For lovers of the ocean and especially its depths, one of the best places to dive is Koh Tao. It is an island where there are more than 90 schools for visitors to learn this activity and fully enjoy the sea.
Koh Tao or “turtle” island is part of the Chumphon archipelago which is located in the Gulf of Thailand. The islands of Koh Samui, Koh Nang Yuan and Koh Phangan complete the group.
Why go diving in Koh Tao?
Covering an area of 21 square kilometers of wooded landscape, typical of tropical latitudes, the charm of the island is completed by the immeasurable beauty of the underwater bed.
The diving spots in Koh Tao are spectacular and will give you the opportunity to know the marine biodiversity of the site that includes coral reefs, a great variety of tropical fish, fearsome sharks and giant manta rays.
If you have a pending account regarding learning diving, this is the perfect place to do it!
In the schools they will teach you this discipline through professional instructors who will take you to discover the fascinating underwater world. Also, you can make the certificate open-water, and in case you fall in love with the sea and want to learn more, you can get certified at an advanced level. If you are determined on this adventure, follow these recommendations to have the best experience
In the sea there is no past, present or future, only peace. Jacques Cousteau
Tips for diving in Koh Tao
To take your diving course you have to take into account some important things:
1. Apprenticeship and certification systems: PADI or SSI
When you are still at home, you have to choose which diving certification you are going to apply for and make your reservations at the school that offers it. Both systems have applications and sites where you can internalize yourself to make a decision.
The two systems are good, but they have small differences in terms of course planning and the requirements to issue the different certificates:
PADI – Professional Association of Diving Instructor
- Open Water Diver
- Advanced Open Water
- Specialties (rescue, deep diving, etc)
- Rescue Diver Course
- Master Scuba Diver (non-professional recreational diving)
SSI – Scuba Schools International
- Open Water Diver
- Advanced Adventurer
- Advanced Open Water
- Master Diver
- Century Diver (100 dives)
- Silver 300 Diver (300 dives)
- Gold Diver (500 dives)
2. Initiation for beginners
In the event that it is your first time diving, make sure that the first dives whether in a pool or in shallow water. This will allow you to get used to the equipment, how to handle it underwater and how to move with it properly in a calm water environment.
3. Small groups
The rise of diving in Koh Tao has led to the explosion of schools and the increase in the number of students, since here the courses to be able to get the certification are much cheaper than in Europe.
This is not good because when schools have too many students, they form groups with only one instructor. If you are a beginner keep in mind that the ideal is that they are from 3 to 5 students. This way you will feel safer.
4. Previous health situations
Check with the instructors in case you have any previous health problems. There are some pathologies that are contraindicated for diving.
5. Take out insurance
Although with proper instruction and accompaniment the dangers are almost nil, it is convenient that take out insurance prior to your trip, that covers the diving activity.
6. Choose an instruction in your language
To dive in Koh Tao, part of the course is theoretical, so try to find a school that teaches in your language. Keep in mind that the terminologies are very specific and that they include safety maneuvers, so It is very important that you fully understand the explanations.
7. Try to go diving in winter
Although the activity can be done all year round, the months from January to April are the best for diving. Avoid the monsoon season – from May to September – when the rains increase and the water offers less visibility.
8. Best spots for diving in Koh Tao
- Chumphon Pinnacle: a site far from the coast and with excellent visibility, where you can reach depths of up to 45 meters. Here you will see groupers, anemones and huge schools of colorful fish.
- Sail Rock: a point 2 hours away from the coast, so few schools take you there. In this place you can see sharks!
- Japanese garden: a dive to 18 meters ideal for beginners and to observe corals, angelfish and blue spotted rays, among others.
- twinpeaks: an area of the bottom of the sea with two pinnacles covered with corals and marine sponges among which specimens of angelfish, moray eels and spotted rays swim.
How to get to Koh Tao Island?
If you are in Bangkok, the combinations are as follows:
- Flight to Koh Samui + Ferry
- Bus to Chumphon + boat
- Train to Krabi + ferry
- Flight to Suratthani + catamaran
Once you arrive on the island, you will be enchanted by its landscapes: endless beaches, forests and crystal clear waters. But what awaits you is under the sea. Get ready from the first day to enjoy diving in Koh Tao, a unique sensory experience!