Local Dive Sites – Northwest Koh Phangan

The waters and coral reefs around Koh Phangan offer better scuba diving and snorkelling in Thailand than most people know: an extensive range of hard corals with a good range of tropical and pelagic fish. They are generally shallower, shelving dive sites; good for beginners Padi courses and Discover Scuba Diving. We’re looking at long slow scuba dives and easy snorkelling.

Pickhandle Barracuda at Mae Haad Reef, Koh PhanganMs Kim Scuba Diving at Mae Haad ReefHard Coral Colours at Koh Phangan local dive siteRabbitfish school at Mae Haad Reef, Koh Phangan

Features of our local dive sites are a surprising variety of hard corals plus a nice cross section of tropical reef fish. The main structure of the reefs is hump coral (porites species), offering shelter to various different staghorn and table corals, plate and leaf corals, some extensive anemone corals, large brain corals (etc etc!) plus sea fans and soft corals in the deeper places.

Blue spotted Stingray in the sand at Mae Haad ReefBeaked Coralfish at Koh Phangan local dive siteKoh Phangan Angelfish from Chaloklum Diving SchoolGlossodoris atromarginata at Kong Yai, Koh Phangan

Local diving trips should introduce you to a variety of damselfish, butterflyfish, groupers (some of a fair size!), rabbitfish, goatfish, wrasse and parrot fish, snapper and anemonefish. We often also find special beasties such as stingray, porcelain crabs, dragonet, reef cuttlefish and a variety of nudibranch.

Tomato Wrasse at Mae Haad reef, Koh PhanganSurf Parrotfish cruising at Mae Haad Reef, Koh PhanganSaddleback Anemonefish at Koh Phangan dive siteResident brown marbled Grouper at Mae Haad Reef

Local Sites that we like to dive include:

  • Koh Ma: a steeply shelving island off the Northwest corner of Koh Phangan with interesting scenery and hard coral, particularly nice soft and whip corals at depth. Schooling fish, bannerfish and big grouper, plus the hunters; especially barracuda and queenfish when there’s some current running. With longtail boat it’s possible to dive around the island; a nice one! Max. depth ~24m.
  • Mae Haad, Haad Salat and Haad Yao Reefs on the West coast offer long relaxed coral reef scuba dives with a nice range of hard corals and a good variety of typical reef fish. Max depth ~14m. Laem Chua and Laem Tian offer more mixed dives: start on coral reef, but then drift around the shelving point with rocky scenery, to finish on the reef in the next bay. Max depth up to 18m.
  • Rock Point (Kong Yai/Koh Kong) is a miniature Sail Rock, on the East tip of Chaloklum Bay just 5 minutes from the dive shop by longtail boat. Small walls, swim-throughs and scenery, plus lots of fish. A seasonal site due to varying visibility. Max depth to 20+m.
  • Further local sites we visit include Ao Tong Lang, Koh Kong Kliang and Koh Tae Nok; variable visibility makes them more seasonal, but great when it’s OK, and there are still more to explore…

View of Kong Yai from the back of the dive school.Koh Phangan local dive sites mapKoh Ma and the North end of Mae Haad ReefUnderwater view from Koh Ma, Koh Phangan
Please note that all the photo’s used on this page were actually taken Scuba diving from Koh Phangan; check out our “Marine Life Directory” page if you want to see more.

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