Similans Scuba Diving
Elephant Head Rock
Located between Similan Islands 6 and 7, Elephant Head Rock, or Hin Pusa, gets its name from a rock that sticks out of the water and resembles a half submerged elephant. This site is another Similan diving favourite and its huge granite boulders have created a myriad of amazing swim-throughs, tunnels and caverns.
The site plunges to a maximum depth of 50m but 30m is deep enough for most divers. You will probably begin the dive around the deep rocks where you might spot whitetip reef sharks and leopard sharks. Look in the sand for the purple fire gobies that like the deep water, and the rare McCosker's dwarf wrasse. A little shallower is the endemic Similan Islands jawfish.
As you follow the steep channel down through the big boulders watch out on the largest boulder for a small deep yellow sea fan. If you look closely at its fronds you'll find a family of spider crabs and near-by are large black egg cowries. You may see cuttlefish and mantis shrimps as you descend lower. The odd olive Ridley's turtle or hawksbill turtle can sometimes be seen in among the hard coral.
Weaving through the swim-throughs and channels look under ledges as you may see nurse sharks. These archways are lined with soft corals and seafans and are full of marine life. You'll see busying blue-ringed angelfish, bicolour parrotfish, titan triggerfish and the Andaman sweetlips, which is only found in this part of the world. Yellow goatfish and snappers are often found at the deepest levels, as well as several species of lionfish and grouper.
It's a good idea to have a torch on this Similans dive to search in the darker areas and to bring the soft coral colours to life. Search under the overhangs to find several species of the larger snappers, such as mangrove, one-spot and black and white, as well as giant sweetlips.
Giant trevally can be seen darting past in their mating dance. You may also see powder blue surgeonfish feeding on the algae along with bigeye bream and large schools of robust fusiliers.
At the most southerly tip of Elephant Head there is a small group of pinnacles submerged in the deep water. This is an exposed area meaning it may attract some large visitors such as manta rays and even whale sharks. Due to the possibility of strong surge and current, this is one of the more challenging Similans dive sites.
Elephant Head Rock Reef Basics: Boulder pinnacle and wall diving
Depth: 5 - >40m
Visibility: 20 - 40m
Currents: Can be strong
Surface conditions: Can be rough
Water temperature: 26 - 29°C
Experience level: Intermediate - advanced
Number of dive sites: 2
Diving season: November to April
Distance: ~90 km northwest of Phuket, 65 km west of Khao Lak
Access: Liveaboards and daytrips
• Koh Similan travel information
View a map of:
• Similan and Surin Islands - Thailand
Back to diving in Similan index