Scuba Diving in Thailand

Thailand diving live aboard

Thailand Diving liveaboard

Why dive in Thailand with Scuba Libre Adventures ?

Because we avoid the masses of people in Similan and we like it that way. Scuba Diving is supposed to be relaxing and not hectic and full of other divers. We really try our best to avoid the crowd on this safari. Our shortest safari is this one to Thailand and we got a lot to show you in only 4 days.
4 days in The Andaman Sea in the most northern waters of Thailand’s west coast. When we dive Torinla Island in Surin National Marine Park we are less than 15 km from the border to Burma / Myanmar.
We are sticking to the northern part of The Andaman Sea where we find greater diversity in the diving than we do on The Similan Islands themselves further south. Giant Manta Rays and Whale sharks tend to be seen more in the northern part as well.
Stunning views of The Surin Islands on day two, Koh Tachai and Koh Bon in Similan National Marine Park on day three before we dive Richelieu Rock back in Surin National Marine Park on day four. Richelieu Rock is by far the most famous dive site not only in Similans but in all of Thailand.
Giant Manta Rays are often seen on Koh Bon Ridge, Koh Bon Pinnacle and on the famous Dome of Koh Tachai. Whale Sharks are occasionally seen on all dive sites but mostly around Koh Tachai Pinnacle and Richelieu Rock.
Fishing restrictions in Thailand do that we see more fish than a few years back. More and bigger schools of Barracudas, Rainbow Runners and Jacks around the dive sites. Schools of Snappers and Fusiliers are getting bigger and more frequent as well.
More sharks seem to be spotted especially in Similan National Marine Park that was harder hit by fishing than Surin National Marine Park. Surin was left for the original Sea Gypsies, the Moken who still live on Koh Surin so more sharks have always been seen around The Surin Islands.
We visit different types of dive sites and on some like Richelieu Rock macrolife is in abundance if that is your passion. Cuttlefishes and octopus, like us scuba divers, enjoy Richelieu Rock as well and the diversity here is amazing.
Hard and soft corals in a nice blend on this cruise and especially Koh Tachai Pinnacle and Richelieu Rock have amazing corals in great diversity.
In only 4 days we show the best scuba diving in Thailand and are ready to welcome you onboard MV Thai Sea.

Thailand Tour 1
The very best of Thailand

4 days / 3 nights – 11 dives

Standard Cabin (shared cabin) : 22.000 THB / diver

Approx. currency conversion (additional exchange and transfer fees depends on your bank or operator) : starts at 655 EUR*

Master Cabin (shared cabin) : 23.000 THB / diver

Non divers 20 % off the trip price (starts at 17.600 THB)

Enriched air Nitrox FREE for certified scuba divers (certification on cruise available)

National Park fees : 1.600 THB per Scuba diver / 1.000 THB for non divers to pay on board

* For currency convertion, please note : For information purposes only, exchanges rates may vary. Based on ECB reference rates

Thailand Tour

Itinerary in brief

  • Day 1: Departure – meet at shop in Ranong 12 – 3 PM (or pick up on Koh Phayam around 7:30 PM)
  • Day 2: 4 dives around Surin Islands
  • Day 3: 4 dives around Koh Bon and Koh Tachai
  • Day 4: 3 dives at Richelieu Rock and scenic sunset cruise back to Ranong. Cleared in Ranong around 10 PM (or drop off on Koh Phayam around 7 PM)

*Dive sites are subject to change due to weather or other unforeseen conditions. But remember we are divers and on the boat ourselves – we will for sure give you the best options of the day in any condition. We are divers working for divers and love diving – for sure we pick only the best.

What's included

  • Full accommodation onboard (Breakfast, Lunch, afternoon snacks, Dinner)
  • All soft drinks, drinking water, electrolyte, coffee & tea
  • Fresh fruits, yoghurt & snacks
  • 12 Liter Alu Cylinders, Weights & Weight Belt
  • PADI Professional Dive Guide per 4 divers
  • All the dives according to choosen cruise
  • Free Nitrox for certified divers (course available on board)
  • Dive torch & SMB
  • Towel, shower gel

Supplements

  • Similan National Marine Park and Surin National Marine Park Fees (subject to change by authorities)
  • DIVING INSURANCE (Mandatory)
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Equipment rental (500THB/day)
  • Dive Computer (300THB/day)
  • PADI Continuing Education Courses (see Education)
  • Divers who do not hold a 30m deep and night dive certification MUST take the Deep and Night Adventure Dive training on boat to be able to do all the dives
  • Transfers to and from Ranong (on Demand)
  • Tips for the crew

What to bring for the cruise

  • Sun protection : sunglasses, hat, clothes to protect skin from the sun, sunscreen (reef friendly sunscreen recommended)
  • One small windbreaker or warm sweater in case you should feel chilly
  • Batteries and chargers as needed
  • Camera as it is picture perfect above and below
  • Cigarettes if needed. You tend to smoke more on the boat no matter your plan (dedicated smokers place)
  • Music but think about the rest of us. Our soundsystem cover bluetooth, jack stick and USB

What not to bring for the cruise

  • Do not bring too much clothes. It is a tropical climate, you wear swimwear most of the day if not all, you do not really get dirty on a boat so bring a minimum of clothes
  • Towel and shower soap unless special requirements
  • Food, fruits and snacks – we have plenty
  • Shoes – we go barefoot on the boat

Example of a normal 4 dives day

  • 6:30 AM gentler wake up call, fresh coffee and a morning snack before dive site briefing and first group in scuba on the platform at 7 AM for dive 1.
  • 8:30 AM buffet style breakfast with fresh made filter coffee or hot tea, eggs, bacon, toast, cereals, orange juice, yogurt fresh fruit and more.
  • SIESTA
  • 10:30 AM dive briefing for the dive site and first group in scuba on the platform at 11 AM.
  • 12:30 PM lunch buffet style with international and local cuisine. 2 or 3 freshmade plentiful warm dishes and sides.
  • SIESTA
  • 2:30 PM dive briefing for the dive site and first group in scuba on the platform at 3 PM
  • 4:30 PM afternoon snack
  • SIESTA or watch the stunning sunsets the Mergui Archipelago has to offer. Some days we visit land around this time. Mokan Village or Long Beach on Khyn Pila Island when possible.
  • 6:30 PM dive briefing for the dive and first group in scuba on the platform at 7 PM
  • 8:00 PM dinner buffet style with international and local cuisine. 2 or 3 hot dishes and sides
Sleep – Repeat

Our Thailand trip movie

The days on the boat

Day by day description of where we go and where we dive including dive site topography, possible marine life encounters and general activities on the cruise.

Meet between 10 and 12 AM with your luggage in our shop in Ranong, try out equipment if required and sign in for the cruise.

Or arrange pick up in Koh Phayam directly with MV Thai Sea on the way to Surin Islands. Koh Phayam pick up is around 7 PM but make sure to have pick up arranged. We stop only when we have guests to pick up at Koh Phayam.

Have ready passport, diving certificates, insurance information, National Park fees, equipment rental and other balances to pay.

Time for some last minute shopping, sightseeing, enjoy a local lunch or have a coffee and WiFi before we pick you up.

4 PM we pick you up at our shop or at a café/restaurant.

Directly to MV Thai Sea where the crew awaits our arrival and off we go. The cruise can begin and we steam off into the sunset and our adventures are in the horizon.

Late dinner onboard and next morning we wake up with the view of the beautiful Surin Islands. Scuba gear is ready and under the surface we adventure out to look for a morning shark cruising for a snack or a sleepy turtle checking us out.

Dive sites

4 different dive sites around Surin Island the first day and all of them within Surin National Marine Park. We dive Koh Chi, Koh Torinla, South Surin Bay and Yellow Rock.

We do our test dive on Koh Chi in the northern part of Surin National Marine Park. An easy dive site to get or scuba gear wet and adjusted while we see what the blue waters are putting on display for us this first morning.

Dive site 2 and 3 is decided on the boat depending on conditions and the night dive is on the sloping sheltered reef in South Surin Bay

Depths between 5m and 40+m and usually comfortably 15-25m visibility. But can be up to 40m on a good day. Currents mild to strong.

Topography

Surin Islands are made from granite rock and that is what we find under the surface as well.

We se so great diversity in the 4 dives in Surin National Marine Park that even it all being granite offers dives in diverse very dive sites. All alike and yet all so very different in appearance underneath the surface.

In some places the sandy bottom goes up to some 12m to 18m before turning into a sloping coral reef almost all the way to the beach. Other places huger boulders pile up towards the surface from 30m with the largest ones just breaking at low tide.

Soft and hard coral are covering the dive sites. Hard coral on the sloping coral reefs and soft corals on the current parts of the dive sites. In other places bare rock sticking up creating amazing sceneries like moonlandscabes.

There is always shelter to find on the dive sites or possibly a drift dive to look for hunting fish on Koh Torinla. A nice warmup day before we move into Similan National Marine Park.

Depths between 5 and 40+m and usually comfortably 15-25m visibility. But can be up to 40m on a good day. Currents mild to strong.

Marine Life

With the diversity in dive sites on the first day of our Thailand safari I could just start naming fishes but highlights would amongst others be Sharks, Rays and Turtles.

Many Green Turtles live around Surin National Marine Park and often we find them feeding on the reefs while White Tip Reef Sharks patrol the bottom of the reef below. The Black Tip Reef Sharks can be spotted in the more shallow parts where they like to hang out. They are both very shy but keep an out and you might get lucky.

2 other amazing big fishes room around. Napoleon Wrasse and Bumphead Parrotfish are seen and we know where to look 😉

Specially Jenkins Rays but also Marbled Rays are found sleeping in the sand in shelter near the reefs and further away the smaller Kuhl’s Stingrays rest for the day. Thy can be seen at night as well where the grey reflection of their eyes looks like front lights on small Underwater Flying Objects. Playful Batfishes are around in the blue where you also find the Barracudas, Tunas, Rainbow Runners and Trevallies. At night we have even been lucky to find the Juvenile Shaded Batfish – one of the most amazing looking fish with its bright orange outline on a velvet soft black background. Nemos and all the other colourful reef fish like Butterfly Fishes, Parrotfishes, Surgeonfishes and many more species swim amongst the rocks and corals. You also find a great selection of macro life, Specially Nudibranchs come in a great selection around Surin

Dive Sites

Only 2 dive sites in one day ? I could do a whole day in any of these dive sites and still discover new sections and new marine life. They are big dive sites and there are pinnacles spread around.

Koh Bon being limestone and Koh Tachai being granite, the 2 dive sites are very different in topography and do offer numerous different dive sites each. In 4 dives we only see the best of it.

At Koh Bon we dive either Koh Bon West Ridge or Koh Bon Pinnacle and see again 2 different worlds. One is a submerged pinnacle and one a ridge starting on Koh Bon itself and then continues under the surface in the deep blue towards the west.

At Koh Tachai we dive the famous Koh Tachai Pinnacle. A massive granite boulder rising from the seabed to only 10-12m below the surface or we dive Koh Tachai Reef for more sheltered dives. With deep waters up to 60-70m around, currents can be strong and bring both blue water and lots of fishes.

Depths between 10m and 40+m and usually amazing 20-45m visibility. Currents mild to strong.

Topography

Koh Bon Ridge is a lava like ridge descending deeper and deeper into different levels down to 60+ m of water. With soft corals and plateaus decorating the south wall and sloping hard corals and giant corals bummies to the north there are two different underwater worlds in only one dive site.

Koh Bon Pinnacle is raising up from the seabed almost 1 km of the main Island from 60+ m of clear blue water to about 14 m below the surface. A beautiful dive to start the day with and colorful soft corals and giant Gorgonian Sea Fans in pristine condition are covering this amazing twin pinnacle on all sides.

Koh Tachai is famous for Koh Tachai pinnacle or Koh Tachai Dome. A massive granite boulder raises from 60+ m to only 12 m below the surface. When diving Koh Tachai Pinnacle I always think of the 4 seasons. It is like this place have all 4 seasons around one massive rock. One of my very favorite dive sites in all of Similan National Marine Park. The main Island have dive sites all around a quiet big Islands so lots of dive sites around and so little time.

With deep waters of 70m and more around in an isolated locations Koh Bon and Koh Tachai attract big fishes and blue water.

Marine Life

Both Koh Bon and Koh Tachai are world famous for being one of the hot spots for Giant Manta Rays (probably Koh Bon is more famous but I have many amazing encounters at Koh Tachai as well). Both dive sites are as well some of the best spots for Whale Sharks in Similan National Marine Park. Some of the biggest Giant Trevallies I have seen hunting around Koh Tachai Pinnacle and huge schools of Barracudas are often seen making a tornado of silver white Dogtooth Tuna in small schools of up to a dusin dot in and out in hunt for food. Batfishes often hang around “Batfish Rock” at Koh Tachai pinnacle, look out for Great Barracudas around this rock as well. Sneaking around the rock I have been able to come really close to these amazing predators.

Sharks are more seen around Koh Bon with White Tips patrolling the deep part of the reef and in the sand Leopard Sharks are sometimes seen sleeping. Both Giant Guitarfishes and Bowmouth Guitarfishes were seen in Koh Bon season 2018/2019 so we will be on the lookout and hopefully lucky.

A couple of resident Napoleon Wrasse are seen mostly on the north side of Koh Bon Ridge where we often in the same are find Reef Octopus and swimming Moray Eels.

For the macro life Koh Bon have the most cracks and therefore more Shrimps but both places can offer an amazing variety of Nudibranchs and Pipefishes hiding in the numerous cracks and between the reef fishes and corals.

A really nice day of scuba diving where anything and everything can pass by or hide around you.

Dive Sites

Now only one dive site and 3 dives but I promise: you would wish there were more dives at Richelieu Rock. Not only is Richelieu Rock the most famous dive site in Surin National Marine Park but also in all of Thailand. Richelieu Rock is not famous without reason.

Far away from Surin Islands but still within Surin National Marine Park, Richelieu Rock only just breaks the surface and only at low tide. Below the surface this small rock evolves into a huge horse shoe shaped dive site going down to 30+m in places before you find the still sloping sandy bottom.

Why is such a French clinging name on a dive site in Thailand ? Well we know several stories that gets more and more colorful every time we tell them – come join our Thailand safari and hear for yourself.

Depths between 0 and 40+m and usually amazing 20-45m visibility. Currents mild to strong.

Topography

A limestone rock and near Surin Islands that are mainly granite rock ?

I think Richelieu Rock despite being in Surin National Marine Park in Thailand is part of The Mergui Archipelago we visit on our Burma and Myanmar safaris. Not far north from Richelieu Rock we find the Burmese border and the first Islands of Mergui Archipelago; all in limestone…

Covered in corals almost all the way to the surface in scuba gear Richelieu Rock is so much more than the small rock breaking the surface. A very colorful dive site wherever you look. Richelieu Rock itself being limestone of course there are numerous cracks and hiding places for macrolife all around.

The main rock has a bay area to the south. starting from about 10m with rock formations scattered around in the slightly sloping sand. Richelieu Rock got walls the sides both to the east and to the west. The north side offers plateaus at different depths, as well as parts of vertical wall, and more slopes and ledges.

Lots of limestone rock formations scattered around the outer sides of Richelieu Rock, creating small amazing ecosystems of their own, and after 3 dives there are still unexplored areas around.

Marine Life

Unless you came only for the Giant Manta Ray, Richelieu Rock has it all. Whale Sharks however tend to favor Richelieu Rock as well as scuba divers.

Whale Sharks are the most gentle animals and so big they look unreal. The biggest fish in the sea is always an amazing encounter and Richelieu Rock offers this show. On occasions 2 or 3 have been seen here at the same time so keep an eye out in the blue for this rare gentle giant.

Richelieu Rock is a textbook example of a coral reef. Cracks in the rock for Shrimps, Crabs, Pipefishes, other critters and Moray Eels to hide. Amazing abundance of different corals and anemones to hide in and feed from for the “little people”.

Smaller reef fishes hiding in cracks as well as coral fishes like Damsel Fishes, Gobies, Glass Fishes and small juveniles of all kinds of bread.

With the inner patrol of Fusiliers and Snappers, holding them close to their hiding places, the bigger fish like Trevallies, Barracudas, Tunas, Rainbow Runners and other predators look at the menu from further out casually dashing in and out for a bite.

The Richelieu Rock Mafia is almost always around and on the hunt. A large group of mainly Emperor Fishes but also Rainbow Runners and Bluefin Jacks have joined in a mafia like pack. They hunt Richelieu Rock like a pack of Afrikan Grasshoppers on the move. Constantly feeding from mainly Glassfishes and Juveniles close to the reef. An amazing sight when they come by in the hundreds on their hunt.

Octopus live on Richelieu Rock and in season Cuttlefishes come here to mate, lay eggs and put on one of the most spectacular shows to see while scuba diving. It happens here with the Reef Octopus as well and is even more amazing but not seen too often since they are so amazing at hiding.

I could go on but we better leave a surprise or two to Richelieu Rock itself. Nice way to end our Thailand cruise and then a scenic sunset cruise back to Koh Phayam or Ranong to continue your adventures

Arrival Ranong or Koh Phayam

After last dive we still have 5 hours of cruising to Koh Phayam and 8 hours to Ranong.

We have time to sort out your private equipment and wash it. We will wash your equipment for you if you like and hang it up for dry. Around MV Thai Sea. Most of the time we can have it all dry and ready for you upon arrival but no guarantee except as always the staff of MV Thai Sea will offer their best service to please you all the way to the end of the trip.

Food and drinks are of course still plenty and dinner will be served between Koh Phayam and Ranong.

It is a long cruise home so times are a bit depending on wind and currents that affect our cruising speed.

Koh Phayam estimated time of arrival 7 PM.

Ranong estimated time of arrival 10 PM.

If you need any help with transfers or accommodation please let us know. Pre booked accommodation in Koh Phayam or Ranong is a must since we arrive rather late for these destinations to book a room.

We look forward to seeing you on MV Thai Sea for our popular 4 days cruise in Thailand.