Diving around Koh Similan
Koh Similan is a group of islands that offers some of the best diving in Thailand and the world. Many divers the islands;
Koh Similan, island number 8, which is the largest and Koh Miang, island number 4. The last few years these islands have gained
much attention from the royal family who themselves are eager divers and outdoor people.
The Similans are located approximately 100 kilometers north-west of Phuket. There are a total of nine granite
islands covered with tropical jungle and surrounded by chalk white beaches and crystal clear blue water.
The name Similan was derived from the Malaysian word for nine, "Sembilan", which was used long ago by Malaysian
fishermen when they called the islands "The Nine Eyes". Today, each "eye" of the nine islands has a number as
well as a name. For example Huyong, island number 1, is the southern most island in the chain.
Today the area is a national park and is protected as a reserve. The National Park Authority have camps on two
of the islands; Koh Similan, island number 8, which is the largest and Koh Miang, island number 4. The last few
years these islands have gained much attention from the royal family who themselves are eager divers and outdoor
The east side has beaches and hard corals that drop down to a depth of around 30 to 40 meters, where the sand
then runs out across the bottom. On this eastern coast, drift dives gently carry you along the huge coral walls.
In several places you will find cliffs covered with wonderful soft corals. Diving on this side is easy
and underwater navigation is a simple task, following the walls of the islands in their natural formations.
The west side offers a bit more excitement since the currents can sometimes be more challenging. Huge
rock pinnacle formations and outcroppings are color fully decorated with spectacular soft corals which
sometimes are so dense you are unaware that there is granite below!! Amongst these amazing rock formations
you will find world class gorgonian sea fans spanning over 3 meters in places. An enormous selection of fish
and other species make up for some very interesting diving. Below you will find an overview of each of our
favorite sites which you will have a chance to experience.
Koh Lanta Koh Similan Drive Sites
Diving around Koh Similan
This is probably the most "famous" dive site at the Similans. The name comes from a formation of three
rocks that break the surface, with the largest of the rocks resembling an elephant head. You will be amazed at
seeing fish and corals in all the colors of the rainbow, from every world class fish and reef guide.
Christmas Point is a dramatic series of underwater pinnacles. The best area of the site is around 24 meters
where you will be in awe at the coral gardens of soft and hard coral variety. The dive comes to an end close
to the island with exciting tunnels formed by large rock formations. Often you can see some of the bigger
pelagics taking a "siesta" in the crevices.
Snapper Alley and Gorill Bay
This is a typical east-coast dive and one of our favorite sites from which we like to start of our dive trips.
The light is incredible early in the morning, hence the name. The hard coral is aboundant and healthy.
At depth where the coral ends and the sand take over "Garden eels" rule and Leopard sharks are often spotted
Many a divemasters’ favorite, Fantasea Reef boasts enormous rocks, some as large as houses, create a
spectacular underwater landscape that attracts large amounts of fish. The curious and beautiful looking Clown
Trigger Fish is often seen at 15 to 20 meters of depth. Large stingrays are also often seen congregating on the
sandy bottom. Richelieu Rock
This large underwater granite pinnacle rises steeply from a depth of around 33 meters. It barely
breaks the surface making it a navigational hazard for many boats. The dive site is spectacular with a large
number of anemones, sponges of all shapes and sizes and soft corals the color of the rainbow lining the rock.
The star of the show, however, is the amazing whale shark which is often spotted here.
Andaman Reef is patrolled by large numbers of reef fish and shoals of barracuda, trevally, jacks and other pelagics.
Huge coral heads scatter the sandy bottom and healthy staghorn coral provide shelter for hunting groupers, moray eels and
Lionfish. It is an excellent site for the underwater photographer with plenty of macro shots available.
Koh Bon and koh Tachai
The best diving at these dives sites are below thirty meters, where the colors turn to hues of blue.
Bring a torch, however, and the soft corals really come alive. Mantas are often seen in the current
and Turtles and Leopard Sharks are regular visitors as well.