Diving In Similan Islands – Khao Lak Area
Imagine crystal clear water and powder white sand that makes your feet want to be buried in it. This beautiful place is called the Similan Islands.
It consists of nine islands resting about an hour’s speedboat away from the Khao Lak shore.
This is where diving in Thailand got famous!
Similan Islands is a paradise for both snorkelers and divers.
Last year the Similans suffered from coral bleaching almost all around the islands. And since the islands are a national park, some areas have unfortunately been closed due to coral reef damage.
The deeper parts of the reef have not suffered badly from the coral bleaching and therefore the Similan Islands is still a great place for diving.
Diving in Similan Islands
The shallow parts of the some of the dive spots have suffered the most from this bleaching and many of the corals are unfortunately dead.
Here’s A Scuba Diver’s Impact On A Coral Reef.
But the Similan is still very attractive for divers due to a rich fish life. Especially for divers traveling to the deeper spots.
Warm 28°c water and calm conditions makes diving at the Similan is an awesome experience.
- Donald Duck Bay
This dive spot is the perfect place for beginner divers and open-water courses offering nice sandy patches for training. Going out from the bay, divers will find some big rocks called “whale back rock” that offer nice swim troughs, coral fans, and nice marine life.
- North Point
This dive spot is located at the northern part of the 9th island and has a lot to offer even for more experienced divers. The point consists of fantastic rocks that form this dive spot.
- Anita’s Reef
Anita’s Reef is located on the 4th and 5th island. It’s a sloping bommie reef in the end of the slope. However Anita’s Reef is slightly damaged from the coral bleaching and might need some time to recover before divers can explore this spot.
- Boulder City
Located just off the coast, Boulder City is a bit deep and doesn’t offer any shelter for currents. So this place is pretty much reserved for experienced divers.
Huge coral fans are found hanging from the side of big rocks. Very large fish are seen passing above and smaller creatures are seen down in the rocky bottom.
- Koh Bon
Situated a bit north of the Similan Islands and not actually a part of the nine islands is Koh Bon. This little rocky island offers great diving including a closed off bay for less experienced divers.
You may also check out Diving In Indonesia: CNN’s Favorite.
Good Diving in Khao Lak Area
Even though the Similan Islands needs a few years to recover, there is still world-class diving in Similan Islands and in the Khao Lak area.
So if you have already planned a trip here you are still in for a fabulous diving experience.
Have you ever been to the Similan Islands? Tell us about your trip!
One of the best article about the Similan islands I read.
Great job, good info about the dive sites.
Ohh, I guess this place goes on by Bucket list, I heard so much about it! I thought it was better, but still a must!
As i am a beginner ….i would love to go for a Donald duck bay ….. thank you for the wonderful post 🙂 its amazing 😛
Thanks for the comment Lorent.
The islands is still great and definitely wort a trip if you are in Thailand!
Thanks for liking it! Donald Duck Bay is great, I’ve seen great things scuba diving there and beach in the bay is one of the most beautiful place I ever been!
Go there if you are beginner and in Thailand!
thanks for this, great writing you do! Are there any dive centers you can recommend? I would prefer to go for the camping trip and combine it with two dives (small boat, not too touristy and proper equipment)
Thanks, glad you liked it.
Hmm that’s a tough one – all the people I knew in Khao Lak are gone, so I can’t really revomend any on a personal experience.
Problem with Khao Lak, is that most companies are big, and go with big boats or really fast and bumpy speedboats.
Companies that where good back then: Wicked diving(liveaboard), Sea Beas(big but good boat and equipment), Big Blue(speed boat)
This inspire me to take some good pictures underwater this summer 😀
Diving in the Similans is not what it used to be unfortunately, but still a great area to discover some nice/easy deep sites. As you mentioned, the islands are easily accessible from Khao Lak, but it’s also worth considering booking one of the many liveaboards that operate in the area, either out of Khao Lak or Phuket which has an international airport.
Hello Torben, I see you still haven’t got a “dive in Myanmar” page. Have you explored Mergui Archipelago?
The Smiling Seahorse has been compared to Wicked diver by our common guests as we keep a small group fo happy divers onboard. We ran cruises in both Similan/Surin but also Myanmar (which is now our speciality as we really like being alone on every dive site). Feel free to visit our facebook page for recent photos 🙂 And let me know if you’d like help to write this article as after 8 years in the region, I know these dive sites very well 🙂
No, I’ve never been to Myanmar (except a short vias run).
Sounds like a great boat, and a lovely place to dive, I’d love to join one day.
Are there any good books on diving in this region ? am looking for a gift to diving friend
That’s a good question, but I’ve never read any books about diving in the Similan Islands.