By PDJIMCO my-paydayjim.co.uk
This is a review of Elephant Head Rock dive site in The Similan Islands, Thailand. About one kilometre south-east of Island No. 8 is probably the Similans' second-most talked about dive site, known as Elephant Head Rock.
Even before you get off the boat it is easy to see just how clear the waters are around the Similan Islands are. But of course, you have to actually be under the surface to appreciate the real beauty of this part of the world.
Like many Koh Similan dive sites, Elephant Head Rock is made up of dozens of huge granite boulders, many of which are covered in hard and soft corals. The depth of the water and the dive site's remote location ensure both diverse and healthy marine life and usually excellent visibilty. People have reported underwater visibility in excess of forty metres around many Similan dive sites, and Elephant Head Rock is no exception. However, expect 20-30 metres throughout the majority of the diving season. The benefits of crystal clear water are that divers get more opportunities to see the huge variety of creatures which call this place home.
Once underwater at elephant Head Rock, divers will notice large granite boulders which create enormous canyons, and looking out in to the blue you just see how this dive site disappears into darker and darker water, it gets very deep outside this reef. Descending on the southern side of the rock you will find a coral garden that takes you out to a sandy bottom, if you are here in the very early morning you have a great chance of seeing sharks, mostly White Tip Reef Sharks (Triaenodon obesus) cruising by. It is commonly dived as a first dive of the day, mainly due to its depth and the chance of shark sightings. However, if it is a little crowded before breakfast, or the conditions aren't ideal, there is still more than enough to see at shallower depths, so it is still a great third dive. Here at Elephant Head Rock there are so many swimthroughs of different sizes, and one or two caverns, that it really is a diver's playground. There is life, and lots of it, but even without fish and invertebrates, this dive site is fun. After a few interesting and narrow passages and canyons you end up on the north side of this dive site. Along the way you will probably see Oriental Sweet Lips (Plectorhinchus vittatus), Unicorn Fish (Naso), Giant Travellys (Caranx ignobilis), and large schools of Fusiliers (Caesionidae). Occasionally there are sightings of a Hawksbill Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), too. Due to its depth and location, one must be aware of how strong currents here can be and which direction they travel in. All professional dive operators will understand the possible dangers and advantages of such waters and will organize the dive to take place at the right time and best starting location. In addition, the boat captains and crew will study the water's surface in preparation for divers who surface, in the planned spot or otherwise. Diving at The Similan Islands is an exciting experience, but not normally performed by novices. However, even an Advanced Open Water Diver or anyone with fewer than twenty dives can be overwhelmed by the amount of water they are surrounded by (due to depth and clarity) and the currents.
Please feel free to comment on the Elelphant Head Rock dive site itself, or our Elephant Head Rock dive site review. We love feedback and don't mind being told that we've got something wrong. Obviously, it's impossible to keep all the dive site information up to date at all times. In a perfect world, divers would report the day's or week's diving experiences here, or on our forum, thus giving much more accurate, up to date, and community-based information for this, and all the other dives site reviews of Thailand.
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