¨Dive Sites by Julian Arenas Mahe¨

Khao Lak Scuba Adventures long year cruise director Julian has been an incredible artist when it came to draw dive site maps. His maps have been legendary on every briefing an no one looked like the other.

Enjoy the maps and the dive site descriptions of one of the most experienced divers around the Similan Islands, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai and Richelieu Rock.

This is one of the Thailand diving sites where you will be asked to do a negative scuba entry. The top of the diving pinnacle starts at 18m, so during the diving descent you are completely exposed to the currents. The idea is to arrive on the top of the Thailand liveaboard diving pinnacle as soon as possible, as to avoid being blown off the khao lak dive site. Without a diving mooring line to use for the padi scuba descent, we are forced to jump in the similan water with the BCD completely empty, and descend straight away, finning to the top of the scuba pinnacle, where your manta queen dive guide will ask the first “OK?” Don’t worry though! Erase your serious face! Your khao lak scuba adventures dive guide will give you all the liveaboard scuba information you need for the similan liveaboard dive, and will address any worries you may have, in their enthusiastic and thorough manta queen dive briefing.

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HIN LUANG


Difficulty: -
Depth: - , Visibility: -

KOH BON


Difficulty: Intermediate / Advanced
Depth: 10 - 40 metres, Visibility: 10 - 30 metres

Koh Bon Thailand diving is a granite islet situated some distance to the northwest of the Similan diving Islands, however it is still considered to be part of the Similan National Park near the Khao lak diving destination for thailand liveaboards and similan diving safaris. A favourite dive site is the western ridge of the island two hours away from the thailand diving similan islands, which falls steeply away to the deep. Khao Lak Dive liveaboard  usually park in a bay located south of the ridge, where they have maximum protection against wind and strong waves.

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A solitary island located 20 km north of Koh Bon within the tour of all Manta Queen Diving Boats and Liveaboards cruising along the Similan diving Sites, Koh Tachai has magnificent white sandy Thailand Scuba & Snorkel beaches with two interesting Thailand dive sites, Southern Thailand diving Pinnacles and Scuba diving Thailand Eastern Reef. Thailand diving Koh Tachai Pinnacle or Twin Peaks, are a pair of submerged Thailand diving pinnacles located 500 metres south of Koh Tachai and are marked by a couple of buoys in the National Marine Park Similan Islands and Surin Island.

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KOH TACHAI 


Difficulty: Intermediate / Advanced PADI
Depth: 12 - 40 metres, Visibility: 10 - 30 metres

RICHELIEU ROCK


Difficulty: Intermediate / Advanced
Depth: 5 - 40 metres, Visibility: 5 - 30 metres

Richelieu Rock (called Hin Plo Naam in Thailand) is a Thailand dive site in Thailand in the Andaman Sea near the Similan Islands . It is part of the Thailand diving Mu Koh Surin marine park although being about 18 km east of Surin Island. One of the most famous Thailand dive sites of Thailand, Richelieu Rock is an isolated diving pinnacle to the east of of Thailand Surin Islands. The site is marked by the top of the scuba diving Thailand pinnacle which is 1 metre above Andaman sea level during low tide, and disappears underwater during high tide.

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Thailand diving site East of Eden (called Ruan Gluay-Mai in Thaiand) East of Koh Pa-Yu (Similan Island diving number 7), the East of Eden Similan dive site runs from North to South and is an ideal scuba similan liveaboard dive site for reef diving in Thailand. The reef slope ranges from 5 to 40 metres. In the north of the Similan diving Island, there is a cluster of staghorn coral and blue coral punctuated by sparse rocks for Thailand Liveaboard Trips. In the middle of the site, you will find mostly sand and scattered fire corals.

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EAST OF EDEN


Difficulty: Beginner to Intermediate 
Depth: 5 - 40 metres, Visibility: 20 - 30 metres

WEST OF EDEN


Difficulty: Beginner to Intermediate
Depth: 12 - 35 metres, Visibility: 15 - 30 metres

When East of Eden became too crowded divers started to look for other Liveaboard Thailand dive sites in the area, they went to the west side of Koh Pa-Yu (Island 7) and discovered that the Garden of Eden does not only face east.

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Similan Liveaboard North Point also known as Similan scuba diving Rocky Point is a Thailand liveaboard dive site comprising submerged rocks located to the northeast of similan island 9 and north of similan island Breakfast Bend. Marked by a diving buoy one kilometre north of the similan liveaboard island, the huge boulders are surrounded by large areas of sand. The northern boulders extend to below 35 metres thailand liveaboard diving depth. The formations of adhering rocks create holes and a swimthrough at around 20 metres. Remarkably, in the southern area, a steep gigantic boulder forms a scenic, elongated channel five metres below the surface that runs from east to west.

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NORTH POINT


Difficulty: Intermediate
Depth: 10 - 35 metres, Visibility: 20 - 25 metres

ANITA’S REEF


Difficulty: Beginner to Intermediate
Depth: 5 - 40 metres, Visibility: 20 - 40 metres

Similan Island liveaboard diving Anita's Reef (Hin Muan Deaw) spreads betwen between two Thailand liveaboard islands, Similan #5 and Similan #6 which are two of the smaller liveaboard islands adjacent to one another. The scubareef starts from the east of Similan island 6 and runs to the south of Similan island 5. The reef slope from the reef flat at five to ten metres to the sandy bottom at a maximum of 26 to 28 metres. Shallow Thailand liveaboard coral gardens comprise huge pore and staghorn corals with small pinnacles. Colourful corals are scattered along white powdery sand, creating beautiful natural scenery.

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Thailand Similan Liveaboard diving Deep Six is a cluster of submerged boulders is located on the north of Similan Island #7 (Koh Pa-Yu). The Khao Lak Liveaboard Divesite Deep Six is an extension of the main island that continues underwater, with a maximum depth of 35 to 40 metres. There are many outcrops throughout the area, along with scattered rocks with soft corals and sea fans on the outer parts. 

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DEEP SIX 


Difficulty: Intermediate to Advanced
Depth: 5 - 40 metres, Visibility: 15 - 25 metres

BEACON REEF


Difficulty: -
Depth: - , Visibility: -

The top plateau located between 5m and 12m is great for training and night dives. Below 12 meters a lucky few will find the sloping reef dropping to 25m inhabited by Moray eels, nudibranches, shrimp and the home of one of the few wrecks located in the Similan Islands archipelago. Around 20 meters lies a sunken wooden liveaboard collapsing slowly and making a great home for Batfish, Snapper, Scorpionfish and Lionfish.

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Our main reference above and below is the ridge itself. The elongated shape covers a long distance, making walls, platforms, cracks, and small caves where we can spend the second half of the dive after exploring the deeper parts of the surrounding area. Let’s see if you will be lucky enough to find leopard sharks resting in the sand, humphead parrotfish, marble stingrays, or even pink whiprays.

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SHARK FIN REEF


Difficulty: - 
Depth: - , Visibility: -

THREE TREES


Difficulty: -
Depth: - , Visibility: -

This dive site on Island 9 consists of two sections and is ideal for any dive of the day. The fringing reef starts at 5m and slopes to 20m with a mixture of healthy hard corals. This is the home of many different types of marine life such as Moray, Octopus, Mantis shrimp and Lobster. This site is also a great feeding ground for Hawksbill turtles.

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MV Sea Chart 1 was in the process of transporting 1,200 logs of wood in its 3200 tonnes hold from Burma, heading across the Andaman Sea, down through the Straits of Malacca and then on to to its final destination in Vietnam. However, in August 2009, the bulk-carrier encountered problems not far from Thailand’s coast, where rough seas and severe weather battered the ship, causing multiple leaks in its hull. Water also leaked into the engine room and began to sink the vessel. 

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SEACHART WRECK


Difficulty: -
Depth: - , Visibility: -

BOONSUNG WRECK


Difficulty: -
Depth: - metres, Visibility: -

Over several years, it became colonized by thousands upon thousands of fish, glad to be lucky enough to have to an artificial reef in a vast expanse of sand. When the tsunami hit in 2004, it broke the structure into four main pieces, making it ever more interesting. Around the wreck, which locals describe as “fish soup,” you will pass through clouds of snappers, fusiliers, batfish, and trevally as you look for the special things living within the wreck and in the surrounding sand. Crocodile fish, stonefish, scorpionfish, lionfish, ornate ghost pipefish and much more reside with the kings of the site, the nudibranch. Do you think you will be able to find more than 10 different species on the same dive? I know I will!

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Placed close to the Taplamu coast, the visibility is largely affected by the coastal tide. On a good day, the visibility may not get much better than about 10m, but you can still hope to see a variety of nudibranch, mollusks, pipefish scorpion fish, cuttlefish, crocodile fish, mantis shrimp, orangutan crab, and moray eel.

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PREMCHAI WRECK  


Difficulty: -
Depth: - , Visibility: -