The Samae San Islands Dive Sites
Best known as the home of the famous Hardeep wreck, which is detailed in the wreck section
Samae San also has a collection of islands that are infrequently dived relative to the Pattaya Near and Far islands chains. As such, they offer some of the best diving in the Pattaya area.
Around the islands of Koh Chuang and Koh Chan lay sloping reefs and white sand beaches there’s a good amount of sea life about, but micro-scavengers will have a field day with the sandy bottoms. Whip tail Rays and nudi branch are plentiful. Angel and butterfly fish swim among think clouds of yellow snapper and baby barracuda
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Koh Chuang is probably the second most-dived site in Samae San Bay after the Hardeep thanks to its nearby location and hard and soft corals
It takes about an hour from Samae San harbor, but the ride is well worth it. There is a small cove at the back of the island where if you are really lucky it is possible to find a leopard shark or spotted eagle ray. There is excellent hard coral life, soft antipatharian, whip- and anemone corals
Depth at the site runs 5-20 m., but visibility is, at best, 10 m. Marine life includes an abundance of cuttlefish, parrotfish and turtles. Invertebrate life such as nudibranches and sea horses have also been seen. Bottom line: Although the dive site is quite small it has some very interesting invertebrate life
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Koh Chan ( Ko Jarn)
Lying to the southeast of Hardeep, Koh Chuang offers diving on its southernmost tip. Here you’ll find large boulder bommies and, deeper, a ridge of soft corals leading down the home of hundreds of jacks and sleeping Tawny Nurse sharks as well as a variety of eels
The opposite side of the Island it totally restricted and protected by the Royal Thai Navy. This beach is where Hawksbill Sea Turtle are known to nest there eggs and the Navy protect it in conjunction with Sea Turtle Conservation Center. The Center employs 36 full-time staff in the operation of the facility, which serves the purpose of public education as well as captive-rearing and release of turtle hatchlings.
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Shark Fin Rock (Hin Lak Bat)
“The Rock” is a very narrow fin-like spine of coral reef about 7 km. north of Koh Chuang. Diving here are on the southern and northern ends with depths of 5-25 meters and visibility running 3-12 m. Its rocky ridge offers a great wall dive to the west and a deep slope to the east, but both can also be subject to strong currents
Unfortunately, its remote location has also made it a favorite of the Royal Thai Navy and Air Force, which use it for bombing practice. There are large amounts of unexploded ordnance all around the site, including large artillery shells and rockets
However, it still is a terrific drift dive site and, if done right, you can drift from here right on to (or past!) the Hardeep. If you stick around long enough, however, you’ll find many pelagic species, anemones, whip coral, leather coral, barrel sponges and gorgonians. There’s also a good amount of hard corals, barrel sponges and Gregorian sea fans. Marine life includes large rays and turtles, as well as pufferfish, clownfish and reef sharks
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Koh Ron Khon and Koh Ron Nang
Just next to Koh Chuang and the hardeep ship wreck these sites offers a dive in many conditions since has protected front and exposed ear for drifting with an average depth of about 6m (20ft) and a maximum depth: 25m (80ft)
When looking at the dive sites from the boat, they look rather small. With a strong incoming tide you will move the whole length of the dive site quite quickly. But you can simply follow the rocks around to the other side once you reach the northern end of the site. Here you will be protected from the current for the remaining time of the dive
The northern tip of these islands is very deep and is popular site for tec divers as depths can well exceed the limits of recreational divers. You will see many clusters of filter feeding corals and sponges attached to the boulders