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You may hate scuba diving in Thailand if…

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.

Similan Explorer

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.

Similan Diving Safaris- Similan ExplorerSimilan Explorer- Similan Diving Safaris

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 this liveaboard diving trip in Thailand 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.

Similan Explorer- Similan Diving Safaris

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.

Similan Explorer- Similan Diving SafarisOne 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.  Similan Explorer- Similan Diving SafarisMy 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.

Lion fish Similan Islands Thailand blue spotted stingray Similan Islands Thailand Similan Explorer- Similan Diving Safaris Similan Explorer- Similan Diving Safaris Similan Explorer- Similan Diving Safaris Similan Explorer- Similan Diving Safaris Similan Explorer- Similan Diving Safaris Similan Explorer- Similan Diving Safaris

Can you spot the seahorse?Similan Explorer- Similan Diving Safaris Similan Explorer- Similan Diving Safaris

We found Nemo!Similan Explorer- Similan Diving SafarisSimilan Explorer- Similan Diving Safaris Similan Explorer- Similan Diving SafarisSimilan Explorer- Similan Diving Safaris

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.

Moken village

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!

Similan Explorer- Similan Diving Safaris

Khao Lak Explorer

Tuesday 15th of January 2019

Love the place, amazing waters , one of the best diving spot around in Thailand.


Tuesday 15th of January 2019

I agree!! I'd love to go back someday!

Elaine Masters

Monday 9th of January 2017

I'm a long time diver and these shots are incredible. Such a diversity of underwater life and clear water! My heart aches to dive in Thailand!!


Monday 9th of January 2017

It was the most incredible I've seen in my 18 years of diving! I actually dove the Great Barrier Reef about two weeks later and spent most of the dive comparing... and Thailand won, hands down!

Because I said yes - The Sweet Wanderlust

Sunday 9th of October 2016

[…] get back to my beloved Chiang Mai, but said ‘yes’ to an impromptu trip with a few new scuba diving friends to Khao Sok. I can’t imagine saying no to it now, because it was one of my Thai […]

Kim bRooks

Friday 19th of August 2016

Amazing pics brittany!!! What an awesome experience!! Keep in adventuring!!!

Kay Dougherty

Saturday 16th of January 2016

Wow - what a fabulous experience you had! Love the Pufferfish! I just did my first ever open water dive in Fiji last April and developed some nasty ear problems that took a while to resolve (but did). Now I'm hesitant to do it again but you may have convinced me.


Saturday 16th of January 2016

I'd love to dive Fiji sometime!! Keep diving... It gets easier to relax every time!!