The islands are located around 50km west of the coast in the open ocean and thus are accessible only by boat. Most dive boats leave from Tap Lamu pier, which is just a few minutes south of Khao Lak.
The Similan Islands are a national park and open from November to April.
Scuba diving at the islands is limited to these months!
The only way to get to the Similan Islands is by boat. Speedboats, daytrip boats and liveaboards are all bringing scuba divers there.
The best time for diving here is during the main tourist season from December to April, with best chances of mantas and whale sharks from February onwards. The national park is only open from November to mid May.
From mid of May to end of October we recommend to have a look at our offers for scuba diving in Phuket.
What to see:
Similans: The east side is sloping with sand, some boulders and coral. The west side which is more often dived offers a special ambiance with giant granite boulders, soft coral, arches and especially at the site „elephant head rock“ many swim-throughs. Ribbon as well as giant moray eels, bluespotted sting-rays and sometimes big fish like white tips or napoleon wrasses can be encountered
Koh Bon and Koh Tachai: Mantas if lucky and sometimes leopard or white tip sharks, wall and ridge covered in small soft corals and seafans, huge amounts of glass fish and bigger schooling fish hunting in the early and late hours of the day, octopus, moray eels, some nudibranchs. Schooling barracudas and sometimes whale sharks at Koh Tachai
Richelieu Rock: Big diversity of marine life, loads and loads of different fish around the rock including some bigger fish like barracuda and trevalli. Cuttlefish, octopi, large groupers, some macro like ornate ghostpipefish, tigertail seahorses, cowries, frogfish and harlequin shrimp. If lucky whale sharks or mantas can be encountered at this submerged pinnacle which is often claimed to be the best dive site in Thailand. Soft and hard coral, seafans and anemones.
Level: From entry-level if doing the advanced course during the trip, strong currents, most dive sites are fairly deep, diving on nitrox is recommended
Water temperature: 29-30°C with thermoclines (also called the green monster) down to 26°C
Visitbility: 20-40 m