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Gulf of Thailand

Dive Map Gulf Islands Sail RockSouth West PinnacleKo Yippon Ko Nuang YuangChumpon PinnacleKo Wao
In the Gulf of Thailand on the country's east coast are three of Thailand's most popular & iconic islands - Ko Samui, Ko Phangan & Ko Tao.

Ko Tao is Thailand's original island dive spot and now the most popular place in the country to learn to dive. To the west of the main islands, the beautiful Angthong Marine Park also has nice diving.

The area is known for its pretty reefs which are ideal for beginners, plus some deeper pinnacles with the chance of big fish encounters for more advanced divers.
White-eyed Moray Diver Batfish Blue Spotted Ray Dive Map Gulf Islands
 
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Whaleshark One of the most famous sites in the area is Chumpon Pinnacle. This underwater seamount, which lies to the west of Ko Tao starts around 14m and descends down to 36m. The pinnacle, attracts no shortage of pelagic action with large schools of Trevally & Barracuda congregating around the reef, plus fairly regular shark sightings. Whalesharks are also occasional visitors to this excellent dive site.

Sail Rock, sometimes known as Hin Bai, jostles with Chumpon for the title of the Gulf's best dive site. The pinnacle begins above water and drops down to around 30m. A large school of Batfish often hover in the shallows, while in the blue big fish encounters are common. Barracuda, Trevally & large Groupers are all seen here and Whalesharks are known to pass by. The site also has an interesting underwater passage known as 'The Chimney', starting at 18m and rising almost vertically to around 12m.

Due south of Ko Tao, Southwest Pinnacle is actually a series of pinnacles rising up from around 30m. This is another site for larger marine life, with Barracuda & Trevally often seen.

Just a short boat ride from Ko Tao, Ko Nang Yuan offers a wide range of easy & enjoyable dives, with shallow coral gardens & interesting rock-formations, making this a great spot to learn to dive. White Rock is also a popular dive site, despite the attentions of overly zealous Triggerfish, while Hin Thong Koo, Mango Bay & Whale Rock offer more options. Blacktip Reef Sharks are relatively common around Ko Tao and can be encountered at many sites.

Angthong Marine Park to the south has beautiful islands & dive sites that are great for beginners. Ko Wao & Ko Yippon are the most popular spots. Banded Sea Kraits are often seen here, while Turtles are more commonly encountered than at sites further north.

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The vast majority of people who dive Ko Tao base themselves on the island, but it is also possible to make trips to the area's top dive sites from the larger islands of Ko Pha-Ngan & Ko Samui to the south.

Due to the proximity of many of the dive sites in the area, it is possible to dive around Ko Tao all year round. The best conditions are normally between May & August. Out of season, the visibility can drop significantly.


  • Ko Tao
  • Ko Samui
  • Ko Pha Ngan

Dive Map Ko TaoDirectory Find Dive Centres in Ko Tao

Ko Tao, situated 60km north of Ko Pha-Ngan and 80km off the mainland is Thailand’s quintessential diving island. The island is beautiful & charming, with palm-fringed beaches & an interesting landscape.

Dive Phuket  Dive
Dive facilities on the island are excellent. There are many dive shops and even some dive resorts, offering accommodation as well as diving. All of the sites around Ko Tao, including Chumpon Pinnacle, are visited daily, with some sites just 15 minutes away. It is a very popular place to learn to dive.

Stay Phuket  Stay
There is plenty of accommodation options on the island. If you are doing a course or a diving package of a few days, the best option may be to stay and dive with one of the dive resorts on the island. Relatively simple, but comfortable bungalows are the norm here, with many budget options costing just a few dollars per night.

Travel Phuket  Travel
The easiest way to reach Ko Tao is via Ko Samui, which has its own airport. Samui connects with many spots in Thailand, most noteably Bangkok, the capital. There are also international connections to Malaysia, Singapore & Hong Kong.

From Samui, you can take a boat to Ko Tao via Ko Pha Ngan, either by speedboat or slowboat. Ferries also leave from Surat Thani and Chumpon on the mainland to the west.

Do Phuket  Do
Away from the reefs, there are plenty of beautiful beaches to visit and the nightlife is good, with many nice restaurants and bars.

Dive Map Ko SamuiDirectory Find Dive Centres in Ko Samui

Ko Samui is the largest & most southerly of the three Gulf islands. It is the furthest island from the area's best dive sites, but is the most convenient to reach and has the best facilities for tourists.

Dive Phuket  Dive
There are many well-established dive centres on Samui, offering a wide range of courses plus fun-diving trips to the Gulf's best dive spots. Most trips are done by speedboat.

Stay Phuket  Stay
The island has a wide range of accommodation, from simple bamboo huts on the beach to international class hotels. Most accommodation is on or near the island's many white sand beaches.

Travel Phuket  Travel
Ko Samui has its own airport with connections to many spots in Thailand, most noteably Bangkok, the capital. There are international connections to Malaysia, Singapore & Hong Kong.

It is also possible to reach the island by boat from Surat Thani or Chumpon on the mainland and the island is well connected to Ko Phangan & Ko Tao to the north.

Do Phuket  Do
Ko Samui is one of Thailand's premier tourist destinations with a wealth of activities on offer including sailing, kayaking, golf, thai-boxing, shopping, bungy-jumping & even a zoo. The lovely beaches are where many visitors spend a lot of their time, while the nightlife can be very lively.

Dive Map Ko Pha NganDirectory Find Dive Centres in Ko Pha Ngan

Ko Pha Ngan lies between Ka Samui & Ko Tao in the Gulf of Thailand. It is larger then Ko Tao and much less developed than Ko Samui. It has incredible beaches and is the home of the original Full Moon Party.

Dive Phuket  Dive
There are quite a few dive centres on the island, mainly around Haad Rin, the island's main town. Dive courses are popular and daily trips are made to nearby dive sites, including those around Ko Tao a little to the north.

Stay Phuket  Stay
There is a good amount of accommodation on the island, although without the range on offer in Ko Samui. Most of the accommodation is small bungalows by the beach. Around the Full Moon Party each month, accommodation tends to be hard to come by so it is best to book in advance.

Travel Phuket  Travel
Ko Pha Ngan is usually reached from Ko Samui by boat, with at least three boats each day. Ko Samui has an airport with numerous domestic flights, plus international connections to Malaysia, Singapore & Hong Kong.

The island can also be reached by ferry from Surat Thani on the mainland and Ko Tao to the north.

Do Phuket  Do
Most visitors spend their time either relaxing on the beach or exploring the island. Haad Rin, the island's main town has lively nightlife. Day trips to Angthong Marine Park are also popular.

 
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