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Before reading any further, please note that this text refers only to the diving sites around Similans Islands #1 - #9 and not about the northern dive sites of Koh Bon & Koh Tachai, which although located in Mu Ko Similan National Marine Park are described on another page. The Similan Islands is world famous for its wonderful scuba diving that can be enjoyed by all levels of diver, from beginner to professional. There are more than twenty wonderful dive sites at the Similans, and all have their own name although some are referred to differently depending on who you speak to. The western side of this archipelago is exposed to the Indian Ocean and has been developing naturally for hundreds of thousands of years. Therefore, the topography of the underwater world has been shaped by stronger currents and waves from the monsoon winds. When diving on the western side, you will notice that there are lots of granite boulders, deep water, drop-offs, swimthroughs, and species which thrive in these conditions. Similan diving liveaboard boats do visit the western dive sites, but tend to focus on the eastern dive sites more. The eastern side of the Similan Islands is more colourful than the west, and easier to dive. This is mainly due to these dive sites being sheltered from the Indian Ocean by the islands themselves since ancient history. There are at least a dozen wonderful dive sites that have colourful corals, easy diving, and plenty of reef fish and invertebrates. Most dive sites on the east side have sloping reefs that can be enjoyed by scuba divers of all levels and at depths from ‘very shallow’ to 30m. In general, forgetting about the east/west contrast, you can also separate the Similans archipelago into three areas, which are south, central and north.

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Southern Similan Islands

Not so many dive boats visit the southern Similan Islands. The reasons for this are nothing to do with inferior diving, but mainly due to logistics and diversity. Due to the fact that there are fewer dive sites in the southern Similans, and that getting there takes a little longer, dive operators tend to skip this area. Also, the dive sites are more suitable for experienced divers more than for novices. This is a great shame, because there are some wonderful dive sites there. Boulder City and Sharkfin Reef are the most well-known, and those on boats which do visit this area will enjoy some really good diving.

Central Similan Islands

This area is extremely popular for both day trip and liveaboard diving boats to visit. The central Similan Islands has a wide range of dive sites on both the east and west sides, and it is very popular for the first ‘check’ dive of nearly all liveaboard trips’ itineraries. Around Islands 4, 5 & 6, each dive boat can easily find a place to let divers drop in and enjoy some fabulous diving. While dive sites such as Deep Six and Elephant Head Rock out on the west side are more for experienced divers, there are plenty of nice, colourful and easier dive sites around the east side of the central Similan Islands. These have colourful sloping reefs, lots of marine life and are perfect for Similan diving day trips, liveaboard diving ‘check dives,’ and for those who don’t want to worry about depth, fight a current or do a safety stop in open water with nothing to look at. Here at the central Similan Islands there is a perfect choice of great dive sites to suit all levels of diver, and if one of the dive sites is busy, it’s very easy to move to the next. Although Koh Bon, Koh Tachai & Richelieu Rock are more exciting, the central Similans is a perfect place to start a Thailand liveaboard trip.

Northern Similan Islands (#7, #8 & #9)

This text about the ‘Northern Similan Islands’ refers to Islands 7-9, and not Richelieu Rock, Koh Tachai & Koh Bon. Those dive sites are described on another page. The northern Similan Islands is the northernmost islands of the mini-archipelago of 8-9 islands known as ‘the regular Similans.’ Most of the photographs you will have seen of people on beaches at The Similans will have been taken here, because Donald Duck Bay is the place with a viewpoint up on the famous rock. Therefore, this area is very popular with dive boats (liveaboard & day trips) as well as snorkel trips. There are plenty of good dive sites here, most of which are located on the eastern side. These include North Point, Breakfast Bend and more.

The ‘regular Similan Islands’ is an area perfect for all levels of diver to experience safe and enjoyable diving cruises in Thailand, as well as day trips. There’s something for everyone, and the choice of alternatives is such that if conditions aren’t perfect or the planned dive site is crowded, a Plan B is nearly always available.

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Average Rating 9.1/10 Based on 157 Diver Reviews for Liveaboards - The Similans

MV Andaman MV Andaman
Philippe
French
Review score: 9/10
Dived: 27 Dec 2020
First, kudos to Jamie for his continuous support during the hard times of Covid, where trips sometimes get cancelled without notice and we need to fin...
MV Andaman MV Andaman
Lu
Japanese
Review score: 10/10
Dived: 27 Dec 2020
It’s worth to join this boat. Dive masters and boat crew are so nice. Also they serve good food for every meal time. The equipment and wetsuit are v...
MY Genesis 1 MY Genesis 1
Stephen
British
Review score: 10/10
Dived: 16 Mar 2020
Special thanks to Stefan for making the whole trip fun and to all the other crew ????????????...
MV Nemo 1
MV Nemo 1
MV Nemo 1
Swiss
Review score: 10/10
Dived: 12 Mar 2020
My first liveaboard was a great experience. Good boat, comfortable cabin, caring staff and delicious food, everything as expected. All dives were goo...
MV Manta Queen 5 MV Manta Queen 5
Mike
Swedish
Review score: 7/10
Dived: 28 Feb 2020
The only thing is the rock hard mattress in the cabins. Super unpleasant made the night's a course of survival. At least not as good as it could be....
Blue Dolphin Blue Dolphin
Dimitra Miliordou
Greek
Review score: 7/10
Dived: 27 Feb 2020
Our experience with Blue Dolphin was nice, however the boat was pretty small for 15 divers in total. The equipment had already been set up in advance,...
MC Sundancer MC Sundancer
Dimitra Miliordou
Greek
Review score: 8/10
Dived: 25 Feb 2020
Great experience, we saw two giant Manta rays in our last dive, which made us ecstatic! Friendly and attentive staff, spacious and well-equipped boat....
MV Oktavia
MV Oktavia
MV Oktavia
Manuel
German
Review score: 8/10
Dived: 24 Feb 2020
Hello, Thank you for the great dive trip 3D/2N end of February. Great boat, great dives, great guides, great crew and great food. Unfortunately t...
MV Nemo 1
MV Nemo 1
MV Nemo 1
Thorsten
German
Review score: 9/10
Dived: 21 Feb 2020
I had great experience diving with the Nemo Crew.I learned so much in 3 days,and i was blown away by the wonderful underwater world at the similan isl...
MV Nemo 1
MV Nemo 1
MV Nemo 1
Ralfieb
German
Review score: 10/10
Dived: 18 Feb 2020
This was just a perfect trip! Nemo 1 ... and the Crew: Beyond words! Excellent Organisation, amazing staff, incredible dive spots ... truly wonderful ...
MV Nemo 1
MV Nemo 1
MV Nemo 1
Mark
British
Review score: 8/10
Dived: 15 Feb 2020
Nice boat but noise at night as the generators run all night. Good food and plenty of it. Good dive guides and very good diving. Some of the nicest co...
MV Nemo 1
MV Nemo 1
MV Nemo 1
Jeff and Amanda
American
Review score: 10/10
Dived: 12 Feb 2020
We had the most amazing time on our 2 day/1 night stay on Nemo 1! The crew and staff were fantastic, making us feel very comfortable in and out of the...
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Similan Islands Liveaboards Thailand: 9 out of 10 based on 382 scuba diver ratings.

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