Similan Island’s Best Coral Reef – East of Eden
No visit to the Similan Islands would be complete without a dive along perhaps the most famous of all the islands’ divesites. Running along the southeastern corner of Similan Island 7, East of Eden is one of the most colourful and vibrant fringing reefs in Thailand. Featured in National Geographic, Scuba Diver magazine and hundreds of other publications; this is it!
Starting in the shallows at 6m the reef falls quite steeply in the northern section to depths of 35m or more where the sand bottom then levels out. Usually this reef is dived from north-east to south-west and it is here at the start if you head down to the deeper coral pinnacles you will often find a few pairs of purple fire gobies and a massive red frogfish hidden amongst the deeper boulders.
At the deeper end of the reef, where reef meets sand (25-30 Meters) we often find scores of Kuhl’s Rays and whole fields of Garden Eels. Along the entire reef you will find all the usual reef fish going about their daily business, a myriad of shapes, sizes and colours. hawksbill and green sea turtles are very often seen at the top of the reef plateau.
Just before the main pinnacle is long slope of sand where our friend Emma lives. She’s a Giant Moray eel that has made her home there for several years. A few ignorant dive guides fed her, so they could show off to their customers – until one overzealous videographer tried to get some good footage by holding out some small wieners. Emma took off his thumb. You’ll often see this video on Youtube and Google Videos. Another good reason not to feed fish!
At the southern end of the reef is an enormous coral pinnacle starting at 24 meters and rising to 10 meters. It is definitely worth swimming around slowly at least once. This pinnacle is home to many different large and small sea fans, enormous table corals, endless differently coloured feather star worms and beautiful soft corals and anemones. So many fish are attracted to this pinnacle, but also look for the smaller species such as nudibranchs, cowries and at the right time of year the elusive ornate ghostpipefish. This pinnacle is truly an ecosystem in itself.
At the end of the dive we swim in the shallows where several turtles are often found, as well as clown triggerfish.
East of Eden Marine Life
Diving here puts you face to face with clown triggerfish, half-moon triggerfish and schools of batfish, pallette surgeonfish, blue-faced angelfish and bannerfish. It’s also a good place to spot passing sharks and larger rays. In addition to Emma, the resident Giant Moray Eel, there are several other Moray’s. Look for the Incredible diversity of Soft corals onthe pinnacle, as well as many obscure nudibranchs.
Look into the deep for Garden eels, Kuhl’s rays and several triggerfish nests.
Diving East of Eden
Diving Depths range from 4 to 30 eters (12-100 feet) with most time spent at about 16 meters (50 feet) Visibility is often quite good with normal range of 25-30 meters (85-100 feet) Currents are present, but helpful. We ride the currents which most frequently run from North to South. Experience level is from Beginner to Advanced. This site is accessible to all. Please remember that the delicate corals are easily broken by those without real buoyancy skills and overzealous photographers!