Beacon Point

Spotted-Eagle-Ray-Aetobatus-narinari-at-Beacon-Point-Koh-Similan-Thailand-Lyle-TurnerSpotted Eagle Ray (Aetobatus narinari) Thanks to Lyle Turner at the Global Reef ProjectBeacon Point is a great Similan Island diving spot, which offers the protection of an eastern side dive site, but depth and marine life that one would normally expect to see on the exposed western side. It is an interesting multi-level Similans dive which has something to see all the way from the surface to its 40 metre sandy bottom. It gets its name from the large beacon that sits on the rocks at the southernmost tip of Similan Island 8.

  • 40 metre depth
  • The largest Gorgonian Sea Fan in the Similan Islands
  • Lots of rays and some sharks
  • Can lead up to Beacon Reef for divers good on air

Beacon Reef extends down the east coast of Island 8 and then becomes Beacon Point, where things are deeper and more interesting. Even though this dive site is on the tip of the island, and a little more exposed than others, currents are not too much of a problem. Upon entering the water, divers should make for the steep drop off as soon as possible and descend to the sandy bottom, keeping an eye out for interesting creatures in among the granite boulders and hard and soft corals on the way down.Ribbon-Eel-Rhinomuraena-quaesita-at-Beacon-Point-Koh-Similan-Thailand-Henry-and-TersiaRibbon Eel (Rhinomuraena quaesita) 
Photo by Henry and Tersia
Here at Beacon Point, the quantity, health and size of Gorgonian Sea Fans appears to be greater than all other Similan diving sites. Down at the bottom, divers usually find themselves at anything between 30 and 40 metres, depending on which side their Divemaster took them. Normally, the current takes divers to the east and then the north, but sometimes the opposite way, or there's no discernable current at all. This dive site and the marine life compares favourably with Beacon Reef. 

Most of the species are very similar, but here there is more of everything here, especially deep down. What Beacon Point can offer that Beacon doesn't is better opportunities to see cartilaginous fishes (sharks and rays). Although there are occasional sightings of Eagle Rays (Aetobatus narinari) and even Manta Rays (Manta alfredi), divers are more likely to see Blue Spotted Stingrays (Neotrygon Kuhlii) and small sharks such as the timid Whitetip Reef Shark (Triaenodon obesus) and the languid Leopard/Zebra Shark (Stegostoma fasciatum). There are also occasional sightings of Blacktip Reef Sharks (Carcharhinus melanopterus).

Lucky divers might be able to come across one of the few Ribbon Eels (Rhinomuraena quaesita) which have made homes here. This special species of Moray Eel is extremely colourful and very very long. However, most daytime sightings only involve seeing the first six or so inches. There are too many other reef fish to mention at this great dive site. Small and medium-size bony fish are all over the place with larger species patrolling a little away from the rocks and hard coral reef. Trevally (Carangidae), Groupers (Epinephelinae), Snapper (Lutjanus), Sweetlips (Plectorhinchus), and even Barracuda (Sphyraena) are all commonly-sighted examples.

Diving at The Similan Islands is an experience many people never forget, and most try to repeat. There are so many wonderful underwater oases, that it's difficult to know which is best. Beacon Point has a little bit of something for everyone. It is deep, but divers don't need to go all the way to the bottom. The water is crystal clear for much of the diving season and currents are rarely a problem. Those who are good on air can continue north and end the dive at the shallower and equally-impressive Beacon Reef dive site. Getting to the Similan Islands is either by liveaboard cruise or on a day trip by speedboat. While the latter is more expensive per dive, it is normally cheaper in total.

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