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The region of the Similan archipelago is the only place in the world where the transparency of the water is equal to the standard Red Sea and is 50 m. Thanks to this, divers can observe here all the splendor of the colors of the underwater world. It’s all about the volcanic origin of the archipelago and the absence of any unnecessary turbidity in the water. If you are interested, remember!

Richelieu Rock is the leader of the hit parade!

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TOP 5 Thai dive sites are:

  1. Richelieu Rock;
  2. Koh Tachai;
  3. Koh Bon;
  4. Elephant Rock;
  5. Shark Fin Reef.

Richelieu Rock is a standalone horseshoe-shaped rock located near Tachai Island and geographically belonging to the Surin Islands.


Type: boulders, wall. Depth: 5-40 m. Visibility: 20-60 m. Currents: moderate to strong.

On the surface of the sea, only the top of the rock is visible, the height of which does not exceed 1 m at low tide, at high tide the Richelieu Rock is completely hidden under water.


The southern part of Richelieu Rock is a gentle slope to an underwater beach, ending in sheer walls, groups of boulders and many small caves, inside which marine life is in full swing.

The walls are completely covered with soft corals, with a few spots of hard corals, giant sea fans and sea anemones.


Currents range from moderate to strong. Generally north to south at low tide and south to north at high tide.

Richelieu Rock marine life:

  • ghost pipefish;
  • frogfish;
  • harlequin shrimp;
  • seahorse;
  • Janss`s pipefish;
  • cuttlefish;
  • clownfish living in anemone;
  • several types of moray eels;
  • large chevron barracuda;
  • rainbow runners;
  • bigeye trevally;
  • fusiliers;
  • snappers;
  • manta ray;
  • whale shark;
  • giant groupers resting at the bottom.

The entry point is usually located in the southwest of the “horseshoe”, which bypasses from north to south or from south to north, depending on the direction of the current.

Divers rules:

  1. When diving on Richelieu Rock, remember to be safe, go slowly around the summit and slowly ascend, always use a marker buoy.
  2. Avoid places with a large concentration of diving ships. Remember to look around so you don’t miss a possible encounter with a whale shark.
  3. Minimum level of training required for diving in the Similan Islands and Richelieu Rock — AOWD (Advanced Open Water Diver).

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How to organize a trip to Richelieu Rock

Since this is one of the world’s best dive sites and the main diving feature of the Similan Islands, it is better to plan in advance your trip during the high season. Ships go there strictly according to the schedule, one day is not enough for the trip.

When ordering a dive safari on South Siam ships, you do 3-4 dives a day, and spend the nights in an air-conditioned double cabin. There are 10-12 such cabins on ships. Toilets, showers (6 pcs.) Are shared and located on the main deck.


Also safari ships with cabins of both economy and premium class go to Similans. The duration of these safaris is 4-5 days.

Safari ships usually leave in the evening, and you meet the morning already at Similans.

The most expensive, but at the same time the most comfortable way to visit Similan is to rent a yacht, on which you can go to the islands directly from Phuket.


When to go

The largest influx of tourists is observed in Similan from mid-December to mid-January.

Some lull occurs from mid-January to mid-February and then from March to May.

Our suggestions

For those who came to Thailand for a short time, we have developed a thoughtful one-day tour to the nearby dive sites of the Similan Islands. At 6:00 you will be picked up from the hotel by a mini-bus, around 8:00 you are in Khao Lak, and already at 10:30 your first dive. Then lunch, at 13:30 – the second dive. At 15:30 take the speedboat on the way back, and at 19:00 you are already relaxing at your hotel in Phuket.


If you want to get to Richelieu Rock book seats on safari ships with us and go there for a few days. It’s simple!

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