Anemone Reef: One of Thailand's most beautiful dive site
Anemone Reef is located 29 km from Phuket and as such is only dived by boat. The ride out to the dive site normally takes around 90 minutes, however Anemone Reef is normally the 2nd dive of the day. The Thai name for the Anemone Reef dive site is “Hin Jom,” which translates as “Sunken rock.”
Anemone Reef is a limestone pinnacle which rises from around 26m at the base to 6m below the surface. The submerged reef is a well known shipping hazard and was in fact the cause of the sinking of the King Cruiser ferry. Consequently, the King Cruiser has now become another of our local Phuket dive sites. As the name "Anemone Reef " suggests, the pinnacle is famed for the fields of Sea Anemones that cover every available space. Moreover,when these Anemones sway in the current, it gives the visiting diver the illusion of the reef being one giant living rock! The profusion of Sea Anemones mixed with nutrient rich water make the reef a magnet to the constant parade of reef fish looking for shelter. Furthermore you can find large schools of Snappers and Barracudas off the pinnacle. As a nice bonus, the occasional Leopard Shark or Whale Shark has been know to make an appearance.
Anemone Reef is also very good for macro life such as Anemone Crabs and Tigertail Seahorses ...
Is Anemone Reef Phuket’s most beautiful local dive site?
Anemone Reef has long been a favorite among Phuket divers. Moreover, when conditions are good, this is probably Phuket’s most beautiful local dive site.
The Anemone Reef dive site itself is fairly straightforward, and can be a superb dive for all levels of diver. However, as it is mid-ocean, there can be current depending on the tides. To start the dive, beginner divers have a mooring line attached to the reef that can be used for a nice slow descent. This takes you to the top of the reef which is at 5-6m. If there is no current, then experienced divers can easily drop down next the line, using it for reference.
As Anemone Reef sits in the middle of the open ocean there can be current. This can be hardly noticeable, or it can be ripping. Either way one of the effects of this water movement is that it causes the anemones to sway like flowers in a field during summer time. This can be nothing short of spectacular when the entire dive site really looks like it is moving. In fact, it almost looks like it is alive. Be prepared to be amazed by the awesome mixture of colors with pink, purple, green and blue anemones. Watch as they gently sway with the movement of the sea.
Anemone Reef bottoms out on to the sand at around 25m, where if you are lucky, it is possible to find sleeping Leopard Sharks. Funnily enough this was the dive site where one of our instructors actually spotted her first ever Leopard Shark!
What is the best way to dive Anemone Reef?
The best way to dive Anemone Reef is to descend to the deepest depth that you are qualified to dive to. Once you have used up your dive time at this depth, then and slowly rotate around the pinnacle ascending a few meters each time you complete one revolution.
If you do this, you will eventually reach a channel. This is formed by the main pinnacle of Anemone Reef and a smaller one just off to the South Eastern side found at 16m. This is a “HOT SPOT” for Seahorses and other macro life. Some divers even choose to spend the entire dive around this part of the pinnacle. You can usually see Chevron Barracuda prowling just off the reef, in addition to their smaller cousins the Yellow Tailed Barracuda. Furthermore there is also a good mixture of Cuttlefish, Lobster and Squid.
An underwater camera is almost a “must have” dive accessory on this scuba diving site. Consequently, Anemone Reef is a great place to do your PADI Digital Underwater Photography Specialty course. As you will certainly take home some awesome photos you can’t wait to show to your jealous dive buddies back home. That is if they are not up on Face Book before the dive boat gets back to Chalong Pier.
For the PADI Rebreather and Advanced Rebreather divers out there Anemone Reef is spectacular. Not only for the fantastic marine life that bubble free diving allows you to get close to. But also by being surrounded on all sides by schools of Barracuda. This is one of the memories that stays with you for life!
When the conditions are right, this local dive site is one of the most beautiful dive sites Thailand has to offer…