Koh Samui is part of the 600 island strong Chumphon Archipelago that also includes Ang Thong Marine Park, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao.While Koh Samui does have some shore dives they are certainly not what they would have been 20 years ago and overhead boat and jet ski traffic is an issue. Dive centres on Koh Samui will, on the whole, take you to the dive sites around Koh Phangan and Koh Tao. Clearly staying on Koh Tao itself would entail shorter journeys to its dive sites. However, if diving every day is not your holiday priority and you prefer Koh Samui as your base, then you get the best of both worlds. Dive trips leave Koh Samui around 9 am returning around 3 pm, having made two dives. One silver lining is that Sail Rock, which is one of the premier sites in the gulf, lies closer to Koh Phangan and, therefore, closer to Koh Samui than it does to Koh Tao.
Koh Samui Sea Life
Whale sharks frequent the deeper open ocean sites like Sail Rock, Southwest and Chumphon Pinnacle. You can expect to see jackfish, fusiliers, barracuda as well as curious batfish, colourful butterfly, angel and parrotfish. Turtles, while not a daily occurrence aren’t rare either. Expect hawksbill and green turtles. Macro lovers will enjoy pipefish and a variety of nudibranch and shrimp too.
How To Get There
Most visitors arrive at Koh Samui Airport, which is quite possibly the quaintest tropical airport in the world. High-speed ferries connect Koh Samui to the mainland and its closest neighbours of Koh Phangan and Koh Tao.