Richelieu Rock

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 Taxi service Phuket and Khao Lak
Whale shark at the Similan islands


Do you want to add some world class diving to your holidays? Then you should join us on our diving daytrip to Richelieu Rock, considered to be one of Thailand's best dive sites. . . an experience not to be missed on your Khao Lak diving holiday.

Your adventure starts in the early morning with the pick up at your Khao Lak accommodation. The high speed dive catamaran Wet-Cat leaves at 8:30 am from the Nam Khem pier and arrives about 75 minutes later at the dive site.

After setting up your equipment and a detailed briefing you are ready for your first world class dive of 45 to 60 minutes in a small group of 4 divers per professional dive guide. The groups are based on dive experience and certification level to suit everybody.

Richelieu Rock is the most spectacular dive site in the Andaman Sea; an isolated giant rock formation located about 18 km east of the Surin Island Archipelago, north of the Similan Islands and part of the Surin National Marine Park, which is home to the most diverse and stunning marine life, unlike anywhere in the country. The site is marked by the top of the pinnacle which rises about 1 meter above the sea level during low tide, and disappears underwater during high tide. It is said that the famous diver and explorer Jacques Cousteau was here and named it Richelieu Rock, because the purple soft corals covering the entire pinnacle reminded him of the purple coat of his friend, Cardinal Richelieu.

Besides the stunning hard and soft corals and huge sea fans, you can see large groups of barracudas, trevallies and tuna, which grow really big here due to the immense amount of reef fish they are hunting for. Their primary targets are the big shoals of snappers and fusiliers feeding in mid water. Richelieu Rock is world famous for being one of the best places in Thailand to see big pelagic whale sharks; although the biggest fish on the planet (growing to a length of up to 16 meters!), they feed on the smallest creatures building the plankton and are believed to have a lifespan of over 100 years.

The horseshoe-shaped rock falls steeply down to the surrounding sand bottom at a maximum depth of 35 meters. It hosts huge gorgonians and anemones with different kind of ‘clownfish’, some of them you don’t see often like the Tomato Anemonefish. The cracks and crevices of the limestone provide hiding spaces for so many different species that it is not possible to explore the whole site in one dive. You get everything from the Yellow Tiger Tail Seahorse, Harlequin Shrimps, Ghost Pipefish, Frogfish, Mantis Shrimps, Nudibranches, Moray Eels and Scorpionfish to Giant Groupers, Lionfish and mating Cuttlefish. Go slow to find all the hidden and camouflaged creatures. . . and as a photographer always make sure to bring ample batteries and the big memory cards!

Take a deep breath after the first dive and enjoy the delicious Thai food for lunch, followed by relaxation, resting and tanning on the sundeck or stay in the shaded area if you like it more cool.

Soon it’s time to plunge back in again and experience the second dive on this amazing dive site. . .

The ride back gives you just enough time to fill in your log book and share your underwater adventures with the other divers while enjoying some fruits or soft drinks; you will return early enough at your Khao Lak accommodation for a sundowner or happy hour drink.

Just write or call us for more information about a Richelieu Rock diving daytrip.



A diving daytrip at Richelieu Rock would be as followed:
Pick up by taxi from your accommodation in Khao Lak
At 8.30 AM the fast catamaran leaves to Richelieu Rock from Baan Namkeng jetty. 
Travel time around 1.15 hour.
The dive groups will be based on certification level and dive experience. Each Dive Master gives a detailed dive briefing to his group and helps with setting up your diving gear. Ratio divers: 4-5 divers to 1 Dive Master.
Plunge into the crystal clear water and enjoy the incredible marine wildlife at Richelieu Rock. Dive time 45-60 minutes.
Back onboard a delicious Thai lunch will be served. The surface time is 1 1/2 hour.  For the second dive, the Dive Master will give a detailed dive briefing and will help you with gearing up.
Plunge back into the water and get the experience of world-class diving. After the dive the catamaran will return to Khao Lak, where the taxi is waiting to bring you back to your accommodation in Khao Lak. Estimated time of arrvial between 16.00 and 16.30 PM.

Richelieu rock daytrip itinerary


07.20 - 08.20 Pick up from your accommodation in Khao Lak
08.30 The Wetcat leaves from Nam Khem pier
10.00 First dive
11.00 Lunch & relax on the Wetcat sun roof
12.45 Second dive
15.15 Arrival at Nam Khem pier
16.00 - 16.30     Arrival back at your accommodation in Khao Lak


The diving daytrip to Richelieu rock departs every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday

Boat Info

Wet cat

This is one of the best daytrip boats around. This multi hull daytrip boat offers a comfortable and fast ride. The sundeck gives you space to relax between the dives. This boat takes a maximum of 16 guests.


Wet cat:


Included in the price is :

  • Transfer from and back to your accommodation in Khao Lak.
  • Experienced dive guide ( maximum 5 guest with 1 dive guide )
  • Lunch, drinking water, softdrinks, fruits.
  • Towels and shampoo

Not included in the prices are

  • National park and diving fees
  • Price : 700.- Baht
  • Full set of diving equipment : regulator, long or short wetsuit, bcd, pressure gauge, depth gauge, mask, snorkel, full foot fins, tank, weightbelt  
  • Price 500.- Baht





Contact Us

Location & Dive Sites

Frequently Asked Questions & Answers

For the diving daytrips we'll pick you up at the lobby of your accommodation in the Khao Lak area between 07.00 -08.00 AM, depending on where you're staying in Khao Lak

The Similan islands, Koh Bon , Koh Tachai and Richelieu rock are parts of Marine National parks.

The parks are open from the 15th of October till the 15th of May. From the 16th of May till the 14th of October the National parks are closed. Visiting the islands or dive sites is not allowed.

From the of May to the beginning of October the  Southwest Monsoon comes to Thailand from the Indian Ocean and impacts the Andaman Coast. Then the sea waters of the Andaman Coast are disturbed, weather conditions can change very quickly and high waves can make travelling at sea quit a challenge. 

The maximum depth permitted on all trips is 30 meters, 99 feet for Open Water Divers with the Deep Adventure Dive certification, Advanced Divers, Rescue Divers, Divemasters and Instructors.

Open Water Divers without any additional Deep training will not be permitted to dive deeper than 18 meters, 59 feet.

The maximum depth for Junior open water divers 10 or 11 years old is 12 meters. The maximum depth for junior open water divers 12 years and older is 18 meters.

The maximum depth for Junior advanced open water divers between the age of 12 and 14 years old is 21 meters.


From Bangkok you can take flight to Phuket airport  and from there a taxi to Khao Lak. It’s also possible to take a night bus from the Bangkok Southern Bus Terminal ( Sai Tai Mai Bus station)  to Khao Lak which takes about an 11 hours .

From Koh Samui, Koh Phang an and Kao Tao you can take a ferry to Surthani and from there the bus Khao Lak.

From Phuket  you can take a bus to Khao Lak. The bus starts at Phuket town bus station and it takes about  2 -2 1/2 hours to Khao Lak.