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 is 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, rabbitfish, scorpionfish, snappers, emperor fish, giant trevally and angelfish. Turtles and giant bump head 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

  • 9.0 Superb
  • 312 Verified Reviews
  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Janice R
  • United States United States

Crystal clear water with superb visibility, coral gardens with lots of beautiful sea fans and colorful creatures

Diving Similan Islands in January on the Hallelujah

  • 8.4 Very good
  • Christopher G
  • United States United States

Beautiful. Great visibility.

Diving Similan Islands in January on the DiveRACE Class E

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Bobbie H
  • United States United States

The dives were great! The highlight was def Richelieu Rock. I enjoyed the more northern islands the best.

Diving Similan Islands in January on the Oktavia

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Ryan P
  • United States United States

Quite challenging with many dive sights having fair currents, but each dive seemed totally different and new. Huge schools of fish and a wide variety of marine life!

Diving Similan Islands in January on the Genesis I

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Jake F
  • United States United States

Excellent. Beautiful dive sites. A bit more advanced than other places I've been diving -- several sites had stronger currents so we had to adjust our dive plan based on what we found in the water. Our guides were excellent and always made us feel safe. Beautiful coral and marine life at a variety of depths.

Diving Similan Islands in January on the Genesis I

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Ginae L
  • United States United States

Decent visibility, massive rock formations, very beautiful diving

Diving Similan Islands in January on the Manta Queen 8

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Christine J
  • United States United States

Excellent, because of the distance from Phuket we never saw more than 4 boats at a dive site.

Diving Similan Islands in February on the The Phinisi

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Chris W
  • United States United States

Great, saw whale sharks and mantas at Koh Bon

Diving Similan Islands in February on the The Phinisi

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Adam B
  • United States United States

Beautiful dive sites! Varying visibility but plentiful sea life

Diving Similan Islands in February on the The Phinisi

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Richard T
  • United States United States

Viz was not the best but meant lot of Sea Life

Diving Similan Islands in February on the DiveRACE Class E

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Meggie S
  • United States United States

reef sharks, turtles, hawkfish, whale shark

Diving Similan Islands in March on the Sawasdee Fasai

  • 6.8 Review score
  • Jeffery C
  • United States United States

First dive at Hideaway Bay was the perfect start to the trip. Good viz and no currents. Other sites - Poor viz, strong currents

Diving Similan Islands in December on the Camic

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Jeff H
  • United States United States

Similan Islands were gorgeous with healthy reefs, dramatic rocks, and lots of reef fish

Diving Similan Islands in December on the DiveRACE Class E

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Jeffrey L
  • United States United States

Pretty good visibility, great for fishes and small things. We did not see many larger creatures.

Diving Similan Islands in December on the The Phinisi

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Tyrianna R
  • United States United States

Gorgeous! Bright lively coral reefs, stunning marine life

Diving Similan Islands in March on the The Junk

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Dan P
  • United States United States

Elephant head with its huge boulders made the dive like an eerie swim through an old cathedral.

Diving Similan Islands in March on the The Junk

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Nita P
  • United States United States

Warm water 84F, visibility okay, beautiful soft coral, not much big fish activity..

Diving Similan Islands in November on the Peterpan

  • 7.2 Good
  • Lisa O
  • United States United States

Pretty good. Coral is superb.

Diving Similan Islands in November on the Pawara

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • John K
  • United States United States

Beautiful untouched islands with many dive sights.

Diving Similan Islands in December on the Bavaria

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Cory S
  • United States United States

Really busy. Boats overhead the whole time.

Diving Similan Islands in December on the Sawasdee Fasai

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • William Q
  • United States United States

Colorful coral and a variety of marine life.

Diving Similan Islands in January on the Sawasdee Fasai

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Kathryn C
  • New Zealand New Zealand

Similan Islands diving was suitable for all levels and there was plenty of healthy hard corals, tropical fish and macro life. A good mix of shallow and deep dives with some currents but nothing too challenging.

Diving Similan Islands in December on the The Junk

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Lene T
  • Norway Norway

A bit cold with green water upcoming tide, but overall good diving.

Diving Similan Islands in December on the The Junk

  • 8.0 Very good
  • 聪 刘
  • China China

Perfect for photographing coral

Diving Similan Islands in December on the Similan Explorer

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Gokul R
  • India India

Excellent all through, very little to complain about except for strong currents in one or two places.

Diving Similan Islands in December on the Deep Andaman Queen

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Krasimir S
  • Bulgaria Bulgaria

Cold water as low as 22 degree celsius and poor visibility during our trip. People can think to take more than 3mm shorty.

Diving Similan Islands in December on the The Junk

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Jan H
  • South Africa South Africa

Was a great build up to Richelieu rock, the night diving was simply amazing.

Diving Similan Islands in December on the Sawasdee Fasai

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Guy W
  • Australia Australia

Great. Even had a turtle follow us back to the boat

Diving Similan Islands in January on the Manta Queen 7

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Emily-Rose H
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Really good, lots of different dive sites.

Diving Similan Islands in January on the Sawasdee Fasai

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Vikram N
  • India India

Similan Island diving was great; not a lot of fish always but dramatic topography

Diving Similan Islands in January on the Deep Andaman Queen

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Truls P
  • Norway Norway

We very much enjoyed the Similan islands, as we had great visibility. There was quite a bit of current, especially on our night dive, which made it a bit difficult at times.

Diving Similan Islands in January on the Similan Explorer

  • 8.4 Very good
  • Michael A
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Diving was great, lots of life, well maintained reefs and no other divers.

Diving Similan Islands in January on the Oktavia

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Katie P
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Great! Visibility good, always diving different sites, night dive awesome! And a wreck dive to finish.

Diving Similan Islands in January on the Genesis I

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Mariano O
  • Belgium Belgium

Visibility was great and stopping at one of the islands with soft powdery sand was amazing.

Diving Similan Islands in January on the Manta Queen 1

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Myeongjin K
  • South Korea South Korea

다양한 생물들이 살아서 좋지만 시야가 그리 좋지 않다

Diving Similan Islands in January on the Sawasdee Fasai

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • kevin W
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Nice dive sites, easy diving.

Diving Similan Islands in January on the Thailand Aggressor

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Joshua K
  • Singapore Singapore

Waters were extremely clear! Low or no currents. Easy diving

Diving Similan Islands in January on the Dolphin Queen

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Nathanael S
  • France France

Amazing spots, diving through these giant boulders, plenty of fishes and beautiful corals

Diving Similan Islands in January on the Genesis I

  • 7.2 Good
  • Mona S
  • Denmark Denmark

As I only snorkled it was ok, big granite formations but not overwelming with fish. Did see a few baby black tips, lion fish and trevelies..

Diving Similan Islands in January on the Manta Queen 3

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Richard R
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Really good, great starting base an opportunity to test yourself if your new or intermediate.

Diving Similan Islands in January on the Hallelujah

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Hannah S
  • New Zealand New Zealand

Incredible, the sea life and underwater structures were amazing.

Diving Similan Islands in January on the Genesis I

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • CHIN-YAO Y
  • Taiwan Taiwan

Current can be strong but overall good.

Diving Similan Islands in January on the Amapon

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Tomaz J
  • Slovenia Slovenia

Great diving spots, many schools of fish, abundance of sea life.

Diving Similan Islands in January on the The Junk

  • 9.2 Superb
  • julien T
  • Switzerland Switzerland

Diving in the Similan is very nice, be aware that there might be a bit of current on some dive sites. The visibility was not great, but the underwater world is amazing

Diving Similan Islands in January on the Dolphin Queen

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Chien Chou C
  • Taiwan Taiwan

Better than my expectations

Diving Similan Islands in January on the DiveRACE Class E

  • 8.4 Very good
  • Suk Kyoung S
  • Canada Canada

Was good but not great visibility But still a lot of different marin life

Diving Similan Islands in February on the Sawasdee Fasai

  • 9.2 Superb
  • E****d C
  • Australia Australia

Good but least interesting of the trip.

Diving Similan Islands in February on the The Junk

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Brett B
  • Australia Australia

Great. Definitely recommend AOW level due to currents, swim throughs and depths.

Diving Similan Islands in February on the Manta Queen 7

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Endre P
  • Hungary Hungary

amazing, coral very healthy, lots of fish, visibility was not good. current can be challenging

Diving Similan Islands in February on the Manta Queen 8

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Israel E
  • Israel Israel

The visibility very low. Not much wild life.

Diving Similan Islands in February on the Manta Queen 8

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Stephen B
  • Australia Australia

Incredible to see a whale shark swimming around us for the entire dive, I wouldn't change it for the world.

Diving Similan Islands in February on the Oktavia

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Chuen Chu C
  • Hong Kong Hong Kong

During full moon. Strong current sometimes. Conditions are not good as few years ago.

Diving Similan Islands in February on the Oktavia

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Eric T
  • Argentina Argentina

Fun, an interesting learning experience as well.

Diving Similan Islands in February on the Manta Queen 6

  • 8.0 Very good
  • RYAN C
  • Canada Canada

The coral is still damaged from the tsunami and boat anchors and the visibility wasn’t always great but the sea life was abundant.

Diving Similan Islands in February on the Manta Queen 5

  • 8.4 Very good
  • dawn M
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Mostly good. Via was an issue on some dives but mostly great.

Diving Similan Islands in February on the The Phinisi

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Andrey D
  • Russia Russia

Nice diving with great conditions, lots of fish, a couple of stingrays

Diving Similan Islands in February on the Oktavia

  • 8.4 Very good
  • Felicity R
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Poor visibility and some strong currents

Diving Similan Islands in February on the Thailand Aggressor

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Amanda C
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Excellent! Warm water, pristine reefs and good marine life.

Diving Similan Islands in February on the Genesis I

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • James M
  • Canada Canada

Great! Visibility wasn’t prefect but cant complain

Diving Similan Islands in February on the Manta Queen 3

  • 7.2 Good
  • Kai-Oliver G
  • Germany Germany

Similans were nice. Due to New moon phase we had strong currents, visibility was ok. Huge granite blocks create complex and beautiful landscapes.

Diving Similan Islands in February on the Manta Queen 8

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Dyah W
  • Indonesia Indonesia

Great. Vis not so good when we were there but it brings so many life underwater so I'm not complaining.

Diving Similan Islands in February on the Hallelujah

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Wontae C
  • Australia Australia

Amazing rocky formation and small creatures.

Diving Similan Islands in February on the Hallelujah

  • 8.0 Very good
  • Christian T
  • France France

the underwater fauna is very rich and colorful the similan islands are very beautiful

Diving Similan Islands in February on the Pawara

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Chi Hung Eddie K
  • Hong Kong Hong Kong

Different islands with totally different experience

Diving Similan Islands in February on the Camic

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Sabrina K
  • Germany Germany

Mantas were great, vis could have been better

Diving Similan Islands in February on the The Junk

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Pierre B
  • France France

We saw mantas. That was one of the objectives of our trip. Perfect!

Diving Similan Islands in February on the The Junk

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Eric L
  • Canada Canada

Great abundance and variety of Sea Life.

Diving Similan Islands in March on the Manta Queen 7

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Yaroslav M
  • Russia Russia

Nice place. Try to wake up earlier, before the sunrise, enjoy it and then go into the water

Diving Similan Islands in March on the Manta Queen 1

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Keira O
  • Australia Australia

Fantastic, a lot of variety with each of the different dive sites

Diving Similan Islands in March on the Genesis I

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Alan G
  • New Zealand New Zealand

The diving was great, despite visibility not being excellent there was still plenty to see.

Diving Similan Islands in March on the Deep Andaman Queen

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Rod B
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

My first time here so knocked out by beauty above and below the water. Great diversity of marine life and corals in excellent condition. The drift diving is just superb

Diving Similan Islands in March on the The Junk

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Caroline F
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Beautiful, so much to see.

Diving Similan Islands in April on the Manta Queen 5

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Juha V
  • Finland Finland

Fantastic because of crystal clear and warm (29-30C) waters.

Diving Similan Islands in December on the Manta Queen 1

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • David K
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Very good with great underwater topography and swim throughs

Diving Similan Islands in February on the Sawasdee Fasai

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Maurice V
  • Netherlands Netherlands

Very beautiful! Great visibility and a lot to explore.

Diving Similan Islands in February on the Sawasdee Fasai

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Stefano T
  • Australia Australia

Great visibility in every site

Diving Similan Islands in March on the Manta Queen 1

  • 8.0 Very good
  • Anthony S
  • Australia Australia

The diving was fantastic. Incredible amount of fish life so much happening everywhere. Beautiful clear invisibility. Diving was actually better than i was expecting.

Diving Similan Islands in March on the Sawasdee Fasai

  • 8.0 Very good
  • Adam F
  • Canada Canada

Generally good dives. Less than the stellar visibility that I've had on prior trips.

Diving Similan Islands in March on the Sawasdee Fasai

  • 8.0 Very good
  • Alban C
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Perfect diving temperature & amazing reefs

Diving Similan Islands in April on the Manta Queen 1

  • 6.8 Review score
  • kasia Z
  • Poland Poland

Very nice dive sites with big amount of fish

Diving Similan Islands in April on the Camic

  • 7.6 Good
  • Finn P
  • Singapore Singapore

Water was the clearest out of all the dive site

Diving Similan Islands in May on the Pawara

  • 8.4 Very good
  • Sophie L
  • France France

ok - not great visibility due to poor weather conditions

Diving Similan Islands in October on the Sawasdee Fasai

  • 8.0 Very good
  • Lee F
  • Australia Australia

Great visibility but nothing big

Diving Similan Islands in October on the Sawasdee Fasai

  • 8.0 Very good
  • Shimon K
  • Israel Israel

Great, but not the best due to limited visibility and wearteh

Diving Similan Islands in October on the Sawasdee Fasai

  • 8.4 Very good
  • Dmitrij Z
  • Germany Germany

Relaxed, mostly intact reefs, varied marine life

Diving Similan Islands in October on the Manta Queen 7

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Jan S
  • Austria Austria

Excellent. Some easier dives for the mornings, good visibility.

Diving Similan Islands in October on the Camic

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Felix K
  • Germany Germany

Large boulders with less coralles. There are better Diving sites...

Diving Similan Islands in November on the Marco Polo

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Erica M
  • Australia Australia

Superb visibility on most dives. Abundant sea life. A little bit of surge and/or current at times.

Diving Similan Islands in November on the Camic

  • 7.6 Good
  • Pierre-Olivier T
  • Canada Canada

It was nice, the granit block underwater are really impressive.

Diving Similan Islands in November on the Camic

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Antonio H
  • Spain Spain

Good condition of the reef and a lot life everywhere.

Diving Similan Islands in November on the Dolphin Queen

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Eldon P
  • Canada Canada

I was disappointed in what there was to see. I did 2 night dives and basically saw nothing I hadn’t seen during the day. Day time dives were also disappointing.

Diving Similan Islands in November on the Sawasdee Fasai

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • lisa C
  • Canada Canada

Lots of fish and interesting macro life. Dolphins chasing flying fish on the way from one site to another.

Diving Similan Islands in December on the Smiling Seahorse

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Wei-Yi L
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Abundance of marine life. Diver should be aware of current and surge at some dive sites.

Diving Similan Islands in December on the DiveRACE Class E

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Edward W
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Beautiful. A nice variety of dives, including a drift.

Diving Similan Islands in December on the Dolphin Queen

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • YOUKYOUNG J
  • South Korea South Korea

I don't know it is always like this, but the current was never calm.

Diving Similan Islands in December on the Pawara

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Mona S
  • Denmark Denmark

Snorkeling was ok, plenty of black tips at the shallow parts...nice cauliflower corals...

Diving Similan Islands in December on the The Phinisi

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Nicolas C
  • Italy Italy

Good. We didn’t see pelagic species and, according to the guides, there was less fishes than usual.

Diving Similan Islands in January on the The Phinisi

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Edith D
  • Netherlands Netherlands

Great diving for corals, all kinds of fish. If you like the big stuff, make sure you go on the trip of 7 days

Diving Similan Islands in January on the Bavaria

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Martin N
  • Ecuador Ecuador

Beautiful and healthy coral reefs. Warm waters and great visibility.

Diving Similan Islands in January on the Manta Queen 7

  • 8.0 Very good
  • Kenny C
  • Canada Canada

Pretty good. Strong currents

Diving Similan Islands in January on the Sawasdee Fasai


Origin: US