Similan Islands dive site
Location: West side of Koh Similan (Similan Island #8)
Depth: 5-40 m
Type: Big boulder formations, swim thrus
Level: Suitable for all levels of diver
Fantasy Reef is sometimes also referred to as Chicken Hair Reef. It was a favourite dive site in the Similan Islands. But it’s been closed to divers since 2004 as part of a policy of coral regeneration after tsunami damage.
Visibility underwater is always very good. Currents are usually mild but can pick up to become quite strong. The reef starts shallow and drops down below 40 metres. The majority of the dive is spent at 10-20 metres.
Fantasy Reef has it all (except wrecks) and needs more than one dive. Many Thailand divers miss diving this site and can hardly wait until it’s re-opened. This reef, like many in the Similan Islands is a photographers dream.
There are hard corals, soft corals, sponges, gorgonian sea fans, sea whips, featherstars and anemones. There are walls, pinnacles, bommies and gardens of coral.
Marine life is prolific with large schools of jacks and snapper, bicolour parrotfish, butterflyfish, unicornfish. Powder blue surgeonfish, Indian triggerfish, titan triggerfish, moorish idols, grouper, wrasse and oriental sweetlips. This list could go on and on.
Various types of moray eel can be seen including giant moray, yellow margined moray, white eyed moray, fimbriated moray. You could also find a beautiful blue ribbon eel. Lionfish and scorpionfish are numerous. There are many species of nudibranch as well.
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.