Starting at the 'top' of the Similan Islands chain, the dive site known as North Point is very aptly named. Located just a little out to the northwest out Island number 9 (Koh Bangu), this dive site offers everything that those who visit the Similans want and expect. It has deep clear water, lots of healthy life and the opportunity to see some large, pelagic visitors. However, its depth, and the possibility of currents and waves from being exposed to the Andaman Sea mean that it's not really suitable for new and inexperienced scuba divers.
- Deep clear waters
- Possibility of Manta Rays
- Maximum depth of 40m
The topography of this wonderful dive site is a cluster of huge granite boulders which are scattered out away from the island towards to the north. The further away, the deeper things become, until a sandy bottom leads to what some divers call North Point Pinnacle. Here, depths of 50 metres can be reached, but is rarely worth the effort and shorter dive time to go out that far and that deep. Staying back at the main dive site, there is a main cluster of boulders in the centre of the dive site with a mooring line. This can be used for descents and safety stops, if need be. To the east and west of the central boulders are smaller rocks in 10-20 metre deep water, and out to the northwest there is another group of very large boulders at 25-30 metres. North Point is like many Similan Islands diving sites, in that it consists of these granite rocks which offer divers swimthroughs and lots of places to look for interesting marine life.
The corals here are healthy, and hard corals are more numerous that soft ones or anemones. While there isn't as much colour here as some limestone dive sites, the deep and exposed location and granite topography ensure that visibility is excellent throughout the diving season. On the occasional day that visibility at North Point is poor, it is likely to be caused by a local plankton bloom, which would in turn bring large filter-feeding fish which are the stars of diving in The Similan Islands. Whale Sharks (Rhincodon typus) and Manta Rays (Manta alfredi) are sometimes seen here at North Point, as they are in most of the dive sites on the western side of the Similans. These huge fish are harmless and a sight to behold. Anyone lucky enough to swim with them will never forget the experience.
Other sharks to look out for at North Point are Leopard/Zebra Sharks (Stegostoma fasciatum), which rest on the sandy bottom. These sharks are also harmless, but most Similan divers would not feel that they are worth a trip to a depth 30 metres or more because they're common all around Thailand. Napoleon/Humphead Wrasse (Cheilinus undulatus) can be seen here on most occasions. These huge bony fish usually swim alone and are not bothered by scuba divers. Schools of Barracuda (Sphyraena) hang around a little way away from the rocks and are always something to look at. Fusiliers (Caesionidae) and Surgeonfish (Acanthuridae) are other colourful sights to be seen swimming around here. In among the nooks and crannies of the rocks, there is a huge selection of fish and invertebrates, and divers may even see one or more marine reptiles on their dive at North Point. Moray Eels (Gymnothorax) are common, and even Ribbon Eels (Rhinomuraena quaesita) have been sighted from time to time. The rocks and sand are covered with life, such as sea stars, sea urchins and sea cucumbers. Fast-moving invertebrates include crabs, lobsters, and shrimps. Octopuses are difficult to spot, but cuttlefish swim around without a great deal of fear. If divers get too close, they will give colourful displays which are entertaining. Turtles and sea snakes also make appearances. The turtle species are most likely to be Green (Chelonia mydas) and Hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata). Banded Sea Kraits (Laticauda colubrina) are extremely venomous but no danger to divers.
Although North Point is not the most well-known or talked-about Similans diving site, it should be included on every visit, as long as conditions and itineraries permit. Its location alone makes it worth getting wet for. Large filter-feeding species are by no means guaranteed, but they are seen regularly enough to make looking out into the blue anything but a waste of time. North Point can be reached from Phuket and Khao Lak either by speedboat or liveaboard boat but it's too far for regular scuba diving boats to access. For the best prices of all packages to dive at North Point or anywhere in The Similan Islands, and the easiest, hassle-free booking experience, click below and let us do the work for you.