Welcome to Koh Bon West Ridge
If currents allow, the best place to jump is at ‘The Waterfall’, as it is so close to the West ridge. In the photo below you can see the island gradually sloping off the the left (West). This slope continues underwater and forms the basis of the ridge. About 30m before the sloping rocks descend under the surface, there is a small hole in the island. Do not get this confused with the much larger hole at the back of the bay (seen on the right). ‘The Waterfall’ is much smaller, but big enough to allow water to come splashing through. This creates the small waterfall effect (‘Naam Tok’ or น้ำตก in Thai) and this marks the best place to jump. The larger hole in the island (on the right) is where the common Thai name ‘Koh Talu’ comes from. ‘Koh’ meaning island and ‘Talu’ literally translates as ‘through’.
As you descend next to the waterfall, it is worth looking back up to the surface. When the water comes crashing down it creates a dramatic white water effect above you and makes for a great start to the dive. From here you can start to get a bit of depth next to the wall. Head West along the wall and look inside the cracks in the limestone. This is a good place to find Moray eels, nudibranchs and sponge snails. Also remember to look out into the blue, as there are often huge schools of Trevally, Rainbow runners, Long nose Emperor fish and Manta Rays. The deeper part of the wall has some beautiful hard corals and this leads you out to the ridge.
If Manta Rays are around, or even if you think they might be, this is where you should spend the majority of your dive. If the current is strong then drop a bit deeper and stay next to the rocks for a bit of protection. This should allow you to swim all the way out to the far end of the ridge. The deeper part of the ridge is also home to the most beautiful corals. If the current is not too strong you can shallow up to the top of the ridge. If Manta Rays are around, they will often circle around the top of the rocks. Don’t follow them out into the blue as this will scare them off the dive site and they may not come back. Have patience. There is a good chance they will circle around and come back.
When you start to run low on deco time you can head to the North part of the dive site. There is a huge orange coral head at around 18m full of shrimp and often covered in glass fish. The North side is also a great place to look for octopus, Napoleon wrasse and banded sea snakes. You can either keep heading East along the North side, but most divers turn back around to do their safety stop near the ridge. This gives you one more chance to see a Manta Ray flying past. Swim out into the blue for your safety stop and let the current take you away from the island. Make sure you use a safety marker as there can sometimes be a lot of boats around Koh Bon West Ridge.