Ko Similan Sports & Outdoors

  • Diving at Elephant Head Rock
    Diving at Elephant Head Rock
    by schwein
  • Diving at Elephant Head Rock
    Diving at Elephant Head Rock
    by schwein
  • Diving at Elephant Head Rock
    Diving at Elephant Head Rock
    by schwein

Most Recent Sports & Outdoors in Ko Similan

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    Richelieu Rock

    by schwein Written Nov 30, 2008

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    White-eyed eel at Richelieu Rock
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    Richelieu Rock boasts great biodiversity, and is worth several dives, with or without whale sharks present.
    It consists of one main, horse shoe shaped splintered rock pinnacle, with several other smaller rocks around its edges.
    The limestone rocks are covered with anemones, sea fans, barrel sponges and soft corals of all kinds. From tomato anemone fish, yellow boxfish, white-eyed moray eels and mantis shrimps to nurse sharks, manta rays, one metre Malabar groupers and chevron barracuda, there's always plenty of life to grab your attention on this dive.

    Named for one of the Three Musketteers, Richelieu, that wore purple. This divesite is covered in purple soft corals.

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    Boonsung Wreck

    by schwein Written Nov 27, 2008

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    Boonsung Wreck started her days with her sinking in 1984. The wreck is an old tin ore processor that is 60m long, 12m wide and 6m high, and lies positioned in a north to south direction in open sea, but quite close to shore.

    Descending from the surface, you'll soon be surrounded by clouds of juvenile yellowtail barracuda and bluefin trevally, and schools of Ehrenberg's snapper and blue-striped snapper, that all use Boonsung as a congregation point.

    There are dozens of masked porcupinefish and common porcupinefish, parading up and down on top of the wreck. They seem to be waiting in line for a clean from the remora's in attendance. There's are also some loose groups of longfin batfish.

    Diving along the sides of the wreck, look closely and you'll see many types of moray eel, such as zebra morays, white-eyed morays, spotted morays, and leopard morays. Spotfin lionfish and bearded scorpionfish lie in wait too. This wreck is probably the best local site for scuba diving in Khao Lak.

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    Christmas Point / Three Trees, Island #9

    by schwein Written Nov 27, 2008

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    One of the most colouful, scenic and often exciting dives in the Similan Islands, a dive at here begins by heading down a mooring to a sand-rubble bottom at a depth of about twenty metres, then heading deeper to the southwest where one finds several giant arches and some of the best swim-throughs in the Similans. Some great underwater scenery.

    The rock walls are highlighted by radiant soft corals and the sea fans can be very large here. Cruising all around the site you may find schools of trevally constantly darting in and out of the blankets of small fry that cover the boulders.

    Look in the rubble areas for things like ribbon eels and fire gobies, and check the sand plains beyond the arches for white tip or leopard sharks.

    A "must see" dive site on your Similan liveaboard dive trip, one of my favorite spots this trip.

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    Koh Tachai

    by schwein Written Nov 27, 2008

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    Koh Tachai lies about halfway between the Surin and Similan Islands and is rated as one of the best sites for Thailand scuba liveaboards as it's normally visited on the way to Richelieu Rock from the Similans.

    There are several dive sites around the island but the most famous is Koh Tachai Plateau which lies southeast of the island, about one kilometre offshore. The plateau is a submerged crowned reef of hard sheet corals, and scattered boulders. These boulders provide great swim-throughs and cut-through opportunities. They also provide refuge for tired scuba divers caught unawares by the sometimes hectic currents!

    This site is renowned for its currents and a dive briefing on any Thailand liveaboard scuba trip will include advice on where to find shelter. A dive here is not for beginners and not always easy but it is worthwhile because, as any diver knows, where there are currents there are big fish. Chief among these are manta rays who make regular appearances and effortlessly glide over the boulders.

    Other big visitors are whale sharks and nurse sharks. Leopard sharks are common and hawksbill turtles are often seen. Other common fish you'll see here are blue-dash and yellow-backed fusiliers, red-tooth triggerfish, bigeye trevally and unicornfish.

    The south side of Koh Tachai is the deeper side, and a logical place to start your dive. The north side features a huge abandoned fish cage which is useful as a navigational aid. At the edge of the coral crown is a cleaning station, popular with tiera batfish which always makes for a pleasant safety stop as you hang on the line at the end of the dive. Koh Tachai is often dived early morning by liveaboard but also makes a nice sunset dive.

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    Donald Duck Bay, on Island #8

    by schwein Written Nov 27, 2008

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    Easily the most recognisable and photographed landmark in the Similans, Donald Duck Bay is named after a rock on the north side of the bay that resembles the cartoon character - not the most prominent large boulder that balances precariously at a seemingly impossible angle, but another rock in front and slightly further out of the bay.

    Similan Island No. 8 has a national park camping area and Donald Duck Bay on the north west corner is the most popular mooring spot for day trippers and Similan Islands liveaboards alike. Consequently, a lot of food makes its way into the bay and so the molluscs, gastropods, crustaceans, and cephalopods are particularly well fed and large-sized here. This makes for fascinating night diving.

    Scurrying across the rubble bottom are huge bull crabs, red octopus and cuttlefish, all hunting for scraps and tasty morsels. The most interesting section of the dive site are the boulders running out of the bay on the northern edge. These form several swim-throughs, and house emporer shrimps, red round crabs, decorator crabs, triton shells and cone shells.

    Donald Duck Bay also has several friendly, large green turtles and you are more than likely to come across them even on a night dive. Unfortunately, they have developed a taste for bananas and one wonders how long it will be before they swallow something else that will not sit so well on their stomachs. Please, when you are on a dive trip in the Similan Islands, do not throw anything overboard or try to feed the fish with leftover food.

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    Koh Bon Pinnacle / Koh Bon Ridge

    by schwein Written Nov 27, 2008

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    Koh Bon Island lies an hour or so north of the Similan Islands. It's one of the best places in Thailand to see manta rays, especially from April to May, though the last couple of years have seen Mantas almost year round.

    There's a 33 metre wall on its south side, facing a small cove, with a stepped ridge pointing west and down to over 40 metres. It is at the edge of this ridge that divers are drawn, as they peer into the blue looking for that first sight of a black and white wing that signals an approaching manta ray. Keep a little distance from the rays and the chances are good that they'll circle and swoop around, feeding on the plankton. If the manta feels threatened by rapid or aggressive movements it will just glide off into the distance and find somewhere else to feed.

    Manta rays are not the only reason that Thailand dive cruises visit Koh Bon though. Leopard sharks are common at the ridge on the sandy flats below the wall, and white tip sharks can be seen roaming the depths off the edge of the reef. Soft corals the colours of turquoise, yellow and green dominate. Listen carefully and you'll hear the warning clicks of hundreds of nervous damselfish, and the coral crunching of hungry titan triggerfish, but don't neglect the wall itself which has plenty of critters to keep you interested including various types of moray eels.

    To the west of Koh Bon Island lies Koh Bon Pinnacle. This Thailand diving site lies in deep water (18m - 40m) and is exposed, so consequently it is only possible to dive here in favourable conditions with experienced or advanced liveaboard divers. The west wall is steep, covered in small, yellow soft corals, and has a large cavern with a fish trap at its entrance. There is a smaller pinnacle lying to the north. Making your way back up the mountainous terrain, keep your eyes out for passing eagle rays, black tip sharks, and manta rays.

    The small cove of Koh Bon provides good grounds for a night dive. The reef is made up of pore corals, with shrimpgobies peering out of the holes, and coral ledges. There are splendid decorator crabs, the intelligent red octopus, and red and white banded boxer shrimps.

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    East of Eden / West of Eden

    by schwein Written Nov 26, 2008

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    Similan Island No.6 - Koh Payu

    Located on the west/east coasts of the island, these dive sites have the most incredible bommie in the Similan Islands. Just to the south of the main reef and from a depth of 21 metres up to 12 metres, the concentration of marine life is unequalled in the Similans. The main body is covered in a breathtaking array of blue and purple soft corals, lobophyton soft corals, and red bulb tentacle anemones hosting skunk anemone fish and western clownfish. Small groups of redtail butterflyfish, checkered snapper and yellow boxfish are ever-present.

    The lower reaches of the bommie have green sea fans and overhangs full of yellow soft corals. It's a good idea to bring a torch on this dive site as dory snapper and black snapper lurk here in the shadows, as well as the incredibly beautiful but reclusive regal angelfish. Pairs of longnose butterflyfish go about their endless feeding, unperturbed by prying eyes. Circling round on to the upper section the marine life is rich and diverse with a good chance to find a frogfish or other odd critters. Underwater photographers may spend half a dive on this bommie alone!

    Elsewhere on the reef you'll drift gently along the lower reaches, spellbound by the magnificent maroon and golden gorgonian sea fans, some larger than yourself! The topography at the bottom of the reef is quite varied with many rock and small bommie formations, used by peacock groupers and large schools of blue-striped snappers and yellow goatfish.

    Starting your ascent, you'll move over huge bankings of brown and sky blue-fringed sheet corals stacked from 10 metres all the way down to 25 metres. Bluegreen pullers fly delicately around, yellow damsels and Indian triggerfish are common residents here. Yellowback and neon fusiliers often shoot past, typically in trains of a few hundred, and sometimes tuna arrive, on the hunt for tasty morsels.

    As you come shallower still, any current that was present tends to die down and the dominant life forms change to table corals and stubbly finger corals with their resident brown and cream spiny-tailed puller damselfish and humbugs. The sandy shallows are interspersed with patches of blue corals, red elkhorn and fire corals. Octopus can be seen foraging through the coral rubble and three-spot dascyllus are often nearby. Juvenile dascyllus display the three white spots for which this species is known, but as they mature the spots fade until they become jet black adults.

    The abundant fish and coral life here makes East of Eden a popular choice for Similan liveaboards.

    If you've seen the video of the German divemaster having his thumb eaten by a Moray while feeding it hotdogs, this is where it happened!

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    Anita's Reef

    by schwein Written Nov 26, 2008

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    Anita's Reef is on the west coast of this small island, just off Similan Island No.4. The reef is a rather innocuous sandy slope with some spectacular coral bommies and patches, made up of table corals and staghorn corals. On the gentle slopes you can see lionfish and the reclusive and beautiful clown triggerfish and colourful Oriental sweetlips.

    There are several soft coral bommies, smothered in soft tree corals and sea fans, a good place to rest and watch the underwater sea life go about its daily cycles. Large orange seafans host longnose hawkfish, and the golden brown and purple dendronephthya corals are used as sanctuaries for glassfish and juvenile fish. Stay here a few minutes and you'll see bluefin trevally hunting with incredible bursts of speed.

    Make your way slowly south across the sandy bottom and you're bound to see the fields of resident spotted garden eels. Often buried in the sand you can see blue-spotted Kuhl's stingrays. Watch out for the blue blanquillo, a type of tilefish, and the rather ugly and large greenish sea cucumbers. Shrimpgobies are very common in the Similan Islands, sharing their subterranean dwellings with snapping shrimps in a symbiotic relationship. The shrimp are short-sighted and rely on the goby to look out for danger, whereas the goby benefits from having a resident housekeeper. Sharp-eyed divers can be lucky to find a whitepatch razorfish, and look out into the blue and maybe you'll catch sight of an impressive two metre fantail stingray swooping past.

    The scattered coral patches are made up of staghorn and bottlebrush corals, sheet corals, knobbly finger corals, with some larger coral species such as lobed and star coral. Slender grouper and Diana's hogfish hide out in the crevices. Common schooling residents are the delicate blue damsels and jewel fairy basslets, and blinding masses of slender fusiliers. Roundhead parrotfish and titan triggerfish tend to roam around, eating the hard coral, with yellowfin goatfish in attendance, guzzling up the resultant scraps.

    Boulders and large table corals dominate the Similans landscape to the south where you'll find giant trevally hunting for easy lunch.

    Anita's Reef has large sandy patches and easy currents, that make it an ideal site for an early check-out dive on a Similan scuba liveaboard cruise.

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    Diving - Elephant Head Rock

    by schwein Written Nov 26, 2008

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    Diving at Elephant Head Rock
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    Similan Island #7, Hin Pusa.

    What seems like a weird name at first, it all becomes clear when you get to this site.
    The main above-water feature of this site looks like (you guessed it) a large elephant head.

    Underwater, this site mainly consists of large boulders stacked upon one another. This gives you many swim-throughs to explore, and ample oportunity to find something big hiding...

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    Go diving if you have the license..

    by sweetie_inc Written May 11, 2006

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    Diver's Boat
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    A must-do if have your Open Water Diving Certificaton...

    A great place to dive and you'll get to see more interesting fishes and underwater creatures here... Too bad that I don't have the cert, otherwise I'll definitely go for it!

    Most of the people who come to Ko Similan are divers and you can see alot of dive boats on Similan's water..

    You can always check out at any diving shop when you are on mainland and ask about the diving trip to Ko Similan...

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    Scuba diving or snorkelling

    by gabyne Written Mar 19, 2005

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    curious turtle

    The nine Similan islands are great for scuba diving or snorkelling. Not all of the dive spots are suitable for snorkelling because some of the coral reef tops are deeper but normally the boat crews will drop the snorkellers off at some suitable point when bringing the divers to their spot. Or you can also go on specialised snorkelling cruises.

    What you will see: lots of corals, fish schools, white tip and leopard sharks, turtles, morays, angel fish, groupers to name a few.

    Equipment: You can bring your own gear or rent it there.

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    Liveaboard - the way to go diving at the Similans

    by Yezber Written May 19, 2003

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    Boxfish at the Similans

    I went on two liveaboard dive trips to the Similans (and Surin) this season. The first trip was a 'test' - and it passed! On the very first dive (at Koh Bon) we enjoyed a manta ray circling around us for 10 minutes. And the rest of the diving was really good as well - so I booked the next trip immediately when I got back to the dive shop in Khao Lak. There are plenty of dive operators going to the Similans from Khao Lak or Phuket. I would recommend that you go on a tour with an 'old' dive shop - and on a large boat - the weather can be a bit rough some times. I dived with Sea Dragon Dive Center on both tours and I will continue to do so in the future - they are professional and are taking safety seriously - and it's a lot of fun!

    Equipment: The rental equipment is ok - but it's a good idea to bring a dive computer (and the rest of your equipment of course ;o)

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