Similan - Best diving in Thailand?
If you're wondering where to get the best diving in Thailand for your holiday trip then the Similans is a great spot you should look into. Officially named Similan national park it consists of 11 islands, 9 of which are clustered up close to one another and two more that are off further North. It's located off the west coast of Thailand in the Andaman Sea and the easiest ways to get there is from Phuket or Khao Lak. The islands are located quite far away from the mainland meaning that most scuba divers prefer to use liveboards to get the most out of the park.
Due to its location and weather patterns the park is closed for 5 months of the year, from May 15th to October 16th. The monsoon winds hits the islands during this time of the year bringing strong winds, waves and rain. This can sometimes extend into early November (mostly the waves), however it rarely gets strong enough to cause trip cancellations.
High season usually starts in December and lasts through March. Booking well ahead is usually required for this period, especially with larger groups. Even though there are many operators in the park the size and number of dive sites makes diving even at this time very comfortable and not too busy. Visibility is generally stunning throughout the entire season.
With its large variation of dive sites the park boasts everything from macro up to sharks, rays and everything in between! Most famous are the Giant Manta Ray with a wingspan of up to seven meters, making it the largest of its species.
Whale Sharks are next, and a general mix of other smaller shark and ray species can also be spotted. The coral reefs consists of both hard and soft corals but the park is mostly known for the latter. Expect large fans and beautiful, vibrant reefs on most of your dives. Here you can find other species of fish such as Giant Moray Eels, Stingrays, pelagic fish and many others! Check out the video below for some examples.
Just north you can find a second marine national park, this one is named Surin. While the majority of it is situated too far away for operators to visit both parks in one trip, there is one dive site that is close enough and should be on your itinerary if you choose to visit. Discovered by Jacques-Yves Cousteau he later named it one of his top 10 dive sites in the world! This pinnacle is usually the highlight of any visit to the area with incredible bio diversity and stunning reefs. It also have an above average chance of seeing more of the highlight marine life that the area has to offer.
Book your trip with us!
We've had the pleasure of visiting the park many times with different operators. With variations in budget and trip length we work together with a few selected companies that prioritize safety, conservation efforts and fun! If you would like to go just leave us a message below and we'll get right back to you with more info. Booking through us comes to no additional costs to you, however it helps us keep this page running. We are even able to offer some discounts to larger groups. If you are visiting Thailand while the park is closed you can read more on other spots to visit here or just shoot us a message anyways, we can always recommend the best place to go at any time of the year!