The most important spots on our liveaboards
An hour or two northeast of the Similan Islands, the next stop on the MV Discovery is the uninhabited island of Koh Bon. Both above and below the water, waves roll through holes that nature has cut right through the island. Large nurse sharks sleep in one of the many underwater caves. The breathtaking underwater landscape of the "South Ridge" at Koh Bon is one of the most popular "feeding spots" for manta rays. In the whole of the Andaman Sea, this diving site has the highest chance of observing these fascinating plankton eater while diving in Similan.
A little west of the South Ridge at Koh Bon, the path leads over a huge field of deer-antler corals, home of trumpet fish, who pursue their favorite pastime. Of course there is a lot more to see here, such as octopuses, barracudas and white tip reef sharks, to name a few representatives of this great dive site.
Hin Daeng/Hin Muang
Even though the Similan Islands are better known and frequented by more visitors, the Southern Islands in Thailand, located in the provinces of Krabi and Trang, offer excellent diving grounds and conditions for divers on board our dive cruise ship MV Discovery. The reefs of Hin Daeng, Hin Muang and Koh Hah are characterized by their unique character among Thailand’s dive sites in the Andaman Sea. The dramatic underwater architecture of Hin Däng, Hin Muang and Ko Ha already make the diving cruise a worthwhile diving experience.
With the increase in whale shark encounters over the past few years, the "southern islands of Thailand" has grown in popularity, providing a welcome addition to MV Discovery’s diving cruise program in Thailand.
The 3-day diving cruise promises a lot of adventure and can always be combined with a diving safari on board the MV Discovery to Burma (Myanmar) or diving at the Similan Islands in Thailand. This enables the diving enthusiast the whole range of the top diving spots of the Andaman Sea from Phuket in Thailand.
Anyone looking for promising dive sites on an Andaman Sea map will come across the small island of Hin Daeng.
Lonely and alone, about 40 kilometers from the coast, the small tip of Hin Daeng breaks through the surface of the water. Below that, Hin Daeng (“Red Rock”) opens up as a generously designed diving site whose walls end beyond the depths of recreational diving.
The dramatic reef formation is highly attractive to large marine life. During the 2004/05 season, whale sharks and mantas stayed there for several months to reward MV Discovery’s divers on board the dive cruise in Thailand with the rare and most sought-after encounter while diving in Hin Daeng. Mantas that suddenly sail past from the deep blue of the Andaman Sea while diving in Hin Daeng are not uncommon.
The diversity of the smaller sea creatures living here is also impressive. Several species that cannot be seen anywhere else during a diving cruise in Thailand are at home in Hin Däng.
Hin Muang or "Purple Rock" is an underwater reef and is only a few hundred meters away from Hin Daeng. A connection between the two independent dive sites is hidden in the depths.
The chances of whale sharks are identical to Hin Daeng, and manta rays that eat them are also regularly on display when diving in Hin Muang.
Leopard sharks doze on the sandy balconies that interrupt the spectacular hard and soft coral fields that adorn the slopes and valleys of the southern island dive site Hin Muang.
Dense schools of rainbow mackerel and barracuda patrol the reef of Hin Muang, while smaller treasures like ghost shredder fish hide under the boulders and among the corals of Hin Muang.
The nine granite rock islands known as the Similan Islands are strung together like a chain from north to south. The tropical rainforests on the Similan Islands in Thailand mainly consist of large rubber trees, several types of palm, bamboo and grapevines. Sea gypsies had settled here in earlier times. Today the diving paradise Similan Islands is uninhabited except for the buildings of the National Park Authority and the wonderful holiday residence of the Thai royal family on Similan Island number 4. Underwater, the diving paradise Similan Islands offers an excellent range of marine life and over 500 different types of hard and soft corals. Visibility at the diving Similan Islands is between 20 and 40 meters. With every dive, the divers on board the MV Discovery’s liveaboard are once again amazed by the incredible play of colors.
Underwater, the diving paradise Similan Islands offers an excellent range of marine life and over 500 different types of hard and soft corals. Visibility at the diving Similan Islands is between 20 and 40 meters. With every dive, the divers on board the MV Discovery’s liveaboard are once again amazed by the incredible play of colors.
East of Eden (Similan Islands No. 7), one of the Similan Islands, is always a highlight during the MV Discovery’s liveaboard before the journey continues north, for example towards Richelieu Rock. This Similan dive site offers a wide variety of reef fish, soft and hard corals. Stingrays and isolated sharks that bring the sandy bottom to life.
In contrast, diving sites such as Bolder City (between Similan Island No. 1 and Similan Island No. 2) are a classic representative of the unmistakable underwater architecture of the Similan Islands. Leopard and white tip sharks lurk between the enormous boulders. At Elephant Head at Similan Island No. 8, the huge boulders are piled next to and on top of each other - pure diving adventure! They create a multitude of interesting gullies and tunnels that can be comfortably plunged through while diving in Similan.
Further south, in the depths of Deep Six (Similan Island # 6), sharks patrol the gently sloping sandy bottom. Or go diving in Similan face to face with leather turtles at Christmas Corner (Similan Island No. 9). The experienced guides (none of them have less than 500 dives in the diving paradise Similan Islands) have unique experiences in these waters, they adapt all MV Discovery liveaboards to the respective conditions to give guests on board of MV Discovery the best chances of high quality diving adventures in the diving paradise Similan Islands to offer.
Further north is the island of Koh Tachai, which is part of the diving paradise Similan National Park and offers diving adventures for all diving enthusiasts.
A slightly deeper dive between the massive granite blocks rewards those who are looking for sharks and rays. The dive ends on the 12m deep plateau, which is completely overgrown with beautiful corals and bursting with life. The colorful fauna of Koh Tachai can be found everywhere. Huge schools of mackerel, angelfish, doctor fish and roaming leopard sharks cavort in the water.
As on Koh Bon, manta rays are regular visitors here, and whale sharks occasionally come by and delight the divers on board the MV Discovery’s liveaboards.
The safety stop usually takes place in the company of a bat-fish school in the 5 meter area.
Welcome to diving at Richelieu Rock - one of the most famous diving spots of all diving paradises in the Andaman Sea. It earned its name because of the countless purple soft corals. The Richelieu Rock itself can only be seen from the liveaboard during the low tide, mostly it is completely hidden from the Andaman Sea. A wreck at a depth of around 40 meters is evidence of its unpredictability.
As the only rock far and wide, the Richelieu Rock attracts a large variety of marine life. Diving adventures and great pleasures for divers on board the MV Discovery's are guaranteed. Here you can find octopuses, large brown marble perches, turtles, various types of moray eels, red-fire fish families with up to 10 members and wonderful schools of fussiliers. Regular visitors are manta rays and with a little luck the experienced guides will find guitar sharks with their young.
Diving at Richelieu is a real diving experience and will remain unforgettable. As always, one eye must keep the surface and the "blue" of the warm Andaman Sea under control, as schools of bigeye mackerel cavort there, while large barracudas guard the top of Richelieu Rock . Last but not least, here are perhaps the highest chances of meeting the underwater king, the whale shark, at Richelieu.
The Koh Haa archipelago is an absolute El Dorado for diving, not only because there are few divers. No, the water quality here is mostly top notch and the underwater world is fantastic. There are more than 10 dive sites here, one of which is more beautiful than the other. In general, all dive sites are also accessible to beginners, but diving can be a bit more difficult when there is a current. Since Koh Haa is a national park, there are also many anchor buoys that mark the dive sites. The island of Koh Haa Neua has a really spectacular dive site called "The Chimney". Here you can go up or down in a kind of chimney.
The island of Koh Haa Yai has a dive site called "The Cathedrale". This is a cave where you can emerge.
Not far from Koh Haa Yai is Koh Haa Rock, a dive site reminiscent of Richelieu Rock. There is so much fish here that it is hard to believe.