If you hate going barefoot for days at a time, lazy afternoons on private beaches, hikes through the jungle of an iconic bay, meeting octopuses, moray eels, pufferfish and thousands of other sea creatures while scuba diving and making friends from around the world who love to dive… diving in Thailand probably isn’t for you.
On the other hand, if that sounds a little like paradise (because it absolutely is!), read on for 5 days worth of reasons to book your scuba diving holiday with Similan Diving Safaris in Khao Lak, Thailand.
We boarded the Similan Explorer on the first night and enjoyed a coconut as the sun set. And as we left the bay, the crew set off fireworks in a ceremony to ask for our safety during the trip.
The next several days were filled with 18 dives total in the Similan Islands, Surin Islands and at Richelieu Rock, during which I completed the PADI Advanced Open Water Diver course. We did early morning dives, debriefing while the sun rose, daytime dives, sunset dives while the fish were catching their last meal of the day, and night dives.
The idea of scuba diving in the dark has always scared me (being scared of the dark on land is one thing.. being scared underwater is a whole new ballgame!) but I found that I really enjoyed it. Focusing on one thing at a time as the flashlight hit it helped me to enjoy the present moment. Plus… the bioluminescent plankton which created tiny blue sparks when you waved your hand through the water was one of the coolest things I’ve seen.
Although we consistently saw amazing things on our dives, my favorite experience of the trip was an encounter with a giant pufferfish at Koh Bon, north of the Similan Islands. I was taking a video of a swarm of fish when I got video-bombed by this guy.
He was really curious, not leaving my side (or more correctly, not leaving the lens of my GoPro) for several minutes. Watch the video to see the giant puffer fish in full GoPro-hog mode. I especially love the part where he swims away and his cleaning fish struggles to keep up.
One more reason to love pufferfish? I learned on my night dives that these little guys fall asleep wherever they get tired, so as you swim along, you can find them snoozing out in the open. My GoPro didn’t have quite the power (or gadgets) to capture colorful photos, so the underwater pictures in this blog were captured by our trip photographer, Rich Carey and are posted with his permission.
In between dives, we visited nearby islands for swimming, playing and exploring. We hiked to the iconic Sail Rock in Donald Duck bay and swam in the turquoise waters below as crabs scurried along the rocks next to us. One day, we visited the Moken Sea Gypsy village, where we met a group of nomadic people who live on their boats for many months out of the year.
And if the awesome scuba diving adventures under water weren’t enough, our time on the boat was wonderful. The crew was amazing– filling our tanks and helping us get ready to get in the water. The food was some of the best Thai food I’ve ever eaten. Our Dive Masters were knowledgable, helpful, and friendly. And the other divers were a whole lot of fun. Thanks for an awesome 5 days… I hope to see you again soon!