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LIVEBOARD SIMILAN ISLANDS

     
 
 
 
 
 
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Similan ISLANDS Dive Sites

 

Dive sites Similan Islands Thailand. Diving at Koh Bon, Koh Tachai, Richelieu Rock

 
The Similan Islands can certainly lay claim to being one of the top dive destinations in the world. The dramatic underwater terrain is highlighted by thriving reefs and abundant soft corals, and the tremendous diversity of marine life includes many of the most exiting, larger pelagics. The Similan Islands are dived as both multi-day Liveaboard and daily dive trips, scheduled mainly from Phuket Island.
 
 
In general, the east dive sites feature gently slopping reefs and drop-offs with impressive gardens of sea anemones, flourishing hard and soft corals, and teeming fish populations. With negligible currents and mostly moderate depths.

The archipelago's western dive sites are quite the opposite. Here gigantic boulders tumble down to the seabed in depth of more than 50 meters. Currents have kept the gaps between the boulders free from build-ups of sand, leading to the development tunnels, archways, and caverns that provide exciting swim through.

Liveaboard Similan Islands - dive spots

 
 
Location: Island 3 AKA
Around the rocks that break the water at low tide - 3km southeast of Island 3
Depth:
Average - 16 meters (52 feet) / Maximum 40 meters (130 feet)
 
Description:
The north-eastern side features a slopping reef, whereas the south-western side is more dramatic sheer drop-off: rocks resembling fallen hexagonal pillars, are the highlight of this side of the dive site. At the south-eastern end of this formations is a large swim-through; this provides an almost purpose-built opening to the site's opposite side. Large Napoleon wrasse have also been seen around this section as have passing sharks and rays
 
Visibility
20-30 m
Difficulty
Advanced
Shark Fin Reef
Current
mild - strong
Overall note
4/5
 
Location: Island 3 AKA
Immediately south of Shark fin Reef
Depth:
Average - 19 meters (63 feet) / Maximum 35 meters (115 feet)
 
Description:
The site consist of a collection of enormous submerged granite boulders running southeast - northwest, which are more typical of a west-facing coastal rock formation. They fancifully resemble rocky mountains separated by wide valleys, their cheer sides punctuated occasionally of soft corals and radiant crinoids; with small crevices housing a diversity of marine life. Of course don't forget look at the blue for Manta Rays.
 
Visibility
20-30 m
Difficulty
Advanced
Boulder City
Current
mild - strong
Overall note
3/5
 
Location: Island 3 AKA
East of Island 4 (Koh Miang) in front of "small beach"
Depth:
Average - 17 meters (56 feet) / Maximum 30 meters (100 feet)
 
Description:
The site consist of a collection of hard and soft corals but mostly hard which are  and Pore and Staghorn corals. There are also some groups of rocks with soft corals. On the sand bottom of the reef, stingrays and garden eels can be spotted. On occasion, big Rays like the Jenkin's ray can be seen. Nurse sharks sometimes come hunting for their crustacean meals at this time. Have a careful look for nudibranchs.
 
Visibility
15-25 m
Difficulty
Intermediate
Honeymoon Bay
Current
mild
Overall note
2,5/5
 
Location: Island 3 AKA
The reef spreads across two Islands, Similan Island 5 and 6
Depth:
Average - 17 meters (56 feet) / Maximum 35 meters (115 feet)
 
Description:
Shallow coral gardens comprise huge pore and staghorn corals with small pinnacles. Colorful corals are scattered along powdery sand, creating beautiful natural landscape. A big outcrop located on the southeast makes the dive site unique and attractive for many photographers. Some rare species such as black-ray partner gobies and razor wrasse are commonly seen here. Furthermore, clown triggerfish, octopuses and sea snakes have been spotted.
 
Visibility
25-40 m
Difficulty
Intermediate
Anita's Reef
Current
mild
Overall note
3,5/5
 
Location: Island 3 AKA
South-eastern fringing reef of Island 7
Depth:
Average - 22 meters (73 feet) / Maximum 40 meters (130 feet)
 
Description:
This is a steep slopping hard coral reef consisting of mostly hard coral laminates. Unusually for an east-facing reef, there are soft corals in shallow waters at about 12m. Also on view are schools of snappers and fusillers, and occasionally turtles and Leopard sharks. There's a stunning bommie in the middle of the reef, starting at 9m and going down to 30m; it features one of the finest concentration of corals in the Similan Islands.
 
Visibility
25-40 m
Difficulty
Intermediate
East of Eden
Current
mod - strong
Overall note
4/5
 
Location: Island 3 AKA
West side of Koh Pa-Yu (Island 7)
Depth:
Average - 21 meters (70 feet) / Maximum 40 meters (130 feet)
 
Description:
Like other western dive site in the Similans, West of Eden basically comprises giant granite boulders that create nice canyons, with walls covered with colorful soft corals and giant sea fans. Some areas are characterized by rubble and sand slope falling to 35m. In strong current, schools of bluefin trevally, giant trevally, fusillers and white tip reef sharks become more active. Enjoy the wall and exquisite canyon. This place is nice to look for macro subjects too.
 
Visibility
20-30 m
Difficulty
Advanced
West Of Eden
Current
mild
Overall note
3,5/5
 
Location: Island 3 AKA
North side of Koh Pa-Yu (Island 7)
Depth:
Average - 18 meters (70 feet) / Maximum 40+ meters (130+ feet)
 
Description:
There are many outcrops throughout the area, along with scattered rocks with soft corals and sea fans on the outer parts. At the big boulder in the center, a pile of small rocks form swim-through, at depths of between 12m and 25m. In the area you may see whitetip reef sharks and Kuhl's stingrays are common. You'll find black & white snapper, giant trevallies and tuna swimming among the boulders, as well as schools of neon fusillers. Don't miss ghost pipefish and frogfish.
 
Visibility
15-25 m
Difficulty
Advanced
Deep Six
Current
mod-strong
Overall note
3,5/5
 
Location: Island 3 AKA
Giant rocky outcrop off Island 8 southern tip. It resembles a partially submerged elephant.
Depth:
Average - 24 meters (80 feet) / Maximum 60+ meters (190+ feet)
 
Description:
Huge boulders, some with frames measuring over 30m, sit individually or are stacked to form daring swim-through comprising arches, caverns, gullies and tunnels at all depths. There's plenty of marine life residing in the site's shallower areas. Around the boulders are angelfish, triggerfish and schools of fusilliers and juvenile snappers. This is a very good dive site for spotting reef sharks and octopus.
 
Visibility
20-40 m
Difficulty
Advanced
Elephant Head Rock
Current
mod-strong
Overall note
4/5
 
Location: Island 3 AKA
In the small sheltered bay on the northwest coast of the Island 8
Depth:
Average - 8 meters (25 feet) / Maximum 15 meters (50 feet)
 
Description:
A popular night dive site. Scattered coral mounds and boulders provide sleeping quarters for a host of marine life, but their formation forces the nocturnal creatures into areas of open sand in search of sustenance. Thus night-divers can observe them with much greater ease and frequency and in large numbers. Attracted by the lights of dive boats, cuttlefish, crabs, small lobsters are often everywhere.
 
Visibility
10-20 m
Difficulty
Beginner
Donald Duck Bay
Current
mild - mod.
Overall note
2.5/5
 
Location: Island 3 AKA
On the northwest coast of the Island 8 and west of Donald Duck Bay
Depth:
Average - 16meters (50 feet) / Maximum 35 meters (116 feet)
 
Description:
The site's landmark is a rocky shaped like a turtle. The dive site consist of stacked rocks and staghorn coral stretching along the edge of the island. North of the rocky area is a shallow part that is 10m in depth with swim-trough. On the sandy bottom Kuhl's stingray and garden eels are common sight. Nestled within crevices, you are likely to find sweetlips, snappers, groupers, angelfish and moray eels. Sea turtles and nudibranchs are often seen here too.
 
Visibility
15-20 m
Difficulty
Beginner
Turtle Rock
Current
mild - mod.
Overall note
3/5
 
Location: Island 3 AKA
On the northwest coast of the Island 8 and south of Turtle Rock
Depth:
Average - 14 meters (50 feet) / Maximum 25 meters (85 feet)
 
Description:
Small bay south of Turtle rock , has a tiny waterfall that boats use to refill water. The coral reef slope down to a maximum depth of 25m. There is an abundance of hard coral such as pore coral, table coral, brain coral and staghorn. The north of the bay is made up of large rocks and soft corals. Reef fish, parrotfish, giant morays  and sea turtles are common. Some of the smaller creatures include anemone crabs, boxer shrimp, nudibranchs and flatworms.
 
Visibility
15-25 m
Difficulty
Beginner
Waterfall Bay
Current
mild - mod
Overall note
3/5
 
Location: Island 3 AKA
The reef spans the length of the south-eastern coastline of Island 8, about 200m offshore.
Depth:
Average - 15 meters (50 feet) / Maximum 40 meters (130 feet)
 
Description:
Beacon Reef is a fringed reef that borders the whole eastern side. The reef features a steep dropoff from a depth of 5m to a sandy bottom around 40m. The dropoff has a great variety of hard corals. But the landmark of this site is a shipwreck known as "Atlantis X" which rest in the middle of the reef. Large schools of pelagic fish can be seen here. At the wreck, swarm of batfish hang around divers. Lastly, in shallow waters, turtles are frequent visitors.
 
Visibility
15-25 m
Difficulty
Intermediate
Beacon Reef
Current
mild - mod
Overall note
3,5/5
 
Location: Island 3 AKA
Christmas Point is a cluster of submerged boulders located on the northwest of Island 9
Depth:
Average - 18 meters (60 feet) / Maximum 40 meters (130 feet)
 
Description:
Underwater, there are a number of large stacked boulders that stretch from the island to a depth of 35 m - 40m, which creates an ark like swim-trough at 25m. The crevices are covered by colorful soft corals and sea fans. Around the boulders of the rocks and beyond, at a depth of 25-40m you are likely spot a leopard shark, reef sharks, Napoleon wrasse, great Barracuda, giant trevally and tunas. At the swim-trough, giant sweetlips and groupers can be spotted
 
Visibility
20-30 m
Difficulty
Advanced
Christmas Point
Current
mod - strong
Overall note
4/5
 
Location: Island 3 AKA
These submerged rocks are located to the northeast of Island 9.
Depth:
Average - 20 meters (70 feet) / Maximum 40+ meters (130+ feet)
 
Description:
The Huge boulders are surrounded by large areas of sand. The formations of adhering rocks create holes and swim-through at around 20m. Remarkably, in the southern area, a steep gigantic boulder forms a scenic, elongated channel. Close to the boulders you can be rewarded with the sight of Manta Ray, leopard sharks and reef sharks. Schools of giant trevally, goatfish, surgeonfish often visit the site. Lastly, near the shallow hard corals divers encounter sea turtles.
 
Visibility
20-30 m
Difficulty
Advanced
Rocky Point
Current
mod - strong
Overall note
4/5
Location: Island 3 AKA
East of Island 9, stretching from the north to the south.
Depth:
Average - 16 meters (53 feet) / Maximum 35 meters (116+ feet)
 
Description:
Is so-called because it is generally the first dive of the day. The western section is relatively shallow; its sandy bottom is punctuated with scattered rocks. Southeast of here are beginnings of a reef flat primarily staghorns. The reef-slope is formed by small boulders and coral shelves with many branch of tree, leafy and brain coral. Moorish idols, butterflyfishes and lionfishes are all present in mass. Colonies of garden eels can be seen on the sandy patches and sometimes sea turtles.
 
Visibility
20-25 m
Difficulty
Intermediate
Breakfast Bend
Current
moderate
Overall note
3/5
 

Koh Bon, Koh Tachai and Richelieu Rock area dive spots - Similan islands Liveaboard diving

 
Location: Island 3 AKA
Off the the southwest ridge of the island
Depth:
Average - 21 meters (70 feet) / Maximum 40+ meters (130+ feet)
 
Description:
The Island's perimeter here takes the form of a series of small wall-like sections which drop to meet a fringing reef at 32m before sharply dropping to more than 40m and reach slopping sand. Huge sponges and sea fans can be found in depths of 30-40m. The wall is covered with sea anemones and sea whips. Don't miss octopuses and cuttlefishes. On closer inspection a variety of cleaner shrimps can be witnessed. The southwest is the cleaning station of Manta Rays.
 
Visibility
15-30 m
Difficulty
Advanced
Koh Bon a.k.a. Koh Talu
Current
mild - strong
Overall note
4,5/5
 
Location: Island 3 AKA
500m south from Koh Tachai Island, 40km south of Koh Surin Tai
Depth:
Average - 20 meters (66 feet) / Maximum 40+ meters (130+ feet)
 
Description:
The southern pinnacle is bigger at the depth of 12m. It is a dome shape surrounded by large boulders with the deepest area on the southern side - 45m. To the west side you'll find large boulders with swim-through In the east you'll find stacks of small rocks covered hard corals and sea whips. Colorful soft corals and sea fans dominate the northern area. This huge pinnacle links to the smaller one with sand patch. In plus of the usual reef fishes you'll encounter reef sharks, leopard sharks, manta rays and Whale Sharks.
 
Visibility
15-30 m
Difficulty
Advanced
Tachai Pinnacle
Current
mild - strong
Overall note
4,5/5
 
Location: Island 3 AKA
40km south of Koh Surin Tai
Depth:
Average - 18 meters (60 feet) / Maximum 35 meters (115 feet)
 
Description:
The reef stretches through the eastern of the island, going from the northeast to the southwest. Hard corals cover almost the entire area, most of which are staghorn, pore and brain corals. Divers regularly see leopard sharks in the shallow area. Large stingrays are fount too. General reef fish include pufferfish, parrotfish, lionfish and moray eels. Cuttle fish, nudibranchs and flatworms are also common. In the shallowest section you will encounter schools of barracuda and golden fusillers.
 
Visibility
15-25 m
Difficulty
Beginner
Koh Tachai Reef
Current
mild
Overall note
3,5/5
 
Location: Island 3 AKA
14km east of Koh Surin Nua and Tai
Depth:
Average - 19 meters (63 feet) / Maximum 40+ meters (130+ feet)
 
Description:
There is no words to describe the beauty of Richelieu Rock. Amazing, exceptional, great, fantastic.... The most famous dive site of Thailand and one of the best in south-east Asia. Richelieu rock is the place to encounter large pelagics. Rainbow runners, schools of great and chevron barracuda, trevallies and tuna are all frequent here. This rock is also among the world's top listed location for sighting Manta Rays and Whale Sharks. Don't miss this dive site!!!
 
Visibility
10-30 m
Difficulty
Advanced
Koh Tachai Reef
Current
mod - strong
Overall note
5/5
 
Location: Island 3 AKA
25km west of Khao Lak coastal
Depth:
Average - 15 meters (49 feet) / Maximum 20 meters (66 feet)
 
Description:
Boonsung sank around 20 years ago. The wreck lies on serene flat sand at 20m depth. The wreck is 10m wide and 30m long and is fully covered with barnacles and sponges and few corals. Although the wreck is small, tonnes of fish gather around here, such as schools of bigeye trevally, snappers and batfish. On the sand floor you can often see leopard sharks. Hiding in the dark, divers often see huge marble stingrays. If you are lucky, you can also see Whale Sharks.
 
Visibility
10-15 m
Difficulty
Intermediate
Boonsung Wreck
Current
mild
Overall note
4/5
 
     
 
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