Khao Lak Diving

Diving Day Trips from Khao Lak

Diving Day Trips from Khao Lak – Diving at Koh Bon

With a short vacation planned I decided to look into a scuba diving trip on the West coast of Thailand and having never visited Richelieu Rock, one of the most famous diving destinations in the world, I decided to look for a dive company offering day trips here. Unfortunately due to the distance from the mainland and relative lack of access from a convenient mainland town (Ranong being the nearest town), my only options were the Similans, Koh Bon or Koh Tachai, the latter two islands being just South of Koh Surin where Richelieu Rock is located.

Khao Lak is the largest town with an established diving industry and so I focussed on finding an operator here. However having contacted several companies found online, some of which did not even reply, whilst others for no reason decided to change their schedules last minute, I was getting the feeling the diving set up in Khao Lak was not up to very high standards. Luckily though I came across Sea Dragon Dive Center whom not only provided quick and helpful feedback but also had availability at short notice and so decided to do a day trip to Koh Bon.

Dive at Khao Lak

On Google Earth Koh Bon looked tiny, and it is in fact a raised coral bed protruding from the sea about 50m above sea level at the highest point. There are no beaches and no where for boats to moor on the island and so the only reason to visit Koh Bon is to explore the underwater world. The day started with a 7am hotel pick up which took us to a nearby pier where the boat left at 8am, despite hoards of people jostling to get on the numerous boats from other operators it was very well organized and we soon set off for the island.

The boat which is called the M/V Nam Sai was one of the best scuba diving boats I have seen, it had 3 levels, the first for the dive equipment, kitchen area and bathroom facilities, the 2nd floor was for relaxing, dive briefing and eating, whilst the top was for chilling out and sunbathing.

Once on board we were given a few minutes to settle in before the briefing began, this too was extremely professional with about a dozen staff catering for 40 or so divers. All of which were very friendly and make us feel at ease.

Diving at Koh Bon

The trip to Koh Bon lasted 3 hours and along the way we had a great breakfast before kitting up for the dive around 11am. The site was incredible, with visibility of 23m+ and a huge variety of marine life. As with everyone else I was hoping for a sight of a manta ray which are known to visit the area between December – February. Koh Bon, Tachai and Richelieu Rock are cleaning stations for large pelagics and so they can be seen hanging around on the reef getting their skin cleaned. Alas it was not to be for me though on that particular day, although we did see among others, octopus, cuttlefish, several moray eels, lionfish, scorpionfish as well as a plethora of reef fish.