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Similan & Surin Islands Scuba Diving/ Liveaboard!

Gooooood morning divers!

Koh Bon Island
Koh Bon Island


Similan & Surin Islands


The Similan & Surin islands are located off the coast of Thailand. They are part of the Andaman Sea, which is part of the Indian Ocean and contains one of the world's longest barrier reefs. This makes it a popular diving destination for both divers and non-divers alike.

The Similans are home to many dive sites with beautiful coral formations like colorful ribbon anemones, vibrant sponges, and large brain corals. There are also many different types of fish species, including lionfish, angelfish, and surgeonfish.

In this next blog entry, I booked myself a liveaboard and visited these beautiful and elusive islands, just off the coast of Thailand and Myanmar.

  • Why are the Similan islands famous?

  • Diving in the national marine park.

  • The best way to visit the Similan & Surin islands.

  • Liveaboards for divers.

  • Liveaboards for non-divers.

  • Day trips for divers.

  • Richelieu Rock.

  • Conclusion.

  • What's next?


Mandarin Fish
Mandarin Fish


Similan Islands

The Similan Islands are a group of islands located in the Andaman Sea off the west coast of Thailand. The Similan National Park is part of this group and it's home to several marine parks, including the famous scuba diving destination.

The most famous attraction on these islands is their underwater coral reefs, which contain one-third of all known species in Asia! These reefs are so colorful that they were named “the eighth wonder” by CNN! They even inspired Disney World’s Splash Mountain ride!

These beautiful reefs also provide an amazing opportunity for you to explore them up close via liveaboard trips or day trips organized through tour operators.


Similan Islands
Similan Islands


Surin Islands

The Surin Islands are a group of islands in the Andaman Sea, which is located between India and Thailand. The islands offer some of the best diving in Southeast Asia, with dive sites that include coral reefs and drop-offs (the water drops vertically). You'll also see plenty of fish species living on these reefs—including hawksbill sea turtles, whale sharks, manta rays, etc.!

Although most liveaboards visit only Richelieu Rock, all of Surin is worthwhile and rarely visit compared to other dive sites in the Similans.


Shark up close
Shark up close


Diving Similan & Surin National Marine Park

The Similan Islands are part of the Similan Islands Marine National Park, one of Thailand's best diving destinations. It’s a marine park, so you can expect to see lots of marine life and coral reefs when you visit.

You can stay on your boat while diving or snorkeling in this protected area because there are no hotels here—only small guesthouses where some people will stay overnight if they aren’t ready to leave right away after their day trip ends.


Dive sites Similan & Surin islands
Dive sites Similan & Surin islands


Liveaboards are the best way to visit the Similan & Surin islands.

Liveaboards are the best way to visit the Similan & Surin islands. They offer convenient access to the best dive sites, which means you can spend more time diving and less time on land.

Liveaboards are also comfortable for divers who want to relax while exploring their beautiful coral reefs.


Millions of glassfish blocking the view
Millions of glassfish blocking the view


Liveaboard Divers

If you're looking for a great way to dive the Similan and Surin islands, a liveaboard is your best option. Liveaboards are comfortable, safe, and convenient. These boats provide food and accommodation while on the water so that divers can focus on exploring new areas underwater without having to worry about finding somewhere else to stay while they're diving.

There are several types of liveaboards available in Thailand:

Dive ships that carry up to 20 divers;

Dive boats with smaller numbers (6-10 people);

Expeditionary teams that take people into remote areas where no one has gone before;

Solo voyages where only one person goes out at any given time;

And private charters, offered by companies that specialize in customizing trips according to their client's needs or desires.


Liveaboard Non-Divers

Liveaboard non-divers are not restricted to the boat. They can visit other islands in the area, including Similan and Surin Islands, or they can go on day trips with liveaboard divers.

Many places can be snorkeled, however, a lot of dive sites are between 20 and 30 meters deep.


Leopard Sharks
Leopard Sharks


Day Trip Divers

Day trips to the Similan Islands are a great way to enjoy diving with your friends and family. Day trippers can dive all day, visit some of the islands on one trip, and make it back in time for dinner.

Day trip divers usually come from Khao Lak, or perhaps even Phuket, further South!

Most day trips will visit Richelieu Rock, depart early, do 2 dives, and make your way back home before dinner on speedboats, serving lunch on board. Perfect for those who haven't got the time and or freedom to book a liveaboard.


Huge Moray Eel
Huge Moray Eel


Richelieu Rock

Richelieu Rock is the best place to dive in the Similan Islands. This coral reef is home to many species of fish, turtles, and rays. It’s also a great place to see sharks, dolphins, and manta rays. Richelieu Rock has been known for its whale sharks!

Richelieu Rock is legendary, for it's quite an easy dive. You will be amazed by the sheer amount of fish you will encounter. Walls and rocks are obscured by millions of glassfish trying to escape the bigger predators.

You can see almost everything here, from the bigger fish, and sharks, etc. to the macro stuff. Everything is abundant, in this gorgeous, thriving ecosystem!


Rock formations
Rock formations



Visiting the Similan and Surin islands is on many people's bucket lists. The area is remote, feels unexplored, and is exciting in marine life, as well as topography!

Accessibility isn't great, but that is to be expected for such a great location for diving. You can, however, book some nice value liveaboards to make the most of your Similan and Surin adventure!


True Fish Tornado.jpg
True Fish Tornado.jpg

What's next?

The next blog will be from The Philippines! I'm finally going back again for a while, to revisit my friends at Dauin - near Dumaguete.

I will start my Divemaster and instructor course hopefully providing potential divers with some useful information for the future!

This will hopefully complete the full Philippines experience and make for amazing stories, photos, and travel tips!

Thank you for taking the time to read this, any questions or tips can be sent to, and remember:

"If you can breathe, you can dive"

Juvenile angelfish
Juvenile angelfish


Want to visit Nusa Lembongan yourself? Book your stay and/or travel guide here!

Don't forget to check out the clips I've made below!

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