Thailand’s best dive sites for manta rays and whale sharks, Richelieu Rock is only reachable by liveaboard and is often combined with the Similan Islands in one adventure-filled itinerary.
One of the most famous dive sites on liveaboard routes in Thailand’s Similan Islands, Richelieu Rock is quite isolated. It’s approximately 120 miles (200km) west of Phuket, but it’s worth every mile traveled. Manta rays, giant groupers, barracuda and a plethora of soft corals make Richelieu Rock popular. It’s also a great place for spotting whale sharks in the right season. The site itself is a massive pinnacle reaching from 130 feet (40m) to the surface, and the dive plan can change dramatically depending on the day’s conditions. The only way to reach Richelieu Rock is by liveaboard. Typical itineraries last 4 to 7 days, and the best time to dive in the Similans is from October to early May.