DIVE SITES AND MARINE LIFE
IN THE TARUTAO NATIONAL MARINE PARK
The reefs around the Tarutao National Marine Park are some of the last spots left in Thailand to still be flourishing in soft and hard corals. Dive sites like Stonehenge and Koh Taru will amaze you with their gardens of purple and white soft corals and diverse array of marine life.
With over 20 islands and many more submerged pinnacles, Koh Lipe’s National Marine Park has a huge variety of different types of diving. With shallow nursery reefs, dramatic wall dives, and everything in between, Lipe really has something to offer to every type of diver.
DIVE SITES AROUND THE NATIONAL PARK
Sites like Honeycomb Reef and Talang Bay are the perfect spots for beginners to try diving with a PADI Discover Scuba Dive or get their license with the full PADI Open Water Diver Course. Some of the deep pinnacles including Stonehenge, 8 Mile Rock & our local wreck make for an exciting and memorable experience for Certified Divers. Use our interactive map below to check out the locations of our dive sites in red.
In regards to marine life, Koh Lipe has a miscellany of Macro critters including Nudibranchs, Seahorses, Ghost Pipefish, Frogfish & more. When diving in the Tarutao National Marine Park Green Season, there are also high chances of seeing pelagic fauna including Whales, Dolphins, Sharks and Rays.
This is a spectacular diving site and must be considered one of the top scuba spots in Thailand. Stonehenge is located only 7 minutes from Koh Lipe by speedboat and is full of soft Leafy Coral making it a beautiful and vibrant reef.
Generally you will see schools of Barracudas, Trevally & Yellow Snappers. Smaller creatures include Seahorse, Shrimps, Crabs, Nudibranchs and Stonefish. As this site is very exposed, strong currents can be expected, meaning diving here around Full or Black moon, or when there is strong wind, is not usually possible.
This beautiful dive site is located 25 minutes from Koh Lipe by speedboat. Look out from the boat on your journey as Minke Whales are sometimes spotted breaching the surface. Once at the site, you will notice it is teaming with life and full of spectacular hard and soft corals.
Coral Cat Sharks can be found here under the rocks, and Koh Taru is home to a huge school of Yellow Snapper which make for a magnificent sighting.
Koh Yang is the perfect location for diving around full & black moon as it is protected from the current. It is split into two dive sites, east and west, and you can expect to experience a gentle and relaxing trip, drifting along the appropriate site during rising and falling tide.
Both are vibrant and lively, with schooling Snapper, Ornate Ghost Pipefish, Peacock Mantis Shrimp and the odd Hawksbill Turtle.
One of Lipe’s most loved dive sites, as it is suitable for divers of all levels and is simply teeming with life. Talang has a beautiful shallow bay dotted with coral bommies, which is amazing for macro diving and also has beautiful sloping walls for fans of deep and drift diving.
One of our favourite dive sites, Steps, sits off the north-west corner of Talang, and is home to beautiful soft leafy coral gardens, and a few Tigertail Seahorses!
8 MILE ROCK
This is probably Koh Lipe’s most famous dive site and is full of a diverse array of Marine Life. Huge schools of Trevally can be seen hunting along the wall, and chances of being lucky enough to encounter a Whaleshark or Manta Ray are decent.
Located over 8 miles from Koh Lipe. 8 Mile Rock is a deep dive site, so is only suitable for experienced divers. And similarly to Stonehenge, is exposed so diving here around Full or Black Moon. Or when there is strong wind, is usually not possible.
Koh Adang is the large Island to the north of Koh Lipe. And has many different dive sites running parallel to its coastline. The sites mainly consist of shallow reef dives, like Honeycomb Reef and Longbeach. Which are perfect for gentle beginner dives and photography.
But there are also a few deeper drift dives towards the north of the island like The Expressway and Big Rocks. Which make for more thrilling drift dives at at Full and Black moon.
Around Koh Adang you can expect to see a diverse mix of life. From Juvenile Harlequin Sweetlips, Honeycomb Moray Eels and Porcelain Crabs to Hawksbill Turtles and White-spotted Eagle Rays.
The Far Islands are a cluster of small islands at the far north side of the Tarutao National Marine Park. These consist of Koh Sarang, Hin Son, Koh Bulo & Koh Ling.
These dive sites have beautiful wall dives full of coral and marine life. They have a variety of deep pinnacles and shallow reefs. There are higher chances of seeing larger marine life here including rays and sharks.
Koh Sarang is the most southern of the Far Islands. And is an awesome and lively wall drift dive to the west. As you dive around it’s southern corner, the reef turns into a bed of bright pink and purple leafy soft coral gardens. Here you can se the Christmas Tree Pinnacle. So-called for it’s shape and the fact it is ‘decorated’ colourful soft coral fans and tree corals. One of our favourite critters to spot here is the very rare Harlequin Shrimp.
Another one of the Far Islands, this dive site has deep granite boulders full of soft coral. Koh Pung is subject to very strong current so can’t be dived all of the month.
Manta Rays and Whalesharks have been seen here on occasion. And if you are lucky, you will be able to see huge Marbled Sting Rays hiding under the rocks.
This dive site is located on the back of Koh Dong, which is one of the furthest sites from Koh Lipe to dive. Here you can find beautiful soft corals and huge varieties of schooling fish such as Barracuda, Snapper and Trevally. Sail Rock is a small pinnacle, so during Full and Black moon is considered an experienced drift dive.
Koh Kra is located just off Koh Lipe running parallel to Sunrise Beach, in between Koh Kra and Koh Ussen. This site is a shallow reef with depths from 5-20 metres. Koh Kra Reef is great for beginner and advanced divers. With some rather exciting sightings consisting of Frogfish, Squat Shrimp and Bent-Stick Pipefish.
Seven Rocks, more suited to advanced and experienced divers. It begins at 12 metres, and due to it being exposed, can be subject to some pretty strong current! Similarly to Stonehenge, you can expect to see dramatic granite pinnacles covered in soft coral. And a huge array of macro life. Leopard Sharks and Marbled Stingrays have also been spotted here on occasion.
Being one of the dive sites around Koh Lipe’s own coastline. Pattaya Corner is a short 5 min journey by speedboat. Suitable for both beginner and advanced divers. The site starts with a shallow rocky bay, then continues on to become a deep drift dive around huge granite boulders. You can expect to find schooling Barracuda and Snapper. And also Ornate Ghost Pipefish and Seahorses in the soft coral-covered cracks of the rocks.