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Dive Review of Similian Diving Safaris in

Similian Diving Safaris: "Great boat and crew, fierce dive conditions", Nov, 2017,

by James Wasser, CA, US ( 1 report with 1 Helpful vote). Report 10502 has 1 Helpful vote.

No photos available at this time

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 3 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments I chose to go with Similian Diving Safaris after much research and communication with the staff in Thailand via email and Facebook. They gave me a good deal.
I think they have several boats.
I was also considering Burma-Mynamar boats but were much more expensive and added several travel days. Not sure if the diving is better there.
I booked a 5 day trip on Similian Explorer from Khoa Lak. Its about an hour north of Phuket Airport. The town has a bunch of different dive centers and other necessities like a clinic that serves tourists.
Boat leaves from a port around 15-30 min from town.
I lucked out and got a whole cabin for the price of just one bunk. Of course it would have been crowded if two were in the room. The AC did work well and showers were hot.
Its a basic economy dive boat. Make sure you review the websites and understand that you are getting. The cheaper boats are not luxurious.
Small cabins are downstairs and group rooms upstairs. The lounge dining area can be open or covered. On the roof is a sunbathing area.
I was the only American on the boat. Most of the others were from Europe. The boat crew were all Thai and the diving staff were French, Italian and other Euro nationals. Everyone except a few Thai crew spoke at least some English.
Our group had a French woman divemaster who was first rate.
All the staff were friendly.
Food was basic Thai fare but filling.
Beer and soft drinks were available for sale and I brought on other items from the store in town.
On the diving:
I'm an experienced California beach and worldwide boat diver and a fairly strong (I thought) swimmer. I have an advanced cert.
Similian diving was maybe the most intense I've encountered. The current was strong and unrelenting. None of us could swim against it. It was like a Cozumel drift dive or stronger with surge. But the diving was not drift diving, where the boat goes ahead. Our boat stayed anchored.
It was imperative to stay near the divemaster. Unfortunately, because of various issues people got separated. Our DM was working like a champ to keep us safe. I managed to stay with my buddy but not the group. Its possibly that these were abnormal conditions. For Similans I recommend an advanced cert or above, at least 50 logged dives, a good level of fitness, a surface signal device, and surfacing with plenty of air.
The DM did extra long safety stops for an added margin.
Unfortunately global warming and overfishing is taking a toll. A returning diver told me that the marine life is decreasing each year. If you're going to dive in Thailand do it soon.
In between dives we visited islands or anchored and relaxed. People mostly socialized and looked at photos. There were plenty of power outlets for phones and computers.
Nitrox is onboard. The mix fill varied and needed to be adjusted in the computer each dive. They had analyzers but it would be nice to have a personal one too.
Overall a good value and good time. I think a three day liveabaord would see most of the same life and sights.
Not sure if I'll do the Similans again as I also enjoyed Ko Tao.
Websites Similian Diving Safaris   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Mexico, Costa Rica, Grand Cayman, Galapagos
Closest Airport Phuket Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather cloudy, dry Seas choppy, surge
Water Temp -°F / -°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50-100 Ft/ 15-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions [Unspecified]
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters N/A Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics N/A

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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