Richelieu Rock is a world-famous dive site on the West Coast of Thailand. The dive site belongs to the National Marine Park of the Surin Islands. The diving here is cited in many top ten dive sites of the world lists. Diving on Richelieu Rock is either done on a day boat, out of Khao Lak, or on a liveaboard boat from Khao lak or Phuket; there are boats now sailing from Ranong too.
To dive at Richelieu Rock you will have to pay a National Marine Park Fee to the Surin Islands.
The rock surfaces only a few meters with low tide and is practically invisible from the surface during high tide. Richelieu Rock is a huge seamount and is covered with a lot of purple soft corals. Inbetween the corals live a lot of smaller animals like porcelain crabs, ghost pipe fish, sea horses, moray eels, shrimps and nudibranches. The maximum depth of this dive site is about 33m.
Water temperatures at Richelieu Rock vary from 26°C to about 30°C.
When entering the water here for diving, please take care for currents, which can be moderate to strong, especially at the surface. People who need a longer time to descend should look for a good quiet day.
At Richelieu Rock, divers have common sightings of whale sharks and manta rays during the dive season. Also sometimes guitar rays can be seen here. Because Richelieu Rock is a famous dive spot, visited by many divers throughout the dive season, it is very important that the divers stick to the rules of the National Marine Park. Or in other words: Look only with your eyes and leave nothing but your bubbles.
Although the dive site is huge, you will be able to see most of the landscape of the whole site within 1 dive. However, there is so much too see here. You can easily make hundreds of dives here and still have the feeling that you want to return.
On the rocks are a lot of scorpion fishes and stone fishes which have very good camouflage. Don't touch anything here, you might mistake a rock for one of those fishes.