After diving and working in Phuket Thailand for a good few years now and reading hundreds of blogs, stories and reports of hundreds of dive sites, resorts and boats I have come to the conclusion that there is not one “best location” for scuba diving Thailand. They are all good. Ok on some days some locations are better than others but on other days then a different location is better. So how do we work out which are the best islands in Thailand.
The Similan islands are considered to be the best diving phuket has to offer. However although most of the liveaboards do go to the similan islands but they also go to the Surin islands too. This is another national marine park just to the north of the similans. The similan liveaboard trips most of the em anyway spend a day diving Richelieu rock. Now this is a great dive site. This is listed by national Geographic as one of the top ten locations in the world. On top of this it was also in Jaques Cousteau’s top ten dive sites as well. If anyone should know where the best locations are then it will be him. No one has been to more places, done more for recreational diving or done more to bring the seas and oceans within the reach of all people as Jaques Cousteau.
Still this is not 100% right as every person is different. If you are a person who loves wreck diving then there is not much for you in the similans. Yes you will have stunning reefs, almost unlimited sea life and a great place to improve your underwater photo collection but there is not much in the way of wrecks. Again if you are a cave diver then other locations will suit you better. But the similan islands diving does tick all the boxes for most divers.
The boats that you will be on when on a liveaboard similan islands can not be beaten. There is such a wide choice of boat from the length of the cruise to the standard of boat. There are boats with high class chefs, and stateroom style cabins on some boats to quad bunks on others. This does not matter as the diving is the same for all. Even on the budget boats the food is excellent, the cabins are all air con rooms and the boats all have plenty of room to relax between dives. If you are planing on diving in Thailand then it really is worth looking into a similan liveaboard as the cost for the liveaboard is the same as a couple of day trips plus a cheap guest house. If you then add the price of food plus the fact that you get 4 dives per day on a liveabaord it actually works out cheaper to go to the similans than to stay in Thailand Phuket especially.
So back to the top. Where is the best islands in Thailand when it come to scuba diving has to be Richelieu rock which is part of the Surin islands national park which is done onboard a similan islands diving liveaboard.