Updated: Apr 30
If you are already an advanced level diver, it is likely you have tried night diving before. However, depending on where and when you learned to dive, it is possible that you have only dived during the day so far on your scuba adventures and dive holidays. Koh Tao is an amazing place to try night diving for the first time or simply add some night dive trips to your Thailand dive holiday package. Virtually everyone that tries night diving falls in love with the experience. It can be difficult to know exactly what to expect at first though, so we asked some of the staff and customers at our PADI 5-star dive center what they like most about night diving on Koh Tao…
Fit more dives into the day
This one is just basic math! Adding some night dives into your Koh Tao diving schedule allows you to log more dives in total during your stay. The goal of most diving holidays is to fit in as many scuba trips as possible, and night diving is a great way to do this. At Coral Grand Divers, we run morning and afternoon dive sessions daily, and night diving trips every other night. So when fun diving on Koh Tao with us, you can easily dive 4-5 times a day if you want to.
Night diving on Koh Tao fits into a very convenient schedule. This is because sunset here occurs early due to the short distance between the equator and Koh Tao. Diving at locations further from the equator means waiting until late in the evening to night dive, but here you can depart in the early evening and be back in time for dinner. So going on a night dive needn’t affect your social schedule either!
Gain more experience and qualifications
Embracing any new scuba diving activity or expanding on your current experience and skill level is always an advantage. Diving at night helps you become more comfortable in limited visibility, more adept at buoyancy control, and can also help you work towards your next scuba diving qualification. A night adventure dive is one of the elective dives on the PADI Advanced Open Water Diver course. Complete the night adventure dive plus 4 other adventure dives (including deep and navigation) with one of the amazing instructors at our Koh Tao dive resort, and you’ll get your certification. Even if you don’t have time for the full course, you should take a night adventure dive anyway, as it is always recommended to take your first night dive with an instructor. You can always add more adventure dives at other locations as your Thailand diving holiday continues and build toward your advanced certification as you go. If you really fall in love with night diving, you can even complete the PADI Night Diver specialty course! PADI Night Diver is just one of the exciting PADI specialty courses available through our PADI 5-star dive center on Koh Tao.
What you will see
Everything changes at night. The daytime fish go to sleep and the night time hunters come out to play! As you cruise around any Koh Tao dive site at night, you’ll be able to spot some of your colorful daytime favorites like parrot-fish, butterfly-fish and wrasse wedged into their sleeping spots within the reef. The casual daytime activities of these coral grazers are replaced by predators like great barracuda, darting around looking for their evening meal. You’ll also see more activity on the ocean floor, as filter feeders like blue spotted stingrays come out to feed. Puffer-fish and giant hermit crabs are also regularly spotted at night, and marine life such as feather stars and squid are predominantly only seen at night. When you first discover scuba diving, you tend not to take in as much detail on your dives. However, when you can only see by torchlight, you tend to notice all of the smaller stuff too, such as crabs, shrimps, and the way the corals seem to soften as they come alive at night to feed.
It’s so colorful
Because of the refraction of light, colors do not appear as intense throughout the day as they do at night – something you’ll have noticed if you’ve ever worn a red rash vest or wetsuit on your dives! So when you add night diving to your scuba itinerary, be prepared to have your mind blown by some mesmerizing colors. However vibrant the coral reefs may look through the day, they look even more dazzling on a night dive!
Sign up for a night dive on Koh Tao and you’ll head out to the dive site in the early evening as the sun is setting. Sunset boat rides are incredible, and you’ll get a fantastic 360degree view of the ocean, as well a unique view back towards Koh Tao as the last of the sun’s rays kiss the shore. The return trip is just as impressive. When you ascend from a night dive you’ll be amazed by the night sky once you reach the surface. Away from the light pollution on land, you’ll have a much clearer view of the stars as they shine out of the darkness. So sit back on the return journey, and simply relax and enjoy the light show!
Even more adventure awaits
Once you have your first night diving adventures logged, you’re able to do much more varied dives in the future. For example, if your Thailand dive holiday includes a liveaboard trip on the west coast as well as some diving on Koh Tao, then the schedule will certainly include some night diving. Some of the most impressive underwater sightings in the world can only be seen by diving at night. This includes seeing bioluminescence and observing particular marine life behavior. So if you stick to day diving only, you’re missing out! Speaking of luminescence and marine life behavior, have you ever heard of Ultraviolet (UV) diving or Fluoro diving? Koh Tao is one of the few places where this is available. So once you’ve got some experience of a regular night dive, you can switch your white torch for a UV one, and we’ll show you a whole new world of underwater wonder as the reef glows under your torch beam!
We hope this has whetted (pun very much intended!) your appetite for night diving on Koh Tao. If you’d like further details or information on including some night dives in your Koh Tao diving holiday package, please do get in touch. We’re always happy to help.