‘The theory is important but it is time in the water is that makes the diver’
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The sites in the National Marine Park are found to the East and West of Koh Rang, the main island within the park with dive depths ranging from 5 to 25 metres. Visibility in high season can be in excess of 30 metres, especially on those sites to the West. Average visibility throughout the year is around 15 metres. Travel to them by dive boat takes between 1hr15 and 1hr45 minutes. As with the local sites, low season weather reduces the occasions we can dive the Western sites but it is rare for the conditions on the Eastern side to prevent us diving at any time. The condition of the coral is very good in general but where damage has occurred there has been significant improvement over last 5 or 6 years helped, in part, by the work done by the Marine Park authorities. The Marine Park authorities charge a fee of 400 baht per day for divers, 200 baht for snorkelers for maintenance of the park. Reductions for Thai National, Residency and Work Permits.
Eastern Marine Park
Probably the most popular of the shallower sites in the National Marine Park with something for novices and experienced divers. Around the small island surrounded by coral can be found some big schools of fish and which attract Trevally and Cobia. Small sand rays and some resident full size Jenkins Whiprays are often seen.
Similar to Koh Yak, though smaller in size. It benefits from the same marine life with a greater possibility of seeing Lionfish and Clark’s Anemone fish.
Koh Ma Pring
Almost attached to the main Koh Rang island, lunchtime mooring often takes place here. The shallow waters around the island are good for those trying diving for the first time and training dives whilst still able to see examples of the marine life.
Hin Kuak Ma (Three Finger Reef)
Arguably the best site on the Eastern side. A narrow submerged reef with the top 3 or 4 metres from the surface, the Western side is straight and the other side three ‘finger’ reefs heading East. There are walls to the Southern end and as well as the main reef there are coral gardens a little deeper off to the SouthEast. A very large garden of blue tipped stag horn coral can be found on top of the reef.
Western Marine Park
The Pinnacles (Hin Ga Daeng)
Around 1 km off the Northwest corner of Koh Rang, this site is a collection of huge rocks with the tallest being very close to the surface. Depths on the Western and Northern sides reach to 25 metres and beyond with coral around the rocks being sparse. On the shallower Eastern and Southern sides there is plenty of coral amongst the rocks away from the larger boulders. Here it is most likely to see the big fish in the Marine Park though it’s location mean that often the currents are strong. Beware of the scorpion fish on the higher rocks. A great dive, especially for the more experienced who are often dropped off whilst the less experienced and snorkelers go to:-
Lying much closer to the main island than The Pinnacles, Koh Tien is a shallower and more protected site. In the past, in places, it has suffered the most damage in the Marine Park but there is still plenty of good coral and it is great to see how the damage has been recovering over the last 5 or 6 years. Some great examples of table coral.
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