Diving Tenggol Malaysia08/09/2015
HTMS Sattakut | Wreck Dive Koh Tao Thailand09/11/2016
Dive Similan Islands Thailand
To Get Out To Go Diving In The Similan Islands, Thailand. You Have Different Two Options, Day Trips and Liveaboard.
Rated amongst the top 10 diving areas in the world, the Similan islands lay way out in the Andaman sea off the coast of Thailand. As a matter of fact, the daytrip made by speedboat takes only 1:15 from Khao Lak then again if you prefer the slower more relaxed pace of the dive boats, not surprisingly, these take 2:30 to 3 hours. With attention to the tsunami of 2004 and more recent sea warming, to clarify that although a few reefs were affected, on the positive side most have recovered and seem accordingly in good condition. The recovering part reef are notably easy to spot in the shallow parts of the dive sites but by all means, largely the corals are stunning.
Coral & Marine Life at The Similans
With this in mind, you can expect to find many beautiful corals, amongst them, really huge sea fans. On the whole, diving in the Similans is difficult to surpass for the variety and abundance of corals and aquatic life.
Sooner or later, White tip reef sharks and Leopard sharksmake appearances on on your dives. Meanwhile, Divemasters will find anything from tiny ghost pipefish to turtles or giant bumphead parrotfish. Alongside this, many dive sites suit macro shooting, particularly shrimp, who can definitely be found under most big boulders and rocks.
Dive Similan Islands Thailand - Clown Fish
Dive Sites: Where To Dive Similan Islands Thailand
(Map by Dive The World Similan Islands)
With So Many Sites to Describe...
Here Are a Few We Really Enjoyed
Elephant Head RockElephant Head Rock
is named after an unusually shaped rock (Hin Pusa) that is situated just southwest of Koh Similan. The huge boulders that form Elephant Head Rock create exciting swim-throughs, arches, caverns, gullies and tunnels. As you follow the steep channel down you will pass a small orange/yellow sea fan. Take a look on its fronds
and you'll find a colony of spider crabs, and close-by are large black egg cowries. Keep your eyes open for manta shrimps as continue down. As you swim through the tunnels you might see blue-ringed angelfish, sweetlips and parrotfish. Yellow goatfish and snappers always hang around at the deepest levels. Back towards the center boulder pinnacle, look for giant trevally and blue.
Anita's Reef is a rather a mix between sandy slope bottom with some spectacular coral areas made up of table corals and staghorn corals. To begin with, on the gentle slopes divers can see lionfish and typically in due time, the clown triggerfish.
Take your time in these coral areas in search of good wide angle and macro photos alike. In either case, this dive site is good for both. Large orange sea fans host longnose hawkfish, and the golden brown and purple corals are used as sanctuaries for glassfish and juvenile fish.
Ultimately, as you continue you will encounter the sloppy sandy bottom. By the time you reach next big rock covered with corals, you may have just missed a gem. In any event, don’t over this so called boring sandy area. For one thing you are almost guaranteed to spot blue spotted stingray! So many different sea cucumbers, parrotfish, titan triggerfish and garden eels are also found here. The eels will hide into the sand as divers approach, so click them wide angle from afar is probably best unless you have scuba ninja skills!
Three Trees is found on the north east corner of island no. 9. Three Trees dive site has a great diversity with an expansive reef flats and gently sloping beds of hard corals. At the same time, also some of the largest table corals you are ever likely to see! As an illustration to the diversity as has been noted, staghorn corals, hibiscus corals, branching, encrusting fire corals and massive lobed leather corals are all here as well.
In view of the diverse reef, expect to see alot of fish diversity in general. Red-toothed triggerfish, butterflyfish, unicornfish and big eyes are everywhere for example. By the same token, boulders at Three Trees are decorated by gorgonian and knotted sea fans which host many pipefishes. Furthermore, nudibranch hunters will should be please that three trees is home to many of them.
Dive Similan Islands Thailand - Nudibranch
Dive Similan Islands Thailand - Sloping Reefs
Dive Similan Islands Thailand - Manta Ray
Koh Bon & Koh Tachai
Diving Koh Bon is normally done at the ridge where there is a cleaning station for mantas. I noticed that divers tend to hang around the ridge in fear of losing a passing by manta ray or whale shark in spite of a fantastic vast dive site around them.
North of Koh Bon you find Koh Tachai. At the same time, it is another great spot for both manta rays and whalesharks.
The dive site in essence, is a submerged sea mount, thus referred to as the “The Dome”. It's an amazing dive with great variety of corals and sea life. Since depth on this dive site is between 14 to 35 m, it's better suited to advanced and experienced divers. For one thing, from time to time currents here can be very strong also, hence the fact we recommend you gain some experience prior to diving here. Given these points, its worths the extra training to ensure you enjoy shoals of giant barracudas and giant trevally here with ease. As a result of the extra experience, you will be more relaxed and use less air. You'll be glad for it in the end, particularly if you bump into the mantas or a whale shark!
Richelieu Rock, first thing to remember, it's a dive site where you just do not want to end your dive!. The horseshoe shaped reef, discovered by Jacques Cousteau is known for its purple corals. A world class dive site no doubt, as can be seen from diverse marine life ranging from small fish and harlequin shrimp. Coupled not only with large pelagic fish such as whale shark and manta ray but also barracuda and giant grouper!
The pinnacle falls steeply towards the surrounding bottom at a maximum depth of 35 meters. Again due to depth and current, I would strongly advise advanced training and experience for this dive site. On the positive side, Its shape allows many possibilities to hide from the current. In spite of the currents here from time to time, the dive is very pleasant on slack water. Covered in beautiful and vibrant soft corals. There are numerous small caves to look into, particularly for micro life. For those macro enthusiasts, no matter how long you dive here, expect dive time to slip away fast as you succumb to the sheer overdose that is Richelieu Rock. Even if you are on a liveaboard and do 3 dives in one day here, surely you'll only want more!
Dive Similan Islands Thailand - Whaleshark
Boonsung wreck,the last dive site I will mention is not a part of Similan. But by all means is a dive which
cant be missed and to point out can be done on a half day trip out of Khao Lak.
Boonsung wreck is common for the many similan liveaboards also, especially to do their final dive of the trip. In reality, as a wreck, it's not an interesting dive. The wreck was severely damaged from the Tsunami and to emphasize, it is therefore not recommended to enter any parts of it. Be that as it may, you're sure to see dozens of masked and common porcupine fish in all sizes. On the whole, it worth the dive to see these many boxfish including uncountable number of lionfishes and morays in all sizes. Another key point is seeking out the juveniles hiding, peeking out from almost every crack on the wreck. It pleases divers to find numerous nudibranch on the wreck particularly some rarer examples.
In the final analysis, it's easy to see why this dive location is one of the most famous in the world. The Similan islands themselves however, are not the best spot for seeing the “big fish”, like whale sharks and manta rays. For this, Koh Bon and Koh Tachai is the place to go which is a point often overlooked.
Thank you to IQdive and Bjornar for the expertise and contribution.
Dive Similan Islands Thailand - Boonsung Wreck
Best Time To Dive In The Similan Islands Thailand
The National Park is open
from September to May. The best diving is between November and April. If you plan to go there for diving during the peak season, middle of Dec. until middle of Jan., make sure you book your diving in advance. There are days when everything is fully booked and you won’t be able to get out diving.
Booking a Dive In The Similan Islands Thailand
Im sure there are many fantastic operators available to take you out diving in the Similan islands but we joined IQDive
. We were well taken care of and the dive trip was well managed with great facilities.
If you want to search for the very best prices and quality on Similan Liveaboards, check out Dive The World.com
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