Richelieu Rock at a Glance
|Depth:||5 - 40 m|
|Currents:||Moderate to Strong|
|Season:||Nov. - May|
Also called: Hin Plo Nam
Without a doubt, it is one of the most famous dive sites in Thailand. The rock lies in open water between the Surin Islands and the mainland. The rock only extends a meter or so above water, and even then only at low tide. Beneath the waves are several more pinnacles, arranged in a roughly crescent shape.
The site is huge, and you could easily spend two or three dives exploring it, and still not see it all. However, as it's in open water, conditions have to be almost perfect to attempt any dive at all on the rock. The pinnacles are covered mostly in soft corals and sea fans. Near the tops of some of the boulders are carpets of anemones.
Of course, what draws most divers to the rock is the possibility, however remote, of seeing a whale shark. But, while keeping an eye out for these giants, don't overlook the small stuff. Look closely and you may find seahorses, harlequin shrimp and ghost pipefish. There are also lots of anemonefish and several species of morays.