A few of the highlights include:
The above water scenery will provide stunningly beautiful white sandy beaches with small forested areas. Under the surface you get other-worldly topography with great tunnels & caves & swim-throughs … corals in a kaleidoscope of colors, some shark action, lots of reef fish, pelagic fish, some super macro sites, plenty of turtles & eels … and in season, mantas and whale sharks.
Elephant Head Rock - the biggest pinnacle in the Similans, has some fantastic swim-throughs. You may see white tip reef sharks, batfish, trevally and barracuda plus in the rubble you can see smashing mantis shrimp, porcelain crab, moray eels and cleaner shrimp.
Koh Bon - a dive site where manta rays may be seen but also Napoleon wrasse, sweetlips, octopus, blue fin trevally, giant moray eels, great barracudas, fire dart goby, popcorn shrimp, spiny lobster and nudibranchs of many types in lovely coral gardens.
Koh Tachai - famous for its pinnacle dive site and more relaxed reef diving. Normally, turtles, barracuda, pipe fish, and nudibranchs can be found here. there is also a chance to see bigger species in this area like manta rays and whale sharks, especially by late January till April.
Richelieu Rock – a limestone pinnacle offers gorgeous purple soft corals and magnificent sea anemones. The marine life is prolific and includes; pharaoh cuttlefish, all 5 varieties of anemone fish of the Andaman Sea, a variety of moray eels, macro life (ornate ghost pipefish, mantis shrimps, harlequin shrimps, tiger tail sea horses & more) many schooling snappers and occasional sightings of manta rays and whale sharks.
The exquisite scenery of Koh Surin offers evergreen forests, mangroves and small beaches. Uderwater, the reefs of Surin have the greatest hard coral diversity in Thailand you’ll be likely to see Napoleon wrasse, yellow-masked angelfish, bumphead parrotfish, tomato anemonefish and barramundi, as well as lots of turtles that still come ashore in this area to lay their eggs.
Khao Lak Wrecks - There is a choice of easily diveable wrecks between The Similan Islands and Khao Lak. These lie in shallow water and are covered in nudibranchs and shrimps as well as large numbers of the unusual honeycomb moray.
There are multiple good wall dives around the Phi Phi island group. The walls can have gorgonian fans, soft corals and coral bushes and interesting rock formations and swim throughs. At the base of these walls there are often hard coral gardens to explore. You can expect a great amount of fish life, including lionfish, wrasse, moorish idols, angelfish, rays, trevallies. Also keep an eye out for leapord sharks sleeping on the sandy bottoms or blacktip reef sharks cruising the reefs.
Myanmar (Burma) Mergui Archipelago
Rocky Island - a steep rocky reef with lots of tube and fan corals and a huge colourful anemone garden with massive schools of snappers. Lots of critters hang around the cracks in boulders, including nudibranchs, pipe fish and, razor fish, and seahorses. Look out for hunting wahoo, tuna, and barracuda passing in the blue. Visibility and currents can sometimes be challenging but it is a rewarding site.
North and South Twin - Strong currents bring schooling barracudas & hunting tunasbut you also find a nice selection of macro creatures. With superb visibility, the North Twin a photographer’s haven with healthy sea fans and vibrant soft corals. At South Twin, expect an abundance of moray eels, harlequin sweetlips and cuttlefish.
Black Rock - a natural magnet for oceanic mantas and other large pelagics such as whale sharks and eagle rays. Also known for its small colorful corals & gorgonian fans, snappers and a wide range of invertebrate life.
Shark Cave, Submarine and Square Rock - large tubastrea coral trees sprout from the rocky terrain, accompanied by crinoids, gorgonian fans, blue dragons, and pastel green rope sponge. Tiger tail sea horses are often encountered as are many varieties of morays. Shark Cave features nurse and white tip reef sharks which lurk inside of the cavern along with marble rays, ghost pipefish and plenty of other critters.
Sea Fan Forest – as the name implies, there are huge, healthy sea fans which support a large variety of marine life including feather stars, cowries, hawk fish and shrimps. Schooling fish include snapper, trevally, rainbow runners and fusiliers. Moray eels and scorpion fish are also numerous. You are also likely to find giant marbled groupers and eagle rays.