Koh Pha-Ngan has lovely sites around the island which are perfect for both beginners and trained divers. From easy dives off the beach to longer trips by boat you can experience the world of tropical diving. All of the dive sites directly around Koh Pha-Ngan are situated on the south west, west and north coasts of the island, with the highest concentration of sites being in the west.
The waters around Koh Pha-Ngan are much nicer than most people know: fine hard corals with a good range of reefs and tropical/pelagic fish.
During local dives you are likely to see a surprising variety of hard corals & a healthy cross section of reef & pelagic fish. The main structure of the reefs is hump coral (porites sp.), offering shelter to several different staghorn & table corals, plate & leaf corals, some extensive anemone corals, large brain corals (etc etc!) plus filter & soft corals on the deeper sites.
Every dive should introduce you to a variety of damselfish, angelfish, groupers (some of a fair size!), goatfish, wrasse & parrotfish, snapper & anemonefish to name but a few. You can also find stingray, big schooling barracuda, cuttlefish, tuna & hunting mackerel for example.
Most dive schools run daily trips to dive sites around Koh Pha-Ngan and to the premier dive sites in the Gulf of Siam like, Angthong Marine National Park, Sailrock & Koh Tao!
The Dive Sites
The Gulf of Thailand is sheltered from the Pacific ocean in part by the South China sea and that protection gives the Gulf a number of high quality dive sites which can be dived all year round. As all the dive sites are near to Koh Phangan our divers benefit from shorter boat rides and being first at the site. Pelagic fish such as whale sharks are frequent visitors.
Koh Phangan’s west coast offers a large range of dive sites and marine life. The dive sites are used much less frequently than some of the neighbouring Koh Tao sites and offer healthier coral reefs. There is something for everyone. If you are a beginner or have not been in the water for a while there are protected shallow reefs and if you have a bit more experience the world famous Sailrock or Southwest Pinnacle are just around the corner.
Koh Phangan also exclusively offers sunset and night diving at Sailrock!
KOH PHANGAN WEST COAST
The west coast of Ko Pangan offers the best diving in the area with some hard coral reefs at depths up to 20 meters. The most famous dive site Koh Maa, located in the north of Koh Phangan, is an island connected by a sand bank to Mae Haad Beach.
Around Koh Phangan there are also some islets like Koh Tae Nok, Koh Tae Nai and Kong Yai, which offer small walls, soft and filtered corals and large schools of fish. At our beautiful ‘House Reef’ at Haad Yao Beach you can do relaxed beach dives everytime. From sunrise to midnight! Right in front of your bungalow.
Koh Phangan West Coast – HAAD YAO
One of the healthiest reefs on the west coast of Koh Phangan, stretching the whole length of this beautiful beach. Excellent shallow beach dives, offer great conditions for diver training and snorkelling, with an abundance of colourful corals including table corals, barrel sponges and brain corals. Also a good variety of marine life can be seen here including blue spotted rays, porcupine fish, parrot fish, squirrel fish and fusiliers. All accessible from the beach.
Koh Phangan West Coast – KOH MA
One of the most interesting dive locations on Koh Phangan. This small island which is adjoined to Mae Haad beach by a sand bar offers two great dive sites with an array of corals and reef fish for snorkellers and divers alike. A diverse range of marine life such as groupers, fusiliers, angel and butterfly fish can be found idling between spectacular brain corals, table corals and anemones. Look a little closer and you’ll find cuttlefish, shrimp and nudibranchs. Accessible from the beach with sandy bottom makes this an ideal site for both novice and advanced divers.
Koh Phangan West Coast – HAAD SALAD
This quiet bay has a reef stretching around the bay with a sandy areas’s at the southern end which is ideal for shallow diving and snorkelling. Many varying size of brain and table corals are found here with many colourful angel and butterfly fish swimming amongst the smaller schools of parrotfish and damsels. This dive site is one of our favourite spots.
Koh Phangan West Coast – KONG NUI
Kong Nui is a little rock landscape under water south of Haad Yao. It’s just 15 minutes by longtailboat. Famous place for all kinds of soft corals
Special: Sea Fans, Scorpion Fish
Depth: 16 m
Koh Phangan West Coast – KONG YAI
Close to Kong Nui. It’s a small rocky island and a preferred place of the islands fishermen because of the richness of fish. But that makes it a great dive site as well!
Special: schools of barracudas and snappers, valley, swim throughs
Depth: 18 m
Koh Phangan West Coast – HAAD CHAO PHAO
Very close divesite to Haad Yao beach. Offers all kind of coral fish, many blue spotted stingrays and nudibranches.
Special: soft coral field
Depth: 12 m
Located in the northwest of Koh Phangan, Southwest Pinnacle is one of the most beautiful dive sites in the Gulf of Thailand. Once you arrive at the site, there is only a mooring buoy to see at the surface, but descending at the line you will soon discover how stunning this place is.
Widespread granite boulders with canyons in between and lots of crevices offer a lot of possibilities for all kind of marine life to hide – so take a good look and you will find moray eels and scorpion fish! Descending down to a depth of 25 m there are amazing sea fans and you might have the chance to see a gracious leopard shark resting on the ground.
On almost every dive there are giant barracudas and big groupers around. Also, the nosy bat fish might come close to you to have a look what kind of creature’s hides behind that strange diving gear. Ascending slowly around the pinnacles you will find millions of sea anemones with brave little clown fish inside – maybe you will find Nemo here!
Heading up to the north west of Koh Tao Island, you will reach this spectacular dive site. At the surface you will only see the two mooring buoys, but below starting at about 12 to 14 m in depth you will discover four big granite pinnacles covered in sea anemones and hard corals.
With a maximum depth of 40 m and its remote location Chumphon Pinnacle is a fantastic place to spot black tip reef sharks, schools of giant barracuda and giant groupers hiding between the pinnacles. When it is your lucky day, you might also happen across a whale shark – one of our planets most amazing creatures. But not only the big fish will catch your eye here – there are also big schools of bat fish around and of course moray eels, scorpion fish and many other tropical pelagic.
Chumphon Pinnacle is a perfect dive site for the more experienced diver – it is required that you are certified to an advanced diver level. If you are interested in a Deep Diver Specialty training you should of course visit this stunning place.
The island offers many reefs from about 5 to 20 meters depth.. Common fish around the islands are barracudas, sting rays, spanish mackerel, filefish, coral shrimpfish, batfish, trevallies and the infamous Koh Tao trigger fish.
The sparsely populated east coast offers a range of unusual sites. Light House, a favourite place for Turtle spotting, Hin Wong Pinnacle with its stunning blue soft corals at 26m, Laem Thian for exploring a series of connected swimthroughs and canyons, Ao Leuk with cornfield-like areas of Whip Corals and Shark Island with it’s stunning soft corals. These sites also offer Unicorn Surgeon fish, Parrot fish and the occasional passing Black Tip Reef Shark. On a clear day, divers on the surface can even spot Koh Phangan.
Undoubtedly the most famous dive site in the Gulf of Thailand. Located between Koh Phangan and Koh Tao, all the wonders of this exciting site can be explored by all levels of divers. This spectacular rock rises out of the water creating the best wall dive with a maximum depth of 40 meters.
The wall is covered in soft sponges along with many oysters and clams. Many small holes make it a perfect habit for white-eyed and yellowmargin moray eels. Large schools of tuna, jacks, travellies and barracudas are common here on all dives. Sometimes you can even watch the famous triggerfish.
The site is best known for it’s naturally formed “chimney” where you can enter at 18 meters and exit at 8 meters.
Whalesharks are occasional visitors to the site!
ANG THONG NATIONAL MARINE PARK
Angthong, an archipelago of more than fifty islands is located 35 km west of Koh Phangan. The divesite is known for the beauty of its hard- and soft corals and its variety of exciting marinelife. The conditions of the corals are the best in the whole Gulf.
The two most popular dive spots are at Koh Wao and Hin Yippon where you can enter shallow caves and swimthroughs. Soft and black corals are plentiful and you may spot banded sea snakes and turtles here. It is also one of the few places where, if you’re lucky, you may see a seasonal Minke Whale.
The visibility can be reduced in the monsoon season but it’s still worth to experience the fascinating underwater caves, swim-throughs and passages. This site offers relaxed diving, ideal not just for beginners but also for the more experienced diver, additionally it’s fantastic for snorkelers.