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Thailand Dive Sites

The Similan Islands, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai, Richelieu Rock & Surin

Similans MapLocated about one hundred kilometres northwest of Phuket, the Similans consist of nine granite islands covered in lush, tropical, jungle foliage, surrounded by sparkling clear blue oceans. The beaches are made up of the finest white powdery sand and literally melt into the warm tropical waters.

The west coast of the marine park, facing out towards the Andaman Islands, offers pace and exhilaration as divers soar through and around Huge granite boulders. Dramatic rock formations abound including holes, overhangs, swim-throughs and canyons. There is an amazing variety of colourful soft corals and enormous sea fans that span metres across. There are truly very few places on earth like this.

The east coast, with its white powdery beaches, feature hard coral gardens which slope down to 40m. Drift diving is the name of the game here as divers use the current to propel them along the vibrantly rich reefs teeming with unusual and interesting marine life. The length of dive safari trips vary from three to five days, often longer if the dive liveaboard includes the Similans as just one stop on the itinerary.

Surin Islands Map20km to the North of the Similan Islands you find Koh Bon, and 25km further North and North-West are Koh Tachai and Richelieu Rock. These sites are a different style of diving to the Similans, they offer much deeper depths and are more exposed. The deeper waters make them popular with the larger pelagics such as Sharks, Mantas, Barracuda & Whalesharks who all enjoy the freedom of deeper water that these sites offer them.

Koh Bon is famous for the natural perforation that is carved through the island. The South-West dive site is a sheer wall 35m deep followed by a stepped ridge descending to 45m. Leopard Sharks can regularly be seen on the ridge and relaxing on the sandy flats below. Koh Bon is also well known as one of the better places to experience the majesty of diving with Manta Rays.

Koh Tachai's lush tropical foliage runs over granite to a beautiful sandy beach. Tachai is famous for an underwater ridge that juts out at 90 degrees to the island. Koh Tachai offers a huge variety of marine life but is known for Rays, Leopard Sharks & Nurse Sharks.

The Surin Islands lie North-West of Koh Bon and Richelieu Rock. These islands are the most northern sites that most trips visit. If you go not much further North, you are entering Burma (Myanmar). The Surin Islands offer the most remote diving in the area and have spectacular uninhabited beaches and topside scenery.

Richelieu Rock

The Famous Richelieu Rock

Similans LocationThis horseshoe shaped rock located near the Surin Islands is considered by many to be the best dive site in Thailand. Discovered by diving pioneer Jacques-Yves Cousteau with the aid of local fishermen, it now attracts divers from all over the world due to the vast variety of marine life that can be seen here. Schooling Chevron Barracuda, numerous types of Moray Eels, abundant Lion Fish and Scorpion Fish. 5 types of Anemone Fish, Juvenile Emperor Angel Fish, Sea Horses, Ornate Ghost PipeFish and Harlequin Shrimps can all be found. This site is also a prime location for sighting Whalesharks, occasional Manta Rays and ShovelNose Rays. Richelieu Rock should be a must on every divers list. Regardless if you're a macro enthusiast or passionate about bigger creatures Richelieu has something for everyone.

  • Horseshoe Shaped Pinnacle
  • Assorted Hard & Soft Corals
  • Whale Sharks, Numerous Tropicals, Barracuda
  • Moderate Currents
  • 10 to 30 Meters Visibilty
  • Recommended for Advanced Divers
Richelieu Rock Map

Sharkfin Reef

Great Variety Of Marine Life

Similans LocationWith a swim-through at the South Eastern point of this location, where you can get to the other side of the site, it provides experienced divers a great dive. The variety of marine life here makes it one of the most visited. Seeing the Clown Triggerfish, Half Moon Triggerfish, schools of Batfish and Surgeonfish will make this a dive to remember. It is also an ideal site for underwater photography.

  • Boulder Formations
  • Assorted Hard & Soft Corals
  • Clown Trigger Fish, Surgeon Fish, Batfish
  • Moderate to Strong Currents
  • 15 to 40 Meters Visibility
  • Recommended for Experienced Divers


A Large Towering Rock Formation

Similans LocationLying on the Northern side of Koh Miang this large towering rock formation provides divers with depths up to 25m. Barrel Sponges, Lionfish and Gorgonian Sea Fans can easily be spotted here with a stunning variety of marine life ranging from Barracuda, Wrasse, Ghost Pipefish to Long Nose Butterfly Fish. Clownfish and Anemonefish can also be readily found swimming in and out of their anemones.

  • Boulder and Rock Formation
  • Assorted Hard & Soft Corals
  • Angel Fish, Butterfly Fish, Tuna, Trevally
  • Slight to Moderate Currents
  • 15 to 35 Meters Visibilty
  • Recommended for Advanced Divers

East Of Eden

A Stunning Coral Covered Bommie

Similans LocationLocated on the North Eastern side of Koh Payan you find the most incredible bommie that the Similans has to offer. Giving divers depths from 12m to 21m and a vast ammount of marine life this is a perfect site for novices also. Purple and blue corals make this a breathtaking dive, also excellent for photographers. Extensive Table Coral and Finger Corals have plenty of resident Damselfish.

  • Fringing Reef and Coral Garden
  • Assorted Hard And Soft Corels
  • Snappers, Grouper, Angelfish, Damselfish
  • Moderate to Strong Currents
  • 15 To 35 Meters Visibility
  • All Levels of Diver

Elephant Head Rock

Caverns, Tunnels & Gullies

Similans LocationBeing named after the unusually shaped rock that juts out from the sea. This huge boulder has create some swim-throughs for the experienced daring divers. Also are caverns, tunnels and gullies. Silver and jet black trevally can be seen in the centre of this pinnacle, performing their mating manoeuvers. Small reef sharks can be seen at the southern point where you find smaller pinnacles in deep waters. The occasional hawksbill turtle can be seen swimming by as well as Lionfish, Grouper and Snappers.

  • Boulder Pinnacle and Wall
  • Assorted Hard & Soft Corals
  • Wrasse, Reef Shark, Trevally
  • Moderate to Strong Currents
  • 25 to 35 Meters Visibility
  • Recommended for Experienced Divers

Donald Duck Bay

Marine Life Feeding Ground

Similans LocationNamed after a rock that looks like the cartoon character. The liveaboard and day trippers makes this a great dive as the amount of food that makes its way to the sea bed gives the marine life a feeding ground. Scurrying across the sea bed you will see crabs, octopus and cuttlefish. A few swim-throughs can be found at the Northern side which house shrimps and cone shells.

  • Shallow Bay & Boulders
  • A Few Assorted Soft & Hard Corals
  • Red Octopus, Cuttlefish, Crabs
  • Slight to Moderate Currents
  • 10 to 20 Meters Visibility
  • All Levels of Diver

Snapper Alley

Ideal for Night Diving

Similans LocationSnapper Alley is famous for being a great night dive site, lying on the Eastern side of Koh Bangu. Healthy hard table coral and sheet coral provide marine life with places to hide and sleep. Looking in cracks you can find the odd lobster, and those who spend the time to look carefully may catch the rare Dwarf Lion Fish with spectacular markings on it's fins.

  • Coral Reef Garden
  • Assorted Hard Corals
  • Lion Fish, Parrot Fish, Angel Fish, Cuttle Fish
  • Slight to Moderate Currents
  • 20 to 30 Metres Visibility
  • Ideal For Beginners

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