Diving in Chumphon Marine Park
Where tropical rainforest meets white sands and 41 idyllic islands are lapped by the aquamarine waters of protected Chumphon Marine Park, you can be sure to find bountiful marine life. This stretch of the Gulf of Thailand coast is less developed than some other coastal areas, making it a great secret dive site in Thailand. As well as the dazzling marine life, you will be able to explore swim-throughs and caves and there are new dive sites and wrecks still being found in the area. It’s best to take a boat trip out to the islands for great visibility – there is river run-off close to shore – and amazing coral reefs teeming with colourful fish. In some areas the hard coral reef almost reaches the surface of the sea, making it ideal for beginner divers, while the Chumphon Pinnacle, off the coast of Koh Tao, is considered one of the best deep dive sites in Thailand. Fantastic visibility, a huge granite pinnacle covered in anemones and an overhang hiding giant grouper all combine to create an awe-inspiring experience. The best time to dive the waters of Chumphon is between May and October, with November affected by the monsoon, and visibility in most parts can reach 20m (65ft). With such a variety of coral, wrecks and dive sites, not to mention a laid-back vibe, Chumphon Marine Park makes for a great alternative dive site.
Dive Sites in Chumphon Marine Park
Aquatic Life in Chumphon Marine Park
If you love identifying different types of coral, you’ll be spoilt for choice here, with black coral, brain, cabbage and lettuce to name just a few. Pink anemones cling to the Chumphon Pinnacle and huge barrel sponges add even more colours to the underwater scene. Dive here and you will spot everything from snapper and blue-spotted stingrays to puffer fish and porcupine fish, pretty butterfly fish and angel fish. There are wrecks that are home to moray eels and yellowtail barracuda, pinnacles that hide little cleaner shrimps, snappers and harlequin sweetlips. You may even spot the occasional whale shark, manta ray or turtle.