Similans Diving From Khao lak
So, you’ve booked your flights, you’re coming to Thailand. Now just to book your diving. You’ve heard tell that Similans diving is some of the best in the world. But which sites are a must for any Similans diving trip?
It’s possible you’ve been told that no Similans diving holiday would be complete without making sure you check out dive sites Richelieu Rock, Koh Bon and Koh Tachai. This is certainly true and it would be sheer madness not to dive these sites. However, perhaps what you don’t know is that although all three are located in the Similan Islands National Park. They’re not actually part of the Similan group of islands.
“Similan” comes from the Malaysian word for nine, and as such there are nine Similan Islands, usually referred to by number, heading geographically from south to north.
So, with this is mind – what are the top dive sites in the Similan Islands? With too many sites to mention, here are my personal top three:
West of Eden (a.k.a. Amongst the Rocks)
A perfect site for divers of all experience levels, West of Eden is the paradise garden of Similans diving. Located on the West side of island #7 this sheltered site rarely has much current to contend with and is renowned for its exquisite natural beauty. Home of spearing mantis shrimp, giant sea fans, and corals galore you never know quite what you’ll find on this site. With so much life around you, don’t forget to occasionally turn your attention to the blue – you might just be surprised at what you see!
Elephant Head Rock
Frequently listed as one of the top dive sites in the world. Elephant Head Rock is a spectacular pinnacle to the south of island #8. It’s the topography of the site that makes it so truly breathtaking. Huge boulders reaching up from 30 meters, more swim-thrus than should be physically possible, and an abundance of life that never ceases to astound. Elephant Head Rock is the true epicentre of any Similans diving adventure.
Situated on the north east corner of island #9. Three Trees is a surprisingly rarely dived site with only a limited number of dive operators diving there regularly. For me, this has only added to its mystique and charm. What’s so unique about this site is the three distinct elements of the dive. Starting at 30 meters with stunning rocks, barrel sponges and fans looking out over a huge sandy drop off, you’ll then ascend over gently sloping sand littered with beautiful bommies from 25 to 18 meters, before reaching the reef where you’ll finish the dive drifting with the current whilst surrounded by schooling batfish, fusiliers and barracuda. To top it off, it’s also a great reef to spot turtles. What’s not to like?