Richelieu Rock – Thailand’s Great All Rounder

Richelieu Rock – Thailand’s Great All Rounder

Richelieu Rock Is Widely Regarded As One Of The Top Dive Sites In The World

Very few dive sites can match Richelieu Rock for variety. So much so that it can be a bit of a nightmare for photographers choosing which lens to take. On its day regarded as one of the top ten dive sites in the world and is certainly the best in Thailand. Allegedly ‘discovered’ by Jacques Cousteau with the help of local fisherman. There is much debate on how Richelieu Rock got its name so it’s nice to think that the great man had some involvement.

Richelieu Rock is a horseshoe shaped rock that sits alone in the Andaman sea. It’s nearly 20km from the Surin Islands and almost 40km from both the mainland and Koh Tachai so it’s hardly surprising it attracts so much life. At high tide it’s completely submerged and at low tide the rock just pokes above the surface. Which explains its Thai name – Hin Ploo Nam (rock rising from the water).

Octopus At Richelieu Rock

Octopus At Richelieu Rock

Most Similan island liveaboards will do more than one dive here and some up to four. The horseshoe shape rock always has some shelter even if the current is at its strongest. The dive plan will depend on the strength and direction of current but we try to take in the deeper northern corner of Richelieu Rock on the first dive and profile shallower for the rest of the dives.

The drop will be near or directly on the single buoy line attached at the southeast corner. If there’s strong current you’ll descend on the buoy line or just use it as reference if it’s mild. Your guide will ask you to let go around 12m. You’ll then swim off in the direction of least resistance and start to explore this magnificent dive site.

Mating Pharoah Cuttlefish At Richelieu Rock

Mating Pharoah Cuttlefish At Richelieu Rock

So Much Happening At Richelieu Rock

The marine life jumps out at you from all directions, it’s hard to know where to look. The larger fish will be immediately obvious, different trevally species, groupers and great barracuda constantly encircle the rock, waiting for one of the smaller fish to venture too far from safety. The centre of the horseshoe is usually filled with a huge school of yellow snapper. Octopus and pharoah cuttlefish are always present. The latter sometimes put on a show when the large males defend their chosen female during breeding time.

The nooks and crannies are what make Richelieu Rock so attractive for the smaller animals so it’s important that you take your time. Remember you more than likely have more than one dive here. At the bottom of the reef we can find tigertail seahorses and their close relatives the ornate ghost pipefish. Exquisitely coloured harlequin shrimp live in the cracks but they are very difficult to find. Keep an eye out for severed star fish legs which might just lead you to their house.

harlequin shrimp at richelieu rock thailand

harlequin shrimp at richelieu rock thailand

Moray eels love this oasis in the sand so lots of different species including giant, yellow margin, white-eyed, zebra, honeycomb and bar-tailed make Richelieu Rock their home. Lots of different varieties of nudibranchs cling to the walls and if you’re lucky you may see the very rare and bizarre looking pinecone fish.

The rock itself is festooned with purple and red soft corals. Anemones carpet the shallower areas near the buoy line where you’ll finish your dive. In recent times we have seen an encouraging rise in whale shark sightings in the Similan and Surin Islands so if you hear a cacophony of tank bangers you know that one of these gentle giants or a manta ray is close by.

Richelieu Rock is often the highlight of the trip and a dive site that you’ll never forget.

Contact Us Now!

Popular Services

Rescue course PADi with Local Dive Thailand

PADI Rescue Diver Course

Getting the PADI Rescue diver course in Phuket will be one of the most challenging & rewarding of PADI certification courses available. The PADI Rescue diver course improves your skills and confidence as a diver & is designed for anyone who wants to learn how to identify, manage & prevent diver or scuba diving emergencies as a result this course is slightly more demanding than the PADI Open Water, or Advanced Open Water as you might possibly [...]

Find Out More
complete your padi search and recovery specialty in phuket

PADI Search & Recovery Diver

It happens, that moment of despair when you see your torch, watch or other valuable piece of equipment slowly disappearing into the depths. Sunlight glinting from the shiny surfaces seemingly mocking your loss but don't despair! If you have a PADI Search & Recovery diver on hand then you may just be able to recover your seemingly lost forever item. Searching underwater is not easy, this fun and informative course will teach you effective [...]

Find Out More

Daily Schedules

M/V Kepsub Schedule

Jobs @ Local Dive Thailand

Local Dive Thailand is one of Phuket's fatest growing & most vibrant scuba diving operations, we are always looking for quality staff to join us, so feel free to have a look at our jobs listing page.

Job Listings

Contact LDT

Local Guides, Local Knowledge, Local Experiences

Don't trust your diving to amateurs or freshly minted dive guides, dive with local experienced experts from Local Dive Thailand. Our Scuba Diving Phuket Tours will take you to see the rarest of the rare critters, you will be amazed by the macro life our guides can find, in the secret places only they know. To put it in perspective, if you were going to climb Mount Everest you would certainly hire a local sherpa to lead the way & keep you safe. Diving is similar because there is absolutely no substitute for local experience & local knowledge, Local Dive Thailand's guides are Phuket's Sherpa's of the Andaman Sea!

Learn More About Us

Scuba Diving Phuket, Phi Phi & Thailand

When talking about Scuba Diving in Phuket, you should believe the hype, many seasons we have had Whale Sharks grace us on our regular and easy to reach dive sites and on a good day you can add Sea Horses, Sea Moths, Snake Eels, Frog Fish & Octopus to what you can see on any given dive and so much more. If we are heading to Phi Phi Island for the day, you can possibly see Hawksbill Sea Turtles and Black Tip Reef Sharks, also don't forget the King Cruiser, 84 meters of beautiful wreck and the most amazing reef nursery for fish and nudibranch. Local Dive Thailand day trip tours to these locations are not to be missed when you are scuba diving Phuket, get in touch with us and book an 'awesome' day of diving.

Book Your Day Trip

Related News From Local Dive Thailand

See why we are Thailand's leading scuba diving Phuket tour provider, stay up to date & watch out for news & special liveaboard offers!

similan island liveaboards mv pawara and mv sawasdee fasai cruising Diving Discounts & Special Offers

Last Chance For Discount On Similan Island Liveaboards

MV Pawara 4 Days/4 Nights 14 Dives Master THB 37,700 THB 33,930 Deluxe THB 34,700 THB 31,230 Standard THB 32,700 THB 29,430 Budget THB 26,700 THB 24,030 MV Sawasdee FaSai 4 Days/4 Nights 14 Dives Master THB 42,700 THB 38,430 Deluxe THB 37,700 THB 33,930 Standard THB 34,700 THB 31,230 Budget THB 28,700 THB 25,830 Transfers from Phuket, nitrox, ridiculous amounts of food, tea, coffee, water, weights, weight, belts, guides are al [...]

Read Full Story
aqualung i450T colours Equipment We Like

Aqualung i450T Dive Computer

Having used the same computer brand for nearly 20 years, it was hard to jump ship from something that had only occasionally let me down especially to a brand that is although well trusted in the other equipment would be their first foray into the dive computer market. Enticed by a great deal and free in house quick and efficient repairs I decided to take a chance. The i450T certainly looks the part, a sleek design and easy to read char [...]

Read Full Story
sample the best scuba diving in phuket with local dive thailand Amazing Local Dives

The Best Scuba Diving In Phuket

You won't see all we have to offer but some of the best Phuket scuba diving can be covered in our 3 day package. As an added bonus you'll get a 10% discount for booking multiple days. Start your diving on either Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Friday and you'll cover the best Phuket diving tours. Nine in total from the clear waters of Racha Noi to the imposing shadows of the King Cruiser Wreck. A whole range of underwater topogra [...]

Read Full Story

Local Dive Thailand Office In Phuket


Find Us On Google Maps