving Koh Tao with Simple Life Resort, you’ll be sure to get to enjoy all the best Koh Tao dive sites.
Let’s take a look at Koh Tao’s most popular diving sites:
N.B. Also don’t miss out map of Koh Tao dive sites.
Koh Tao has a number of sunken pinnacles surrounding the island, which give are a great opportunity for deep diving and seeing some of the Gulf of Thailand’s largest aquatic life. Here’s a run down of the most popular:
Approximately 12 km northwest of Koh Tao, Chumphon pinnacle is one of the most famous Koh Tao dive sites.
The dive site comprises one huge main pinnacle rising from the bottom at 35m to within 14m of the surface, with smaller deeper rock formations scattered off the main pinnacle. The Chumphon Pinnacle often has excellent visibility, with either a deep thermo cline at around 25 – 30 metres, or on some days crystal clear to the bottom.
On this Koh Tao dive site you will come across huge Schools of Batfish, Fusiliers, Rabbit fish and barracuda. Plus you can see Koh Tao’s largest marine life including Black tip reef sharks, Bull sharks, Giant Groupers and the majestic Whale Shark! Simple life divers runs afternoon trips out to the pinnacles every other afternoon; this Koh Tao dive site is not to be missed!
The South West Pinnacles dive site is regarded as one of the premier Gulf of Thailand dive sites. From a maximum depth of 30M one maine pinnacle extends up to within 5M of the surface, carpeted with magnificent anemones. Surrounding the main pinnacle are many smaller peripheral rock formations extending outwards.
With it’s abundant corals and large sea fans, schools of giant barracuda’s and the occasional Whale shark visits, Koh Tao’s Southwest Pinnacle dive site is well worth the visit.
There’s also a ‘secret pinnacle’ someway off the main formation.
Koh Tao isn’t the only island in this region of the Gulf of Thailand. Several other small islands nearby also offer exciting scuba diving locations.
A short boat ride south of Koh Tao will bring you to the Shark Island Koh Tao dive site, which has a great diversity of marine life. Rising from 30m and breaching the surface the tiny island is uninhabited.
Unlike many of Koh Tao’s dive sites, Shark Island is in an exposed position south of ‘Turtle Island’, with only a small rock rising above the surface. This means currents can be strong in the shallow water around Shark Island. That’s good for coral growth but means we have to choose the right time to dive Shark Island.
Due to the currents, sea fans and whip corals abundant. Leopard sharks and turtles are occasionally seen around Shark Island, plus many of the common blue spotted sting ray, scribbled filefish and the titan triggerfish.
Sail rock is situated half way between Koh Tao and Koh Phangan. It is a very small island with vertical walls which extend from above the surface to about 25 metres where they meet the sandy bottom.
Rated as one of the best Gulf of Thailand dive sites, Sail Rock has a vertical chimney swim through that starts at 18m up to 6m. All kinds of marine life is found here including the Whale shark, king mackerel, Kingfish and tuna; all the large pelagics.
For seasoned certified divers, there’s a second hidden pinnacle, which starts deep and rises up to about 15m; this is about a 50 metres swim from the main Rock. Since most diving is focused around the main rock, the abundance of marine life and quality of coral around the second pinnacle is staggering, and well worth the swim.
Sail rock trips only happen once a week, We have access to use a high speed RIB, Which cuts the travel time down to 30 minutes each way (rather than around two hours by big dive boat). This trip is only be booked at least three days in advance as there is a limit of 6 fun divers per trip.
Koh Tao is a surrounded by coral reefs, plus there’s also the famous Nangyuan island group sitting just off Koh Tao. Three small islands, joined by a sand bar, spectacular both above and below the water. Here are some of our most popular shallow dive sites close to the island:
With the depth ranging from 25m to 5m, White rock is an easy Koh Tao dive site suited to all levels of diver. Home to lots of marine life, you can see White eyed moray eels, Blue spotted rays, Barracuda and the famous ‘Trevor the trigger fish’ who may well extend his usual friendly greeting (you’ve been warned).
Night dives are normally run at White rock due to the variety of nocturnal marine life activity. The highlight is to see great and chevron barracuda hunting, plus you can see stingrays feeding and parrot and rabbit fish everywhere!
With perfect depths to enjoy long dives and masses of marine life, White Rock is one of the most popular Gulf of Thailand dive sites.
Laem Thien is a granite rock cape, with lots of giant scattered boulders forming a maze of swim throughs and small caves. A great dive for photographers with angel fish, sweet lips, yellowtail barracuda and hawksbill turtles.
Below the caves, the contour of the island slides away, with whip coral gardens at depth. Experienced divers can swim all the way down to 35-40M.
The Laem Thian Koh Tao diving site is situated on the eastern side of of the island, so when we dive Laem Thien we take a round the island trip in one afternoon! You get to check out pristine scenery on Koh Tao’s largely untouched North and Eastern coastline.
One of the shallower and prettier of the Gulf of Thailand dive sites, Twins is located at Koh Nang Yuan, where you can see an amazing range of marine life in a small area.
It’s name is due to two groups of granite rocks covered in corals and sponges, divided by clear sandy patches and a beautiful coral garden. Take a look at Clownfish, Stingrays, Morays, Pipefish, Cleaner wrasse and many more.
Twins is a classic Koh Tao dive site for both PADI dive courses and certified divers – maximum depth of 18M, generally easy diving conditions and lots to see.
A maze of swim throughs, caverns, and small caves have been created by the huge granite boulders that dot the shoreline of Koh Tao and neighboring Koh Nangyuan.
One of the most popular Koh Tao dive sites on the edge of Koh Nang Yuan, Green Rock is home to both the yellow margin and the titan triggerfish, which nest in the sand north of the dive site.
We usually visit the Nangyuan Pinnacle dive site as a one-way drop off dive which ends by swimming south to meet the boat at the Japanese Gardens site.
We swim along the edge of Koh Nangyuan for about one hour, at a shallow average depth of about 10M. Highlights include the main pinnacle and a great cavern swim-through that winds it’s way amongst the boulders at about 12M. The whole side of the island is lined with hard corals, leading us south towards the Japanese Gardens dive site.
The PADI Undersea Journal recently rated the Nang Yuan Pinnacle [also called Red Rock] in the top 10 Gulf of Thailand dive sites.
Hard and soft corals cover a table top rock formation in one of the best and least dived of Koh Tao’s dive sites. Hawksbill turtles, snappers, porcupine puffer fish and juvenile boxfish are all to found here.
The Hin Wong Pinnacle can suffer some currents and is relatively deep, averaging around 18m but dropping off to 40m at its deepest.
Hin Wong Pinnacle makes a nice two dive combination with either Laem Thian or Shark Island during one of our round the island afternoon two dive trips.
Named after one of the long teem Thai residents of Koh Tao (Mr. Pi Wee), the Hin Pee Wee dive site is situated about 200 meters south of white rock. Hin Pee Wee is one of the deeper Koh Tao dive sites used more for advanced divers. The main pinnacle starts at 7 meters and drops down to about 24 meters.
You can spot large puffer fish, porcupine fish and under the crevices you should find some Jenkins whip rays, white eyed moray eels and blue spotted sting rays waiting for their picture to be taken.
Plus Koh Tao has a number of sheltered shallow bays which are perfect for training dives.
Probably one of the most picturesque of Gulf of Thailand dive sites above water, Japanese Gardens is situated between the three small islands of Koh Nangyuan. Used more for training dives than ‘Fun Diving’ this Koh Tao dive site still produces some really nice dives due to the visibility being good.
It is quite a sheltered bay, with vast array of tropical fish including trigger fish, banner fish, and schools of jacks. During 2010 we’ve even been enjoying some juvenile eagle rays around the dive site.
Another new addition is a small wooden wreck which has sunk slightly off the coral coverage, in about 17M of water.
With average depths of around 10 meters and maximum of no more than 18 meters, you can enjoy nice long dives at Japanese gardens.
This is one of the best Koh Tao dive sites for PADI courses and snorkelers. The giant bay is quite shallow ranging from 5 meters to 15 meters, and there is a tiny beach which leads to a resort and restaurant for any snorkelers that would like to take a break from the boat.
The water at Mango bay is usually a beautiful aquamarine color and the above water scenery is stunning. No stay on koh tao is complete without a boat trip to Mango Bay.
Underwater the center of the bay is covered with large areas of stag horn coral, whilst the east and west fringes of Mango bay are lined with giant hard coral heads.
Aow Leuk which translates as deep bay, is an ideal training site off the east coast of Koh Tao.
A sandy beach provides a perfect area for shallow water skills, then the bottom slopes down into the bay which is perfect for exploring and perfecting buoyancy control.
Malcolm M | UK
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Adam | Canada
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