Koh Haa Neua – The Chimney – Koh Haa No.1
Distance: 75 kilometers
- Boat trip: Liveaboard or Speedboat
Depth: 5 – 30 meters
Reef type: Swim through, reef slopes, wall
Visibility: Variable 15 to 30 meters
Current: Variable, mild
- Corals: Soft coral, hard coral, sponge, sea fans
- Fish: Lion Fish, moray eels and big shoals of snappers and barracudas
- Highlights: Sea horse, sting ray, leopard sharks, swim through
Koh Haa-Neua is the northernmost island of Koh Haa group. This island is surrounded by reefs, with the north coast featuring a wall line covered with soft coral, sea fans and barrel sponges. A hard coral reef slope stretches from the southeast side to the east side of this island. The maximum depth at Koh Haa-Neua is 25-30 m. The most popular diving spot on this island is located on the south side, and it is characterized by stunning outcrops covered by dense growths of soft corals and sea fans that create a dazzling swim-through. At 16-18 m, there is a grotto that leads to a chimney-like vertical hole – another highlight of this divesite. This chimney has two exits at a depth of 5 m.
There is a mild to moderate current, running from east to west (and vice versa) along the island’s edge. Kuhl’s stingrays, moray eels, scorpion-fish and pufferfish are common sightings. Leopard sharks have also been spotted in the sand beyond the reef. Divers should take the time to explore crevices – you may find ornate ghost pipefish or even rare species such as the tiger-tail seahorse. Eye-catching harlequin shrimp have also been found in the area.
Divers interested in spotting schools of fusilier and yellowtail barracuda can also check out the west coast of the island.
Note: Diving in the chimney is a spectacular experience, but the interior of the chimney is very narrow, and ascending along the chimney – especially to the narrower east exit requires very good buoyancy control to avoid the risk of pressure injuries. Only experienced divers should attempt to enter the chimney and a well prepared dive plan is essential.
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