We took a 4 Days / 4 Nights trip to the Similan Islands, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai, Surin Islands and Richelieu Rock. West Coast Divers, a dive shop owned by Milton And Doo, a husband and wife team who have made Phuket their home, and diving their passion. And it shows! The liveaboard is run meticulously and Milton is always there to guide the dives and entertain the guests.
Arrive at their dive center at Paton Beach in Phuket for the transfer to the liveaboard at around 19:00. Then set out for the Similan Islands enjoying the late afternoon sun and hopefully a spectacular tropical sunset. Arrival in the Similan Islands is due at midnight, so after a good night’s sleep in a comfortable cabin, you can expect to wake up to some truly spectacular scenery and the smell of a hearty breakfast cooking. During your Similan Adventure, the friendly staff will take great pleasure in showing you their famous Thai hospitality!
Your first dive is traditionally in a relatively shallow and easy spot, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be missing out. The aptly named Breakfast Bend is a gently sloping hard coral reef ideal for your first taste of the Similan Islands. Clouds of glass fish, bright red blue spotted grouper, big eyes and squirrel fish are waiting for you on your first dive. Watch out for garden eels on the white sandy bottom, and the occasional turtle or two. Then, during your four dives a day, including a night dive, be ready to experience a phenomenal range of aquatic creatures.
The Similans lie at about 90 kilometers Northwest of Phuket, and are known in Malay as simbilan, meaning nine. They are in fact nine dramatic islands made up of granite with huge mounds of boulders both above and below the water. Topside some appear precariously balanced, ready to tumble down with the next strong gust of wind. Underwater they often form a network of dramatic “swim throughs” and attract superb coral growth and an amazing variety of tropical fish. The water in the Similans is usually crystal clear, and is also well known for attracting manta rays and even whale sharks. Here in the Andaman Sea, you will not only find giant rock formations but also hard coral reefs and brilliant white sand.
The Similan Islands are justly famous for its enormous range of fish species. From the smallest creatures such as shrimps and nudibranchs, right through to the larger pelagics, it’s fascinating to watch the natural cycle of who’s eating who unfold. But don’t worry, you won’t be included, for the sharks you will see are passive reef dwellers like White Tip sharks, Tawny Nurse sharks and our personal favorites the Leopard Shark