Khao Lak Scuba Diving
Nudibrach. Credit Thomas Quine on flickr
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Khao Lak is often used as a stopping off point for liveaboards setting off to the Similian or Surin Islands.
The area has plenty of dive shops which offer courses for all levels of diver as well as offering equipment, liveaboards and day trips to the local dive sites.
The best time to dive in Khao Lak is October to April, although it may be possible to dive at other times of the year depending on sea conditions.
Porcupinefish. Credit Ryan Lackey on flickr
Located around an hours by speedboat from Tap Lamu pier the Boonsung sunk in the mid 1980’s during a storm and lies on the sandy bottom at 20 metres. The wreck was broken up considerably during the tsunami on 26th December 2004. Currents tend to be moderate and visibility between 5 and 10 metres.
The site is encrusted with coral and shells, has many sharp edges and lionfish lurking so care is required. Do not try to enter the wreckage.
Marine life is abundant here with large schools of snappers, fusiliers, batfish and tevally with crocodile fish, moray eel, leopard shark, scorpionfish, porcupinefish, stonefish, ghost pipefish, barracuda, as well as nudibranch if you look closely enough. For the very lucky there may even be a sighting of a whale shark or sailfish.
Honeycomb Moray Eel. Credit Mal B on flickr
The Premchai was a tin dredger that sank in 2000 and now lies on the bottom 20 metres deep. The site has only a mild current, is suitable for all levels of diver and is only a short boat ride from Tap Lamu pier, lying just a few hundred metres from Thai Muang Beach.
The wreck is mostly intact and the large crack in the hull, which caused the ship to sink, is clearly visible. The wreck is covered in a variety of soft and hard coral as well as large clams. The wreck should not be entered due to sharp edges and the number of nets and cables inside.
Moray eel are common here and there may be the chance to see the rare honeycomb moray or the banded moray. Large shoals of snappers, barracuda can be seen as well as pipefish, scorpionfish, leopard shark, cuttlefish, crabs and nudibranchs.
MV Sea Chart I Wreck
Rainbow Runner. Credit Rickard Zerpe on flickr
Just 60 to 90 minutes boat ride from Khao Lak sank in 2009 and is now lying on its starboard side at between 24 and 38 metres and can have strong currents with visibility around 10 metres. The cargo ship was around 84 metres long and still houses its cargo of iron wood and teak logs from Burma. The site is for advanced divers only and is often dived using Nitrox.
The site sees large schools of snappers and batfish as well as rainbow runners, frogfish, barracuda, tuna, octopus, ghost pipefish, puffer fish, lionfish, sea urchins and nudibranchs.
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