Similan Liveaboard Diving
Located on the north east corner of Koh Bangu, Similan Island number 9, Three Trees, formerly known as Batfish Bend, gets its name from the row of 3 trees on the edge of the island. While the 3 trees may be dead, the marine life proliferates here.
This site boasts amazing diversity but is a less visited dive site of the Similan liveaboard boats and therefore has become one of the more enviable of its diving experiences. It's a beautiful site to dive in the morning when the eastern sunshine penetrates the reef.
The reef starts at around 8m below the surface and descends down to about 30m. The healtier corals are found at deeper section of the reef. Common fish to this Similan dive site are raccoon butterflyfish, Meyer's butterflyfish, humphead unicornfish, oriental sweetlips, harlequin sweetlips, soldierfish, powder blue surgeonfish, squirrelfish and bigeye. You may spot a red-toothed triggerfish either swimming high above the reef or resting among the corals. This particular species is named after the colour of its front teeth and not the colour of its amazing blue body.
Look out also for blackbelt hogfish hiding out under the table corals. Adults have red heads and yellow tails while the more timid juveniles are dark brown with bright yellow spots. The larger fish that may be seen here are brown marbled grouper and large blue yellowtail emperors.
Napoleon wrasse are sometimes spotted here too. These gorgeous fish have been so extensively hunted in Thailand and other parts of Asia for fish markets that their numbers are now dangerously low.
Turtles, always popular with divers, will often make an appearance ripping up the coral as they feed. They share their food with parrotfish which are often followed by goatfish hoovering up the remains. Titan triggerfish are also found here munching on staghorn coral and sea urchins.
At the deepest part of the dive, several large boulders lie decorated by gorgonian and knotted sea fans. The fans host feather stars and cleaner and multibar pipefish - strange red and white striped creatures. Many nudibranchs make this area their home along with huge sea cucumbers - some as long as half a metre.
Leopard sharks can be spotted resting on the sandy bottom just at the edge of the reef or around the boulders in deeper water. The boulders also act as cleaning stations for larger fish such as dogtooth tuna and chevron barracuda.
All-in-all, this site has plenty to please even the most discerning Similan diver.
Three Trees Reef Basics: Fringing reef with boulders
Depth: 8 - 27m
Visibility: 20 - 40m
Currents: Can be strong
Surface conditions: Can be rough
Water temperature: 26 - 29°C
Experience level: Beginner
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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