Is It Worth taking A Similan Island Scuba Diving Day Trip From Phuket?
The Similan Islands are a special place for scuba diving but a day trip from Phuket may leave you a little disappointed. There certainly are some exceptional dive sites around the Similan Islands but mostly day trips won’t cover them from Phuket. There are certain times of year and days of the week when a trip can be very much worth so we’ll cover that later.
It’s a long journey.. We’ll use the most popular Phuket beach resort as our example – Patong:
- 06:15hrs – Hotel Minibus Pick Up
- 08:45hrs – Arrive at Thap Lamu Pier
- 09:00hrs – Board speedboat
- 10:20hrs – Board dive boat
- 10:30hrs – Dive and boat safety briefing
- 11:00hrs – Dive # 1
- 12:30hrs – Lunch
- 13:30hrs – Dive # 2
- 14:45hrs – Board speedboat
- 16:00hrs – Minibus return journey
- 18:30hrs – Arrive back to hotel
A very long day for just two dives. On the upside you get very little time to relax so time will fly! Add this to a hefty price of THB 6,800 including park fees and equipment, you can see why we’re reluctant to recommend. Some will want to go just to say they’ve dived at the Similan Islands, go for it if that’s the case. Ultimately a liveaboard for at least two nights is the best way to see some fantastic diving.
When Is a Similan Island Scuba Diving Day Trip Worth It?
When the manta rays show! The timing is different every year but closer to the end of the season remains the best chance. The day trip option from Phuket will be scheduled for two dives at Koh Bon every Wednesday and Sunday. Diving with manta rays will make the price and travelling very much worth it. You’ll have to rely on local knowledge, at Local Dive Thailand we keep our ears to the ground so we’ll know if mantas are around. Tourist numbers have been limited recently by the Thai National Parks department so you can’t leave booking too late
You could get lucky on the other days and have a real red letter day but in all honesty you’d see more on our local Phuket trips. The King Cruiser and Phi Phi trips have been superb this year with the welcome return of leopard sharks. The diving on these trips is already excellent but the sharks put the icing on the cake.
Best Options For Diving The Similan Islands?
Liveaboards always have been and always will be the best option for diving in the Similan Islands. You’ll need at least 2 nights/3 days and make sure your trip includes Koh Bon, Koh Tachai and Richelieu Rock. If you’re staying in Khao Lak then day trips are back on the menu. You’ll find plenty of local dive centres with scheduled trips to particular dive sites, travelling and cost will be significantly reduced.
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