Liveaboard Diving in Similan Islands

What To Expect On a Similan Islands Liveaboard

Liveaboards in Similan Islands will take divers to the most well known dive areas in the amazing dive destination of Thailand. The Similan Islands are ranked as one of the top dive destinations in the world. Made up of 9 granite islands, located 100 km Northwest of Phuket and 65km offshore from Phang Nga Province in the Andaman Sea, the Similan Islands were declared a National Park in 1982 and offer scuba divers exceptional diving adventures. Similan Island liveaboards will visit dive sites that feature varied landscapes and vibrant marine life. Massive boulders, caves, reefs and passages are home to over 500 species of hard and soft corals and astonishing pelagic life. The East Coast boasts exceptional visibility and weak to moderate currents while the West Coast waters are deeper with stronger currents. With such varied dive sites, the best way to enjoy the Similan Islands is on a premier dive liveaboard.

Similan Islands Underwater

The landscape of the Similan Islands are a feast for the eyes both above and underwater. From the tropical white sandy beaches and clear blue waters to the granite boulders on land and underwater, it is a paradise difficult to surpass and understandably one of the most popular dive locations in the world. It is becoming ever more popular to take a dive safari on a liveaboard due to easy access to these remote islands. An abundant marine life roams the subterranean landscape of these islands. It is common to see leopard sharks, guitar rays, whitetip sharks, blue spotted stingrays, clown triggerfish, rabbit fish, scorpion fish, snappers, emperor fish, giant trevally and angelfish. Turtles and giant bumphead parrotfish make their appearances and the sharp eyed diver may find tiny ghost pipefish, mantis shrimps, porcelain crabs or cleaner shrimp. To dive amongst the boulder formations and see their impressive size underwater is truly wondrous.

Dive Sites Of Similan Islands

Similan Liveaboard itineraries may vary but some popular dive sites include:

Anita's Reef on the east coast, just off Similan Island No.4 boasts impressive coral formations, boulders this subterranean landscape provides a sanctuary for a very diverse marine life. From hunting Bluefin trevally, yellowfin goatfish, blue damsels to the very common shrimp gobies, the easy currents allow for a great first dive option for most dive trips.

West of Eden, also known as West of Six for its location to the north-west corner of Island number 6, enjoys a healthy hard coral reef and massive granite boulders. Batfish, Turtles and Octopus are common residents to the reef. Through the rocky channels, frogfish, ribbon eels, giant morays and barracudas can also be seen. Keep an eye out in the blue for passing larger pelagics.

Elephant Head Rock, named after a rock that jets out of the water visible from the surface, this is the biggest pinnacle in the Similans and has some fantastic swim-throughs. A more challenging dive site due to strong currents, you may see white tip reef sharks, batfish, trevally and barracuda can often be seen on the perimeter of the boulders and the avid macro photographer can look out for smashing mantis shrimp, fire gobies, porcelain crabs and cleaner shrimps.

Donald Duck Bay, is a popular night dive spot on the north-west corner of Island no.8. Named after a rock resembling the cartoon character, this site is great for macro lovers. The boulders are home to emperor shrimps, red round crabs, decorator crabs, triton shells and cone shells, bull crabs, red octopus and cuttlefish and green turtles

Boulder City, is a large submerged granite outcropping, about 1km off the east coast of island no.3 with jumbles of boulders scattered around a flat sandy bottom. A slightly more advanced dive site, the current can sometimes bring the whale sharks and manta rays.

Shark Fin Reef - As is prevalent in the Similans, this dive site consists of another series of granite boulders covered in gorgonians and hard corals with a great diversity of marine life including the Napoleon wrasse, turtles, boxfish, clown triggerfish, schools of batfish, yellow goatfish, palette surgeonfish, blue-faced angelfish and bannerfish amongst others.

Honeymoon Bay lies to the northwest of Island 5. Its sheltered location, it is a popular place for boats to moor and include a night dive. This is when the Reef crabs, shrimps, lobsters, cuttlefish and nurse sharks all come out, leaving their crevices looking for food. With an average depth of 15-20 meters, the reef is decorated with hard corals, keep an eye out for shy garden eels on the sandy bottom.

Christmas Point, true to its name, is one of the most colourful, scenic dives in the islands on the far west side of Similan Island 9. This outcropping is home to several giant archways which provide superb topography and forms some of the best swim-throughs in the Similans.

Other dive sites include: Three Trees, Beacon Point, Breakfast Bend, Chinese Wall, Coral Reef, Deep Six, Hideaway, Deep six, North Point and Stonehenge.

Top Tips For Divers

Thailand liveaboard trips to the Similan Islands run from November through to May. The Islands are closed for the rest of the year. The end of February often sees an increase in currents attracting the larger marine creatures like whale sharks and manta rays. Visibility ranges from 25-40m during this period and water temperatures range between 26-29c. You may not need more than a 3mm neoprene shorty or full body wetsuit bearing in mind after a 3 or more dives a day, you may get cold. If you are bringing your own equipment, consider bringing a DIN adapter (if you have DIN regulators) as Thailand uses the standard yoke system.

Getting To Similan Islands

Please check your individual liveaboard itinerary carefully and be aware of different departure ports depending on your liveaboard chosen. Liveaboard cruises may depart from Chalong Pier in Phuket, Thap Lamu Pier in Khao Lak, Phang-Nga Province. Transfers to the port are provided from Phuket International Airport or your hotel. Please notice some liveaboards may even depart from one port and return to another, i.e depart from Phuket and return to Khao Lak. Some International flights fly directly to Phuket or you can get a connecting flight from Bangkok.


Similan Islands Diving Reviews

  • 9.1 Superb
  • 108 Verified Reviews
  • 8.0 Very good
  • yaqoub Y
  • United Arab Emirates United Arab Emirates

it was fantastic . for sure you going to see some thing new in your life .

Diving Similan Islands in April on the Hallelujah

  • 8.0 Very good
  • Adam H
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Warm water with great visibility. Some sites had some current. Underwater topography was great with bolders

Diving Similan Islands in April on the Manta Queen 1

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Geerhard W
  • South Africa South Africa

Very good. Saw WHALE SHARK!!!!!

Diving Similan Islands in April on the Manta Queen 7

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Pio V
  • Netherlands Netherlands

Beautiful sites, calm conditions

Diving Similan Islands in May on the Manta Queen 1

  • 8.0 Very good
  • SY K
  • Mauritius Mauritius

Nice gardens under water. Strong current at times. Important to have a very experienced DM.

Diving Similan Islands in April on the Sawasdee Fasai

  • 8.4 Very good
  • TOM G
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Very clear water - well over 30 m at the Islands and almost 20m at the Boonsung Wreck during our April trip. The Similans still look fairly pristine. Surface plastic rubbish was occasionally evident but still mercifullly minimal here - this will only be kept under control if National Park plastic bottle regulations remain or, preferably, are made stricter than at present.

Diving Similan Islands in April on the Manta Queen 5

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Malin B
  • Sweden Sweden

Nice corals and sealife. Many fish and we saw a whale shark.

Diving Similan Islands in May on the Manta Queen 1

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Angela P
  • Australia Australia

Great. We should have done more dives at Ko Bon. Not just 1 dive.

Diving Similan Islands in April on the Genesis I

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Ralph H
  • United States United States

Water was crystal clear. Totally awesome. Great weather. Lot of fun

Diving Similan Islands in April on the Manta Queen 5

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Charles D
  • France France

Amazing, rich in marine life, beautiful islands

Diving Similan Islands in April on the Deep Andaman Queen

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • John M
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Varied dive sites, with great varieties of hard and soft corals and a huge range of beautiful tropical fish and other reef inhabitants. We saw some areas where coral had bleached and died but more encouraging was to see areas where recovery was happening. Very encouraging.

Diving Similan Islands in April on the The Junk

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • ILGUK J
  • South Korea South Korea

Started from here. A Very beautiful landscape and many stuffs like turtle, barracuda etc. We saw 2 whale sharks at Koh Bon.

Diving Similan Islands in April on the Manta Queen 7

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • shara F
  • Spain Spain

We were lucky with the weather and the diving sites were full of fishes and corals., unfortunately, we didn't see anything big but the visibility of the waters is just like looking into a cinema screen.

Diving Similan Islands in April on the Manta Queen 5

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Guillaume L
  • France France

dramatic landscape above surface and below surface

Diving Similan Islands in April on the The Junk

  • 8.0 Very good
  • WAI KWAN L
  • Hong Kong Hong Kong

The soft and hard corals are beautiful. Can find fishes of different species, the size might not be big but most are interesting and beautiful. Diving there is relax and enjoyable.

Diving Similan Islands in February on the Manta Queen 7

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Krystian T
  • Poland Poland

great visibility, saw: White Tip Reef Shark Indian Cownose Ray Dogtooth tunas Garden Eels, Bluefin Trevally, Clown Triggerfish, Oriental Sweetlips,Giant Morays, Giant Trevally, Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata)

Diving Similan Islands in February on the Pawara

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Bastien M
  • France France

Great, we saw a lot of different underwater environments, many different species, wreck and tunnels.

Diving Similan Islands in December on the Similan Explorer

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Ron W
  • New Zealand New Zealand

Rough water but visibility good and lots of fantastic things to see including a whale shark.

Diving Similan Islands in December on the Hallelujah

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Lisa M
  • United States United States

Amazing visibility, diverse dive sites

Diving Similan Islands in October on the Hallelujah

  • 7.6 Good
  • Amish S
  • India India

Awesome. So.e current with the chilly green monster thermoclines. All-in-all surreal.

Diving Similan Islands in February on the Similan Explorer

  • 8.4 Very good
  • Michael S
  • United States United States

Fantastic, like a Nat Geographic film.

Diving Similan Islands in April on the Similan Explorer

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Evan R
  • New Zealand New Zealand

The Similan islands was a prestige dive site that was an amazing place to visit and wake up to on our first morning. So much to see and so many new things found and photographed.

Diving Similan Islands in April on the Sawasdee Fasai

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Christopher T
  • United States United States

The best dive trip that we have taken to date!

Diving Similan Islands in April on the Similan Explorer

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Elles D
  • Netherlands Netherlands

Wonderful, not too far from the mainland but far enough to deter day trips, very nice little islands, beautiful reefs and beaches.

Diving Similan Islands in March on the Deep Andaman Queen

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Natalie R
  • New Zealand New Zealand

Amazing topography, granite rocks, really diverse dive sites. Lots of fish to see. Saw sharks, turtles and stingrays

Diving Similan Islands in March on the Similan Explorer

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Andreas F
  • Germany Germany

Great place to dive, lucky to see sharks, turtles and a lot more

Diving Similan Islands in March on the Similan Explorer

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Rebecca H
  • United States United States

Beautiful intro dive. We saw a sea turtle, clownfish, tons of other fish, feather sea stars, gorgonian coral fans. This was a shallower dive that allowed us to get our feet wet since it had been awhile since either of us had been diving. There were a couple of swim throughs. We did a night dive here and saw an octopus.

Diving Similan Islands in February on the Manta Queen 1

  • 7.6 Good
  • Juliane H
  • Austria Austria

Great visibility, saw Mantas, sting rays, beautiul corals, - all in all wonderful dives.

Diving Similan Islands in March on the Dolphin Queen

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Pieter D
  • Belgium Belgium

Great + very good visibility

Diving Similan Islands in March on the Manta Queen 1

  • 8.0 Very good
  • Garry D
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Plenty of life to see both day and night diving

Diving Similan Islands in February on the Sawasdee Fasai Liveaboard

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • JAYEON C
  • South Korea South Korea

Clear view, amazing big size of aquatic life

Diving Similan Islands in February on the The Junk

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Yann B
  • France France

Check dive in chanel between 5 and 6 - not much to see on that one - except perhaps underwater sculptures which are entirely missable. Turtle Rock (Similan 8) was fun - finding passage ways among boulders. Outside Similan 9 (Three trees) was good

Diving Similan Islands in February on the The Junk

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Pablo E
  • Chile Chile

Amazing, got over 30 mt visibility and almost no currents exept 2 dives, got to aee big mantas.

Diving Similan Islands in February on the Similan Explorer

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • THIERRY L
  • France France

Excellent! 1 first/check dive at The Channel 1 dive at Elephant Head Rock 1 dive at Three trees 1 visit at Donald Duck Bay 1 night dive at Bommies 1 dive at Christmas point

Diving Similan Islands in February on the The Junk

  • 8.0 Very good
  • Maria Tereza C
  • Brazil Brazil

Great visibility and plenty of marine life. Visit to two fantastic beaches.

Diving Similan Islands in February on the Hallelujah Liveaboard

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Maillard J
  • France France

Nice dives, a bit too much current sometimes ( Tachai pinnacle) My favorite were Elephant head rock and I like Boonsoon wreck also.

Diving Similan Islands in February on the Dolphin Queen

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Franco L
  • Italy Italy

One word, to be done again

Diving Similan Islands in February on the Manta Queen 6

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Jun C
  • China China

Good, not the best I've ever had. No whale shark but that's just nature. Did encounter a big female Manta ray thought!

Diving Similan Islands in January on the Diva Andaman

  • 8.4 Very good
  • Noel H
  • United States United States

Pretty good - better than most other dive sites I've done in Koh Chang and Koh Lipe.

Diving Similan Islands in February on the Hallelujah

  • 8.4 Very good
  • Chris G
  • Singapore Singapore

Good, no large fishes, but plenty of marine life. Beach visits were a good addition.

Diving Similan Islands in January on the Similan Explorer

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Ian T
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Great, so many fish. We even saw whales!!! And manta

Diving Similan Islands in January on the Similan Explorer

  • 8.0 Very good
  • Hung Yi L
  • Taiwan Taiwan

Pretty beautiful corol. Large amount of fishs. But there was no big fish to see.

Diving Similan Islands in January on the Manta Queen 5

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Marton H
  • Australia Australia

Great deep dives, good visibility

Diving Similan Islands in January on the Manta Queen 3

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Nuno P
  • Portugal Portugal

Wonderful. One of my best diving experiences.

Diving Similan Islands in January on the Manta Queen 5

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Todd H
  • United States United States

One of the best dives sites to date. Warm water, great vis, lost of life. None of the big stuff on this trip, but the macro stuff was really beautiful and interesting.

Diving Similan Islands in January on the MV DiveRACE Class E

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • jaehyung J
  • South Korea South Korea

gorgeous~ nice people nice guiding nice food everything was perfect!!!

Diving Similan Islands in December on the Manta Queen 3

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Elena L
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Wonderful combination of beauty both above and under the surface

Diving Similan Islands in December on the Thailand Aggressor

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Benjamin B
  • United States United States

It was spectacular. Every dive site had something different.

Diving Similan Islands in December on the Manta Queen 3

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • David G
  • United States United States

Amazing, could see so many fish and awesome coral.

Diving Similan Islands in December on the Dolphin Queen

  • 7.2 Good
  • Miranda M
  • Netherlands Netherlands

nice places with nice coral almost no current

Diving Similan Islands in November on the Deep Andaman Queen

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • YuenMee W
  • Netherlands Netherlands

Great, although some places coral was damaged, wonderful waters to dive!

Diving Similan Islands in November on the Deep Andaman Queen

  • 8.0 Very good
  • Marcel Fernando S
  • Germany Germany

Visibilities were not super good, but a nice variety of animals.

Diving Similan Islands in November on the MV Similan Explorer

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Daniel L
  • Sweden Sweden

Visibillity was ok most of the time and sometimes even very good. I think we only had one dive which had bad visibillity.

Diving Similan Islands in May on the MV Pawara

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Pascal F
  • France France

Very peaceful in low season

Diving Similan Islands in May on the The Junk

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Gabor M
  • Germany Germany

Some strong Currents on some Spots, but a really nice Entrée to the Rest of the Week. Good Occasion to get back into the Feeling.

Diving Similan Islands in April on the The Junk

  • 8.0 Very good
  • Ursula C
  • Germany Germany

Similan has good dive sites but also less good ones. The choice of the dive sites is sometimes hard to understand

Diving Similan Islands in March on the The Junk

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • safeera S
  • South Africa South Africa

Good, visibility was decent, current was a bit hektik

Diving Similan Islands in March on the MV DiveRACE Class E

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Natalie P
  • United States United States

Beyond all of my expectations!!

Diving Similan Islands in February on the Deep Andaman Queen

  • 7.2 Good
  • Daniela G
  • Portugal Portugal

Good, but visibility could have been better. Saw a couple of manta rays which was very cool.

Diving Similan Islands in December on the MV DiveRACE Class E

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Kal G
  • Israel Israel

good but very poor visibility

Diving Similan Islands in December on the Diva Andaman

  • 8.0 Very good
  • Joseph F
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Nice, easy diving. Only thing I'm not a fan of is the way all the liveaboards drive over the dive sites to drop off, creating a huge noise underwater.

Diving Similan Islands in December on the Deep Andaman Queen

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Tommy P
  • Norway Norway

Koh Bon pinnacle was fantastic. Rest was very good.

Diving Similan Islands in November on the Giamani