Similan Islands luxury liveaboards from Phuket Thailand | M/V Scuba Explorer Luxury liveaboard

Turqouise waters of a Similans Islands scuba diving site

Similan Islands

If I were to pick anywhere in the world to dive four or five times a day, I would undoubtedly be picking the Similans

Simon Ilett

About The Similans

Everything you could possibly want to know about Thailand's Similan Islands

Similan Islands national marine park sign


6 hours from Phuket Thailand & miles away from anything resembling civilisation, in the heart of the Indian Ocean, lies the dive experience you've been looking for... Welcome to the Similan and Surin Island´╗┐s. Famous for their crystal clear, warm waters, unbelievable marine biodiversity and yearly visits from Manta Rays and Whale Sharks, it is no surprise that the Similan & Surin Islands are ranked amongst the world's top ten dive destinations.

Above the water this archipelago is an amazing site to behold, with paradisiac white sandy beaches, and picturesque hanging palm trees, it truly is a site to behold. Yet nothing will prepare you for the visual feast of majestic marine animals that await you under the waves.

This season the Scuba Explorer will be heading to the Similans Islands over 20 times from November to April, check out our schedule and get onboard with us for this seasons epic luxury liveaboard scuba diving.

Elephant Head Rock, North Point, West of Eden, Anita's Reef, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai, Hin Gong, Torinla Pinnacle, Richelieu Rock, those are just some of the dive sites that await you on Similans liveaboard trip with the Scuba Explorer.

Turtles, Manta Rays, Whale Sharks, Barracuda, Bigeye Trevally, Tuna, Rainbow Runners, Schools of Snapper, Bumphead Parrotfish, Clown Triggerfish, Harlequin Shrimp, Spanish Dancers, Longnose Hawksfish, and Ghost Pipefish are just some of the thousands of species commonly encountered in this blissful melting pot of colour and beauty.

Every dive site is a new adventure in the Similans & Surin marine parks, there are wrecks, swim throughs, boulders, ridges, drop offs, sandy bottoms and spectacular coral life. Thanks to the protection these sites receive each year there are always thousands of fish, and hundreds of things to photograph and find. You'll never ever be disappointed on any of your dives in these marine wonderlands!

With nine islands making up the Similans and five comprising Surin (including the world famous Richelieu Rock) known for 50 metre visibility, water temps of 29 degrees Celcius and an extremely high chance of encounters with gentle giants like Mantas and Whale Sharks, these dive sites always offer enough biodiversity to satisfy even the most jaded of diver, the Similan and Surin islands are a reflection of excellence not seen anywhere else in the world of scuba diving.

The Similans are located 90kms West of Phuket and are typically reached by speedboat or liveaboard depending on whether you are snorkelling or scuba diving there and how long you are staying. The Similans is an Archipelago of nine islands, islands 1, 2 and 3 are closed to the public and diving there is off limits as they are dedicated turtle hatcheries. This means you will almost always run into these beautiful creatures when diving the other 4 islands which make up the more visited sections of the Similans. Koh Bon & Koh Tachai are part of the Similan islands chain but are located much farther North, Koh Bon is 90 kms North East of the main seven island group and Koh Tachai is 80kms North of Koh Bon, both sites are famous for Manta and Whale Shark sightings, there remoteness tends to keep many other boats away, allowing liveaboards like the Scuba Explorer to be there almost exclusively at certain times of the year.

Another 90kms North of Koh Tachai lies Richelieu Rock, part of the Surin National Marine park, truly one of Thailands most famous dive sites. Richelieu Rock is a mecha for rare marine life, including Sea Horses and Harlequin Shrimps, it's horse shoe shape also allows diving there no matter which way the current is flowing. A dive at Richelieu is a dive you will never forget. Surin is also home to one of the world's last nomadic peoples, known commonly as the 'Sea Gypsies' or the Mokken people. They are the original keepers of Surin and have been helping ensure it's integrity for many years so that us divers may enjoy it's beauty year after year, from time to time the Explorer will stop close to their village and take a dingy to shore to experience yet another hidden treasure of the Surin Marine Park.

The Similan and Surin Islands are typically open for only 6 months of the year, usually from November to April, but the opening and closing dates are different each year, they are decided by the Thailand Similans Marine Authority and depend highly on weather conditions, so extended seasons are common, but so are shorter ones, the best way to find out when they open and close is to get in contact with us or check out our schedule and get onboard one of our liveaboard trips.

The rest of the year the Thailand government closes the Similans for preservation purposes, allowing the dive sites a much needed break to regenerate. Due to the limited time it is open, as well as high demand, we strongly suggest you book your trip before arriving in Phuket. We cannot guarantee you a spot if you show up unannounced and it's a case of first in best dressed on the Scuba Explorer, so don't miss out.

If you want to experience luxury liveaboard diving that will forever be on your tongue when you talk to friends and family then join us in the Similans aboard the Scuba Explorer and become the diver you always dreamed of being!

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