Khao Lak diving is now becoming a favorite for divers because the Similan Islands are located directly across the Andaman Sea and within easy reach of Khao Lak. The dive operators in
Khao Lak offer speedboat trips and can get you to the Similans
in about an hour and twenty minutes. This offers the convenience
of getting to and from excellentdive sites without having to
go on a liveaboard.
Always dive according to your level of training. Check with your dive
center for safety, additional information and level required
for each dive site before entering the water.
You can dive in Khao Lak from October to May, but
the best diving conditions exist from November to April.
The Khao Lak reef has moderate currents and the surface conditions can be rough at times.
The water temperature varies from 26-30°C (79-86°F) and the visibility ranges between 2-15 metres (7-49 feet).
Some Khao Lak dive sites:
For wreck lovers there is the Boonsung Wreck,60 meter (197 feet) marine tin ore processing vessel which sank in 1984 and rests at 20 metres (65 feet). Around it is a lot of marine life and soft coral. There wreck is hard to spot due to the density of fish hovering over it.
Some species of fish present here include yellow snapper, trevally, barracuda and batfish.
On the wreck itself you can spot lionfish, many types of moray eel scorpionfish and one some occasions a large marble stingray has been spotted under
the wreck. This site can be accessed by speed boat from Khao Lak
Ideally situated off the coast of Khao Lak the Similans, a protected national park provide some of the best diving in Thailand. The diving is mostly done from liveaboards or day trips from Khao Lak. There are nine granite islands covered in thick tropical jungle, surrounded by white sandbeaches and surrounded with crystal waters.
The Similans offer a diverse landscape of deep canyons, giant boulders, coral gardens, caves and walls under the surface.
Considering that Koh Bon is only 40 kilometres north of Similan Island number 9 it is surprising how different the rock and reef composition is here. It is one of the few true wall dives in the Kingdom, the vertical rock dropping down to around 34 metres (115 feet) with coral ridges going even deeper. Although the soft coral isn't as abundant as the in The Similans you will notice different shades of blue, turquoise and yellow here.
Koh Bon is one of the best places to spot manta rays, usually in the months of April and May. An exposed pinnacle lies to the west of Koh Bon, this also attracts big
Boats usually moor up in the secluded bay where an arch through the island can be used for navigation. Look out for navigationand small critters hiding in the crevaces of the wall on the dive. Mantas can be found feeding or visiting the cleaning station here at the right time of the year. Also be aware of strong currents and down surge as the waves hit the wall face.
Koh Tachai is situated about twenty five kilometres north of Koh Bon. This site is an underwater plateau with abundant marine life and coral. You may also spot manta rays, nurse and leopard sharks and hawksbill turtles. It is said that Whale sharks visit around April - May.The currents and surge can be strong on the south eastern side of the island, where most of the diving is done.
Koh Tachai Pinnacle is comprised of two submerged pinnacles dropping to about 35 metres (118 feet) There are lots of rocks that form swim throughs that harbour marine life. Also common here are large scools of fish and manta rays. Divers must be cautious about currents which can be pretty strong here.
Richelieu Rock is a first class dive site with abundant marine life among which are octopus, cuttlefish, yellow boxfish, morays, cleaner and mantis shrimps. Richelieu Rock is reputed to be the best place in Thailand to see whale sharks mainly from March - May. Large schools of snappers trevally and jacks can be spotted here as well.