Similan Islands dive site
Location: All along the east side of Koh Similan (Similan Island #8)
Depth: 8-50 m
Type: Fringing reef, granite boulders (Beacon Point) and a small wreck (Atlantis X)
Level: Easy dive sites suitable for all levels of diver
Beacon Beach dive site is part of Beacon Reef and along with Beacon Point to the south, forms the longest reef in the Similan Islands. It’s an easy sloping reef of predominately hard coral and makes a good check dive to start a liveaboard trip.
There are mooring buoys along the length of the reef. The protection of island number 8 makes this a safe haven for dive boats in bad weather.
Atlantis X wreck
A fairly recent addition to the reef about half way down is the wreck of the Atlantis X liveaboard that sank in August 2002. It sits upright on the bottom with the bow pointing up the reef in about 16 m of water and the stern sitting at around 30 m. The upper deck has slipped and now hangs off the port side.
This is not one of the world’s great wreck dives by any means, but it’s a good place to start a Beacon Beach dive. Lionfish and scorpionfish are already in residence and corals have taken hold. Glass fish and juvenile fish inhabit the inner parts of the wreck.
Divers can check out the wreck before moving off either north or south, depending on the current.
Beacon Reef / Morning Edge
South takes divers onto Beacon Reef (called Morning Edge by some dive boat operators). Hard corals slope down to 35 m and visibility is usually in excess of 20 m. There is a massive variety and colour of hard corals that create a beautiful habitat for big and small tropical fish.
Large orange gorgonian seafans cling to bommies on the deeper sections on the reef. Fish life here includes triggerfish, parrotfish, filefish, trumpetfish, moorish idols, sweetlips, bigeyes and fusiliers. Nudibranchs and sea slugs are also common.
At the southern tip of Beacon Reef and island number 8 is Beacon Point dive site. It’s named because, you guessed it, there’s a beacon on the point. It’s also sometimes referred to as Monkey Face Rock because the rock at the surface resembles a monkeys face.
Beacon Point features large patches of hard coral reef as well as large boulder formations and drops down deep to 55 m. Large pelagics like Manta Rays and Eagle Rays can be seen here.
How to dive the Similan Islands
You can dive the Similan Islands by day trip from Phuket or Khao Lak, or by liveaboard. Liveaboards are ideal given the size of the area, the variety of dive sites, and the distance from the mainland.
If you don’t mind longish transfers then Similan diving day trips with 2 dives run five days per week from Phuket.
The Similan Islands diving season is from 15 October to 15 May.