Diving Guide to Koh Tao

2 May 2024

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Travellers from all across the world come to take their first breaths underwater amid the coral reefs that surround the tropical paradise of Koh Tao. It's easy to see why: the courses are among the world's most affordable, the teaching standards are great, the conditions are easy, the dive locations are many, and it's a wonderful spot to decompress after a day underwater.
The reefs of Koh Tao are widely regarded as being ideal for diver training. The water is warm and, for the most part, clear. In addition, for the majority of the year, the weather is pleasant, visibility is decent, and currents are gentle. As a result, you are able to dive all year.

Dive Sites

If you're a first-time diver taking your Open Water course on Koh Tao, it doesn't matter where you go, you'll have an incredible experience! 



Twins is a popular training dive site for the Open Water course's dives 1 and 2. Twins is located just off the shore of Koh Nang Yuan and, due to its modest depth, is ideal for beginner divers. The family of rare saddleback clownfish within an anemone that you can't miss because it's surrounded by rocks is a highlight here.

White Rock

White Rock is another of Koh Tao's most popular dive locations, typically used during dive 4 of the Open Water course. It's a massive diving location that offers a diverse range of Koh Tao's marine life, including the occasional sea turtle. 



Southwest is a group of pinnacles covered in soft coral anemones and the pink anemonefish that live alongside them. This is an excellent place to see barracuda and large groupers. It's 13 kilometres southwest of Koh Tao, and it's virtually constantly visited by morning boats. It's ideal for everyone from Open Water certified to Advanced, with pinnacle depths ranging from 6 to 27 meters. 


Shark Island 

Shark Island got its name because of its likeness to a dorsal fin, not because of the number of toothy fish. The north side is noted for its coral diversity, while the south side has unusual soft corals that aren't seen anywhere else on Koh Tao. It is located southeast of Koh Tao and is a lesser-visited spot due to its remote location and often difficult circumstances — both current and visibility can be a challenge. 


HTMS Sattakut 

Jenkins' whip rays, huge barracuda, and scores of gobies play hide-and-seek in the rusted crevices of this former US Navy ship, which sank off the coast of Sairee Beach in June 2011. The wreck begins at about 18 meters and ends at 30 meters, so you'll need to be Advanced Open Water certified or perform a Deep Adventure Dive to really appreciate it. You must have or be trained for a crash speciality to penetrate.
One of the HTMS Sattakut's best features is its proximity to neighbouring diving site Hin Pee Wee, which is only 15 meters away. As a result, a spin around the wreck can be followed by a zoom around the coral reef. Hin Pee Wee is home to multiple pinnacles, a resident turtle, and a diverse array of macro life. 



Chumphon is a submerged granite pinnacle surrounded by big schools of trevally, batfish, and barracuda and coated with beautiful sea anemone. Divers who are lucky enough may see big groupers, pompanos, and even whale sharks. This dive spot is best enjoyed by Advanced Open Water pupils due to its depth.
On the morning boats, Chumphon is almost always visited. Because of the distance (11 kilometres from Koh Tao) and the size of the dive site, several schools plan two dives here in a row. 

Sail Rock 

The dive site Sail Rock is regarded as the best in the Gulf of Thailand. Don't overlook "the chimney," a well-known but not-so-secret swim-through, as well as a deeper subsidiary pinnacle east of the main rock. After the two-hour boat voyage from Koh Tao, this granite deep-ocean pinnacle rises 30 meters and breaks the surface.


When to Dive

The ideal months, according to most island divemasters, are April and May since the weather is warm and clear plus the sea is flat. And whale shark sightings have been plentiful in recent years! Additionally, you may plan your trip to coincide with Songkran (Thai New Year) on Koh Tao (mid-April).
Outside of November and December, when winds can be high and the weather can be unpredictable, making boat rides unpleasant and visibility poor, there isn't really a bad season to dive on Koh Tao.



Without lodging, open water courses on Koh Tao cost 11,000 baht (about $350 USD). If lodging is included, it is a very basic fan room — or you can upgrade for a bargain to a nicer one.
Many schools will have a cameraman come along on dives 3 and 4 and capture a 10-20-minute music video-style clip of your day, though this is becoming less popular these days. The students will convene at night to view it. Depending on the video firm, you may be charged a flat amount or based on the number of copies sold, thus you can get one for anywhere between 1,000 and 3,000 baht ($32–97 USD). Some schools now provide still images, which you can purchase as part of a package for roughly 300 baht ($10 USD) for one photo or 1,000 baht ($32 USD) for a set of many.
Many schools have the policy that students cannot bring their own cameras out on Open Water Courses, so don't be alarmed if you're not allowed to bring your GoPro — they're not trying to force you to buy a video or photo package; they're just trying to keep you safe, focused, and avoid damage to reefs and marine life until you've mastered buoyancy.
Fun dives cost roughly 700–1,000 baht ($23–32 USD) per for divers who have already finished their Open Water course, depending on how many dives you plan to do and whether you have your own equipment. Those with limited time and funds should make a point of visiting at least one of Koh Tao's finest dive locations.


You can meet diving instructors from all over the world because there are so many dive shops and so many people seeking to acquire their PADI certificate. Instructors are incredibly encouraging, comforting, and empathetic, while also being quite enthusiastic about diving.
Learning to dive on Koh Tao has an added benefit, especially if you don't speak English fluently. With so many diving instructors around, there's a good chance you'll run into someone who speaks your native tongue, so if language is a concern, ask about it and you'll probably find someone who can help.


Dive Schools Koh Tao

There are so many to choose from that we will list just a selection. If none of these seems to suit you then do your own research and you’ll definitely find the one that does.


Ban’s Diving Resort

Ban's Diving Resort has developed to become one of Koh Tao's largest dive resorts. Ban's is a universe unto itself, with more than 200 rooms, immaculate grounds, five swimming pools, two restaurants, and a beach bar with a clear view of the sunset. PADI dive classes are taught at Ban's Diving Resort in English, Thai, Chinese, German, French, Spanish, and Dutch.


Big Blue Diving

Big Blue Diving Resort first opened its doors in 1991 and has remained a popular diving school on Koh Tao ever since. Big Blue is located directly on the beach in Northern Sairee, a little distance from the bustling centre of Sairee Village but close to various restaurants and bars. Big Blue Diving Resort has it all for people who want to make the most of their vacation. The diving classes and activities available will keep the curious tourist occupied and satisfied.


Simple Life Divers

Simple Life is a well-known diving school that visitors hear about when they come to Koh Tao. On Koh Tao, Simple Life has three locations. Simple Life Resort in Central Sairee has three styles of air-conditioned rooms and a swimming pool. Cliff View, the second location, provides high-end accommodations, including family-sized apartments and a soothing swimming pool. The diving school, Simple Life Divers, is located in the centre of Simple Life.


Assava Dive Resort

Assava Dive Resort is located in Chalok Baan Kao, a small village in the southern section of Koh Tao. This beachfront family-style dive resort has all of the features that vacationers of all types need while looking for a relaxing getaway. Assava is a PADI dive centre that prides itself on providing diving training for all levels of divers, from Discover Scuba Diving and Open Water through PADI Divemaster and Instructor Development Courses.


New Heaven Dive School

New Heaven Dive School is well-known for its conservation and preservation activities and instruction, which are founded on scientific study. You can enrol in one of their marine biologist-led training courses on coral restoration, invertebrate and fish identification. New Heaven is an SSI-affiliated scuba diving school that offers courses ranging from Open Water to professional dive guide training. There are also RAID freediving courses that integrate yoga and breathing practices to improve breathing and awareness approaches.



The Roctopus Dive team in Koh Tao is made up of dive instructors from all over the world who are young, pleasant, and active. They were hand-picked for their passion for the underwater environment as well as their first-rate knowledge and experience teaching people to dive. By organizing a diving package to meet your needs, we can provide personalized lessons for couples, groups, and families.


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First lessons are free of charge.

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