Over the past few weeks, Ben and I’ve enjoyed a lot of time hanging around beautiful beaches, hectic markets and bustling cities throughout Thailand. Today, it was time to get away from it all and dive into the underwater world. We’d heard Richelieu Rock off the Similan Islands offered the best diving in the area, if not Thailand, so that’s where we took the plunge.
From the get go, we knew we were going to enjoy the experience. The water was warm and welcoming – there wasn’t a single current to battle against. The rock itself looked like it’d been draped in the robes of a cardinal. Decadent purples, rich golds and delicate lace patterns covered every last inch of it. Just beautiful.
Then there were the fish. I swear they were Thai by location and by nature. They were the friendliest creatures of the sea I’d ever encountered. Each time I ventured closer to inspect one, it’d look back at me with a chilled out expression that said, “Sawatdeekha! Where you from lady?”.
The schools of fish were just as calm. They were sunshine yellow, forming pockets of glory against the backdrop of fluorescent grape rock formations. You could pleasure your child-like urge to get amongst the action – the fish wouldn’t scurry away.
While I missed out on seeing a whale shark (they’re a rare sight these days), I managed to spot a lobster, sea horse, cuttlefish, moray eel, harlequin shrimp and a whole lot more. Plus, Richelieu Rock was the most glorious piece of underwater architecture I’d ever laid eyes on. Part of me wanted to sit in front of the drop off and watch the theatre unfold. But it was just too darn pretty. I had to get up close and practically touch it, like a woman drawn to shiny bling.
All in all, a dive out at Richelieu Rock was well worth the time and money spent. I opted for a quick day trip with two dives, as visa arrangements in Bangkok were calling. But, there’s the option of a luxurious live-aboard experience too. Ben and I were hosted by Big Blue and would highly recommend them.