Khao Lak is located about 80 km north of Phuket on the west coast of Thailand.
It sadly gained worldwide attention on the 26th of December 2004 when a devastating
tsunami rocked the area.
This terrible natural catastrophe seemed to be the death sentence for a growing region which
was a hidden travel secret not long ago.
Despite big damages the people in the area do not let themselves down. Numerous rebuilding
projects¹ are in progress and even now, just 18 months after the catastrophe, enough
accomodations are already available.
For two seasons, beginning in 11/1999, Steffi and me worked as a Diving Instructor &
Divemaster for the dive operator and 5*-IDC-Center Kon-Tiki (today
iQ-DIVE) in Khao Lak. During this time we had plenty of opportunities to
study the surounding dive sites.
Steffi at work
Donald Duck Bay
First of all for sure the famous Similan Islands, which are located only 2,5 h boat drive
(or 1 h by speed boat) off the mainland and so well possible for day trips².
The Similan Islands offer superb underwater landscapes which are build of huge granite
boulders. They remind of the Seychelles and belong to the best dive areas in the world.
Likewise colourful coral reefs and fascinating walls feature the islands as well as turqoise
bays with excellent snorkeling and bathing options. Due to it's great diversity one
can find sandy beaches on the eastern sites as well as rocky cliffs on the western parts.
The Similans (Thai: "Nine islands") offer more than 20 different dive sites and every single
site is worth describing. Unfortunately this would exceed the space of this website
by far. So please check out for further infos:
Due to the tsunami some reefs had been damaged but most of the dive sites of the Similans
are largely unaffected.
Some more remarkable dive sites are just close by, either attainable via full-day or
day boat trip:
Koh Miang (No. 4)
- Koh Bon (Mantas!)
- Koh Tachai (Variety of species, reefs)
- Boonsung Wreck (Nudibranchs, schooling fish, seahorses,
ghostpipefishes, leopard sharks)
- Premchai Wreck (Nudibranchs, schooling fish)
- Khao Na Yak (Nudibranchs)
More dive areas are located further away and are only available via Liveaboard trip:
- Surin Islands (Variety of species, reefs, schooling fish)
- Richelieu Rock (Variety of species, reefs, seahorses, ghostpipefishes,
- Burma Banks/Mergui Archipelago (see above + silvertip sharks)
- Hin Muang/Hin Daeng (Reefs, whale sharks!)