Koh Bon Pinnacle is one of the most famous diving spots in Thailand, especially for those who come in the hope seeing the wonderful and graceful Manta Rays. As its name suggests, it is an underwater pinnacle at the island of Koh Bon, which is about 22 kilometres north-northeast of Koh Similan Island #9. The main Koh Bon dive site is in the southwest corner of the island, and The Pinnacle is 100m northwest from the main dive site, known as Koh Bon Ridge / Coral Garden.
- Best opportunities in Thailand to dive with Manta Rays
- No beach or shallow reef
- Challenging dive spot for experienced divers
- Top of the reef starts at 18 metres
In fact, there are actually two underwater pinnacles here at Kon Bon, and they are right next to each other. The first one that divers will come across has its top at a depth of about 18 metres, with the second pinnacle's top at 24m. Their coral covered walls drop down to well below the depths that regular PADI divers can descend to on just one tank of air. Just a bit further north is a cleaning station where all kinds of large fish come to have a spa.
Most dive boat captains should know exactly where these pinnacles are situated, and on days with clear water, it is even sometimes possible to see from the surface. Depending on currents, diving boats here at Koh Bon will allow divers to drop into the blue where it's best for them to get down to the top of the pinnacle as quickly and safely as possible. Once there, there is a lot of amazing and colourful marine life to see while exploring the rocks' nooks and crannies. Of course, they also need to keep an eye out into the blue.
While nearly all of the Similan Island diving sites consist of huge granite boulders, creating swimthroughs, but more difficult for corals and anemones to grow off of, Koh Bon is limestone, which is much softer. On the northern side of the pinnacle the walls drop down more steeply, right at the bottom there is a sandy area, which is where Leopard/Zebra Sharks (Stegostoma fasciatum) rest in the daytime. However, the main reason divers visit Koh Bon Pinnacle is to get the opportunity to swim with the giant filter-feeding Manta Rays (Manta birostris) who often visit Koh Bon Pinnacle and are neither afraid of humans nor in any way a danger towards them. Upon meeting one of the Andaman Sea's most famous fish, divers should just relax and do nothing. Of course, it's important to watch your depth and buoyancy, as well as keep an eye on the amount of air left in your tank, but there is no need to keep a certain distance or approach these majestic marine acrobats.
Divers who choose to swim after them just end up shortening the experience and spoiling it for everyone else because the Manta Rays usually swim away never to be seen again. Those who hang around calmly are usually treated to 'fly bys' where the Mantas swim up to and past divers, then upside down and all over the place. The displays look almost playful, and are unforgettable.
It is also possible to see visiting Whale Sharks (Rhincodon typus) at Koh Bon Pinnacle, but these are a special treat whose presence is always notified by banging tanks and lots of excited divers' bubbles. Wale Sharks may be the largest and most exciting shark in Thai waters, but there are several 'proper-looking' sharks to be seen here; ones which have teeth and hunt. At less than 2 metres in length and no danger to humans, the most-common are Whitetip Reef Sharks (Triaenodon obesus) and Blacktip Reef Sharks (Carchahinus melanopterus). Another large fish to look out for is one of the few resident Napoleon/Humphead Wrasse (Cheilinus undulates). Closer to the walls of The Pinnacle, there is a lot to see; both large and small, colourful and different. Moray Eels (Gymnothorax) hang around in their holes, while schooling and lone fish swim by. There are also too many invertebrates to mention, those with shells and without.
To dive at Koh Bon Pinnacle, visitors need to be prepared for either a speedboat day trip, which gets you out there and back with very little fuss, or a liveaboard cruise on its way to or from The Surin Islands or Similans. There is no beach at Koh Bon, so the whole visit will be spent in the water or on the boat. We can offer the best trips at the lowest prices at a time to suit every diver's needs. Contact us today. We will find the boat and package, to perfectly fit your budget and requirements.