The Similan Islands are the jewel in Asia’s diving crown! They are simply amazing: the fish life and the marine life is something which has to be seen to be believed. The clarity of the water, makes you want to jump in splash around like a little child.
The Temperature (30 degrees Celsius average) is suitable for everyone. You can literally can stay in the water all day.
If you would like to know about more Liveaboard diving and Dive Boats Click Here
For those that have never been on a Liveaboard before the general rule is:
- The more divers the less expensive the boat
- The higher end boats, have fewer divers and better quality rooms.
- The diving of course is the same whichever company you may choose.
- We have a huge selection of Liveaboards available
Indepth Dive Centre is not affiliated to any of the liveaboard companies and take an impartial view.
After working for many years on these dive boats we have huge experience regarding which boats are suitable for which people and which dive sites will yield the best possible chances to see that Huge Fish you have always wanted to see. You know what I am talking about!
Remember: Not all Dive Boats are the Same!
Talk To us we know the business and we are here to guide you
We offer a more clinical first rate service because we want you to come back. It is that simple.
Any Questions, queries, comments or ideas send them to us we will get back to you as fast as we possibly can
It is possible to do courses on liveabaord to in particular the Adventure Diver Course or the Advanced Diver Course. Whether diving or snorkeling the sheer amount of fish that surrounds you is astounding, there are many Turtles, in fact some of them will come right up to the boat and see what you are all doing.
If you do one trip while in Thailand make it the Similan National Marine Park, because here is PARADISE!
Located 70 kilometres West of Phang Nga Province (or approximately 100 kilometres from Phuket) the Similan Islands is an Archipelago of 9 Islands. The name Similan was derived from the Malaysian word for the number nine, “Sembilan / Sembelan”.
The Similans were designated as the 43rd National Park of Thailand in 1982 covering an area of 128 square kilometres.
The park also includes Koh Bon. In 1998 Koh Tachai was also added to the park making the total area 140 square kilometres. Of this total area only 15 square kilometres is land.
All of the islands have names but, they are generally referred to by their numbers (1-9) running from South to North.
The islands are generally uninhabited (with the exception of Islands 4 and 8 which have fully staffed National Park Offices).
The diving here is universally considered the best in Thailand and among the Top 10 dive sites in the world.
The topography of the Similans differs between the Eastern and Western Sides of the Islands. The Eastern side is generally white sandy ocean floor with many large fields of hard and soft corals down to depths between 25 metres and 40 metres.
The Western side is large stacked granite boulders creating some amazing topography. Swim throughs, tunnels, archways and generally beautiful seascapes.
There are also large fields of hard corals but the sand is more “rough / rubbly”. Currents can be more unpredictable on the Western side making the diving a little more challenging, especially around full and new moon .
The water temperature is generally between 27 and 29 centigrade as visibility is normally between 20 metres and 40+ metres (excellent !).
The National Park is officially open from the 1st November – 15th May. The monsoon season is between May and October when the weather can be very unpredictable.
Day trips are available to the Similans with boats leaving from Tab Lamu, but the best way to experience the Similans is by Liveaboard boat.
Trips normally last 4 days/4 nights and offer between 10 and 30 dives. There are many operators to chose from to fit all budgets.
Staying on the island is possible too. If you like to sleep in the wilderness, get back to nature and spend a night or two under the stars.
There is limited accommodation in the National Park at Island 4 and Island 8. The maximum number of visitors is limited to 340 who can stay overnight but there is no limitation on the number of dive boats. There are also many mosquitos on the Islands (zero on the dive boats) and accommodation is very basic.
This is the 2nd largest Island and is roughly 8 kilometres south of Island 4. It has a beautiful white sandy beach on the North West side of the Island but this Island is CLOSED to all visitors and divers. It is a turtle breeding/protection area.
Island 2 & 3 – Koh Pa-Yang and Koh Pa Yan
These 2 Islands are also closed to visitors and divers. The Islands are made up of granite cliffs and boulders and there is no beach. At the time of writing Islands 1-3 are closed in an effort to protect the underwater environment. However to the South West of Island 3 there are two excellent dive sites (Shark Fin Reef and Boulder City)
Island 4 – Koh Miang
A National Park office is located on this Island. On the Eastern side of the Island (Honeymoon Bay) there is a beach that visitors can visit. A path runs through the Island to another beach on the Western Side (Princess Bay). On this path there is also a trail up to a view point. This is quite a hard walk (steep and you will need shoes, but perhaps only 15 minutes) but you will be rewarded with some excellent views of the Eastern side of the Similans. This Island is also famous for Nicobar Pigeons and Hairy Legged Mountain Crabs. There is limited accommodation available on Island 4 (basic bungalows or tents).
Island 5 and 6 – Koh Ha and Koh Hok
These 2 Islands are to the East of Island 4. There are no beaches just granite rocks. The diving is excellent to the East of the Islands (Anita’s Reef) and the “Tuna Wreck” is located on the South-West corner. The islands are small and they are uninhabited.
Island 7 – Koh Pa-Yu
This island has a combination of granite boulders, cliffs and Sandy beaches. The Eastern side (East of Eden) is currently closed to divers and snorkellers. The Western Side (West of Eden) and Northern Tip (Deep 6) offer excellent diving opportunities and beautiful topography. The island is uninhabited.
Hin Pusa - Elephant Head Rock
Located between Islands 7 and 8 (approximately 1 kilometre South of Island 8) these boulders are also known as Elephant Head Rock. The most Easterly rock is siad to resemble an Elephants head. This is arguably the best dive site in the Similan Islands but is not recommended for snorkeling as it is too deep.
Island 8 – Koh Similan
This island is the largest in the Similans and the main National Park office is located here (this is where the park fees are paid). On the North West corner of the Island is a large bay and sandy beach known as Ao Geurk or Donald Duck Bay (the rock shaped like Donald Ducks Head). You can dive or snorkel here and there is a very good chance to see a Turtle from your diving boat. The famous “Sail Rock” is also located here and you can climb up here with great views out over the bay and to the West of the Similan Islands. There is very basic accommodation (tents) on Island 8 and a restaurant.
There is no actual resort anywhere within the Similan Islands.
Island 9 – Koh Ba Ngu
This island is the most Northerly of the Archipelago, there is no beach and it is uninhabited. The diving around the Island is excellent and varies widely (Eastern side, sloping sandy reefs, Western Side is huge granite boulders and in the South a bay which is excellent for snorkeling). Mantas can often be found around Christmas Point.
At the time of writing National Park Entrance Fees are as follows:
Similan Islands – Koh Bon – Koh Tachai 400 THB
Richelieu Rock – Surin Islands 600 THB
Additional daily diving fee per day in these areas 200 THB
(Similan Islands/Richelieu Rock/Surin Islands)
On a 4 day 4 night trip (3 days in Similans and 1 day at Surin (Richelieu Rock) you would expect to pay 1800 baht.