Diving at the Similan Islands from Koh Lanta is not possible by day trip boat, and must be done on a liveaboard diving cruise, usually 7D/7N. The distance between Koh Lanta and the Similan Islands is more than 100 nautical miles, which would take far too long for anyone wanting to just visit for the day. The nearest point of land to The Similan Islands is Khao Lak, which is often confused with Koh Lanta. Khao Lak is a small town on Thailand’s mainland, while Koh Lanta is an island in the bay between Phuket, and Trang and Krabi. In the sections below, you can read about the more than twenty dive sites of the Similan Islands, all of which offer some of the best diving in Thailand. Although Koh Lanta Divers specialize in diving from Koh Lanta, on daytrips and liveaboard cruises, our partner site Similan Diving Tours is dedicated to booking day trips and liveaboard cruises to The Similan Islands, Richelieu Rock and Koh Bon & Koh Tachai. Click on the images or titles below for descriptions of each Similan Islands dive site, but to get the most detailed information, visit www.similandivingtours.com.
Arguably the best dive sites in Thailand are located at the uninhabited islands of Koh Bon and Koh Tachai. While Richelieu Rock, a little to the north is generally regarded as the country’s best diving location, these two spots offer more chance to see Manta Rays, as well as something to do during the surface interval and for non divers.
Probably the most famous diving area in Thailand (for those in the know) is The Similan Islands. The small archipelago of islands and islets laid out in a north-south line is located 60km out to sea from Thailand’s west coast of Phang Nga, between Phuket and Burma (Myanmar). The diving there is absolutely wonderful, and although more suited for experienced divers, can be visited by anyone. It’s almost completely unaffected by humans, in as much as there are no shops, hotels, mains electricity, or cellphone signals.
Without doubt, the most-commonly chosen dive site as the ‘best in Thailand’ is Richelieu Rock. Before he died, the pioneer of recreational scuba diving, Jacques Cousteau, named it among his top ten in the world. Although it’s not really for inexperienced divers, and there’s nothing for snorkellers to see or do, this undersea pinnacle is good enough to be dived three times on the same day.