Anemone Reef is a popular dive site for a very good reason – it’s almost completely covered by a living carpet of Magnificent Sea Anemones, complete with a company of Nemos!
Anemone Reef, or Hin Jom as it is known by the locals, forms part of the A.S.K. cluster which consists of Anemone Reef, Shark Point and the King Cruiser wreck. Anemone Reef and Shark Point were designated a Marine Sanctuary in 1992 and this is a popular dive site for a very good reason. This lime stone pinnacle is almost completely covered on the top section by Magnificent Sea Anemones, creating a vivid living carpet of yellow, green and blue colours. There are several different species of Anemone fish on the reef, the most popular of course, being the False Clown Anemone fish or Nemo! The shallowest part of the pinnacle sits at five metres/16 feet below the surface, and this is where the King Cruiser crashed in 1997, settling not far from Anemone Reef.
The pinnacle is oriented on a north to south axis, and diving usually begins by descending on the mooring lined at the north end of the reef, although sometimes there is a mooring line at the south also. This is not a huge pinnacle and it is possible to circumnavigate the site several times, starting deep and gradually coming up shallower as you progress. However it is advisable to take your time as there are many rarer creatures you might miss, such as Ornate Ghost Pipefish or some exotic species of Nudibranch.
There are numerous rocky ledges that are covered in Anemones and soft pink and purple corals with all kinds of things peeping out, such as White Eyed Morays or Bearded Scorpion fish. The reef hosts a large variety of marine life, everything from Leopard sharks to Cuttlefish and Turtles. There is a small channel between the main reef and an outcrop, that you can cut through at the south end around 18 metres/60 feet where you can find creatures like Seahorses and Durban Dancing Shrimp. The East side of the pinnacle slopes gently to the sand while the west side is steeper in aspect. Currents are usually not strong, running either north to south or vice versa.
A highlight of any dive on Anemone Reef is the big sea fan coral on the east side of the pinnacle- it’s home to 2 Tigertail Seahorses! It’s also common to see Coral & Blue Lined Groupers, Bronze Soldierfish, Two-Spot Snapper and Parrot Fish. Take care on this dive site, watch your buoyancy control and don’t be tempted to hold onto anything for a closer look – there are numerous well-disguised Scorpion Fish on the exposed rocks. Also the Lion Fish tend to hang in mid-water, so watch where you are going! Remember to look away from the pinnacle from time to time, you may see schools of Barracuda or Squid shoaling past.
- Distance from Phuket: 25 kilometres/16 miles
- Boat trip average time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Depth: 3-30 metres/30-100 feet
- Visibility: Fair to excellent
- Currents: Moderate to brisk
Ideal for: Nitrox Dive, Deep Diver, Multi Level Diver, Digital Underwater Photography, Underwater Naturalist, AWARE Fish ID