Read More day trip diving
Equipment fitment, paperwork and payment need to have been completed the day before on most trips because everyone is transported directly to the pier. This is not a time to be trying on wetsuits or choosing which credit card to pay with. Some boats sail at 8.00am from Tab Lamu Pier, and others sail at 9.00am from Baan Nam Khem or a private pier nearby. It’s good to have had some light breakfast before you’re picked up, because the day trip boats tend not to feed guests with more than a snack. This is due to the time needed and the possibility if seasickness. Dive briefings are usually done on the way to the dive sites. There are two dives, at locations chosen to best suit the guests’ needs, as well as the sea & weather conditions. Between the dives, guests have lunch, and some choose to snorkel around the boat, socialise or have a nap. As soon as is practical after the second dive, the boat returns to the pier it departed from. When choosing a hotel or Similan day trip, it’s worth noting the location of the hotel and the boat’s pier, because there can be up to an hour’s difference travelling in the morning and then again in the afternoon.
Day Trip Diving Reviews from Divers
"Thank you for the kind service and laughter with lots of smiles!..."
"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,..."
"Trip to Richelieu Rock. For me the boat is not comfortable, too little room for each guest, no place for material. Instructor and boat crew were fine,..."
Dive Locations are of course pre-planned, but small adjustments can be made due to the sea conditions, the weather, or if special species of marine life has been spotted. Nearly all of our boats run a weekly schedule that has proven to be successful for several seasons. The boat owners and operators want to maximise customer satisfaction, so they plan the trips to be as popular as possible. With a couple of exceptions, all the day trips visit two different diving sites each day. At The Similan Islands, it is very easy to select two dive spots because there are so many great dive sites to choose from. Koh Bon & Koh Tachai are technically within the Similan Islands National Marine Park, but they are located 23km & 46km to the north of the northernmost Similan Island. Koh Bon and Koh Tachai offer more challenging but more rewarding dives that are normally better for experienced divers. Both are extremely good and both have at least two distinct dive sites, meaning that a scuba diving day trip to either will give you something different for each dive. One boat, Blue Dolphin, actually offers diving day trips which do one dive at Koh Bon and the other at Koh Tachai, which is very popular and great value, too. Richelieu Rock is Thailand’s premier dive site and large and good enough to be fully enjoyed twice in a day. There is no need for anyone to worry about getting bored seeing the same fish twice.
Prices of our Similan & Richelieu diving day trips don’t vary too much from one boat to another. This is due to several reasons, which include lack of diversity and local competition between operators. The lack of diversity can be explained in that all the boats run outboard motors designed for speed and efficiency. They all run on the same type of fuel and are comparable in size and speed. There are not differences in luxury that can be compared on our liveaboard boats, because day trip boats don’t have cabins, lounge areas etc. Therefore the cost to the owners to run the trips is very similar. Of course, each boat owner/operator needs to attract as many customers as possible while making a profit. So it’s easy to understand that they offer prices to compete with one another.
Departure Piers for our Similan & Richelieu day trips are located to the south and north of Khao Lak. Tab Lamu Pier is the most popular for liveaboard departures in the evening, and it is used by several of our speedboat transfers in the morning. Tab Lamu Pier is 13km to the south from central Khao Lak (Nang Thong), 16km from the Tsunami Memorial in Bang Niang, and 22km from JW Marriott Khao Lak. Baan Nam Khem and Blue Dolphin’s private piers are 21km north from JW Marriott, 25km from the Tsunami Memorial, and 27km from Nang Thong in Central Khao Lak. Tab Lamu is the nearer of the two piers to Phuket, but is still an hour from the northernmost part of Phuket. Taking into account that each boat journey is at least 75 minutes long, staying in Phuket is not at all practical for joining a diving day trip to the Similan Islands. Divers staying in Khao Lak are on the move for around two hours in the morning and then again in the evening, which is enough in itself. Staying in Phuket and doing a Similan day trip would involve around 6 hours travelling, just for two dives of not more than 60 minutes each.
We have two different types of boats for diving day trips. Most, such as Wet Cat, Stingray, and Blue Dolphin are fast boats which guests spend the whole day on. These are comfortable and stable and easy to dive off of, climb back onto, and enjoy lunch on. However, a couple of our day-trip diving boats team up with their sister vessels to enable guests to enjoy lunch on and to dive from larger dive boats. These are great for those who don’t want to be stuck on a small speedboat all day, especially if the sea is choppy. Nawanoppa’s sister ship is MV Camic, and Nemo 2’s big sister is the brand-new for October 2017 MV Nemo 1. Diving from and eating lunch on a larger boat can make your diving day trip far more comfortable than spending all day on a smaller vessel.