PelagicsRichelieu Rock

Richelieu Rock attracts divers from around the world who hope to glimpse the large pelagic visitors.

BoatsRichelieu Rock

The usual way to visit Richelieu Rock is by multi-day liveaboard boat from Phuket.

Koh Phra Thong is close enough that you can dive Richelieu Rock on much shorter trips.

FishesRichelieu Rock

There is a huge diversity of fishes at Richelieu Rock.

Often you can observe a funnel of schooling barracuda as you descend

CoralsRichelieu Rock

A healthy abundance of multicoloured soft corals covers the rocks.

There are also massive seafans stretching across crevices and undulating anemones.

Richelieu Rock - Thailand

Thailand is renowned for world class scuba diving. Clear, warm tropical waters, healthy coral reefs and schools of multicoloured fish are the main reasons people love to dive here. However, not all diving destinations in Thailand are equal.

Koh Tao offers cheap courses for those on a budget. Pattaya benefits from being near Bangkok. Koh Samui has all the western onland facilities you can imagine. Krabi has magnificent limestone karsts with shallow waters. Phi Phi of course has "the beach". Koh Lanta is close to the delightful dive sites of Hin Daeng and Hin Muang. But, amongst all these one location stands out. Richelieu Rock is the best dive site in Thailand and considered one of the top ten in the world.

What & Where is Richelieu Rock?

Richelieu Rock is a striking open sea pinnacle situated 45km off the Andaman coastline and a short ride from the Surin Islands. The central rock at Richelieu is a jutting limestone spire, rising from 50m deep all the way to the surface. There are two more inner columns on either side of the central one. They rise from the depths in a similar fashion. Around this massive arched citadel there are further limestone boulders dotted around providing haven for a multitude of life.

Koh Phra Thong, only 35km south east of Richelieu, is the perfect place from which to launch your diving adventure. Coincidentally, Koh Phra Thong is also the home of the Blue Guru Diving, the closest dive centre to this stunning dive site.

Why Richelieu Rock?

Richelieu's structure and isolation make it a magnet for a vast selection of marine life. It is a lone outpost in this part of the Andaman Sea, displacing tidal currents, causing upwellings of plankton and attracting life from many miles around.

The limestone fortress is itself covered with a spectrum of soft corals, undulating in the watery breeze. Alongside these are an array of hard corals, sea fans and anemones lining the rocky walls and springing out from unlikely crevices.

  • Manta Rays

    The more you dive Richelieu Rock, the more likely you are to see manta rays and whale sharks. Blue Guru's 2 day trip has 4 dives there.

    More on Richelieu 2 day Safari
  • Accommodation

    A Richelieu Rock 2d1n Scuba Safari has an overnight stay on the Surin Islands. Choose from tents or bungalows.

    More On Surin accommodation
  • PADI Diver Training

    Make the most of your Richelieu Rock experience by gaining your PADI Advanced Open Water during a 2 day Richelieu Rock trip.

    More on Advanced Diving
  • Boats

    Koh Phra Thong is close enough and the Blue Guru dive boat fast enough to offer overnight adventures including 6 dives.

    More on Richelieu 2 day Safari
  • Macro Life at Richelieu Rock

    An abundance of macro life can be found swarming close to their secure coral homes and hiding in dark corners. Richelieu Rock macro favourites include Tigertail Seahorses, Frogfish, Harlequin Shrimps, Ghost Pipefish and a fair range of Nudibranchs

    There is also an assortment of mid-sized life engaged in various activities in sheltered underwater bays. Displaying Cuttlefish, mating Octopi, lurking Groupers and hovering Lionfish are all regularly observed by intrepid scuba divers.

    Additionally, around the outside of the rocks there are other exciting creatures. Swirling schools of Barracuda patrol the inner sanctum. Opportunistic Trevallies dart through from out of nowhere. Large Groupers maraud around the base.

    Large pelagics at Richelieu Rock

    And finally; the reason many divers choose to visit Richelieu Rock are the whale shark and manta ray visitations. Kings of the sea they glide along without rivals, filtering huge amounts of water, feasting on the plankton blooms. These magnificent creatures are regularly viewed at Richelieu during high season.

    Unfortunately, whale sharks are an endangered species. More research & action is needed to monitor their migrations & prevent extinction before it's too late.

    PADI Whale Shark Awareness - Ecocean & Shark Trust

    Diving or snorkeling with whale sharks is an amazing experience. However, it’s essential that safe practices are followed, so passive interactions don’t harm whale sharks.

    Blue Guru Diving on Koh Phra Thong is proud to be a registered operator of PADI Whale Shark Awareness specialty course. This distinctive specialty aims to conserve one of the world's most impressive marine creatures and give divers & snorkelers essential knowledge & skills to dive or snorkel responsibly with whale sharks.

    Blue Guru Diving is also an active participant of the ECOCEAN and Shark Trust research databases. These hold information of whale shark encounters by divers. This data is then used by marine biologists to increase our understanding of these amazing creatures.

    Find out about Richelieu Rock holidays
  • Tigertail seahorses are regularly found at Richelieu Rock. You just have to know where to look!

  • The photographer's favourite, harlequin shrimp, are another species which call Richelieu Rock their home.

  • Gesturing and mating cuttlefish can usually be seen on the outside of the horseshoe of rocks at Richelieu.

  • Look carefully for large brown marbled grouper. Their excellent camouflage keeps them hidden from divers.