West Of Eden – The Other Side of Paradise
After the coral bleaching in 2010 that devastated the wonderful East Of Eden this rocky dive site became more popular. Most sites on the western side of the Similan Islands are comprised of granite boulders and hard corals so they are a little more resilient to temperature change.
Depending on the current the dive will begin around the mooring line in the small bay to the south of the dive site. It’s worth spending some time in this area. Look around the large coral bommie for giant frogfish, clown triggerfish and quite a few species of angelfish. It’s not unusual to see regal, emperor, koran, bluering and masked angelfish in the first minutes of the dive.
Good Macro Life At West Of Eden
As you head north the shallow reef will gradually get deeper until you reach the first granite boulders. Between the first two huge boulders is a very nice channel with walls encrusted with soft corals and sea fans. Along the walls you can find some nice nudibranchs and it’s another place to look for frogfish, especially around the overhang at the deeper end. On the floor of the channel there’s sometimes pairs of robust ghost pipefish and spearing mantis shrimp.
At the end of the channel the bottom slopes away to 30m or more. You may be lucky enough to spot a whitetip reef shark and kuhl’s stingrays out on the sand. Where the rocks meet the sand is a great place to find ribbon eels and the stunning red fire goby. As you slowly make your way back up to the safety stop keep an eye out into the blue for the resident school of barracuda. Turtles also like this area so you’ll somehow have to look up and down.
There are small caves and swim-throughs that are worth checking out. However if there is surge then it’s wise to give them a miss. Swim out into the blue if this is the case because you may spot a marauding dogtooth tuna.