5 Days Diving and Chilling in Phuket, Thailand

By Olivier VH · May 8, 2016

Main mode of transport
Cost per person
$2000 plus
The liveaboard vessel, M/V Similan Explorer, was arranged by Similan Diving Safari's in Khao Lak. The resort was the Dusit Thani Laguna in Phuket.

Our Experience

Olivier in Phuket

Diving and chilling in Phuket! A 5 day liveaboard dive trip to the Similan and Surin Islands plus 2 days at one of many resorts on Phuket.

Diving with an economy liveaboard and relaxing in a high end resort for a few days afterwards is the perfect mix for an affordable week away from it all and recharging the batteries.

The diving off Phuket is relatively easy, with little current or difficult dive profiles. No need to be an advanced diver, we had (med)students on board that were completing their PADI Advanced certification and were fine throughout the trip. We took the 5 day trip, there are also 4 and 3 day options.

The scenery is great, both above and underwater. Unfortunately we saw no mantas or whale sharks, we were very late in the season and there’s never any guarantees when it comes to these creatures. We did see a host of other interesting stuff, notably the flying gurnard (dactylopteridae family), several species of shark (including a leopard shark) and rays (marble, spotted eagle, blue spotted) pinecone fish, lots of crab and shrimp species, barracuda, nudibranchs, snakes, all shapes and size of coral fish, groupers etc etc, too many to mention.

Olivier in Phuket

Note: it can be extremely busy both above and underwater, especially considering we were in low season. We actually experienced traffic jams at certain ‘intersections’ underwater with the additional dimension of other divers above and below you. Make sure you know what to do if someone accidentally kicks your mask off your face and try to remember the colour of your dive guide’s fins - not more than a few times did we suddenly have additional group members that drifted into our party ;-).

As for the resort: we had a good deal (two nights for the price of one night stay) which made this all the more value for money. The stay and service were as expected (high end) and rightly so if one were to pay the full price. We chilled by the beach under large trees reading, sleeping and doing very (very) little at all.

For first timers (as we were) we encountered an odd habit: guests seem to get up early in the morning, retrieve their beach towels and proceed to drape them on the lounge chairs often several hours before they actually proceed to lie there. Hence if you want a good spot under a tree and looking over the ocean, make sure you do the same ;-). Oh and if you speak Russian you’ll have no problem integrating with the other guests at the resort, 9/10 guests were from Russia! This is entertaining in itself if you’re not from there, at least that’s the way we chose to approach it…

Olivier in Phuket

Best Bits

The liveaboard was great value for money. Good diving, F&B, accommodation, competent crew and dive guides. Best part was Richelieu Rock, one of the top 10 dive sites in the world ‘they’ say (but ‘they’ say a lot don’t they). We would agree though given what we’ve seen so far! Best part of the Dusit Thani Resort was their hospitality; free late checkout and shower room. Great service!

Olivier in Phuket

Worst bits

There were no real challenges, Thailand is easy to navigate! Note it’s a tropical country, expect to see some creepy crawlies wherever you go and don’t be afraid of them (carry a small can of insect repellent spray if you like). Also, on the liveaboard yes there is enough food for everyone but don’t assume you can go for seconds. Divers be hungry.

Trip Dates and Comments — May — Good time to go; low season so not many people on the resort, though under water visibility not as a good as earlier in the year (15-20 m.)

Arrival Logistics — Landed at Phuket International Airport, took a taxi (arranged outside, way on the right of the terminal) to Khao Lak to the organising dive shop. There we waited for the trip to commence.

General Route — 5 days and nights (saturday night to Thursday afternoon) on the boat, 2 days and nights (Thursday afternoon to Saturday afternoon) at the resort before flying home.

Main Activities — Beaches, relaxing, scuba diving.

Food and Drink Highlights — The food on the liveaboard was local Thai and Western style, tasty and good value for money. At the resort F&B was great (breakfast included) though lunch and dinner were expensive which is to be expected. There are vendors right on the beach that sell snacks including cold beer and coconuts though, cheap and very convenient!

Essential Packing for this Trip — We almost had it all, as we didn’t need much ;-). Dive gear, beach wear, sunscreen, shorts and a t-shirt is all! The one thing we forgot: a water- and sandproof Ipad cover! Make sure you take one!

About The Traveller

Gender & Age Range
Male, 25 - 35

I’m from
The Netherlands

My favourite trip as of late
This one!

Travelling Style
Book the important stuff, but leave some flexibility in the schedule.

I like to go on the following types of trips
Adventure, wildlife, scuba diving.

It’s a dealbreaker when
Bedbugs roam free.

Continent I know the best

First Last Name

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.

I’m from Perth, Western Australia

My favourite trip as of late is New Zealand, solo travel in lots of nature for a soul-refresher.

My travelling style is to Book the first night, then wing it from there!

It’s a dealbreaker when I’m stuck around large groups of package tourists.

Continent I know best is Asia.

See profile

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