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Liveaboard Dive Sites

Richelieu Rock, Koh Bon and
Koh Tachai, Similan Islands
and Boonsung Wreck
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Richelieu Rock

Richelieu Rock

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Richelieu Rock


The Richelieu Rock is Thailand’s premier dive site and one of the best places in Thailand to see Big Pelagics, macro treats and incredible corals all at one site. This huge pinnacle climbing from the depths of the Andaman Sea attracts scuba divers from around the world. The incredible concentration of biodiversity at one single site make Richelieu famous throughout diving circles - not to be missed by any diver in the region.

Located in the middle of the sea, Richelieu Rock provides no shelters for the boats. So there are only a few day trips that visit there and many liveaboards that include this site as part of their routes. As there is no protection descents are usually done right of the back of the boat – not tied up.

You can dive here over and over and see something new. The currents change constantly, and it’s not always an easy dive. But, if you have an experienced dive guide and they give a good detailed briefing, you can learn how to hide from the currents and have a very enjoyable dive.

Type of Dive Boulder/Wall
Depth 5 - 40 metres
Visibility 5 - 25 metres
Temperature 27 - 29 degrees C
Difficulty Intermediate to Advanced


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Koh Tachai Pinnacle

Koh Tachai Pinnacle

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Koh Tachai Pinnacle


Twenty-five kilometers north of Koh Bon, Koh Tachai has an offshore underwater ridge that runs perpendicular to the island. Known as "Twin Peaks" this is considered to be one of the finest dives in the Kingdom of Thailand and is famous as a place to see not only the more common species of corals, fans and tropical fish, but larger animals such as rays, leopard sharks, nurse sharks and hawksbill turtles. Whale sharks and Manta rays make an appearance on a regular basis.

A ridge runs between the two pinnacles, though the southern rock is the one most people dive on as there are two boat moorings there which makes it easier for divers to descend in a strong current. If you have the air and the current is not too strong, it's worthwhile swimming to the other rock which comes up a bit shallower. However, most of the time the current runs perpendicular to the ridge making a long swim tiring. It's heaven for the fish, though; they hunt and dart around, coming very close to divers, making the diving here about as exiting as it gets here in Thailand.

Type of Dive Boulder
Depth 12 - 40 metres
Visibility 10 - 25 metres
Temperature 27 - 29 degrees C
Difficulty Intermediate to Advanced


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Koh Bon Ridge

Koh Bon Ridge

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Koh Bon Ridge


Koh Bon is located about 20 km north of Similan Island #9 and features one of the only vertical walls in Thailand. The main dive site is on the southwestern point and has a step-down ridge that carries on to depths of over 45 metres. The eastern side of this ridge forms the wall and this is where most divers will enter the water and generally where the boats moor. The western side of the ridge is more of a gentle slope with coral bommies forming mushroom-like formations out of the finger corals.

On the ridge itself, seafans of different sizes, shapes and colors grow, and schooling fish swim in the current feeding. This is generally where most divers will sit most of the dive, hoping for a sighting of the manta rays which frequent this dive site. These creatures seem to travel from Bon to Tachai and back again during the diving season from October until May.

Type of Dive Wall/Slope/Reef/Drift
Depth 10 - 40 metres
Visibility 10 - 25 metres
Temperature 27 - 29 degrees C
Difficulty Intermediate to Advanced


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Koh Bon Pinnacle

Koh Bon Pinnacle

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Koh Bon Pinnacle


There is a pinnacle in the bay just to the north of the ridge. It's a deep rock, but if you're an experienced diver it's worth the short bottom times you'll get as it's a very special site. Not all boats visit it and if conditions are not good (like the current is running strong), it's not worth the effort. But, if the water is clear, you're good with your air, and the current is slack, it's a stunning rock. It looks like a monolithic temple built by some ancient culture.

The rock runs along an almost east to west course, the taller of the two pinnacles comes up to about 18 metres and the other pinnacle comes only up to about 24 metres. The sandy areas around the rock are well over 45 metres so beyond the range of most scuba divers. However, when the visibility is good you see all the way around the rock. Leopard sharks hang here, but it's also a good place to see smaller critters hiding in the rock. It's not dived as much as the ridge since it's deeper and the currents can make it more difficult so beginners have a tough time here. The pinnacle is fairly close to the main ridge and it's possible to swim to the ridge, though there is little reason to do so.

Type of Dive Wall/Slope/Reef/Drift
Depth 10 - 40 metres
Visibility 10 - 25 metres
Temperature 27 - 29 degrees C
Difficulty Intermediate to Advanced


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North Point

North Point (Similan Island # 9)

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North Point


Huge boulders extend to 35 metres are surrounded by large areas of sand. The formations of adhering rocks create holes and a swim-through at around 20 metres. A steep gigantic boulder forms a scenic, elongated channel at 5 metres. Next to the channel are shallow fringe reefs that consist of staghorn and hard corals.

Resting on the sand, sometimes close to the boulders are leopard sharks and white tip reef sharks. The sand is also habitat for many gobies and shrimps. Kuhl’s stingrays are always found buried under the sand. Schools of giant trevally, bluefin trevally, goatfish, surgeonfish and unicornfish often visit this site.

Type of Dive Boulder/Reef
Depth 10 - 35 metres
Visibility 20 - 25 metres
Temperature 27 - 29 degrees C
Difficulty Intermediate


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Three Trees

Three Trees (Similan Island # 9)

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Three Trees


On the northeast corner of Similan Island #9, Three trees or Batfish Bend has fantastic diversity, it is identified by the Three distinctive trees on the island marking the start point of the dive.
The dive starts with a 8 metres shelf which sloped down to around 18 metres in the sand, if you cross the sand for around 20 metres you will find boulder formations which go down to 30 metres and many coral blocks on the way to them.

In the sand stingrays are common, as are garden eels. The boulders sometimes have leopard sharks around them. In the coral blocks on the sand look for the many cleaning stations with white stripe cleaning and Durban dancing shrimp.
Once back to the reef, which is hard coral and whip corals, look for the many grouper, trigger fish and for the four napoleon Wrasse that are frequently spotted on this reef.

Long fin batfish are a visitor to this site, with them often following you for the dive as you make your way along the reef. In the shallow area look for the milkfish and hawksbill turtles that frequent the area.

Type of Dive Reef/Sand/Rocks
Depth 8 - 20 metres
Visibility 20 - 25 metres
Temperature 27 - 29 degrees C
Difficulty Intermediate

A big thank you to KSA to provide this map.

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Christmas Point

Christmas Point (Similan Island # 9)

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Christmas Point


Is a cluster of submerged boulders. Underwater, large stacked boulders stretch to a depth of 35 to 40 metres, which create an arch-like swim-through at 24 metres. The crevices are covered by colorful soft corals and sea fans. A hard coral garden made up of rows of stag horn and pore corals is located at a shallow depth of 10 metres.

Around the borders of the rocks and beyond, at a depth of 25 to 40 metres, you are likely to find leopard sharks, white tip and black tip reef sharks and other big fish such as Napoleon wrasse, great barracuda, giant trevally and tunas.

Type of Dive Boulder/Sand/Reef
Depth 12 - 35 metres
Visibility 15 - 30 metres
Temperature 27 - 29 degrees C
Difficulty Beginner to Intermediate


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Breakfast Bend

Breakfast Bend (Similan Island # 9)

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Breakfast Bend


A very long coral reef slopes gently from a depth of 5 to 10 metres, falling to a sand bottom at 25 to 30 metres. The main feature is hard corals, pore corals, staghorn corals, brain corals, while soft corals are hard to find. Leopard sharks are common and sometimes two to three of these can be seen in the same dive. White tip reef sharks and Napoleon wrasse are also possible here. Kuhl’s stingrays, garden eels, groupers, triggerfish, different sorts of gobies on the the sand are a common sight.

Schools of soldierfish and bluefin trevally as well as some camouflage experts such as octopuses and ghost pipefish. Furthermore, cometfish can also sometimes be seen in rock crevices. Large swarms of friendly batfish and yellowtail barracuda can always be found swimming around.

Type of Dive Boulder/Sand/Reef
Depth 8 - 25 metres
Visibility 15 - 30 metres
Temperature 27 - 29 degrees C
Difficulty Beginner to Intermediate


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Turtle Rock

Turtle Rock (Similan Island # 8)

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Turtle Rock


The site’s landmark is a rock shaped like a turtle. Turtle Rock consists of stacked rocks and staghorn corals stretching along the edge of the island. The sand bottom is at 25 metres. North of the rocky area is a shallow part that is 8 to 10 metres in depth. There is also a swim-through.

On the sandy bottom, Kuhl’s stingrays and garden eels are a common sight. Nestled within the crevices of the rocks, you are likely to find several kinds of sweetlips, snappers, groupers, angelfish and moray eels. Also, various small creatures like nudibranchs and squat lobsters. Sea turtles are often seen here too.

Type of Dive Reef, Sand, Rocks
Depth 10 - 30 metres
Visibility 10 - 30 metres
Temperature 27 - 29 degrees C
Difficulty Beginner / Intermediate

Thank you to Similan Dive Guide for the provision of the map.

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Beacon Reef

Beacon Reef (Similan Island # 8)

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Beacon Reef


...features a steep drop off from a depth of 5 metres to a sandy bottom around 40 metres, with a striking diversity of hard corals. The dropoff has a great variety of healthy hard corals, staghorn corals, brain corals, pore corals, bottlebrush corals and many more. A landmark of this site is a shipwreck, known as “Atlantis X”. The ship sank in 2002 and fortunately there were no fatalities from the incident. The wreck lies on the reef slope at a depth of 30 metres at the stern and 15 metres at the bow.

Due to the lush corals, reef fish such as angelfish, butterflyfish, fairy basslets, pufferfish, porcupinefish, triggerfish and moray eels are abundant here.

Type of Dive Reef, Sand, Rocks
Depth 10 - 30 metres
Visibility 10 - 30 metres
Temperature 27 - 29 degrees C
Difficulty Beginner / Intermediate

Thank you to Similan Dive Guide for the provision of the map.

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Elephant Head Rock

Elephant Head Rock (Similan Island # 8)

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Elephant Head Rock


Is the biggest pinnacle in the Similans, visible from the surface. There are three large boulders that emerge above water. Submerged boulders are piled up, forming sheer walls and swim-through that are covered with assorted colors of soft corals and sea fans.
The site is surrounded by sand at a maximum depth of 35 to 40 metres.

In addition, cave walls are full of soft corals, creating plenty of magnificent scenery that makes you feel like you are swimming in an underwater valley. Many areas are popular among underwater photographers, such as a wall that has a head-sized round opening or a channel between the steep cliffs with a lot of soft corals.

Often you can see white tip and black tip reef sharks outside the boulders. In addition, juvenile white tip reef sharks sometimes lay in the cracks of the boulders

Type of Dive Boulder/Sand/Reef
Depth 5 - 30 metres
Visibility 15 - 30 metres
Temperature 27 - 29 degrees C
Difficulty Beginner to Intermediate

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Deep Six

Deep Six (Similan Island # 7)

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Deep Six


Deep Six is a V-shaped like extension from the mainland continuing north underwater and consists of small as well as huge rocks and boulders covered with soft coral and sea fans. Situated on the north tip of Island 7 (Koh Pa-Yu), Deep Six‘s depth ranging from 5 - 40 meters and is one of the best boulder sites in the Similan Islands. It’s an exciting deep dive site on the Similans and it was named after Island 6 before the islands were renamed (Elephant Head Rock lost its status as an island), hence the name Deep Six. At the biggest boulder in the centre, a pile of smaller rocks forms exciting swim-throughs, caverns and tunnels that rise from about 22 meters to about 12 meters.

Currents are moderate to strong, particularly at the northern pointed end of the reef. Depending on current direction, descend on either northeast (when north current) or northwest side (when south current) of the island and follow current around the tip and cross to the shallow coral area. The mooring line is a little west of the centre and will help you to get down easily without drifting away from the boulders. It is best to start deep, so you can use the current to ascend slowly upward, passing as many swim-throughs as possible. Most of them are at 12 – 18 meters depth. Because of dive profiles and currents, it is advised to stay close to the rocks since Deep Six is a more demanding dive site.

Type of Dive Boulder, Reef, Sand
Depth 15 - 30 metres
Visibility 15 - 20 metres
Temperature 20 - 25 degrees C
Difficulty Beginner / Intermediate

Thank you to Similan Dive Guide for the provision of the map.

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West Of Eden

West of Eden (Similan Island # 7)

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West Of Eden


This dive site is ideal for a reef dive. The reef slope ranges from 5 to 40 meters. In the north, there is a cluster of stag horn corals and blue corals punctuated by sparse rocks. In the middle of the site, you will find few corals, mostly sand and scattered fire coral.

The highlight of the site is a pinnacle, which is covered with colorful soft corals and sea fans, a magnificent sight that shows the diversity and beauty of the marine life in the reef. In addition, in the shallow parts, you will find a huge plain of small grass-like soft corals on the sand that create a very pretty picture that looks similar to an underwater Japanese garden!

On the outer sand area, there is a good chance to see sharks incl. black tip and white tip sharks, just lying on the sand. You may also have the opportunity to see a lobster hiding in a crevice. Along the reef, you will find a variety of small creatures, general reef fish or turtles.

Type of Dive Boulder/Wall
Depth 12 - 35 metres
Visibility 15 - 30 metres
Temperature 27 - 29 degrees C
Difficulty Beginner to Intermediate

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Anitas Reef

Anita’s Reef (Similan Island # 6)

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Anitas Reef


The reef spreads across two islands. The reef slop falls from the reef flat at 5 to 10 metres to the sand bottom at a maximum of 26 to 28 metres. Shallow coral gardens comprise huge pore and staghorn corals with small pinnacles. Colourful corals are scattered along white powdery sand, creating beautiful natural scenery. A big outcrop makes this dive site unique and attracts many photographers.

This fantastic rock at 12 metres is surrounded by various colorful soft corals, gigantic sea fans and many species of hard corals. It really is a must-see. At the south side of Anita’s reef are gigantic boulders that lie at 30 to 35 metres on a sand bottom and have formed a channel that divers can swim through and luckily can see sharks and big Kuhl’s stingrays.

This is a perfect site for searching for small creatures such as black-ray partner gobies, razor wrasse, rockmover wrasse. In addition angelfish, dragonets, pipefish, scorpionfish and varieties of colourful nudibranchs are commonly seen on the rocky reef. Furthermore clown triggerfish, octopuses and seasnakes have bee spotted.

Type of Dive Reef/Sand/Boulder/Wreck
Depth 5 - 40 metres
Visibility 20 - 40 metres
Temperature 27 - 29 degrees C
Difficulty Beginner to Intermediate


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Hideaway Bay

Hideaway Bay (Similan Island # 5)

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Hideaway Bay


The Hide Away Bay dive site is located a bit further South West of Anita’s reef. It is sometimes called Barracuda Point. This shallow bay features superb coral and great marine life. Go deeper and you’ll find granite boulders covered with coral well worth exploring. This and easy dive site perfect for all level of divers.

This makes a great spot for snorkeling and night diving. Be careful of the stones fishes and scorpion fishes when swimming there. You can see reef sharks, turtles, and groupers as well as the usual reef life of the Andaman Sea. The current is usually gentle, so enjoy this relaxing dive in the Similans!

Type of Dive Sand,Reef,Rocks, Tuna Wreck
Depth 10 - 30 metres
Visibility 10 - 15 metres
Temperature 20 - 25 degrees C
Difficulty Beginner / Students/ Intermediate


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Stonehenge

Stonehenge (Similan Island # 4)

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Stonehenge


Stonehenge dive site in the Similan Islands features fantastic marine life. You can spot White tip, Black tip and Leopard Sharks. It is also quite common to find lobsters and sea slugs in the cracks. Rays are often there too. Pelagic fish can be spotted with Barracudas and Giant trevallies. Macro lovers can look for the very rare Ornate Ghost Pipefish This spot is reserved to Advanced divers.

The Rocks start around 24 meters deep and go down to 36 meters deep. The current can sometimes be quite strong so always check before jumping in the water. The site is situated in the open Sea between the islands of Ko Miang and Ko Payu.
Stonehenge is classified as a Deep dive. This location is a Reef. This is great place for spotting and diving with Sharks!

Type of Dive Reef
Depth 15 - 35 metres
Visibility 15 - 20 metres
Temperature 20 - 25 degrees C
Difficulty Advanced / Deep


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Shark Fin Reef

Shark Fin Reef (East of Island # 3)

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Shark Fin Reef


This site was named for the shape of its elongated ridge rising above the surface which reminds many of a shark fin. It’s a formation of granite boulders with hard corals, stag horn corals and soft corals, combined with tiny rocks and sea fans. During low tide normally three pinnacles can be seen from the surface, which give the reef its name.

The vast majority of the site is occupied by boulders that fall steeply to 35 to 40 metres and are surrounded by sand. Due to the fact that the boulder formation is long, coral reefs have been divided into northern and southern areas. At various parts of the reef, some pinnacles have stacked themselves on top of one another, forming many swim-troughs that divers can enjoy.

Near the sandy areas, you are likely to find leopard sharks, white tip and black tip reef sharks, stingrays and spotted garden eels. Furthermore, this site is one of the few areas in the Similans where you can see Napoleon wrasse, bump head parrotfish as well as giant trevally and tunas. Sometimes, Manta rays and whale sharks can be spotted.

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, hump head parrotfish, marble stingrays, or even pink whip rays.
The shallow areas will excite photographers when they have to choose between interesting subjects in some the clearest waters of the Similan Islands.

Type of Dive Boulder/Sand/Reef
Depth 5 - 30 metres
Visibility 15 - 30 metres
Temperature 27 - 29 degrees C
Difficulty Beginner to Intermediate


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Boulder City

Boulder City (East of Island # 3)

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Boulder City


Is a cluster of underwater boulders with soft corals, huge sea fans and clumps of stag horn corals. Pinnacles lie 30 to 40 metres away from each other on a sand bottom and the tops of the boulders are submerged at a depth of 12 to 18 metres.

Sharks sometimes can be spotted around the sand bottom. You also can see Napoleon wrasse, bump head parrotfish and turtles as well.

Big groupers, snappers, angelfish, unicornfish, boxfish and pufferfish can all be found dwelling around the boulder cliff. Some smaller creatures such as pipefish, fire gobies, boxer shrimps and dancing shrimps can also be seen inside cracks and underneath rocky clusters. Lastly, sometimes big pelagics such as manta rays cruising around the vicinity.

Type of Dive Boulder/Wall
Depth 12 - 30 metres
Visibility 15 - 30 metres
Temperature 27 - 29 degrees C
Difficulty Beginner to Intermediate


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Boonsung Wreck

Boonsung Wreck (Local Dive Site)

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Boonsung Wreck


Some of the Liveaboards offer the last dive of the trip at the outstanding wreck "Boonsung". Here you will find an old tin mining boat which sank in 1984 and rests in a depth of 20 meters. The boxing day Tsunami of 2004 separated the wreck into three parts, making the dive site bigger and even more attractive.

Over several years it became colonized by thousands upon thousands of fish, glad to be lucky enough to have 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, moray eels and much more reside with the kings of the site, the nudibranchs.

Type of Dive Wreck
Depth 18 metres
Visibility 10 - 15 metres
Temperature 20 - 25 degrees C
Difficulty Beginner / Intermediate

A big thank you to KSA to provide this map.