Ko Lanta lies immediately on the Malacca Strait and gives access to some of the most popular dive sites in this part of Thailand. The famous sites of the Andaman Sea are a little too far from here for most dive outfits to manage on a day trip, but for advanced divers looking to explore the Similan Islands or the infamous Richelieu Rock, liveaboard trips are still an option.
The majority of dive sites are found in the stretch of Malacca Strait that lies between Phuket and the mainland, and the island of Koh Phi Phi, in the center of this body of water, which has over fifteen unique sites to choose from. Bida Nok, a wall dive descending in parts to around 32m below sea level is a popular choice for beginners and advanced divers. This brightly colored reef has great visibility to around 20m, and although the surface can be rough, the currents are generally quite relaxed. It’s also well known for its varied and interesting marine life, including the unusual leopard sharks, which congregate here. Other marine animals regularly spotted include sea whips, bearded scorpionfish, honeycomb groupers, and moorish idols.
Heading south from Ko Lanta, the tiny island of Koh Kraden comes into view. Back in 1944, a Japanese destroyer sank to the bottom after an air raid, and it has now turned into a wonderfully interesting reef dive. Wreck divers heading here need to be confident, as the vessel lies below a thermocline and in reduced visibility; but it’s a fascinating site to visit. Its depth makes it attractive to interesting marine creatures, and you’ll spot a wide assortment of seahorses here, as well as manta rays and a variety of reef sharks.
Further south again, the pretty uninhabited islands of Koh Rok (there are two of them) are a veritable tropical paradise. Covered in mangroves and palms, they’re home only to little more than giant monitor lizards, but their shallow waters have almost perfect visibility and are ideal for snorkelers and beginner scuba divers. Gorgonian sea fans, blacktip reef sharks, anemone fish and the occasional solitary hawksbill turtle can all be spotted here, and the channel between the two islands is home to some startlingly beautiful corals. It’s easy to get to on a day trip from Ko Lanta, but on busy days, and especially national holidays, it becomes overcrowded with snorkelers who all have the same desire to escape.
Decent dive operation but this is not a luxury liveaboard. Tired decor in cabin, mattress on floor and badly leaking pipework in the bathroom. It is very basic. The crew are helpful though, the divemaster good and the dive deck well organised. The sites in Similan Islands are pleasant but average with the exception of Richelieu Rock which is very nice. All sites are very crowded with many boats around.
Been diving around Marine Park, Koh Tao and Sail Rock, Thailand with Dive Point Samui last year after attend my mate's wed in Samui and two week vacation for myself. It was a thrilling experience to dive in such beautiful dive sites and the boat is a very nice, clean and comfortable boat. Dive crew are professional, sociable, cool, fun and serious about divers' safety! Fell in love with the Thai Curry that was prepared on the boat! It is a slow boat but you can actually sleep on the boat as the...