Diving Similan Islands is Simply Fantastic

Diving Similan Islands is Simply Fantastic

Diving Similan Islands Should Be On Every Divers Bucket List

We like our day trip diving around Phuket but diving in the Similan Islands is another level. Before you even put your head under the water, the beauty of this island chain will take your breath away. Crystal clear waters surround islands of lush tropical vegetation. A scattering of white sand beaches and impressive granite formations top off the stunning scenery.

Diving in Similan islands will probably be the highlight of your Phuket adventure. It’s one of the most easily accessible liveaboard diving destinations in the world. Flights from all over the world serve Phuket International Airport, just 1hr 30min from the port of Thaplamu. This fishing port is the starting point of most diving adventures in the Similan Islands.

How Do I get To The Similan Islands?

It really couldn’t be easier. If you time your flights correctly, you can get picked up directly from the airport. Otherwise the majority of Similan Island liveaboards will pick you up from your hotel anywhere on Phuket. Generally this is included in the price or at a small extra charge. The journey from anywhere on Phuket shouldn’t take any longer than 2hr 30min.

You can go North from the airport and stay in Khao lak, every liveaboard will pick up for free in this area. Your transfer time to the boat from your hotel will only be around 20min max. The resort area of Khao Lak is very nice with plenty of good restaurants and bars so staying here would be our recommendation.

Is Diving The Similan Islands Difficult?

Not really, there can be strong current but most dive sites have some shelter or you can simply drift along. We do however recommend that you’re at least Advanced Open water certified. There will be deep dives and night dives so being an advanced diver will ensure you won’t miss out.

The first dive of the trip is generally a check dive in a sheltered bay with little current and terrific visibility. Some of the pinnacle dives such as Elephant Head Rock and Koh Tachai can be quite difficult dives.

What Will I See?

There’s very few guarantees in scuba diving but you will certainly see lots of reef fish, hawksbill turtles and large pelagics. Giant trevally, dogtooth tuna, great and chevron barracuda are common sightings. Sharks aren’t as prominent as they used to be but white tip reef sharks are still frequently sighted as are the Similan Islands star player – the whale shark.

hawksbill turtle in the similan islands national park

hawksbill turtle in the similan islands national park

Manta rays can be turn up at any time of the season. Once they arrive at Koh Bon, sightings can be daily and they can stay for weeks on end. Unfortunately their arrival changes every year so can’t accurately be predicted.

Best Time To Go?

The entire season from mid October to mid May can offer fantastic diving. However the peak period is considered from February onwards when you have more chance of manta ray sightings. We do recommend to try to fit your Similan Island liveaboard adventure between November and end of April. The first and last couple of weeks involve a bit of a gamble with the weather.

How Do I Book?

That’s the easy part, just contact us at info@localdivethailand.com. Tell us when you’re coming, outline your needs and we’ll do the rest! Our team have intimate knowledge of the boats, dive sites and marine life in the Similan Islands. We are the local experts so there’s no better Phuket diving company to trust with your holiday plans.

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By Justin Hartrey

I've been enjoying the incredible marine life in our oceans for over 25 years. 13 years ago I became a PADI professional in Phuket, hoping to introduce as many people as possible to the incredible beauty of the seas.

Having been fortunate enough to dive all over south east and especially Thailand, I enjoy sharing my diving experiences and passion on this blog.

Originally from Bristol in the UK, I swapped the frigid waters of the North Atlantic for the warm tropical seas around Thailand and can confidently say that I wouldn't go back

Posted in Amazing Local Dives on .

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