Koh Phangan diving
Koh Phangan was the hangout for backpackers who moved on from Koh Samui when it succumbed to mass tourism. As developers look for the next island to exploit, more Koh Phangan land is being bought up and more luxurious resorts are popping up.
Now is an ideal time to go to Koh Phangan whether you are a budget traveler looking to hang out at the famous full moon parties, or a scuba diver looking to escape the crowds and stay in a nice resort in an unspoiled environment. At present there is still plenty of backpacker accommodation around Haad Rin beach but also some very good value resorts away from the full moon mayhem.
From Koh Phangan divers can access the southern Koh Tao dive sites and Sail Rock. They can also access the Ang Thong marine park. Diving facilities and boats tend to be more basic on Koh Phangan. Boats are converted Thai fishing boats and are rather slow. Cheap dive courses are available on the island. Most people don’t book in advance but just turn up, diving is a very chilled out affair on Koh Phangan.
Marine life is ok if not spectacular, divers are unlikely to see larger pelagics here. Turtles are occasionally seen as are small black tip reef sharks. One advantage of Koh Phangan dive sites is that they are a lot less crowded with divers than Koh Tao.
Koh Phangan Dive Sites
Koh Ma: A small islet just of the north west coast of Koh Phangan, this is a boulder and reef dive site that drops down to 30m. Visibility varies from 5-20 metres, currents are weak. This is the best Koh Phangan dive site with many small schools of fish and some healthy hard corals including brain corals.
Koh Tae Nok: An island off the west coast of Koh Phangan. The northern bay has a small fringing reef that descends down to 25m. This is a colourful dive site when the visibility is ok with barrel sponges, gorgonian sea fans and feather stars mixed in with boulders and hard corals. Parrot fish, puffer fish, wrasse and snapper are seen. Black tip reef sharks are also spotted sometimes. Currents are mild.
Haad Yuan: A dive site around the headland north of Haad Rin beach which is very convenient for local dive centres and is therefore often used for training dives. Visibility is normally low and currents weak. Maximum depth is 12m. Boulder formations break up patches of hard and soft coral. Nudibranchs are numerous as are many species of reef fish. This is also a good snorkeling site.
Koh Kon Rin: This is another convenient dive site just 5 minutes boat ride from Haad Rin beach on the south east tip of the island. Currents can be strong on this boulder dive site. Black tip reef sharks are sometimes spotted here. Moray eels can be found in the rocks.
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