Diving in Khao Lak / Similan Islands

20.06.2019 by Editor Team

Reading Time: 10min. / Max. Diving Depth: 40m 😉

What is Khao Lak anyway? Probably every newcomer had this question in mind. Because what you can book at the travel agency as a matter of course is actually non-existent.

Maps, if they contain the name at all, show no location assignment. Travel guides, if they contain the area at all, tear it down with few sentences. And place-name signs – you search for them in vain. So what is Khao Lak except a stepping stone to the legendary Similans?
Only the locals know the answer. “Khao” they explain, “that’s Thai for mountain”. So the Khao Lak is the mountain Lak. And when 15 years ago the first tourist resorts sprouted out of the ground at the foot of Khao Lak, the mountain gave the name for the newborn destination. So Khao Lak is nothing more than an art form of tourism. Which starts between the foothills of the mountain and grows further north.

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More than just resorts

Khao Lak is about 100 kilometers and an hour north of Phuket Island. The village lies along the through road. The resorts mainly along the beaches of Khao Lak and Bangniang. Resorts can are available in all price ranges.

For divers, Khao Lak is much more than a collection of resorts. Khao Lak is synonymous with Thailand’s top divingDiving in Khao Lak - Similan Islands destination. The Similan Islands, Thailand’s showcase dive site are right on your doorstep. For many years they were only accessible from Phuket and by liveaboard.

The transfer from the port of Taplamu to the famous islands in the Andaman Sea takes between 1,5 and 3 hours. Outside there’s a real contrast to the nine islands. They got numbers to keep it simple.

Drop-off freaks get their money’s worth on the wild west sides. Here granite rocks pile up to breathtaking underwater mountains. Steep walls fall abruptly into immeasurable depths. Currents and jump layers provide sudden adrenaline rushes. Lovers of natural aesthetics will get their money’s worth on the eastern sides. Bowl, brain and other hard corals of all kinds form gardens of indescribable beauty.

Diving at the Similan Islands

“The best they’ve ever dived” – that’s what even travelled divers rave about. To these “best” per Dschunke boat into the nature reserve. In the Phang Nga National Park 180 limestone islands rise out of the water. Diving in Khao Lak - Similan Islands

These include Elephant’s Rock on island number 7. Which with its many passages and passages offers not only an exciting backdrop. But also a lot of current for huge schools of fish anmanyus sharks. Or Boulder City with leopard sharks, Napoleons and manta rays. The cavort between and over extensive gorgonian fields.

East of Eden is also a dive site on island number seven. It is a rush of colours and shapes. Brain and fan corals form beautiful underwater gardens on a slope. A block of coral measuring about 7 by 7 metres is the most beautiful coral formation the Similans have to offer. The Fantasea Reef is one of the top 100 dive sites in the world. House-sized rock blocks pile up like gigantic cobblestones on the seabed. They form a surreal backdrop of channels, passages and caves. Turtles, leopards – and reef sharks belong to the standard program. With a bit of luck you can find manta rays and guitar rays.

Diving Season in Khao Lak

Between 12 and 20 dive sites are served at the Similans. About twenty Dive Centers from Khao Lak and many liveaboards from Phuket go there. Luckily there are several reasons why the dive sites are still pretty uninhabited. Between June – September, diving is simply not possible due to the current conditions. That’s why from May to the end of October there is low season in Khao Lak. Also because of the often heavy rainfalls. Many dive bases have closed completely during this time. The reefs are thus given a closed season by the elements.
Islands are also closed to diving by the government every year. To give them recreation. And finally, anchor buoys are available on site to protect the reefs.

More than just the Similan Islands

Besides the Similans, the Andaman Sea off Khao Lak has some more good spots to offer. For example the uninhabited rock island Koh Bon. Approximately 13 nautical miles north of Similan No. 9. With its bizarre rocky landscape and the current rich waters it promises manta rays from January to March. To the north lies Koh Tachai with its species-rich plateau reef and white sandy beaches. Diving in Khao Lak - Similan Islands

Richelieu Rock, which belongs to the Surin Islands, is world famous. It is Thailand’s second top 100 dive site. The impressive rock formations push from a depth of 35 meters to just below the water surface. The dive site promises good chances for whale sharks from January to April. The Boonsung wreck lies “on the doorstep” of Khao Lak. An artificially sunk tin excavator. With a depth of 18 meters it is also suitable for beginners. Its species richness, a lot of lionfish and some leopard sharks make this beautifully overgrown wreck a local highlight.

Top 5 Dive Sites at Khao Lak / Similan IslandsDiving in Khao Lak - Similan Islands

Barrakuda Point: A huge block of coral that rises from 18 meters and is over and over covered with corals. A small cave is the shelter of a large shoal of glass fish. The surrounding area is also very rich in fish and beautifully covered with corals.

The Boonsung wreck: The wreck lies at 18 meters on the bottom and is beautifully overgrown. Large shoals of fish and leopard sharks complete the picture.

Elephant’s Head Rock: Diffusers cause currents here again and again. So schooling fish, but also shark encounters are the order of the day. The site also offers a safe habitat for a large number of smaller creatures. Depth: five to 30 meters.

Deep Six: This spot contains many rock formations with hard and soft corals. Narrow passages, often with strong currents, which in turn attract shoals of tuna. From a depth of 30 meters you can see reef sharks from time to time. Depth: 7 to 45 meters.

Boulder City: A beautiful dive site, the and leopard sharks. Meetings with Mantas and Napoleons are among the other highlights. Extensive gorgonian fields and a dense population of coral fish characterize this spot. Typically Similan.

Not only for Divers

Laughed at and neglected in many places. They are welcome in Khao Lak: Snorkelers. On every dive boat there is a small group that goes to snorkelling suitable dive spots. Especially many eastern sites are ideal for snorkellers. The reefs reach close to the surface. The sea is mostly calm here. One of these places is Honeymoon Bay on island number 4. Beautiful salad and shell corals form pretty gardens. At the rocks you can see small mussel banks. A huge swarm of horse mackerels circles. From time to time an octopus scurries by. Diving in Khao Lak - Similan Islands

One of the special snorkeling spots is Donald Duck Bay on the west side of island number eight. Here you can sniff granite rock flair between the stone blocks. A sandy beach invites you to go on shore leave including a climbing tour. In the extensive bay blue fusiliers blink against the brilliant white sand ground. Absolute snorkel highlight is the already mentioned dive site “East of Eden” at Similan No. 8. The beautiful coral formations reach to the surface. Between the rocks there is canyon feeling. Even without diving down.In the bright sand you can see the patterns of waves and sun. If you drift with the current, you will find turtles at the end of the rock edge. And with a lot of luck you can also meet a manta ray while snorkeling.

Who is Khao Lak suitable for?

Khao Lak is more than just resorts. More than just diving. Many bars, Restaurants, beach cafes and shops make Khao Lak a lively little town. Even if it has a shadowy existence on the maps. Those who don’t want to dive will find peace and relaxation at the miles of beautiful sandy beaches. Or in one of the remote luxury resorts. Khao Lak is a destination for couples, people seeking peace and quiet. Pensioners, luxury lovers and of course divers.

Want to dive in Malta?

We will select the right diving schools for you according to your specifications.
They will then send you free and non-binding offers within a few days.
Simply compare and book. 🙂

We only forward your request to selected dive centres.

Your details will not be stored and you will not receive any advertising. Promise! 🙂

  • Please select all that apply
  • Please select all that apply
  •