Boonsung Wreck

Ornate-or-Harlequin-ghost-Pipefish-Solenostomus-paradoxus-at-Boonson-Wreck-Phang-Nga-Thailand-Ron-CaswellOrnate or Harlequin ghost Pipefish
(Solenostomus paradoxus) by Ron-Caswell
The Boonsong Wreck (also spelt Boonsoong and Boonsung) is a sunken tin dredger at a location and depth which makes it convenient and easy to dive on daytrips from Khao Lak, in Thailand's southern province of Phang Nga. It is also regularly dived from Similan and Surin Islands liveaboard cruise boats, either at the beginning or end of a trip. It's neither too deep nor too far to make it anything other than an enjoyable dive site, and one with thousands of fish and lots of interesting other members of the marine life community. On the seabed at a depth of 20 metres, this wreck is perfect for many divers, including inexperienced, those taking part in an Open Water Advanced Course, macro photography enthusiasts, and even night divers.

The vessel sank in the mid 1980s and sat for almost twenty years in one piece on the bottom here, then was separated by the 2004 Asian tsunami. It is now a little more spread out and looks able to be penetrated but shouldn't be. There are too many sharp edges that could cause cuts, and the visibility is usually quite poor, so kicking up some more sand or silt inside the wreck would be a disaster. It's a safe wreck dive from the outside, but not one for entering. The only real dangers on the outside of Boonsing Wreck are the venomous fish which hide waiting to ambush prey. Scorpionfish (Scorpaenidae) and even Stonefish (Synanceiidae) spend most of their lives here and their camouflage disguise is fantastic. Divers who choose to hold on to the wreck structure in a mild current or steady themselves to take a photograph should be extra careful here at Boonsong Wreck. Lionfish (Pterois) are quite common here, too, but they hang around out in open water, away from reefs, and use their beautiful patterns as a warning, so they're easy to spot.

Boonsung Wreck is just 13 kilometres from the mainland, so day trips by speedboat are no problem, but it is usually visited by Surin or Similan liveaboard cruise boat. Although it is not very deep and the visibility not the best, even experienced diving enthusiasts love to visit. The surrounding seascape is a flat sandy area, which may look boring at first glance, but is home or resting place for all kinds of fish and invertebrates. Flounder are quite difficult to spot, but Leopard/Zebra Sharks (Stegostoma fasciatum) are easy enough to see if they're out there. After nearly thirty years under the sea, this wreck has developed fully into an artificial reef. Schooling-fish-at-Boonsong-Wreck-Phang-Nga-Thailand-Ron-CaswellSchooling fish by Ron Caswell

The micro-organisms came to settle first, encouraging corals, anemones and sea fans to make it their home. Now, it is permanently surrounded by life. The huge schools of fish are easy enough to spot and enjoyable to watch, but there is so much more hiding in nooks and crannies, that some divers just go back time and time again. It depends really on what each diver is on the lookout for, as everyone has their own taste, but one of the more popular creatures here are Moray Eels (Gymnothorax), of which there are several attractive species. Macro photographers tend to look for small things, like ghost pipefish (Solenostomidae) and nudibranchs, of which there are plenty here for those with a keen eye and patience.

As you can see in the videos, the visibility at Boonsung Wreck can be quite low, but with most creatures up close and personal, this isn't a problem. The currents and season, as well as the amount of divers in the water, can cause the visibility to drop, but it's not as big a deal as it would be at other dive sites. It can be so poor on some days that descending to the wreck should even be done on one of the mooring lines, but divers should not be put off. Once down there and searching for critters, it almost becomes a muck dive.

For those wanting to dive at Boonsung Wreck, we are able to arrange the best packages at the lowest prices. Whether divers are after a day trip by speedboat or include it in a Similan or Surin liveaboard trip, just contact us today for the best prices on every available tour in the area.

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