From Phuket to the northern Similan and Surin Islands national marine parks near the Burmese border, Thailand's Andaman Sea boasts some of the best and most accessible dive sites around. With dramatic diving just few kilometres from the fun-packed Phuket Island shoreline and a fantastic range of value-for-money liveaboards cruising around the world class sites of the Similans, it's no wonder why so many choose to dive in Thailand.
Scuba diving in the Similan Islands and at Richelieu Rock is a must-do for any semi-serious diver as the beauty of the dive sites is matched only by the warmth and hospitality of the Thai people.
The Similans offer the best diving in Thailand by far, with excellent visibility, superb underwater scenery, great marine diversity - fish life and corals, big drop-offs and swim-throughs - all set amongst stunningly beautiful tropical islands. These popular islands make fantastic scenery, with clear blue waters and powdery white sands, vibrant coral gardens and reef slopes, as well as dramatic deep water boulder formations.
The open water pinnacle of Richelieu Rock rates as one of the best places in the world for diving with whale sharks and, due to its isolated location, attracts its fair share of big fish too. Koh Bon and Koh Tachai, just to the north of Similan, are great for manta rays and white tip reef shark encounters.
Dive The World Burma Recommendations: Similan Islands and Koh Tachai.
More detailed information on the Thailand diving sites (on our www.DiveTheWorldThailand.com website).
These Thai dive sites can be visited on short liveaboard cruises of just 4 nights in duration. Alternatively, a select number of liveaboards combine these locations with extended trips that run into the less explored sites of southern Myanmar too.
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The best scuba diving conditions in Thailand exist from November to April, with whale sharks visiting from February to May, and manta rays seen all year round.
The Phuket liveaboard season runs from early October to mid May. Outside of these months the open seas between the remote sites can be unpredictable with large surface swells, but there are a limited number of cruises to the Similan Islands all year round.
Great for: Small animals, underwater photography, value-for-money, advanced and beginner divers, snorkelling, non-diving activities
Not so great for:
Depth: 5 - >40m
Visibility: 15 - 40m
Currents: Can be strong
Surface Conditions: Can be rough
Water Temperature: 26 - 29°C
Experience Level: Intermediate - advanced
Number of dive sites: >250
Access: Similan liveaboard charters to Burma and Thailand
Recommended length of stay: 1 - 3 weeks
Other sites that can be visited as part of a liveaboard cruise to Burma: