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Similan Islands

Located in Pha-nga province, 90 km north-west of Phuket, the Similan Islands boast one of Thailand’s most famous diving sites and can lay claim to having one of the best diving sites in Asia. The Similan's consist of nine islands (Similan means nine in Malay language) Koh Bon, Koh Bayu, Koh Similan, Koh Payu, Koh Miang (two adjoining islands), Koh Payan, Koh Payang, and Koh Huyong. The islands are famed for their thriving reefs and abundance of delicate coral and superb variety of exciting marine life. It is possible to see chevron barracuda, giant trevally, manta rays, leopard sharks and rainbow runners. Of all the islands, one of the most popular with divers is Koh Bo. This island has a sheer wall 35 meters deep which is followed by a stepped ridge descending to 45 meters. Located roughly 25 km north of here, but not actually part of the Similan's, is Koh Tachai with its lush tropical foliage and underwater ridge which juts out at 90 degrees. Divers may experience the opportunity to encounter leopard sharks, nurse sharks or whale sharks.

Other popular diving sites in Similan's include:

Stonehenge: This is a large towering rock formation with a variety of marine life. Divers can spot barrel sponges, lionfish, gorgonian sea fans, barracuda, wrasse, ghost pipefish and long nose butterfly fish.

Snapper Alley: This site is extremely popular for night dives its solid healthy table and sheet provides marine life places to hide and sleep.

Shark-fin Reef: This is a great dive site for experienced divers. It is possible to spot clown trigger fish, half-moon trigger fish, bat fish and surgeon fish.

Elephant Head Rock: This rock is simply a massive boulder and is ideal for experienced and daring divers. Silver trevally, jet black trevally, small reef sharks, hawksbill turtle, lionfish, grouper and snapopers can all be seen.

East of Eden: Here boasts the most spectacular bommie in the Similan's and the violet and blue corals are just breath-taking.

Donald Duck Bay: This rock was named after the cartoon character it resembles and it is another great site for marine life where one can also see crabs, octopus and cuttlefish running across the sea bed.

 

Surin Islands

The Surin Islands are virtually untouched with pristine virgin reefs that meticulously slope to the seabed. The islands are situated 80 km west of Rayong province along the west cost of Thailand.

 

Located near the Surin islands is the horseshoe shaped Richelieu Rock which is considered by hoards of divers to be the most fantastic dive site in the whole of Thailand. The sheer diversity of marine life is amazing. Divers may see schooling chevron barracuda, numerous types of moray eels, abundant lionfish and scorpion fish and five types of anemone fish, juvenile emperor angel fish, sea horses, ornate ghost pipefish, harlequin shrimps and even whale sharks, manta rays and shovelnose rays. Richelieu Rock is a must-see for every diver in the south of Thailand.

Other popular diving sites in the Similans , Thailand

Diving in Thailand page 3, Diving destinations & sites
Diving in Thailand page 5, Great Diving places around Thailand