The Similan Islands, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai, Richelieu Rock & Surin
Located 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.
20km 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.