Liveaboard Diving Thailand
Thailand liveaboards offer you some of the best places to dive in Asia. Scuba diving in Thailand allows you to discover the treasures of the Andaman Sea.
Liveaboard diving Thailand offers a huge variety of scuba diving adventures in terms of underwater topography and marine life. Ranging from massive granite boulders covered in soft corals, a site to behold unlike anywhere else in the world. To coral reefs sloping down from the shallows. Finally, pinnacles and swim throughs along with walls and coral gardens feature in the region. Therefore a perfect place for your diving holidays!
The main areas for Thailand liveaboard diving are the North Andaman Sea and the South Andaman Sea. In the North Andaman Sea are the Similan and Surin National Marine parks. These parks include the famous pinnacles of Richelieu Rock and Koh Tachai And the mantastic island of Koh Bon and the beautiful Similan Islands themselves. The other area is the South Andaman. Here diving in the Hin Daeng, Hin Muang, Koh Haa and Phi Phi areas is amazing. These liveaboards are easily accessible from Phuket and Khao Lak.
Take a look at the Liveaboard Cruise options below.
Liveaboard Diving Thailand - 33 LIVEABOARDS
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Sea World 1 Liveaboard in Myanmar
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Thailand offers spectacular scuba diving in many of its protected marine parks located on the west coast and in the Andaman Sea.
Diving in Thailand is available for all certified divers. Conditions are ideal for newer divers to enjoy the sites while more experienced divers can enjoy the various macro and pelagic life surrounding them.
Best Places to Dive in Thailand
The best scuba diving in Thailand can be divided into two areas:
- Similan Islands – read more about the Similan and Surin Islands.
- South Andaman Sea – read more about Hin Daeng, Hin Muang, Koh Haa and Phi Phi.
The Similan Islands is a chain of 9 islands running north-south with many diverse dive sites. Each island has its own unique dive sites. On Islands number four and eight you can visit the gorgeous white sandy beaches.
If the north does not offer enough variety, there are liveaboards to the South Andaman. They visit the pinnacles of Hin Daeng and Hin Muang, (Red and Purple Rock). They are often called the Richelieu of the south. Mobula rays, manta rays and whale sharks are seen here regularly. To get to this distant area, you stop at Koh Haa. These five uninhabited islands offer a huge diversity of marine life with swim throughs, soft corals and turtles galore.
The famous Phi Phi is also in this area with the picturesque Maya Bay and the brother islands on Bida Nok and Nai of the south. Black tip reef sharks hunting during your safety stop are one of the many highlights of these dives.
Best Dive Sites in Thailand
Richelieu Rock is the highlight of the northern area. This fabulous pinnacle is more than one hour from the nearest land making it a navigation point for a multitude of life. The rock is covered in soft corals. And is also home to fantastic macro life as well as the schooling barracudas, cuttlefish, walls of snappers and many pairs of harlequin shrimp.
On the way to Richelieu, you will stop at Koh Tachai with the plateau at the south. Look for the many reef and leopard sharks plus the large plankton feeders often seen here.
The Similan Islands are the picture perfect uninhabited islands forming a line directly north-south. On the east sides, the sandy beached carry down through the turquoise water to the coral reef inhabited by a multitude of life.
The west sides offer the huge granite boulder dives with swim throughs, soft corals and coral rubble bottoms.
Travelling north you reach Koh Bon with its West Ridge manta cleaning station. January to May can provide many sightings of these fabulous creatures hanging in the current being cleaned and feeding.
Read more information about Thailand Dive Sites
Thailand’s diving in the Similan Islands offers some fantastic variety. The world-renowned Similan and Surin Islands including Richelieu Rock are scheduled in your liveaboard cruise. For more information about the Similan Islands, please click on the photo.
The South Andaman Sea has some unique dive sites with fantastic soft corals and interesting macro life on most of the sites. Divers can encounter sharks on many sites. For more information about the South Andaman Sea, please click on the photo.
Thailand Scuba Diving Highlights
- Common sightings - Barracudas, snappers, batfish, stingrays, turtles, nudibranchs
- Special sightings - Whale sharks, manta rays, seahorses, frogfish
- Topography - Granite boulders, reefs, pinnacles, soft corals
- Visibility - 30m+ in the North and 15m+ in the South Andaman
- General Information - Diving in Thailand is available for all certified divers, and conditions are ideal for newer divers to enjoy the sites while more experienced divers can enjoy the various macro and pelagic life surrounding them.
- Onboard options - Viewpoint and beach visits
Best Time to Go
The marine parks are only open for six months of the year from mid-October to mid-April. They close during the monsoon season. The best time to visit is December to March when the seas are general flat calm and weather conditions are ideal.
A few liveaboards are offering the south area of Phi Phi in the low season.
Water temperature year around is 27 to 29C, and a shorty 3mm wetsuit is sufficient for most divers.
How To Get There
To join liveaboards, you will need to fly into Phuket airport either directly, or you can transit via Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur or Singapore easily with many local flights per day.
The liveaboards mainly depart from the port of Thab Lamu, which is north of Phuket airport close to Khao Lak. A few do however depart from Chalong in the south of Phuket island, please check the itinerary of the cruise you are interested to join.
The majority of the cruises depart late afternoon or early evening. But there are also a few exceptions to this, full details are on the cruise itineraries of each specific liveaboard.
In general there are dives offered on the day of disembarkation, so guests would need to stay one night in Thailand before taking an onward flight to allow for no fly time. There are some exceptions to this where guests can disembark in the morning, but a full day of diving is offered on the penultimate day.
Transfers are either included or can be arranges from the airport and hotels, timings need to be confirmed for each itinerary. From Phuket airport it is approximately 60 - 90 mins travel time to Khoa Lak / Thab Lamu port, or 60 mins to Chalong port. Transfers from Phuket to Thab Lamu range from 2.5 hours to 90 mins depending on the hotel location. Transfers from Khao Lak to Thab Lamu port are less than 30 mins.
Local time vs GMT
What to pack
Food and drink
On Entry for most nationalities
Thai and English is spoken in tourist areas
Phuket (HKT), Bangkok (DMK)
Buddhism and Muslim
Suncream, lightweight and beach apparel
30 - 34 C daytime, 21 - 26 C evenings
Thai and western
Liveaboards in Thailand
Bavaria, Deep Andaman Queen, Diva Andaman, DiveRACE Class E, Dolphin Queen, Genesis I, Gentle Giant, Giamani, Hallelujuh, Manta Queen 1, Manta Queen 2, Manta Queen 3, Manta Queen 5, Manta Queen 6, Manta Queen 7, Manta Queen 8, Marco Polo, Merit, Miss Moon, Oktavia, Pawara, Sawasdee Fasai, Sea Gipsy, Similan Explorer, Thailand Aggressor, The Junk, The Phinisi.