Sail Rock Dive Site Koh Tao
Learn about Sail Rock Dive Site Koh Tao
- Location: 12km north west of Koh Tao
- Depth: Max 40m
- Type of site: Large Granite main pinnacle with smaller clusters off the south west and north side.
- Level: Open Water diver
- Conditions: Off shore so when windy can be wavy with a current.
- Average Visibility: 10-40 metres
Premier dive site in the Gulf of Thailand – Sail Rock
Hin Bai or Sail Rock in English is generally regarded by scuba divers on its day, as being the best dive site in the Gulf of Thailand.
Located between Koh Tao and Koh Phangan, Sail Rock is approximately just over a 1-hour boat ride away and is organized as a day trip from Koh Tao.
Usually consisting of two dives with lunch included, the trip takes around 6 hours from departure to your return at the dive shop.
Huge Granite Rocks
A huge grey slab of granite rock, Sail Rock rises approximately 10 meters out of the turquoise blue water and reaches down under the water to below 20 meters.
The sea floor continues to slope away and gets deeper reaching out to smaller outer lying rock pinnacles off the south, east and west sides of the main rock.
If you head north the bottom contour is more pronounced and if you follow the sandy bottom you can easily find a depth of 40 metres.
Sail Rock provides the best wall dive in the Gulf of Thailand and boasts a hollow channel called The Chimney inside the rock, so a scuba diver can swim downward vertically.
The Chimney at Sail Rock Dive Site
The entrance to The Chimney is at a depth of 5 metres and this exciting experience will bring you to the exit at 18 metres.
All around there are corals, sponges and crustaceans that live on the inside of the chimney and a variety of Groupers and other marine life can be found hiding in the shadows as you descend.
To the east of the main rock is another large rock pinnacle, the top of which is between 16-18 metres below the surface and the bottom reaches the sand below 30 metres, where the depth slowly increases to 40 metres.
Deep Specialty Diving at Sail Rock
Head west from Sail Rock and you will discover a small cluster of granite rocks and pinnacles lying in approximately 32 meters of water and the top is approximately 18 metres below the surface.
The expansive ocean around this popular dive site is alive with color, incredible diversity and an abundance of schooling fish in their thousands.
Often thousands of Chevron and Yellow Tail Barracuda, Big Eyed Trevally, Snappers and Fusiliers surround, engulf and wrap themselves around you like a huge silver swirling tornado.
Vast Schools of Fish
If you look out from the rock into the deep blue, you will see larger pelagic predator fish such as the Talang Queenfish, Spanish Mackerel and Giant Barracuda circling, looking for a lunch opportunity.
Whilst the number and variety of larger pelagic fish and sheer size of the schooling fish are mind blowing, it is the rock itself that holds the most interest.
Sail Rock provides scuba divers with an incredible biodiverse marine ecosystem, which is home to hundreds of different species that will have you hooked on diving at this site forever and each dive you make will reveal something new.
The main Pinnacle wall is covered in soft Sponges, colorful Cup corals and Giant Black coral along with lots of Giant Clams and Oysters.
Abundance of Marine Life & Diversity
Sea Anemones with pink Anemone fish are scattered in some areas and in others they occupy huge swathes of the rock.
Look closely and the rock will come alive with tiny Shrimp, Crabs, Nudibranch and Wart Slugs in various colours and sizes all hiding in the many cracks and crevices.
If you pay close attention and take your time, you will see Scorpion fish camouflaged against the rock wall.
There are schools of Batfish, Bannerfish, Groupers, particularly the Honeycomb Grouper, Damselfish, Angelfish and Butterfly fish, all swimming around in pairs.
Majestic Whaleshark at Sail Rock Dive Site
Giant Groupers lurk in the shadows, hiding under overhangs whilst Moray eels venture out from holes in the walls, staring at you inquisitively as you watch them.
At certain times of the year the ocean around Sail Rock is extremely nutritious, which attracts seasonal visitors such as the mighty Whaleshark.
Although there is no guarantee, Sail Rock is one of the dive sites we more commonly see the majestic Whaleshark visiting.
On a good day with great visibility and a calm ocean, Sail Rock is magnificent and rightly respected as the premier dive site in the region.