andaman scuba

Similan Richelieu Rock Overview

Diving Similan Islands

The worldwide reputation of diving Similan Islands is due to the area having the richest variety of marine life in Thai waters, there are around 500 species of hard and soft corals, and an even higher amount of pelagic and coral fish with sizes that many other sites struggle to match.

In very special decor made with some large granite boulders which are reminiscent of those of Seychelles, whose origin could go back to the time of the great continental drift there are hundreds of millions of years, Diving Similan Archipelago is also home to the biggest fish in the world, the whale shark, which together with manta rays, leopard and white tip sharks are regularly encountered during the peak season.

Aside from diving Similan, the seabed topography is truly fantastic: huge granite boulders covered with coral lie together all the way from the surface to 40 meters and beyond, providing lots of exciting swim-throughs, canyons, archways and caves, some perfect spots for U/W pictures and video effects.

Surin Archipelago & Richelieu Rock Diving

The Archipelago is composed of the Koh Bon, Koh Tachai, Surin Islands and Richelieu Rock. Koh Bon with its breathtaking drop-off where large manta rays are encountered, here during the lunch break and spent 20 minutes swimming in 5 meters of water.

Slightly further north lies Koh Tachai, with its reef in the middle of the sea and depths up to 35 meters, covered with granite boulders, sea fans and large schools of pelagic.

The Surin Islands offer a large number of dive sites with coral gardens, fields of granite boulders and therefore a wide and rich amount of fish and coral species.

Whale shark diving is considered from many divers as the must of Thailand. The famous Richelieu Rock, the origin of the name is not clear; however, some say it was named after the red color of Cardinal Richelieu‘s robe, due to the red to purple colors of the soft corals on the reef. Others claim it was named after a Danish naval officer who became a Siamese admiral in the Royal Thai Navy. There is enough on show here to justify several dives; Sand sharks, (leopard, nurse) big stingrays and other pelagic such as barracuda, tuna, mackerel, which are a common feature and what about that whale shark waiting for you to take a swim with?

Location

richelieu rock
diving similan
richelieu rock

Diving Similan Islands - Best Dive Sites

In the south East of Diving Similan – crystal waters – submerged huge boulders & white sand spread over a wide area from 15 to 45m depth – gorgonian sea fans, tree corals – home of leopard sharks & stingrays – manta rays during the season.

Depths between 15 and 35 m – covered with soft yellow, green and blue corals – a rich variety of pelagic species – in season manta rays often encountered – current can be strong

North-East side of the islands #5 and 6 (Koh Ha/Ko Hok) – sloping bottom of white coral sand, covered with pinnacles of hard & soft corals – 15 to 25 m – a rich variety of tropical reef-fishes – pelagic species on the bottom – current mostly mild following the reef on one direction

North-East side of island #7 (Koh Payu) – sloping bottom of white coral sand, covered with pinnacles of hard & soft corals – reef descending from the surface to 25-30 m – rich variety of tropical reef-fishes & pelagic species – mostly protected from waves and current – species as well as pelagic – turtles – grey reef shark – current is often present with protection on one side of the reef.

Certainly the “Deepest dive” of the Similans – Starting with Arches above the surface the reef descends like a wall to 50m depth – rocks covered with hard and soft corals – gorgonian sea fans – smaller reef of the dive site– tree corals – leopard sharks – white & black tip reef sharks – manta rays – school of hump head parrotfish.

One of the guide’s preferred dives for diving Similan – a group of three large granite boulders emerge between island #7 and #8 – a spectacular dive site formed of arches, tunnels & swim-throughs – rich in soft corals and gorgonian sea fans – jackfish fusiliers – tuna – giant moray eels – 10 to 35m depth, with moderate to strong current but protection amongst the boulders are easily found

Northwest point of island #8 – a group of shallow boulders – max depth 12 m – most beautiful at night – hard and soft coral – species – lobster, a rich variety of crabs and shrimps – small swim-through – side of the bay always protected from current & waves on the winter season

Eastside of island #9 (Koh Bangu) – sloping sandy bottom with pinnacles of hard and soft corals – reef from the surface to 25 m – rich in various reef fish – leopard sharks – current mostly mild following generally the reef in one direction

Westside #9 (Koh Bangu) – boulders and arches – dynamic dive site from 10 to 30 m – soft & hard corals – leopard sharks – white & black tip reef sharks – turtles – pelagic fish – tuna, mackerel, barracuda – current moderate to strong

Huge boulders forming large granite canyons area – from 10 to 30 m – gorgonian sea fans, soft corals – home of batfish school, giant moray eels, barracuda & turtles – current mostly mild.

Diving Richelieu Rock & Surin Islands - Best Dive Sites

Pinnacle at 18 m depth and descends to 50 m and beyond -covered with soft yellow corals – rich variety of pelagic species; barracuda, tuna, jackfish, sharks – in season manta rays often encountered – current can be strong

South East of island #3 (ko payan) – huge long submersible boulders from a sloping sandy bottom covered with boulders to depths of 40m and beyond – formation of rocks always protected from currents on one side

Platform in open sea surrounded by boulders – 10-35 m – covered with hard and soft corals – leopard sharks common, white and black tip reef sharks, pelagic fishes – in season manta rays and wale sharks encounters possible – current can be strong

Limestone pinnacle in open sea between Surin Islands and mainland of Thailand – 8-30 m – covered with soft corals and anemones – very rich variety of reef fishes as well as many pelagic; best dive site to encounter whale sharks – current can be strong but one side of the dive site is mostly protected from current

Eastside of Koh Surin Tai – 5-20 m sloping reef with mostly hard corals – rich variety of tropical reef fishes – turtles common – follow current into one direction

South from Surin Islands – 5-25 m – beautiful rocks covered with gorgonian sea fans, hard and soft corals combined with a stunning sloping reef – rich variety of hard corals, tropical reef fishes as well as pelagic: tuna, trevallies, barracudas, turtles common – dive along with current in one direction

Beautiful dive site south from Koh Surin Tai covered with yellow soft corals – 10-25 m – very rich variety of reef fishes together with pelagic – oriental sweetlips very common as well as turtles and mangrove whip rays – current can be very strong

Submersible rock at the south point of Koh Surin Tai – 5-15 m – hard corals – spiny lobsters and variety of crabs – most beautiful at night

Small island north of Surin Islands – 5-25 m – at the west coast boulders can be found under water – fusiliers, mangrove whip rays and white and black tip reef sharks can be seen here – at the north coast we find a beautiful sloping reef with a rich variety of hard corals – turtles common here

Small island similar to Hin Kong – 10-35 m –white tip and black tip reef sharks, leopard sharks, and in season manta rays can be found – current can be strong

andaman scuba

Similan Richelieu Rock Itinerary

4 Days / 4 Nights / 15 Dives

  • 20h30 – Dinner and Navigation
  • 08.00 – 1º Dive Similan Islands
  • 09.00 – Breakfast
  • 11.00 – 2º Dive Similan Islands
  • 12.30 – Lunch
  • 02.30 – 3º Dive Similan Islands
  • 04.00 – Beach Similan Islands
  • 07.00 – Night Dive Similan Islands
  • 08.30 – Dinner
  • 07.30 – 1º Dive Similan Islands
  • 09.00 – Breakfast
  • 11.00 – 2º Dive Similan Islands
  • 12.30 – Lunch
  • 02.30 – 3º Dive Koh Bon
  • 07.00 – Night Dive Koh Bon
  • 08.30 – Dinner
  • 07.30 – 1º Dive Koh Bon
  • 09.00 – Breakfast
  • 11.00 – 2º Dive Koh Tachai
  • 12.30 – Breakfast
  • 02.30 – 3º Dive Koh Tachai
  • 07.00 – Night Dive
  • 08.30 – Dinner
  • 07.00 – 1º Dive Richelieu Rock
  • 08.30 – Breakfast
  • 10.30 – 2º Dive Richelieu Rock
  • 12.00 – Lunch
  • 02.00 – 3º Dive Richelieu Rock
    Navigation Back
  • 07.00 – Disembarking

4 Days / 5 Nights / 15 Dives

  • 20h30 – Dinner and Navigation
  • 08.00 – 1º Dive Similan Islands
  • 09.00 – Breakfast
  • 11.00 – 2º Dive Similan Islands
  • 12.30 – Lunch
  • 02.30 – 3º Dive Similan Islands
  • 04.00 – Beach Similan Islands
  • 07.00 – Night Dive Similan Islands
  • 08.30 – Dinner
  • 07.30 – 1º Dive Similan Islands
  • 09.00 – Breakfast
  • 11.00 – 2º Dive Similan Islands
  • 12.30 – Lunch
  • 02.30 – 3º Dive Koh Bon
  • 07.00 – Night Dive Koh Bon
  • 08.30 – Dinner
  • 07.30 – 1º Dive Koh Bon
  • 09.00 – Breakfast
  • 11.00 – 2º Dive Koh Tachai
  • 12.30 – Breakfast
  • 02.30 – 3º Dive Koh Tachai
  • 07.00 – Night Dive
  • 08.30 – Dinner
  • 07.00 – 1º Dive Richelieu Rock
  • 08.30 – Breakfast
  • 10.30 – 2º Dive Richelieu Rock
  • 12.00 – Lunch
  • 02.00 – 3º Dive Richelieu Rock
  • 08.00 – Dinner
  • 07.30 – Breakfast
  • 08.30 – Disembarking