If you’re looking for an underwater adventure near Phuket, Richelieu Rock should be on your list of top dive sites to explore. Located in the Andaman Sea, about 200 km northwest of Phuket, Richelieu Rock is a popular destination among divers from all over the world. Here’s everything you need to know about diving at Richelieu Rock.
Location and Accessibility
Richelieu Rock is located in the Mu Ko Similan National Park, between the Surin Islands and the Similan Islands. The dive site is accessible by boat, and most liveaboards departing from Phuket and Khao Lak offer trips to Richelieu Rock. The journey takes around 4-6 hours, depending on the weather conditions. The dive site is situated in open water and can experience strong currents, making it more suitable for experienced divers.
Richelieu Rock is a submerged pinnacle that rises from the depths of the Andaman Sea. The pinnacle is covered in soft and hard corals, sea fans, and anemones, creating a colorful and vibrant underwater landscape. The rock is also home to a diverse range of marine life, including whale sharks, manta rays, barracudas, trevallies, and many more. The visibility is generally good, ranging from 20 to 30 meters, allowing divers to fully appreciate the underwater scenery.
Diving at Richelieu Rock can be challenging due to the strong currents that can occur, particularly during the full and new moon periods. Divers should have advanced or deep diving experience, as well as good buoyancy control. The water temperature ranges from 26 to 30 degrees Celsius, and the best time to dive is from November to April, during the dry season, when the sea is calm and the visibility is at its best.
Richelieu Rock is divided into several dive sites, each offering a unique underwater experience. The East Ridge is a popular site that features a shallow plateau covered in hard corals, where divers can spot octopuses, moray eels, and schools of fusiliers. The South Point is another popular site that drops to a depth of 40 meters, where divers can encounter leopard sharks and barracudas. The pinnacle itself is also a popular site, where divers can swim around the rock and observe the diverse marine life.
If you’re a diver looking for an underwater adventure near Phuket, Richelieu Rock should definitely be on your bucket list. With its vibrant underwater scenery, diverse marine life, and challenging diving conditions, Richelieu Rock offers a unique and unforgettable diving experience. Just be sure to have the appropriate diving experience and to book with a reputable dive operator for the best experience possible.