Certainly one of the best dive sites in Thailand, Richelieu Rock is an isolated pinnacle about 10km east of Surin Islands and 100km NNE of the Similan islands. The very top of the rock is just visible at low tide, but submerged at high tide. Below the surface Richelieu Rock is approximately horseshoe shaped consisting of several groups of rocks, pinnacles, overhangs and small caves. It drops most steeply on the north and west side, while the south side slopes more gently on the “inside” of the horseshoe. Maximum depth is about 35 meters, but it can be dived mostly at 20 – 28 meters.
Due to the currents sweeping over this pinnacle, there’s not so much hard coral, but plenty of soft coral. The currents can be strong, but it’s easy enough to find shelter on one side of the pinnacle or another, as it covers a large area. It’s too big for one dive, most liveaboard trips will include at least 2 dives here.
(above) Richelieu Rock Dive Site Map
Marine life at Richelieu Rock is bountiful. This large rocky pinnacle is the only sheltered area between the Surin Islands and the mainland. A great place for photographers, both macro and wide angle. Such small critters as seahorses, ghost pipefish, harlequin shrimp or frogfish can be found. The rare tomato clownfish lives here and mating octopus are often spotted.
Pelagic fish surround Richelieu. You will almost certainly find big schools of trevally and barracuda and other schooling fish such as snappers and fusiliers. Plus, what many divers hope to see are the giants of the ocean – whalesharks are seen here, as well as manta rays. No promises, but there is a good chance!
Richelieu Rock is on the route of most Thailand liveaboards. There are occasional day trips possible from Khao Lak, but it’s a long way for 2 dives! Richelieu is still one of the best dive sites in Asia (even if you don’t get lucky enough to see a whaleshark!)
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Similan Islands Liveaboards (Thailand)
South Siam 4
South Siam 4 runs twice weekly 3 day / 2 night trips including Similan Islands, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai, Surin islands and also diving at Richelieu Rock. You can also make a longer trip by starting on the right day (ask us for details - see prices b [...]
Prices starting from 6000 / day
A new liveaboard for 2018. The Phinisi (also called Cheng I Sao) is an Indonesia Phinisi style sailing boat, built in 2007. The Phinisi has been operating in Indonesia, the Maldives and Thailand, and now has a full schedule for Thailand and Myan [...]
Prices starting from 300 / day
Cruises in the Similan Islands / Richelieu Rock and also into Myanmar (Burma) with the liveaboard "Deep Andaman Queen". This stylish and comfortable liveaboard started operating in November 2003 and has been operating in Thailand for 14 years. St [...]
Prices starting from 7500 / day
Diving in Thailand and Myanmar - The luxury liveaboard Diva Andaman runs 6 night trips to the Similan Islands and the Mergui Archipelago. The boat was completed in 2009 and has been one of our most popular boats. Early booking is suggested. It's [...]
Prices starting from 14800 / day