When diving from Khao Lak, you open up the world of the Similan and Surin Islands. The dive sites here really are some of Thailand’s finest, and are truly a must-visit for divers of all levels.
For the full Similans low down read this – Diving the Similans
Famous for big pelagic sightings such as manta rays and whale sharks, the diving here deserves to be on top of your bucket list. Some liveaboards bound for the Similans leave from Phuket. However, the quickest and most convenient gateway to reach these gorgeous islands is Khao Lak.
You can also book day diving trips from Khao Lak if you prefer. That said, if you have a few days to spend and want to get the most out of your diving holiday, a liveaboard diving trip is definitely your best bet. From Khao Lak, you can book a liveaboard trip anywhere from 2 to 6 nights.
As part of a marine national park, the 9 Similan Islands are open for diving tourism between mid October and mid May. On land, the islands feature fabulous white sandy beaches adorned with huge boulders. All of this beauty is surrounded by crystal clear turquoise water.
Generally, the visibility underwater is very good. In case the water is a bit murky, that normally means that the big pelagics are not far away as they come to forage on the plankton. Especially in Koh Bon, where manta rays are often spotted while feeding or getting a good clean at one of the manta cleaning stations.
Richelieu Rock – Liveaboard Diving from Khao Lak
Richelieu Rock is Thailand’s signature dive site. It consists of a huge isolated sea mountain rising up nearly to the surface in the middle of the open Andaman Sea. Adorned with purple soft corals and absolutely packed with marine life, big and small, it is a sight to behold. With overhangs, small caves, pinnacles, the underwater scenery is stunning. Most liveaboard vessels from Khao Lak will therefore offer their divers multiple dives on Richelieu Rock.
Huge schools of fish, including jacks, fusiliers, and trevallies, patrol and hunt en masse around the rock. This has earned them the nickname: ‘the Mafia’. The residents are friendly, and you will have many eyes on your though out your dives. You can normally find seahorses, scorpion and stone fish, octopus and cuttle fish a little deeper down.
There are a number of liveaboard companies operating out of Khao Lak. For more on liveaboard diving, check this out – Liveaboard Thailand | The BEST way to Dive