Print this page

Sail Rock - Koh Tao and Koh Phangan's Premier Divesite

16 Jan 2018 ="post-tag" > Written by  ="post-tag" >
Sail Rock Koh Phangan Koh Tao Scuba diving Dive Thailand


The 'Rock Star' divesite of the Gulf of Thailand, Sail Rock is renowned for being the best dive site in all of the Gulf of Thailand. It's just a gentle cruise from Koh Tao, and a site which we only visit on our world-famous Full Day Trips. Every scuba diver that visits our piece of paradise should visit this site at least once, it's really that good!

With no other dive site for miles around all of the larger species in the area are attracted towards this site, making it by far the best place to see whalesharks and the other big stuff that hangs around our sites - last year there were at least 102 whalesharks sightings here, the most ever seen in the history of Koh Tao/Koh Phangnan diving! Once home to bullsharks that we hope will soon return to us (damn you over-fishing!) it's covered in pelagics - schools of chevron and pickhandle barracuda, batfish, queenfish and fusiliers...and not just the 20-30 we're used to seeing closer to Koh Tao, each school usually containing hundreds! The edges of the site are usually home to prowling King Mackerel over a metre long and huge, fat grouper lurking at depth, which are always looking to feed on the smaller fish that blanket the dive site - an incredible sight when you see them zooming through the ocean to pick off the stragglers at the edges of the schools of fusiliers, often working together with the rocketship of our dive sites, the super-fast queenfish!


My favourite part of this wonderful site isn't the main pinnacle (which can be seen jutting out of the ocean like a large pimple) but what is commonly known as the 'Secret Pinnacle', a two minute swim from the main site. The top of the secret pinnacle is at around 18 metres depth, making it a little deep for the Open Water divers (but still possible!) it's literally swarming with marine life. There's no better place to watch the ocean's residents in action, everything living on this submerged granite pinnacle is chasing each other, trying to eat the smaller things, hiding in the corals to escape predators - it's like actually being inside one of those phenomenal Blue Planet documentaries! It's also the part of the dive site where we've seen more whalesharks than anywhere else, so you can understand why we love to spend the majority of our dive there!

When you start to tire of the marine life that's surrounding you (the Divemasters often return from these trips with a stiff neck, there's so much to see) we usually then head to a quite unique feature on this amazing site - 'The Chimney'. A vertical swim-through which starts just 6 metres from the surface and ends at a depth of 17 metres, it's home to a few types of shrimp but personally I personally believe the only way to enjoy it properly is to do one of those beautiful, head down descents where it feels like you're skydiving, surrounded by the granite with beautiful 'cathedral beams' of light filling the swim-through, then zooming out (don't forget to equalise fast!) straight into one of the batfish cleaner stations, where it's usually possible to see the colours of the fish totally disappear into a bizarre white version of itself as it's being seen to by the cleaner wrasse, the colours then returning as when it moves away!

Sail Rock is located 1 hour from Koh Phangan, 90 minutes from Koh Samui and 2 hours from Koh Tao. For your chance to dive this premier site you'll need just an Open Water license, and to book with us at least the day before the scheduled trip.


Rate this item
(0 votes)
Read 1113 times

Latest from Steven Develter