Discover Koh Bon in Thailand
The best place in Thailand to scuba dive with manta rays
'Koh Bon is situated at the northern point of the Similan Marine National Park. It is famed as a cleaning station for Manta rays.
Koh Bon is a solitary limestone island 12 miles north-northeast of Koh Similan. Unlike the Similan Islands, Koh Bon is made of limestone and has a completely different geological past.
Considering that Koh Bon is only 40 kilometers north of Similan Island number 9 it is surprising how much different the rock and reef composition is here. It is one of the few true wall dives in the Kingdom, the vertical rock dropping down to around 34 meters with coral ridges going even deeper. Although the soft coral isn't as abundant as the in the Similan's you will notice different shades of blue, turquoise and yellow here. Koh Bon is one of the best places to spot manta rays, usually in the months of April and May. An exposed pinnacle lies to the west of Koh Bon, this also attracts big current feeders.
The limestone is a perfect substrate for soft corals and rough underwater features make Koh Bon famous for schools of bigger predator fish and regular visits of marine mega-fauna like giant manta rays and whale sharks.
Diving Koh Bon...
There are multiple dive sites around Koh Bon of which there are a few unique to Thailand. It is often referred to as one of the top diving destinations in Thailand. The best place to start diving in Koh Bon is near the wall on the south of the Island. This underwater wall or ridge is around 35-45 meters and is the perfect place to spot Manta Rays that are feeding in the rich waters.
Another great diving spot near Koh Bon are the pinnacles, sometimes referred to as Pinnacle City. The average water dept is around 40 meters and the pinnacles stick out at around 25 meters high.
What fish can you spot here?
Various types of Rays such as Manta’s and Eagles but also Black Tip Sharks and other small fish. The walls of the pinnacle are colored with soft corals.
The western side of the Koh Bon ridge is more of a gentle slope with coral bommies forming mushroom-like formations out of the finger corals. On the ridge itself, sea fans of different sizes, shapes, and colors grow, and schooling fish swim in the current feeding.
It provides an abundance of marine life including octopus, cuttlefish, barracuda, hard and soft corals. Also keep an eye out for the shrimps that inhabit the island...
Manta Ray season at Koh Bon. The submerged pinnacle off the headland is a commonly frequented cleaning station for the mantas and they are seen on a regular basis between November and April. In the past the best months to spot them have been late January to late April but last year we saw them all season long.
What are the chances of seeing manta rays? Manta ray sightings are far from guaranteed, we guess the chances are 50/50 although we have no actual statistics. Your chances are higher on a liveaboard because the liveaboards are on site early in the morning before the day trippers arrive and crowd the area.
How To Get To Koh Bon Island
The best way to reach Koh Bon is on a liveaboard boat with departure from Ranong to the north.
NOTE: When visiting Bon Island please do not feed the fish, as fish feeding in the waters around Thailand National parks is illegal.
You can also take a cruise ship which will take you to visit the similan islands. How about a diving cruise?
Thailand still counts some of the best dive sites in the world and our cruises offer just the best Thailand has to show!