Welcome to the frequently asked questions from Phuket dash Scuba dot Com, your personal divecenter on Phuket. We have tried to answer the most frequently asked questions here. Is your question not included? Send us an email.
Many of the divesites at the Similans are known under different names, mostly English names but sometimes also under Thai names. On this website we have chosen the most frequently used names for the divesites, but it is very well possible that you will see somewhere on the internet or on your diveboat one of the here mentioned divesites under a different name, especially at the Similan Islands.The divesites at Koh Bon, Koh Tachai and Richelieu Rock are nearly everywhere known under the here mentioned names.
The 4 days/4 nights trips all go to Similans, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai and Richelieu Rock, the longer trips sometimes also to the Surin Islands. The longer the trip, the more flexible the schedule and divesite selection can be.
The shorter trips go to either Similans, sometimes including Koh Bon, or also to Similans, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai and Richelieu Rock. Take into account that on the latter trips the distances covered are quite big in a short timeframe.
The exact divesites are decided on the boats, depending on preferences of the divers on board, the weather, location of other boats and divesites where recently beautiful or special marine life has been spotted.
On our divesite page you will find a description of the divesites, including for example currents and depths. The here mentioned depth is the maximum diving depth on the divesite. At the Similans it is easily possible, both on a diving daytrip, overnight trip and liveaboard diving cruise, to make lovely dives without diving too deep.
On most divesites at the Similans, and surely at Koh Bon, Koh Tachai and Richelieu Rock, you will have to take a current into account, which can be strong. We try to use the currents as much as possible to our advantage and avoid swimming against the current. On many of the divesites there are natural protection points against the current.
The daytrips and overnight divetrips to Similans and/or Koh Bon depart early morning around 06.00 hours (6 AM) from Phuket, or 07.30 hours (7.30 AM) from Khao Lak. First a minibus transfer to Tap Lamu and from there the crossing via (speed)boat to the Similans.
After the diving the boat arrives back in Tap Lamu around 17.00 hours (5 PM), followed by the transfer back to Khao Lak or Phuket.
The liveaboard diving safaris to Similans, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai and Richelieu Rock depart in the beginning of the evening from either Phuket or Tap Lamu. The transfers from the hotel or divecenter are, depending on location of hotel and departure point of the boat during or at the end of the afternoon. Once on board there is a meal for everybody, after which the crossing to the Similans will be made.
Departure from the Similans is around noon, so everybody can be returned to their hotel around 18.00 hours (6 PM).
However if a boat has more days than nights it will depart early morning.
The National Park Fees are 500 Baht entrance and 200 Baht per diving day.
This means that a daytrip to the Similans or Koh Bon will be 700 Baht in National Park fees, a 2 days/1 night overnight trip to Similans and/or Koh Bon 900 Baht. A 4 days/4 nights liveaboard diving cruise to Similans, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai and Richelieu Rock costs twice 500 Baht entrance fees for both national parks (1x Similans and 1x Surin) and 800 Baht for the diving days, so 1,800 Baht in total. Depending on the boat schedule there may even be a 3rd entry into one ofr the national parks, so an additional 500 Baht may be charged.
Snorkelers and non-divers only pay the entrance fees.These National Park Fees are not included in the prices on our websites, unless indicated otherwise.
The prices as mentioned on our boatpages are almost but not quite all inclusive. If you don't know what you are paying for, ask us, so you can be sure there will be no unexpected expenses. Take into account that some of the prices can fluctuate because of the development of exchange rates between the Euro, US$ and Thai Baht. The price we give you is the price you will have to pay, even if the prices change afterwards.
Included are: accommodation on board, hotel transfers, all meals, snacks and fruit, drinking water, tea, coffee, weights, weight belts, tanks, air fillings, torches for the nightdives, diving in small groups with diveguide. Towels are provided on most boats, but not always.
Not included are: the earlier mentioned Similan & Surin National park fees, Burma entry fee for Burma liveaboards - normally 200 U$ cash payable at the border. This can be more for longer trips, check our boat information pages for more details. Rental of divegear (600 Baht for a full set: BCD, regulator, shorty wetsuit, mask, snorkel, fins). We also have dive computers for rent at 250 Baht per day. After diving you can buy alcoholic drinks like beer and wine on all boats, some also offer spirits and cocktails. Soft drinks like coke, sprite and fanta etc. are also for sale on all boats. Sometimes these are included.
Tips for the guide/boat crew: up to you! Transfers from Phuket and Khao Lak are included for some liveaboard diving cruises, check the boat information for that. For daytrips and overnight trips there is for hotels on Phuket outside of the Kata, Karon and Patong areas a surcharge applicable.
All diving boats have 12 liter aluminium tanks on board with a yoke connection (international valve, so no DIN-valve). If you have a DIN regulator, you can bring your own adapter, or buy or rent one here. Sometimes a DIN tank is available, if you'd like one, contact us please.
On request we can on most of the liveaboard boats also arrange bigger tanks (15 liter) or smaller (10 liter).
Nitrox is available on a growing number of the boats, mostly in 12 liter tanks but sometimes also in 15 liter tanks. Sometimes free nitrox is included (often as a top up system), sometimes there is an additional charge. See the boat information pages for more info on this.
The water temperature at the Similans, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai and Richelieu Rock is year round around 28 degrees centigrade (82 Fahrenheit). So the water is not cold, but there can be an occasional thermocline with a drop in temperature to around 26 (79) degrees.
Most divers dive here with a shorty 3 mm wetsuit. But with mulitple days of mulitple dives, as is always the case on a liveaboard diving cruise, the water can feel chilly. That is why we advise divers who bring their own wetsuit to bring a 3 mm full suit. That is just a bit warmer and adds protection as well.
That is why besides shorties we also have 3 mm full suits for rent. For most divers that is thick enough, it is always possible to add a shorty if you are getting cold. Divers who chill easily we advise to bring a 5 mm suit.
Most of the guides dive here with a 5 mm suit, sometimes with a 7 mm. But some of them dive with a shorty.
For liveaboard diving we recommend to take the normal precautions, like on any other diving trip. Malaria prophylaxes are not necessary.
Phuket has two excellent international hospitals and four recompression chambers in the unlikely event you will need medical care.
Of course, if you want to go diving during your Thailand vacation, check to make sure your travel and/or health insurance covers scuba diving. With a lot of insurance policies that is the case these days. Some boats require you to have dedicated diving insurance, if you don't have that we can help you with it.
We also advise everybody to get a cancellation insurance.
We will make sure that the boat you'll be on meets certain minimum requirements, like the presence of oxygen, a medic first aid kit and an emergency assistance plan.
With regards to Covid-19 we will follow the DAN guidelines.
Here you will find our official booking and cancellation conditions.
The conditions in short: a downpayment of 30% of the price is required. The remainder you can pay here on the spot, for a liveaboard diving cruise the remainder must be in our posession 45 days before departure. We have a bank account in the Netherlands, to enable all payments from within the Eurozone easy, safe and free of charge. People paying from outside of the Eurozone can pay via Paypal or to our bank account in the Netherlands or Thailand.
Daytrips and courses can be cancelled up to 15.00 hours (3 PM) the day before the trip. For a liveaboard we use a different cancellation policy, with a refund depending on the moment of cancellation. Always contact us about availability and the costs in your currency.