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
  • 402 Verified Reviews
  • 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
  • Deborah T
  • United States United States

While the visibility was often murky, I was still overwhelmed by the abundance of gorgeous sea life and sea coral. And the ship was so wonderful.

Diving Similan Islands in February on the The Junk

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Meggie S
  • United States United States

reef sharks, turtles, hawkfish, whale shark

Diving Similan Islands in March on the Sawasdee Fasai

  • 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

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Robert M
  • United States United States

Warm water, excellent visibility.

Diving Similan Islands in February on the Bavaria

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Mitchell S
  • United States United States

Great weather. Good visibility. Diverse marine life.

Diving Similan Islands in February on the Dolphin Queen

  • 9.2 Superb
  • ERIC R
  • United States United States

Very healthy reefs and marine life.

Diving Similan Islands in March on the DiveRACE Class E

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Jason J
  • United States United States

Great Sandy bottom, good dive to check in with

Diving Similan Islands in March on the DiveRACE Class E

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Kimberli M
  • United States United States

Fantastic!!! The dive briefings were great at sharing what aquatic life each of the sites may have. The dive masters did an amazing job at finding and alerting our group of so many awesome fish, rays, sharks, seahorses, and beautiful nudibranches.

Diving Similan Islands in March on the Bavaria

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Paul S
  • United States United States

Several of these dives were highlights of the trip because the visibility was literally amazing, fifty-plus meters!

Diving Similan Islands in March on the Gentle Giant

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Thomas O
  • United States United States

Good but visibility not good the entire trip eventhough calm seas.

Diving Similan Islands in April on the The Phinisi

  • 6.4 Review score
  • Ryan L
  • United States United States

Similan islands were ok, lots of current and reefs were just ok.

Diving Similan Islands in April on the Marco Polo

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Jennifer L
  • United States United States

Stunning! Beautiful marine life and lucked out with amazing weather!

Diving Similan Islands in April on the Blue Dolphin

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Melanie G
  • United States United States

The diving was good. Not much current and good visibility.

Diving Similan Islands in April on the Dolphin Queen

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Krysten E
  • United States United States

Some visibility issues, but that’s to be expected this time of year. Not as nice as Surin Islands, but still a great experience.

Diving Similan Islands in November on the The Junk

  • 8.0 Very good
  • Andrew F
  • United States United States

Really great - very few other boats around and wonderful marine life. Strong currents but nothing that we didn’t manage.

Diving Similan Islands in December on the Sawasdee Fasai

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Robert Y
  • United States United States

The dives got progressively better with more fish and marine life. The occasional stop on the beaches were beautiful.

Diving Similan Islands in January on the Deep Andaman Queen

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Solana A
  • United States United States

So nice! The water was warm and the sea life is absolutely incredible. The visibility and currents were variable however.

Diving Similan Islands in February on the Dolphin Queen

  • 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
  • Sabrina K
  • Germany Germany

Mantas were great, vis could have been better

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

  • 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

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Kenneth C
  • Canada Canada

Pretty good. Strong currents

Diving Similan Islands in January on the Sawasdee Fasai

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Elisabeth U
  • Austria Austria

Beautiful, healthy reefs, all trips quite fully booked

Diving Similan Islands in January on the Manta Queen 7

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Lydia C
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Not bad. Not abundant sealife.

Diving Similan Islands in January on the Pawara

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • DIANE J
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

reefs had good coral and sea life, no pelagics

Diving Similan Islands in February on the Bavaria

  • 8.4 Very good
  • Stephen B
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Average. Lots of coral damage.

Diving Similan Islands in February on the Sawasdee Fasai

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Alex J
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Very pretty, topography and reefs were great, lots of sea life

Diving Similan Islands in February on the Andaman

  • 8.0 Very good
  • Duncan H
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Quite good overall but no mantas or whale sharks (february).

Diving Similan Islands in February on the Bavaria

  • 8.0 Very good
  • Lynne R
  • Canada Canada

Very nice. But sometimes too many diverse at one time

Diving Similan Islands in February on the The Junk

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • David T
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Yes a good variety of locations. No sightings of mantas or whale sharks but a good variety of fish.

Diving Similan Islands in February on the Sawasdee Fasai

  • 8.0 Very good
  • Bryanne P
  • Canada Canada

Amazing visibility and marine life

Diving Similan Islands in February on the Manta Queen 7

  • 7.6 Good
  • Roxanne L
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Compared to diving in Indonesia and the Philippines, the diving is pleasant but not remarkable.

Diving Similan Islands in February on the Gentle Giant

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Daniel G
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Amazing, colourful, warm, full of life

Diving Similan Islands in March on the Deep Andaman Queen

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Anthony G
  • Australia Australia

Similan islands was great lots of diversity

Diving Similan Islands in March on the Manta Queen 1

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Jonathan S
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

We were lucky with good visibility in March. Deep 6 was particularly nice and also Elephant head rock.

Diving Similan Islands in March on the DiveRACE Class E

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • HANEUL K
  • South Korea South Korea

beautiful landscape and nice island adventure between divings

Diving Similan Islands in March on the Pawara

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Sin Man Carol H
  • Hong Kong Hong Kong

Exceptional. Clear water and lively reefs.

Diving Similan Islands in April on the Andaman

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Karan S
  • Australia Australia

Lots of large granite boulders which makes for really cool underwater seascape. Less marine and coral life than later dives.

Diving Similan Islands in April on the Manta Queen 3

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Paul H
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Good intro into the trip, interesting boulders

Diving Similan Islands in April on the Manta Queen 7

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Rishir K
  • India India

Calm, rocky seabeds with interspersed coral regions

Diving Similan Islands in April on the Dolphin Queen

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Lai Shan L
  • Hong Kong Hong Kong

A bit Disappointing. A lot of dead corals and not much to see. Easy to dive though.

Diving Similan Islands in April on the Pawara

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • John G
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Mixed but with some massive highlights

Diving Similan Islands in April on the Marco Polo

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Cindy W
  • Malaysia Malaysia

Amazing visibility and sea life

Diving Similan Islands in May on the Pawara

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Sin Tung Candice L
  • Hong Kong Hong Kong

Clear waters and many soft corals and fans!

Diving Similan Islands in October on the Manta Queen 7

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Gary C
  • Hong Kong Hong Kong

Similan Islands have beautiful scenery both on land and underwater. It's a nice experience to have a dive trip in Similan Island where is well preserved.

Diving Similan Islands in October on the Sawasdee Fasai

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Nicolas Lorenzo T
  • Germany Germany

Great dive sites but strong currents

Diving Similan Islands in November on the Dolphin Queen

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Scott H
  • Switzerland Switzerland

Really good diving, sometimes visibility not so good - such is nature, plenty to see. Very few big animals seen this trip.

Diving Similan Islands in December on the Giamani

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Zhi Kai C
  • Singapore Singapore

Beautiful, just that we had thermocline :(

Diving Similan Islands in December on the Andaman

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Alwin O
  • Netherlands Netherlands

Unfortunately there was quite some dead coral, and few good things to see at the boulders.

Diving Similan Islands in December on the Dolphin Queen

  • 8.4 Very good
  • Kai S
  • Germany Germany

lots of fish, nice sites, poor visibility

Diving Similan Islands in December on the Explorer

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Benjamin C
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Very good, the dive sites are very pretty and the marine diversity made it so there was always something interesting to see.

Diving Similan Islands in December on the Peterpan

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Katie O
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Beautiful underwater rock formations, great visability and healthy reefs

Diving Similan Islands in December on the DiveRACE Class E

  • 6.4 Review score
  • Kiyoshi N
  • Japan Japan

Unfortunately visibility was not great but still there was a lot to see including white tip sharks.

Diving Similan Islands in January on the Sawasdee Fasai

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Sandy N
  • Singapore Singapore

Below expectations due to poor visibility.

Diving Similan Islands in January on the Sawasdee Fasai

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Tarren P
  • Canada Canada

Diving in similan was great quite busy sites but great diving

Diving Similan Islands in January on the Manta Queen 3

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Tim G
  • Switzerland Switzerland

Lots of fish with about 20m visibility. Only a few other divers.

Diving Similan Islands in January on the DiveRACE Class E

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Ulf I
  • Germany Germany

Many-sided, relaxed, a waste variety of things to see. Loved the turtles

Diving Similan Islands in January on the Blue Dolphin

  • 6.8 Review score
  • Eduard A
  • Netherlands Netherlands

Nothing but rocks and current. Skip this next time.

Diving Similan Islands in January on the Pawara

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Agnes H
  • Canada Canada

So beautiful, incredible amount of all kinds of living creatures. Sometimes meeting strong currents.

Diving Similan Islands in February on the Andaman

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Vanessa G
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Amazing. Wonderful dive life and amazing condition.

Diving Similan Islands in February on the Deep Andaman Queen

  • 6.0 Review score
  • Ben T
  • Austria Austria

nice visibility, lots of fish

Diving Similan Islands in February on the Merdeka 1

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Veronica R
  • Norway Norway

Clear water, great start of the trip!

Diving Similan Islands in February on the Sawasdee Fasai

  • 8.0 Very good
  • Marco C
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Great abundance of fish and marine life, shame we didn’t see sharks

Diving Similan Islands in February on the The Junk

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Maria C
  • Russia Russia

The visibility and water temperature was great

Diving Similan Islands in February on the Manta Queen 7

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Jaewon L
  • South Korea South Korea

Not so good visibility, but very nice experience because of diversity of fishes

Diving Similan Islands in May on the The Phinisi