Diving Similan Islands
East of Eden
This dive site is located on the southeast coast of Koh Pabu, island no. 6, and is one of the most beautiful and best Similan sites. It boasts the biggest and most impressive coral bommie that you'll see when diving the Similan Islands, covered in a variety of soft corals, sponges, anemones and fish.
The entire reef has an incredible array of purple and blue soft corals and lobophyton soft corals from shallow to deep water and the abundance of marine life is breathtaking. Red bulb tentacle anemones provide homes to skunk anemonefish and clownfish, while groups of redtail butterflyfish, checkered snapper and yellow boxfish are ever-present.
The large bommie is located half way along the reef. It starts at about 9m under the surface and goes down to 25m. There's so much to see it is easy to spend half the dive here alone - especially for the underwater photographers! The lower levels of the bommie have green sea fans and overhangs full of yellow soft corals. You really need a torch here to spot the different kinds of snapper that hang in the shadows, as well as the gorgeous but very shy regal angelfish. On the bommie itself the coral is dense and covered in glass fish. As they move aside, look closely and you'll see boxer shrimp and hingebeak shrimp inside the coral crevices.
In some of the smaller outcrops of coral around the bommie it's possible to find frogfish and other odd critters. Scorpionfish and lionfish are plentiful here and pairs of longnose butterflyfish pick their way along, feeding constantly. Banded sea snakes are also to be found hunting in this area.
Elsewhere on the reef, huge orange and maroon gorgonian seafans are everywhere, in perfect condition and some taller than yourself! The bottom of the reef has many rock formations and small bommies frequented by peacock groupers, yellow goatfish and large schools of blue-lined snappers.
There are plenty of butterflyfish, parrotfish and titan triggerfish. Trumpet and cornet fish are also numerous. Leopard sharks and blue spotted rays can be seen out in the sand at the edge of the reef. It's not unusual to spot a turtle on the reef too and eagle rays sometimes cruise by.
As you begin to move shallower, there are large stacks of brown and sky blue fringed sheet corals (Echinopora lamellos). Blue-green pullers dart about along with yellow damsels. Indian triggerfish are also common residents here. Brightly coloured fusiliers pass by in schools of several thousand and sometimes tuna move in on the hunt for a meal.
In the shallows, any current that was present disappears and the corals change to table and finger corals, dotted with patches of blue corals, red elkhorn and fire corals. You are likely to see octopus here, gliding over the coral in search of food. 3-spot dascyllus are often here too but can be hard to identify; only the juveniles display the 3 white spots that give the species its name, the adults are jet black.
East of Eden, with its abundance of marine life and spectacular corals, is understandably a popular choice for liveaboards that dive in the Similan Islands.
East of Eden Reef Basics: Fringing reef and coral bommies
Depth: 5 - 34m
Visibility: 20 - 40m
Currents: Can be strong
Surface conditions: Calm
Water temperature: 26 - 29°C
Experience level: Beginner - intermediate
Number of dive sites: 1
Diving season: October to May
Distance: ~90 km northwest of Phuket, 65 km west of Khao Lak
Access: Liveaboards and daytrips
• Koh Similan travel information
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• Similan and Surin Islands - Thailand
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