Thailand has a wealth of dive sites where thousands of people enjoy themselves every year exploring the beautiful underwater scenery and extraordinary marine life. Nowhere is this more apparent than at Richelieu Rock, arguably the most popular dive site in all of Thailand. Richelieu Rock is a large horseshoe-shaped area that consists of a large central pinnacle that is surrounded by smaller rocks which are covered in soft coral, sea fans, anemones, and barrel sponges. In addition to the life on the rocks and ocean floor, this dive site also features abundant marine life as well.
Part of Surin National Park, Richelieu Rock is located just to the east of the islands and the very top is exposed during low tide which does make it a navigational hazard. Richelieu Rock is noted for the many nooks and crannies where marine life can be found swimming about and resting inside these locations. The pinnacle itself is so impressive that it offers divers a way to “climb” it from the depths that makes for a spectacular experience. Plus, it is the sheer biodiversity which has garnered Richelieu Rock the reputation for being the most desired diving site in Thailand as thousands can attest every year.
The Marine Life of Richelieu Rock :
There is a myriad of marine life that can be found in the area, including the impressive whale shark that dominates the pinnacle. In addition, there are barracudas, manta rays and large groupers that swim about in the area. You will also find harlequin shrimp nestled in the area as well as an abundance of different marine life.
There is the giant trevally, pipefish, whitetip shark and leopard shark as well that populates the area, making this one of the best places to dive. You will also see a wide variety of nudibranch, tiger tail sea horses and porcelain crabs as well.
Diving Conditions & Experience Level :
The currents in the area can be quite strong and you will have experienced guides around you to reduce the chances of being swept up by the currents. The depth of the dive site is roughly 25 to 30 meters (90 to 120 feet).
Although the visibility is good for most of the year, the currents are such that only intermediate to advanced divers are recommended for the area. Storms frequent the area and large waves can cancel a day trip to Richelieu Rock, so be prepared to stay an extra day or two if you want the chance to visit this spectacular dive site during the six month season.
Overall, Richelieu Rock is simply one of the most impressive places for experienced divers to visit and makes for an unforgettable experience thanks to the unique formations and abundance of marine life in the area.
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.