Not to be confused with Chumphon the city on the mainland of Thailand, 19km north-west of Koh Tao sits one of the greatest dive sites in the Gulf of Thailand, Chumphon Pinnacle. The main pinnacle pushes up from the surrounding sandy bottom and the dive site ranges from aprox 35 meter depth off the pinnacle to 12 meters on top of Barracuda Rock. Despite being one of the most popular dive sites around Koh Tao the marine life is healthy and varied and shows off some truly massive schools of fish and whale sharks if your lucky!
Diveable by open water divers and upwards, the dive site has a large plateau mainly covered in anemone & hard corals in the 12-18 meter range. The pinnacle has steep walls going down to the bottom, with lot's of interesting critters to be found. Conditions are generally good with little to no current and visibility above 15 meters.
The more experienced divers will appreciate the large swimthrough at 23 meters and all the various fish coming in from the blue to hunt. That can include cobia's, mackerels, rainbow runners and great & pickhandle barracudas.
However what Chumphon is mainly known for is it's massive schools of fish! Fusiliers, batfish, scads & several species of barracuda frequent the area around the dive site, making for a dazzling display when they stick together in huge schools. Whalesharks also visit the dive site, and although they are seen pretty much all year, the best time to spot one is generally between October & May. Other interesting subjects include giant groupers, moray eels, lionfish in the depths, several species of nudibranch and a great variety of crabs & shrimps.
Most dive companies on Koh Tao dive here weekly as long as conditions allow it. Between themselves they offer everything from sunrise dives to late afternoon. Generally the dive site is very busy from about 8-11am, so if you want to avoid the crowds try to go earlier or later.