Aow Leuk dive site: One of the best shallow reefs in Koh Tao

The Aow Leuk dive site is one of the best diving locations for beginners in Koh Tao. The shallow reef is popular for fun dives and scuba diving courses alike. Many of the best dive sites in Koh Tao are for advanced divers only, but Aow Leuk is probably the favorite for all levels.

aow leuk koh tao

About Aow Leuk in Koh Tao

Situated on the southeastern side of Koh Tao, Aow Leuk is a large bay that provides views of Shark Island, Koh Phangan, Koh Samui, and Ang Thong National Marine Park from above. 

Divers share this beautiful bay with snorkelers and an abundance of marine life. Sightings of turtles, and sometimes small blacktip reef sharks are not uncommon. The reef consists of large boulder and stony corals.

baby shark at aow leuk koh tao

The dive plan for Aow Leuk in Koh Tao

Because Aow Leuk is so close to Koh Tao, many dive operators use iconic Thai longtail dive boats. For complete beginners, it might be awkward to fall backward into the water, but it’s already a great learning.

Once in the water, scuba divers can expect a relaxed and diverse dive site at Aow Leuk. With usually good conditions and only mild currents, divers can easily navigate the shallow reef. The visibility is not the very best, with about 16 – 33 feet (5 – 10 meters).

The maximum depth of Aow Leuk is 49 feet (15 meters), with an average of approximately 20 to 26 feet (6 – 8 m). This allows for a long bottom time of 60 minutes.

Continuing on a journey to the southeast coastline, you’ll find that the dive site extends up to 46 feet (14 meters) deep. If you continue eastward and over sandy terrain, Suan Olan (Olan’s Garden) awaits – an artificial dive site at depths of between 46 and 52 feet (14–16 meters). The artificial reef was created in 2010 after coral bleaching struck Koh Tao Island.

The underwater environment of the dive site is bursting with craftily-made man-made structures, such as a Reef Pyramid and a Mini Cooper car. These artificial constructions have transformed into habitats for diverse forms of marine life.

Aow Leuk dive site brief

  • Access: From boat
  • Maximum depth: 49 feet/ 15 meters 
  • Visibility: 16 – 33 feet (5 – 10 meters)
  • Dive time: 60 minutes 
  • Certification level: Open Water
  • Type: shallow reef
whale shark aow leuk koh tao

Whale sharks at Aow Leuk dive site in Koh Tao

As you might have guessed, unfortunately, the chances to see a giant whale shark in a shallow bay are very slim. The best opportunities to see a whale shark in Koh Tao do divers have at deeper sites further out in the Gulf of Thailand.

When is the best time?

The ideal season to explore the remarkable Aow Leuk in Koh Tao is from January through May. Of course, you can dive here all year long; however, be sure to avoid it during the rainy months of October-December, when heavy rain plagues the east coast of Thailand differently than other parts of this beautiful country. 

What certification is required to dive at Aow Leuk?

The dive at Aow Leuk in Koh Tao, Thailand is a shallow dive, suitable for all levels of divers. It’s often used for discover dives and Open Water courses

How much does a dive at Aow Leuk cost?

Koh Tao has some of the most affordable scuba diving prices. A single dive usually starts at around 1,000 Thai Baht (approx. 30 USD). As a rule of thumb, the price decreases to 800 TBH (approx. 25 USD) per dive for more than one and up to 10 dives. Therefore, a two-tank fun dive costs about 50 USD only.

Related dive sites

Other dive sites suited for beginners as well as more experienced divers are Hin Ngam, White Rock, or Twins. If you like the pinnacles in Koh Tao and are deep dive experienced, check out the Hin Pee Wee or Chumphon Pinnacle – here you have the highest chance to find a whale shark. And don’t forget a night dive at the Junkyard and a wreck dive at the HTMS Sattakut.

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