Similan Day Trip Diving
The other day I came back from diving on a Similan day trip diving to Koh Tachai. It was one of those Similan scuba diving trips that leave you smiling all the way back to Main land Khao lak.
To clarify, Koh Tachai is a small island between the Surin islands and Koh Bon. It’s part of the Similan islands national park but is not one of the nine Similan islands. Koh Tachai was featured in a travel magazine a couple of years back. Its popularity shot through the roof, beyond its own capacity, which the authority recognized and closed the actual islands from visitors. However, for us who wish to scuba dive it is not a problem. They left the dive site just off the island open!
The dive site is accessible both from a Similan diving safari or also known as Similan liveaboard or Similan day trips diving. On this particular day I was on board a Similan day trip. We arrive to find only one other Similan day trip there and no Khao Lak liveaboards in sight. After a safety briefing and gearing up, we dropped in and discovered there was a slight drift (current). So, we decided to descend down the line. On most dive sites in the Similan islands that we dive, both from Khao Lak liveaboard and Similan island day trips there is option to go down on mooring lines.
Plateau on Koh Tachai
We arrived at the top of the plateau just in time to see a banded sea snake gracefully swim off into the blue. This dive site is compared to the actual Similan islands a little more demanding. It is not the best place for a refresher dive or for the totally inexperienced diver. If you fall in one of those categories the best idea to dive this site is from a Khao Lak liveaboard. You then get to do a few dives before reaching Koh Tachai and will be well adjusted to the conditions when your Khao Lak liveaboard arrives at Koh Tachai.
We saw about 1000 barracudas
Back to my dive, we did our maximum depth of 26m on the lea side of the current to preserve air. When we started to feel the current gently against us, we came up a few meters and it is here that we saw our first barracuda. A single chevron barracuda came up and looked at us scuba divers. As if he wanted to tell us to stop wasting time in the deep, he slowly swan past us and kept our attention as he took off in a distance. As our eyes tracked him into the blue we saw it! I looked back at the scuba divers following me and their eyes were so big… I wondered if they might pop out of the mask. Because right above was a school of barracudas that covered the whole dive site! There must’ve been 1000 individuals!
Not just barracudas
Behind the school, I can see our Similan day trip boat bopping gently up and down on the mooring line, that’s how clear the water was. We slowly started to ascend to get closer to the barracudas when a massive brown marble grouper stole our attention for a couple of minutes just to be passed on to a massive giant moray eel. As we reach the top of the plateau again there
As we reach the top of the plateau again there was a couple of octopuses. They seem to realize that we all wanted to watch the barracudas so they put on this ridiculous colour show to try and distract us. It worked for a little while but soon we were back to focus on the barracudas. We ascend a little more and soon we were absolutely and totally surrounded by their silvery, lean strong bodies. It’s mesmerizing but also intriguing due to their impressive rack of teeth. We felt humble and grateful to have had this experience on our Similan day trip.
Back on the Similan day trip boat again we can’t stop talking. Divers were randomly cheering while describing their own personal interaction with these animals. It’s a passion that spreads far beyond the many languages represented on this Similan day trip.
After swapping our tanks and grabbing something to eat we start the engines and head over to Koh Bon to continue our Similan day trip. But that dive, is a different story.
Koh Tachai is a true gem amongst our many dive sites in the Similan islands. It’s a small dive site that can be reached from Khao Lak in about an hour with speedboat. If you do a Khao Lak liveaboard you might be given the opportunity to do more than one dive on this site. On a Similan day trip it is usually combined with the lovely Koh Bon where scuba diving can be as good or better than Koh Tachai. It all depends on “who’s home” and isn’t that the true glory of diving? No day is ever the same.
For more information about Koh Tachai, Similan day trip diving or Khao lak Liveaboards, don’t hesitate to contact us.