Thailand is most known for their cheap diving schools, delicious food, and excellent waters. Considered among one of the world’s best diving locations is the Similan Islands. Since the Similan Islands are so far from land, with the majority of these top dive spots, being the furthest south of Thailand a liveaboard boat is necessary.
A liveaboard is a type of boat that is designed to house guests for short periods of times; usually this boat is a small marina, yacht, catamaran or even a sailboat. Trips can last from daytrips till up to a week. A day trip usually costs 75 USD, two nights and three days of diving is usually around 160 USD. Living aboard can be quite the luxurious stay, living on a boat for a couple of days, getting fed, views of some of the most remote islands, and of course getting to dive at these wonderful diving spots. You don’t have to carry around heavy equipment, worry about where your suppose to be, find the boat at five in the morning. What’s not to love? Another bonus perk is that the liveaboard boat moves at night making, less wasted travel time, more play time, and when you wake up you just happen to be in a new location.
In my case I chose to dive a total of 3 days (3 nights) but I would recommend making the trip a minimum of 5 days. There are tons to see! In all we did 11 dives total, four the first and second day, and three the final day. We got to dive at all the most famous islands like Richelieu Rock, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai, Tock turtle, Elephant rock, etc.
On my dives I was lucky enough to have really good visibility and got to see tons of marine life. Usually the visibility underwater is between 25-40 meters, temperatures average between 27 and 29 degrees Celsius. These perfect conditions allowed me to see all sorts of impressive marine life; I saw giant trevallys, napoleons, giant barracudas, and so much fauna of the Andaman Sea and many parts of the Indo Pacific. A personal favorite sighting of the trip was when we saw a whale shark, which even came up to greet us while looking at nudibranchs richelieu rock. Another good find was the oceanic majestic giant manta, which can be quite rare to find. The whale shark sighting was at the “Yellow Pinnacle,” a very famous diving spot.
Good to know
It is also good to know that most of the diving spots in the Similan waters had some powerful currents, don’t be deterred as this can be positive, these currents tend to attract larger animals. The Similan Islands are only open part of the year, usually around the month of October till May. Closest ports to the Similan Islands come out of the providence of Phang Nga. This secluded destination will not disappoint you at all! Enjoy!
Place: Similan islands
Average Temp: 27°C (80.6°F)
Water Temp: 26-28°C (78.8 – 82.4°F)
Visibility: 20-30m (65.6 – 98.4 ft)
Depth Range: 5 – 35m (16 – 114.8 ft)