Scuba diving in Richelieu Rock
Richelieu Rock is one of the best dive sites in Thailand. This dive is located southeast of Surin Islands and is a part of the Surin National Marine Park. This huge pinnacle, climbing from the depths of the Andaman Sea, attracts scuba divers from around the world. The crescent “shaped reef” was discovered (with the help of local fishermen) and named by Jacques-Yves Cousteau with the inspiration of Cardinal Richelieu. The reason for this was the amazing purple and white soft coral that reminded him of the robe that the cardinal wore. The incredible concentration of biodiversity at this single site makes Richelieu famous throughout diving circles. Richelieu Rock has something for everyone from elusive whale sharks to small perfectly formed harlequin shrimp. It is a good site for micro and macro photography. This is a dive site that doesn’t disappoint even the most seasoned divers. This site is listed as a top location for gentle whale sharks, and there is a good chance to swim with them, especially from February through April.
When to go
The best time to visit is between October and May. March is the hottest month with the maximum air temperature climbing as high as 34C/93F. September is usually the wettest month and November the coolest, with the average air temperature of around 24C/75F. The average water temperature stays near 28C/82F.
What to see
The site is always teeming with life: schooling barracudas, schools of tuna, trevallies, manta rays, shovel-nosed rays, porcupine rays, leopard sharks, moray eels, hunting trevallies, and fusiliers hiding from the many pelagic predators that are attracted to the site. Fans of macro life will not be disappointed either: tiger- tailed seahorses, ornate ghost pipefish, frog fish, and nudibranchs are only a few of the species here.