In short, the answer is quite often ‘No, not a great deal.’ Other than a couple of boats which are based in Phuket, most of them sail from a pier in Khao Lak. Therefore, even a Phuket-based boat or dive centre will have the logistics worked out to transfer guests from and back to either Khao Lak or Phuket. As you may have already guessed, Phuket and Khao Lak are the two main areas of mainland where scuba diving and tourism are extremely important to the local economy. However, in addition to Phuket and Khao Lak, there are other places where the diving businesses operate from and send boats to The Similan & Surin Islands, as well as Myanmar, Hin Daeng/Muang and Koh Haa.
Khao Lak dive centres are by far the most numerous of those that offer Similan Islands liveaboard diving trips. The reason for this is that Khao Lak, a seaside town in the province of Phang Nga, is the nearest point of mainland Thailand to The Similan Islands, and there is a port at Tab Lamu, which has several piers. However, Khao Lak is still unheard of by many international tourists, as well as some who already live in Thailand. Phuket is far better known, and has its own busy international airport. Phuket has many more hotels and more dive centres than Khao Lak, but not as many as Khao Lak that offer liveaboard cruises to The Similan Islands. Even further away is Ranong, located north of Phang Nga and bordering Myanmar (Burma).
Interested In Diving In Other Countries?
Click the link below