Diving the Similan and Surin Islands
Four Days and Fourteen Dives:
A Photo Essay
The Similan Islands National Marine Park is routinely included in National Geographic’s and various SCUBA magazine lists of the world’s top ten dive sites. Richelieu Rock in Mu Ko Surin National Park was recently rated the number four dive site in the world. Both groups of islands are located about 70 kilometers off the northern coast of Thailand in the Andaman Sea.
Because of their distance from the mainland, these islands are best experienced by a few live aboard dive boats. Recently, I participated in such a trip with the well run Khao Lak Scuba Adventures.
We departed Khao Lak about 10 pm and awoke the following morning in the Similans. Over four days we participated in 14 dives in mostly clear pristine reefs and waters. Included were a sunset dive, a night dive with a school of massive barracuda and two wreck dives.
KSA’s motto is “Dive, Eat, Sleep, Repeat,” and we did plenty of all the above. The food was excellent and plentiful; we burned a lot of calories. I went for an upgraded cabin (shared with Andrew, a fun Scottish fellow) with private bathroom. Even with around 30 divers on the boat we only had four divers per leader and all leaders were Master Instructor level or higher. The Thai boat crew was the best ever, strapping on our fins and practically lifting us out of the water after each dive. We were spoiled rotten and it was obvious that they really cared and enjoyed their work.
Four days went by very fast. But this is one I could easily do again…and again.
The Similan and Surin Islands can only be visited from October 15, through May 15, each year.
I have created three galleries with these and many more photos from this dive trip. You can view them by clicking on these links: