Thailand The Best Liveaboards Diving In the World
Looking to plan your next diving vacation and liveaboard trip? Then look no further than Thailand. While the country has so much to offer in every department, it remains the world’s best liveaboard diving destination.
The Similan Islands: A Legendary Liveaboard Diving Location
Mention the words Thailand and diving in the same breath, and the first thing that jumps to mind is the Similan Islands! The islands are world-famous as one of the top Liveaboard dive destinations globally and regularly make the top 5 lists.
Above the water, the archipelago is stunning, with pristine white beaches, crystal clear water. They are a tropical paradise. Below the water is when things get even more spectacular in the Similan Islands. The dive sites in and around the Similan islands are rich with marine life and corals, with some of the world’s best reef diving.
A dive trip to the Similans would not be complete without a visit to the Legendry Richelieu Rock, which is part of the close by Surin national park. Here the marine life is outstanding, and the dives will take your breath away; from anemones and vast schools of fish to seahorses and enormous amounts of soft corals, Richelieu Rock is stunning. If you visit at the right time of year (February to April), then you have an excellent chance of encountering a passing by whale shark.
If Mantas are your thing, then look a little further north. Koh Bon is the manta ray capital of the Andaman sea. While the rays can be seen throughout the dive season, they are most numerous, with the best chance of encounters from January to March. It is not uncommon to see the majestic animals hovering at cleaning stations around the site while the various cleaner fish and shrimps go about their business.
Great Thailand Liveaboard Options For Every budget
Flexibility is one of the best features of diving in Thailand and the Similan Islands. Across the world, most liveaboard destinations offer a fixed itinerary. Generally, along the line, seven days for a given amount of dollars. Not only can this be cost-prohibitive, but it also may be an inconvenience for divers who do not want to commit to a whole week’s liveaboard.
Due to its relatively close location to Khao Lak, you can find a liveaboard that matches your exact needs. There is a wide range of itineraries on offer. From short 3 day and night trips that take in the highlights of the islands to 6 day and night trips, that give you the time and space to fully dive into the Similan island experience and sample some of the best dive sites more than once.
Not only are different time itineraries on offer, but there are different “class” of liveaboard on offer. Whether you fancy a trip aboard a luxurious sail power vessel or a more budget-friendly option, there is something for everyone to choose from.
Khao Lak The Similan Island Liveaboard Gateway
A desire to dive the Similan Islands will invariably lead you to Khao Lak since many liveaboards depart from there (there are several liveaboards set out from Phuket). Aside from being the gateway to the stunning Similan Islands, Khao Lak is one of the jewels in Thailand’s crown. It is the perfect location to relax and unwind pre and post-liveaboard trips, some amzing hotels like JW Marriott where you can have a pleasant stay.
Khao Lak offers a host of activities, from visiting the local waterfalls to indulging in spas and massages, it is the perfect relaxation destination. On the other hand, if you like to be a little more active during your vacation, you can always visit the turtle nursery. Turtle lovers will find nothing better than a visit to the Royal Thai Navy Third Fleet Sea Turtle Nursery. Here you can observe the expert care injured, and juvenile turtles receive until they are fit enough to be released back into their natural habitat. Alternatively, you can always take a cookery class to learn how to cook some of Thailand’s most famous dishes.
Finally, on a sad note and a reminder of the sheer power of mother nature, you can visit the International Tsunami Museum. Visiting the museum’s site, which is centered on a Thai Navy Patrol boat that was swept more than 2km inland by the wave, is a sad reminder of the tsunami’s brutality and the absolute devastation and tragic loss of life it brought to the region. Although haunting the museum is well worth a visit.