Snapper Alley is the southern bay located to the south east of Koh Bangu, this most northerly Similan Island no. 9. This is an easy dive suitable for all levels as currents are rarely strong and the maximum depth is 20m. Visibility is generally good and up to 30m.
The reef is made up of rocks and corals scattered around a sandy bottom. Some of the larger rocks form swim-throughs in the shallower areas around the middle of the dive. Snapper Alley has some great, healthy corals including hard table corals, sheet corals as well as brain coral. Crinoids add plenty of colour to the coral as do the hundreds of anthias. Sea fans protrude out from the rocks and the cracks and crevices between the corals and the rocks provide homes for painted spiny lobsters and decorator crabs.
Not surprisingly the reef is full of thousands of snapper, including big schools of blue striped snapper and smaller groups of checkered snapper and black and white snapper. Damsel fishes are everywhere as are butterfly fish.
Snapper Alley also makes an excellent place to dive the Similans at night on your liveaboard trip, when moray eels are found free swimming. Plenty of lionfish and parrotfish can be found sleeping under the reef's ledges. Nocturnal creatures you can come across are cuttlefish that are often together in pairs and the secretive and quite rare osculated dwarf lionfish. This firefish has impressive markings on its pectoral fins and what look like 'eyes' on its dorsal fin. Octopus can be seen by day and by night.
Snapper Alley Reef Basics: Hard coral reef bay
Depth: 6 - 22m
Visibility: 20 - 40m
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
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