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Nang Yuan Pinnacle is also referred to as 'Red Rock' because of its Thai name, Hin Daeng. It is arguably among the best Koh Tao diving sites for a number of reasons. The convenient location, unique and adventurous topography, and healthy marine life all add up to make this a great dive site. It's very popular for the many tourists of all ages and walks of life who enjoy scuba diving holidays at Koh Tao.
The location of this dive site has a lot going for it. It is very near the main dive resort areas of Koh Tao, such as Sairee Beach. It is also right next to Japanese Garden, which can be reached underwater from Nang Yuan Pinnacle. And to top it all, when divers are not underwater, they can enjoy the beautiful views of this islet and the isthmus that connects the islets. The whole area is picturesque, relaxed, and extremely pleasant, which makes it ideal for PADI scuba diving.
Underwater, the dive site known as Nang Yuan Pinnacle is a formation of coral and anemone-covered rock which protrudes up from the sea bed just to the east of Koh Nang Yuan.
The colours of its corals led to its naming Hin Daeng (Red Rock) by the locals. At its deepest point the dive site is a little over twenty metres on the east side, and slightly shallower on the west. The peak comes within a couple of metres of the water's surface, and although this pinnacle is not large, there is something to see all the way to the bottom. Some divers are led by their PADI Divemaster in a spiraling dive profile around the pinnacle, but most enter the well-known set of swimthroughs which some even call a cavern. Basically, on the pinnacle's western side there is a canyon which any certified PADI scuba diver can easily swim (fin) across in order to reach the entry point for the cavern/swimthrough system. Once there, at a depth of 12 metres, they will discover the opportunity enter the cavern which is long, has turns, lots of life, and is well lit. There are many cracks and possible other entry points which allow for daylight to come in from the surface. This enables divers to see their route and also creates a beautiful effect. In and around the tunnels there is lots of life. Anemones, corals, bony fish and invertebrates use the network to hide, hunt, filter feed and sleep. Upon exiting, divers can hang around until they surface, or if there is enough time and they have enough air, they can make the short swim across to Japanese Garden and perform their safety stop there. At Japanese Garden, there is lots of colourful life at shallow depths, which keeps divers interested right until they come up to the surface and wait for their dive boat.
Blue Spotted Sting Ray (Neotrygon kuhlii)
The common marine life at Nang Yuan Pinnacle is healthy, diverse and interesting. Two common species of Triggerfish in Thailand are both residents at Nang Yuan Pinnacle. These are the mainly yellow-green Titan Triggerfish (Balistoides viridescens), and the flamboyant Clown Triggerfish (Balistoides conspicillum) which is black and yellow on top, has large white spots on its sides and belly and a bright yellow mouth and mask across its eyes. During nesting seasons, Triggerfish are very aggressive towards all other life forms, including humans, who they feel are intruding on their nesting site. A diver's best option is to swim away without ascending towards the surface. Moray Eels (Gymnothorax) are plentiful here, and there is a good chance of seeing a Blue Spotted Stingray (Neotrygon kuhlii) resting on any areas of sand. Cuttlefish (Sepida) are colourful cephalopods, but unlike octopuses and squid, they are unable to squeeze through small gaps into hiding spaces. Instead, they change colour and flash vibrant patterns in an attempt to warn potential predators. In reality, they offer no threat and use escape speed and ink clouds as a defence mechanism.
Various species of Parrotfish (Scarinae) can be seen and heard chomping away at corals and algae-covered rocks, as can turtles on hard and soft corals. Another reptile which is sometimes sighted is the highly-venomous but harmless and confident Banded Sea Krait (Laticauda colubrina). This snake takes a breath of air then boldly swims over the reef looking for prey. There are so many other species at Nang Yuan Pinnacle that we haven't even mentioned 10%. It may not be the largest or best diving site around Koh Tao, but it is easily big enough and good enough to be dived several times without becoming boring.
Please comment on your experiences at Nang Yuan Pinnacles, however trivial or recent. We are also very happy for people to comment on our dive site review and description. Although we make every effort to be as accurate as possible, we are only human and welcome comments or criticism here, via email and on our divers' forum.
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