Similan Islands dive site
Location: Between Similan Islands 6 and 7
Depth: 5-50+ m
Type: Big boulder formations, swim thrus
Elephant Head Rock or Hin Pusa is named because where the rock breaks the surface it resembles a half submerged elephant. This dive site is another Similan favourite, one of the best big boulder dive sites. Elephant Head is not a dive site for beginners as currents can be strong.
There is no mooring therefore live boat entries are the norm. Surface conditions can be choppy so quick descents are advisable, before the current takes you away from the site. Elephant Head is a deep dive. It’s possible to follow the boulders down past 50 metres, but 30 metres is deep enough for most divers.
Elephant head rock has some of the best swim-throughs and archways in the Similans, created by the huge granite boulders jumbled on top of each other. These archways are lined with soft corals and seafans and are full of marine life. Around the deep rocks you can see reef sharks and leopard sharks.
You can look in the sand for purple fire gobies, they like the deep water. Coming shallower, as you start to weave in and out of the swim-throughs and up the valleys, look under ledges for nurse sharks.
It’s a good idea to have a torch on this dive to search in the darker areas and to bring the soft coral colours to life.
Emperor angelfish and imperial angelfish swim around the boulders. Lionfish hunt their prey and sweetlips shelter. Look out for the Andaman sweetlips which is only found in this part of the world. Parrotfish and titan triggerfish are always busying themselves.
A green turtle is often seen in the hard coral garden at 18 m. Bowmouth guitar sharks have also been seen here but they are a rare sighting for lucky divers. The exposed nature of this rock also attracts Manta Rays. Towards the end of the dive check out the long horizontal crack in the large main boulder which is home to small whitetip reef sharks.
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.