Diving in Similan Islands

The Similan Islands National park offers the best diving that Thailand has to offer. No other region offers such a number of excellent dive sites as can be found in this protected marine park. Conditions are generally perfect for all levels of divers to enjoy, and given the diversity and convenience of the area it is little wonder that the Similan Islands continue to be a popular choice for discerning divers of all abilities, many of whom return year after year.

The name “Similan” is derived from the Malay sembilan, and means “nine" a descriptive term for this chain of 9 tiny, verdant & low lying islands. The islands are characterised by the huge boulders that litter the western and southern shores on several of the islands as well as the white coral-sand beaches, splendidly picturesque and often deserted

It is of course the diving that attracts most of the park’s visitors & the underwater playground formed by the giant boulders of the Western coasts along with the hard & soft coral fringed sandy slopes of the Eastern sides continue to delight scuba enthusiasts from across the globe. Further to the North, the islands of Koh Bon and Tachai, added to the national park in 1998, arguably host the parks best dive sites, the walls, pinnacles, ridges & reefs of these two islands often provide fantastic pelagic action and even the chance to enjoy sightings of Manta or Whale Shark. The neighbouring Surin National park plays host to Richelieu Rock, Thailand’s most famous divesite with a world of macro residents & pelagic visitors to enjoy!

What to see

Join us onboard the New MV White Manta to enjoy a cruise around this picturesque scene, stopping at the choicest sites to allow divers to explore at their leisure all the marine life that abounds: leopard sharks, white tip and black tip reef sharks, batfish, moray eels, snappers, barracudas, triggerfish, surgeonfish and unicornfish.

Manta Ray & Whale sharks also make appearances throughout the high season, Look out also for Turtles, and plenty of macro delights such as, Harlequin shrimps, frogfish, ribbon eels, seahorses & nudis. The reef has plenty of soft & hard coral gardens along with giant underwater boulders, creating overhangs, swim throughs, walls, and pinnacles. The amazing Richelieu rock provides thrills for even the most experienced divers.

Diving Season

October to May is the high season in the Similan Islands. The most constant weather patterns and stable conditions tend to be between November and April.

How to get there

It is easy to reach Phuket via Phuket International Airport a bustling gateway for International & Domestic flights, situated 1 hour north of Phuket Town. Some flight carriers; Silk Air, Jetstar, Air Asia, Scoot, Malaysia Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Nok Air, Bangkok Air, Thai Airways, & more.

If you are already in Thailand you can reach Phuket via Ferry or bus; from the Phi Phi Islands, Koh Lanta or even Koh Lipe. This Phuket Ferry service will bring you to Rassada pier, just outside Phuket Town. Overland bus travel in Thailand is widely available, reasonably priced & comfortable. Most services terminate at the new Phuket Bus Terminal just outside Phuket town.

Khao Lak

This is the nearest town to our port of departure, Thap Lamu Pier, in recent years the town has developed into a very popular tourist town, especially with divers. There are plenty of hotels, restaurants, bars, beaches and shops to enjoy & as it is located so close to White Manta’s departure point it’s an extremely convenient place to stay before or after your Similan safari

A taxi from Phuket airport to Khao Lak costs around 1,100-1,600 baht. The later you arrive, the more expensive the ride. If you have pre-booked a hotel, many will arrange transfer prior to your arrival (please check with your hotel). Alternatively you can catch a bus from the bus terminal for around 80bht.

Accommodation in Khao Lak & Phuket; If you plan some vacation time before or after your Similan dive safari, Phuket has hotels to suit all tastes & budgets. Note; Hotels further north than Khao Lak main street, beyond Khuek Khak river NOT included in our scheduled pick ups. Guests staying in hotels North of Khuek Khak river will be collected from Khao Lak town centre.

Transfers to & from the new KM White Manta; We include pick up & drop offs to & from Thap Lamu pier to Khao Lak (Main town only), Phuket hotels & Phuket Airport on trip departure & arrival days. 

Schedule Pickup Times on Trip Departure day;

• NOTE: * if pickup is outside these times additional charges apply.
• 18:00 Phuket Town; (16:30 for ferries from Rassada Pier)
• 18:00 Bang Tao, Mai Khao 
• 18:00 Nai Thon, Nai Yang and Airport
• 18:00 Chalong, Rawai
• 18:00 Kata, Karon 
• 19:00 Patong, Kamala, Surin 
• 19:00 Khao Lak
• 20:30 Latest arrival on the boat 
• 21:00 Dinner 

Trips starting / ending at Chalong Pier or Patong Beach White Manta first & last trips of the season may start / end at Chalong pier or Phuket pier. In these cases Khao Lak pickups/ drop offs NOT included and guests staying in Khao Lak should make OWN way to Ao Chalong pier or Patong Beach. Please check your trip itinerary if unsure.