The Similan Islands are the jewel in Thailand's scuba diving crown. A string of nine tiny islands ringed by white sand beaches sit above a wealth of colourful coral reefs. Granted national park status in the 1980s, these reefs are incredibly diverse, full of small fish, pelagic species and pristine corals.
What makes the Similans unusual though, are the two opposing geographical styles. To the east of each island, the reefs are gentle slopes coated with soft corals and fans, while on the western side, facing the Indian Ocean, the landscape is one of dramatic boulders creating tunnels and swim-throughs.
Beyond the Similan chain, are the Surin Islands, and to their east is world-famous Richelieu Rock. The most incredible dive site in this area, even at the worst of times, Richelieu Rock is a superlative dive. This part of the Andaman Sea can be an incredible dive experience.