Similan Islands dive site
Location: North of Koh Haa (Similan Island #5)
Depth: 8-30 m
Type: Hard coral reef
Level: Easy. Suitable for all levels of diver
Coral Reef is an easy Similan Islands dive site for all levels of diver with good visibility and a maximum depth of 30 metres. It may not be the most exciting Similan dive site but it’s very pleasant all the same.
It’s a good shallow dive with much of the marine life between 8-15 metres deep. So it’s a good third dive of the day after the deep morning dives. This dive site is also suitable for snorkelers.
In the deeper areas look out for blue spotted Kuhl’s stingrays buried in the sand. They hide themselves well so that only their eyes protrude from the sand. But if they think that they’ve been spotted they swim away with a surprising turn of speed.
Black tip reef sharks can sometimes be seen patrolling on the edge of the reef.
Patches of Garden eels sway in the gentle current until divers get too close and they dip down into their holes.
The hard coral reef here is mainly staghorn coral, but with many other varieties interwoven such as brain coral, fire coral and lettuce coral.
Giant moray eels can be seen, as can banded sea snakes. Moray eels are not venomous but their eye sight is poor and their serrated teeth would really make a mess if they mistook your hand for food. Sea snakes are very venomous but are also totally docile and nothing to be feared.
A myriad of smaller reef fish inhabit the reef including snapper, fusilier, surgeonfish and sweetlips. Schooling bannerfish congregate over the reef, and the similar looking moorish idol can be seen in smaller numbers.
The occasional lone barracuda can be spotted out in the blue.
Longfin batfish are present in small schools.
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.
A typical Similan liveaboard itinerary is 4 days 4 nights and also includes Koh Bon, Koh Tachai and Richelieu Rock. Shorter 2d1n or 3d2n trips are also available.
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.