Scuba Diving & Liveaboards in Thailand
Thailand Liveaboard Advantages
- Range - You will be able to dive area not available to day trip boats
- Convenience - All the procedural issues need no be done for every dive
- Variety - Good liveaboard operators will offer a range of dives
Divers want the best visibility and to enjoy the greatest variety of underwater features.
- Liveaboards stay far enough from shore to offer immediate opportunities for visibility and variety.
- Liveaboard operators know the better diving sites.
- Eat, sleep, dive is the way some have characterized liveaboards.
Range - More Diving Opportunities
Some liveaboard trips take divers to regions that would be either impractical or impossible to dive otherwise. Sites like the Mergui Archipelago or the Andaman Islands are two good examples.
Convenience - More Actual Diving
On liveavoards, your day starts with waking up at the dive site with breakfast already prepared. After resting a bit grab your tanks that one of the crew has already filled. Step off the boat and dive.
The standard minimum of boats working out of Phuket is 4 dives per day. And at 2 to 7 days per trip, that's a lot of underwater fun.
Variety of Diving
Boats operating out of most ports will cover different sites on a given trip. So you aren't stuck with the same sites for every dive.
Most boats offer a diver to dive master ratio of 4:1.
And there is no rule that says you have to take one long liveaboard cruise for you entire stay in Thailand. Sometimes a day or so ashore between shorter trips is appropriate. Asking around usually results in more accurate information than believing everything published on a web site.
See Dive Shops & Services for PADI training, day trips and liveaboards
Try reading rec.scuba.locations on USENET and searching the Google Groups archives.
Accommodations on Dive Boats
These vary from princely to pauperish .. sort of. Some boats have tight limits on the use of fresh water. Some dive boats actually have private air conditioned cabins.
Most boats feature shared cabins. In the overall scheme of life, Thailand is more economical and services tend to range from good to excellent.
Comments About Liveaboards & Diving Thailand.
"... check carefully the kind of boat an operator is using and how many divers they are taking - it may even pay to watch them going out one morning as some of them will tell you the max is one number and then put on extra divers anyways). If you intend on doing a liveaboard from Phuket, talk to some people who have been on the boats. With the exception of the well-known, pricier companies, overcrowding on the Similan Island liveaboards is apparently a complaint of quite a few divers."
"The MAIN reason why people visit the Banks is for the resident Silver tip Sharks that may be seen here. There is still a fairly good chance of seeing one or two of these magnificent creatures when one does a full day diving here and also the drop-offs of the Silver tip Bank have some fantastic reef-sections with lots of hard- and soft coral."
"Just returned the other day from diving in Thailand and I have only two words for you: Similan islands. Excellent diving, diverse sites, abundance of fish and coral, as well as great diving among enormous granite boulders which I thought were really neat."
" In my opinion, the outstanding place to dive is Richelieu Rock, which is located north of the Similan group, close to the [Burmese] border. It's a small solitary pinnacle with the densest and most varied marine life I have seen in Thailand."