Thailand Dive Sites
Thailand Dive Sites:
Khao Lak is a relatively new Thailand resort area located on the Andaman coast about 100km north of Phuket. The area is quite spread out with miles of beach, much of it deserted. Khao Lak suffered terribly when the tsunami hit the Andaman coast on 26 December 2004 but the area has recovered now and is booming again. Khao Lak is the gateway to the Similan Islands and dozens of dive centres have sprung up in the area. If you want to do daytrips to the Similan Islands, Khao Lak is the best place to stay.
Many Similan liveaboards also depart from Khao Lak or to be more precise Tap Lamu pier which is just south of Khao Lak centre. Tap Lamu is also the location of the Similan Islands Marine National Park HQ.
As diving is the main industry in Khao Lak the area is busy from November to April and virtually empty from May to October when many hotels, bars and restaurants close for the low season.
There are some dive sites close to Khao Lak that are used mainly for course training dives because most divers just want to go straight to the Similan Islands. However there is one excellent daytrip dive site that also makes it on to some liveaboard itineraries.
Boonsung Wreck Khao Lak
The Boonsung Wreck is a 60m tin mining vessel that sank in 1984 about 12 nautical miles from Tap Lamu pier. It now sits in 20m of water and is a magnet for an incredible amount of marine life. Before the Asian tsunami of 26 December 2004 the wreck was fairly intact but is now broken into several large pieces. Coral has encrusted most of the structure and schools of fish completely cover the wreck including trevally, yellow snapper, barracuda and batfish.
Stingrays and Leopard sharks can be found in the sand. Lionfish and scorpionfish are everywhere and touching any part of the wreck is a risky business. A large honeycomb moray has made it's home in the wreck. Whalesharks also visit the wreck at certain times of the year. Currents are usually mild with visibility ranging from 5-25m. The wreck is also an excellent night dive location.