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Why a Thailand Liveaboard is the best way to see Thailand’s natural beauty
A liveaboard is a boat that offers accommodation on board, often on a nightly basis, although week long trips are common. Embarking on a Thailand liveaboard is a must for those looking to maximise their experience of the local underwater world.
Liveaboards are very popular among divers, Staying out at sea for extended periods of time can be very enjoyable. It is the thrill of boat living and diving that give the most sense of adventure. In the right conditions, you can be well away from the populous and really get some ‘downtime’.
The best way to see Thailand’s natural underwater beauty is by going on a liveaboard trip. There are many different liveaboards to choose from and each one has their own unique experience to offer. Some are older wooden boats, dating from days gone by, and also more modern steel vessels.
There are many benefits of diving with a liveaboard. You will often be on the dive sites you visit before any days boats reach it, as you have likely been moored nearby overnight. So, more chances to see the cool stuff before it gets too busy.
You will also save on accommodation costs as you don’t need to pay for hotels or apartments during your dive trip. There is also access to amenities like WiFi, hot showers, air conditioning, laundry facilities, so creature comforts are all there.
Liveaboards are not exclusively for divers, they also offer tours for non-divers who want to enjoy the marine life in Thailand. Snorkellers often join divers for liveaboard trips.
Where is best for a Thai Liveaboard Experience?
Some of the best liveaboards in Thailand are located in the Andaman Sea and offer travelers a chance to explore the islands and reefs of this beautiful country.
The Similan Islands are a group of 9 islands in the Andaman Sea off the west coast of Thailand. They offer diverse marine ecosystems and some of the best diving in Southeast Asia. The islands are situated at approximately 45 kilometers off the coast of Phang Nga Province, just a little north of Phuket.
The best time to visit these islands is from November to April when visibility is at its best… and the marine park is open! Water temperatures are perfect for divers also at this time and there is plenty to see.
Liveaboard Thailand – What will I see diving the Similan Islands?
Some of the main attractions in this area are whale sharks, manta rays, and turtles.
Clear blue water, serene atmosphere, and great diving spots are what make this destination so popular. Lonely Planet and TripAdvisor listed the Similan Islands as one of the top ten places in Asia to visit.
For the full low down on dive sites in the Similan Islands, check out our post here – Diving Similan Islands
How to get to the Similan Islands
Flying into Phuket airport (HKT) and get a transfer up to Khao Lak is the simplest route. Khao Lak is where most dive boats embark from. Usually transfers from Phuket island up to Khao Lak are included in your liveaboard package. This can vary from operator to operator. You can also be picked up from any hotel on the island if you are staying elsewhere for a few days before your trip, in most cases.
There are also a number of smaller airports nearby, should you prefer. The closest is Phang-Nga airport in Phang-Nga province, which is around 50 km or 30 miles away from Khao Lak. There are also airports in Surat Thani, Krabi, and Trang provinces, but are more remote to Khao Lak. Phuket main airport is usually best.
What to do next…
Check out are great article on all of the Simlian and Surin Islands’ dive sites, Khao Lak Diving.