Pattaya Far Islands Dive Site Name: Koh Manwichai
Location: North Of Koh Rin Far Island Pattaya Dive Site
Conditions : Best Conditions Around July/Aug as well as between November to Jan
Visibility :Between 10m to 30m
Maximum depth: 22m
Common Aquatic Life: Green and Hawksbill Turtles, Sting Rays, Nudibranch, Sharks
Koh Man Wichai has two excellent dive areas, possibly One Of The Dive Islands within the Far Islands Chain. Koh Man Wichai takes approx 55min to travel to on Pattaya Dive Center’s Boat Lady Go Diver II. Setting off early on her can see you submerge onto the coral reef long before the other dive boats reach the dive site after their 1.5 hr slugs.
Koh Manwichai is a vast a complicated dive area. A small rocky outcrop on the northeast side is usually the first choice where the boat will moor up. Divers can stay within and around the boats positions with ease here exploring the vast reef below or can explore what is known as the fingers or take a short navigation to the wall or the drop off.
This fairly shallow reef areas is actually all part of the main dive site. Highlighted by the rock formations which extend from the island like “fingers” these rocks create small valleys and mounts for which many soft corals, sea whips and hard coral thrive upon. Exploring this area well is a dive in itself, first slowly descend to depth to around 18m, from here you’ll reach the tips of the fingers and you can navigate between each of them. In the sandy patches you’ll encounter many sting rays as you look left and right exploring the rocky formations where grouper, puffers, moray and bamboo sharks frequent.
The wall area is to the left side of the rocky cove where you begin. Provided there is no major surge ( which can be up to a good few meters underwater) you can swim along a wall which bottoms out at about 14m deep and extends to above the surface. The hard corals you traverse on the way the wall are in their own right special as a few extremely large examples of Grouper and giant starry puffer commonly live here.
one at the wall, the lighting is very dramatic, shadows cast allows your eyes to adjust on a sunny day between ray of sunlight breaking down from the surface highlighting the red and oranges of the corals and fans that line the wall itself. This is a hot spot for turtles and nudibranch.
The Drop off resides further let (south) of the wall itself. You’ll find a sand area above the seabed on a plateau between the hard coals and rocky slopes. This is an excellent place to find Sharks, Blacktips cruise by here but more often Bamboo sharks sleep along the rocky edges of the slope. This area is where the current comes into the play. If present you cannot go too far from the point without been swept around the backside of the island, making for a separate fun drift dive in itself this site is amazing to take your Drift Diver Course! The drop off is actually a steep sloping bank of rocks and coral that extend down to the deeper seabed position at about 22m. Out in the blue here large Trevally and barracuda lurk in the currents along with the lucky encounter form time to time by Dolphins and even whale shark.