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Similan Islands - Thailand

Dive Points

Christmas Point, Island #9, Ko Bangu:

One of the most dramatic dives in the Similans, this dive begins with a series of large arches at a depth of about 24 meters. The soft coral growth and sea fans are as large as they are anywhere, and the fish action is fast here. We often encounter small schools of blue fin trevally feeding on schools of fry. End your dive near the island for the best swim-throughs in the Similans and keep your eyes open for surprisingly large jacks that hide in these passageways.


Breakfast Bend, Island #9, Ko Bangu:

A typical East Coast dive, this is my favorite way to begin a trip. The light is beautiful early in the morning hence its name, and the coral is in great shape. Down deeper in the sand, there has been a large increase of garden eels over the past few years. In the shallows, leopard sharks are often seen resting in the sand. Recently we’ve spotted a napoleon wrasse, which is a rare fish in the Similans.

Fantasy Reef, Island #8, Ko Similan:

One of the most popular dive spots in the Similans, these underwater rock formations cover a huge area. The friendliest fish in the Similans hangout here, including clown trigger fish, normally a difficult fish to approach. Depths range from 15 meters down to past 40 meters, and this is one of the best dives for enjoying the grandness of huge boulders. One of the best dives I’ve had here was a couple of years ago were we viewed at least 10 cow tail rays over the sand-some animals exceeding 3 meters in overall length-participating in a frantic mating ritual.


Fantasy Reef, Island #8, Ko Similan:

One of my favorite dives, probably because this is where I saw my first whale shark, this reef features a steep drop-off with striking diversity of hard corals from 35 meters of depth almost all the way to the surface. This dive probably has the largest variety of healthy hard corals in the Similans, probably exceeding 300 species. I enjoy poking around the coral heads looking for nudibranchs and the nervous fire fish (Nemateleotris magnifica), one of the most beautiful fish in the tropical sea. One of the ugliest residents of this reef are the big eye fish that slowly cruise the reef flats. These fish have an amazing ability to change from a deep red color to a contrasting vivid silver. It almost appears as if they are changing their color to fit their mood.


Elephant Head, Island #8, Ko Similan:

Probably the most famous dive in the group, the site is named after an unusually shaped rock that juts out of the water just southwest of Ko Similan. The three rocks that form Elephant Head also create a natural amphitheater that feels like you are diving in a huge aquarium. Yellow goat fish and snappers always hang around at the deepest level of the bowl, as well as several species of lion fish, coral trout, and the occasional hawks bill or ridleys turtle. The swim-throughs at deeper depths are dazzling.


East of Eden, Island #7, Ko Payu:

A typical East Coast dive, this particular site has one of the most incredible underwater bommies in the Similans. Beginning at about 21 meters and continuing up to about 12 meters, the concentration of marine life is unequaled in the Similans. For a period last summer, we had the opportunity to photograph a cute pink frog fish repeatedly, as he stayed in the same spot on the same reef for over two months. These are rare fish in the Similans anyway, but he was especially fun as he was so regally positioned on top of his throne of coral.




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