The Similan Islands are one of the most unique in Southeast Asia, offering plenty of great diving sites that are perfect for all scuba divers. One of the best is Fantasea Reef which garners thousands of tourists each year to see the many wonders it has to offer.
Located about 150 meters (500 feet) off the northwest coast of Similan Islands, Fantasea reef is a collection of boulders that are around 10 to 30 meters (30 to 100 feet) below the surface. These boulders form numerous caves, passage-ways and arches where an abundance of life can be found. For many, this is one of the most spectacular dive sites in the region.
Generally speaking, the dives occur at depths from 7 to 35 meters (25 to 120 feet) offering great visibility of the coral and marine life of the area. The most dramatic area is a large valley known as the Bronx. In addition, there are dramatic gullies and caverns complete with lots of soft coral, gorgonians and crinoids as well.
The Marine Life of Fantasea Reef :
There are a considerable number of fish in this region that include purple fire gobies, giant morays, unicorn-fish, blue-spotted coral groupers, ribbon eels, lionfish, blue palette surgeonfish, black snappers, Andaman and oriental sweetlips, several types of angelfish and more.
In the Bronx area of the dive, you will see giant clams that populate the area amid the valley floor. You will also see coral groupers and snappers that swim about amid the occasional whale shark which will be present during the peak of the season.
Plus, the fish in this region are used to divers and are mostly very friendly and somewhat curious which makes for great photography as you can let the fish swim to you for some dramatic photos. The Moorish Idols in particular make for interesting subjects, although if you can keep your eye on the sand, you may spot a cow tail ray lurking about.
Diving Conditions & Experience Level :
The currents are certainly swift in this area which makes it best suited for scuba divers of intermediate to advance skills. While the visibility is good overall, the surges and currents which dominate the Similan Islands encompasses the Fantasea Reef as well.
The combination of strong currents and boulders make it a somewhat tricky dive that you cannot truly relax. In addition, the National Park which is in charge of Fantasea Reef will occasionally close the area so it can regenerate, so you’ll want to check before scheduling a trip to see it if it available.
Overall, this is one of the best dive sites in the Similan Islands that offers a wealth of marine life that swim about amid dramatic boulder formations. Many divers will actually come back to this area time and time again to see new species of fish and visit all the locations of this remarkable site. For the experienced scuba diver that is looking for new challenges, Fantasea Reef is certainly one of the best dive sites around.
This text is for information purposes only. It has been written by members of the website and can be inaccurate. Always contact local professional divers before diving.