Koh Bon is The Best Place to Spot A Manta On Your Phuket Diving Trip
A two hour sail northwest from Similan Island #9 will bring you to the granite island of Koh Bon. Although a fair distance away it’s still considered part of the Similan Island National Park. Easily recognisable by a circular opening in the granite wall.
The majority of dives here will incorporate the west ridge. A thin granite spine of rock that starts above the surface and continues underwater to a depth of 40m. Along the ridge you’ll find lots of colourful soft corals, hordes of cleaner and butterfly fish. They draw in giant manta rays from miles around. Even without the big guys it’s a stunning dive site with a wealth of varied marine life. Leopard, blacktip and whitetip reef sharks are regularly seen here although sadly as with most places around the world shark sightings are on the decline. This is what makes Koh Bon diving very special.
Koh Bon Diving isn’t Only Manta’s
The dive will begin in either the north or south bay depending on the current. Don’t be in a hurry to get to the deeper section of the ridge. Mantas rays are quite often spotted in the shallower areas especially around a large bommie in the north bay. Before reaching the ridge hopefully you will have encountered quite a few other animals such as napoleon wrasse, great barracuda, sweetlips and octopus. At certain times in the season, the whole reef can be covered in glassfish, this attracts predators such as trevally, rainbow runners and scad.
As you near the deeper section of the ridge be very careful of the down current that cab be quite fierce. If the down current is not present then spend as much time as you can here. This is the best area to spot the various shark species that occasionally turn up.
You’re safety stop will usually be in one of the two bays either side of the ridge. Although often divers will finish the dive above the ridge to get that last glimpse of the majestic manta rays.
Most Similan Island liveaboard safari’s will visit Koh Bon so it can get a bit hectic at times but common sense is sometimes encountered and the boats will stagger their drop times.
A great dive site and one not to be missed on any Similan Island liveaboard especially if you get the opportunity for a sunset dive.