THAILAND LIVEABOARD : SIMILAN ISLANDS 9 – 19 MAY 2021
Manta Queen 8 is running a 5 days & 5 nights trip to Thailands premier dive site - Similan Islands, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai, Surin Islands, Richelieu Rock and Boon Sung Wreck. The boat accommodates 24 guests in comfortable air conditioned double ensuite, twin ensuite, twin non ensuite cabins.
The vessel is a 28 meters long and 7 meters wide wooden hull built boat that is manned with 5 dive staff and 6 boat crew. There is plenty of space to enjoy the time in between dives in the saloon with HD-TV, the open dining area or on the large sundeck.
All meals on board are served buffet style freshly cooked by the on board chef. Snacks and fruits are served in between dives. The dinghy gives you the opportunity to spend some time on the beautiful beaches.
DIVE SITE INFORMATION:
· RICHELIEU ROCK (called in Thai Hin Plo Naam) is a famous dive site in the Andaman Sea near the Surin Islands. The site is marked by the top with a pinnacle which is 1m above the sea level during low tide, and disappears underwater during high tide. The horseshoe-shaped reef was discovetha by Jacques-Yves Cousteau and is known for its purple corals (it reminded Jacques Cousteau of Cardinal Richelieu´s purple robe) as well as diverse marine life ranging from small fish and harlequin shrimp to large pelagics like whale shark, manta ray, barracuda and grouper. The pinnacle falls steeply to the surrounding sand bottom at a maximum depth of 35m. The south side is a bay with a slope that gently falls to the deep, while the rest comprises sheer walls, groups of rocks and numerous small caves that are home to various marine life. The majority of corals are colorful soft corals jostling against the wall, accompanied by huge sea fans, hard corals and sea anemones.
· KOH TACHAI a solitary island located 20 km north of Koh Bon, Koh Tachai has magnificent white sandy beaches with two interesting dive sites namely Pinnacles and Eastern Reef. Koh Tachai Pinnacle or Twin Peaks, are a pair of submerged diving pinnacles located 500 metres south of Koh Tachai. The southern pinnacle is bigger, at a diving depth of 12 metres to the top. It is a dome shape surrounded by large boulders. The sand bottom is at around 30 to 45 metres. To the west you will find large boulders with swim throughs. In the east, you will find stacks of small rocks, most of which are covetha by hard corals and sea whips. Colourful soft corals and sea fans dominate the northern area. The top of thepinnacle is a wide flat plain with bush and mountain coral. This huge pinnacle links to the smaller second pinnacle with a sand patch at 24m.
· KOH BON WEST RIDGE is a granite islet situated some distance to the northwest of the Similan Islands, however it is still considetha to be part of the Similan National Marine Park. A favourite dive site is the western ridge of the islet, which falls steeply away to the deep. The reef slopes from a depth of 10m down to sandy diving bottom at 25-30m. The majority of corals here are hard corals including stag horn coral and brain coral that are interspersed with a few big coral heads, yellow soft corals and large sea fans.
· ELEPHANT HEAD ROCK - If you’ve ever heard about the Similan Islands, then it’s certain you’ve heard about this site. Located between Islands 7 and 8, this first thing you will notice before you dive is one massive boulder rising above the surface, and next to it are another three boulders. The site is named for the largest and tallest boulder, which is said to resemble the head of an elephant. You may need to use your imagination. The site is a massive labyrinth, complete with channels, swim-throughs and holes at every turn. Lucky for us that our exit point is always up or maybe you would end up lost amongst the towering boulders. In the deeper areas with spotting Whitetip Reef Sharks, who tend to reside in the depths. On this site are Barracuda, Kuhl’s Stingray, Sesamoths, Nudibranch, Octopus, and the Peacock Mantis Shrimp.
· HIN LUANG KOH BON This is one of the Thailand diving sites where you will be asked to do a negative scuba entry. The top of the diving pinnacle starts at 18m, so during the diving descent you are completely exposed to the currents. Check the deep a for leopard sharks, marble rays and spotted eagle rays.
· CHRISTMAS POINT This is definitely a dive site to bring your camera! With the maze of granite boulders and swim-throughs photos really capture the beauty of this site. Ribbon eels and Orange-spotted Pipefish can be seen around the edge of this dive site as well as Napoléon Wrass and the occasional Eagle Ray. Anemones with Porcelain Crabs inhabit the crevasses and Nudi branches galore can be seen crawling over the boulders.
· NORTH POINT also known as Rocky Point is a dive site comprising submerged rocks, the huge boulders are surrounded by large areas of sand. The northern boulders extend to below 35m.This fantasticpinnacle is totally covetha with soft corals and giant sea fans. You may be rewarded with the sight of leopard sharks resting in the sand.
· DEEP SIX is a cluster of submerged boulders is located on the north of Similan Island #7 (Koh Pa-Yu). You may see whitetip reef sharks off the boulders, and Kuhl's stingrays are common on the sandy bottom. You will find black and white snapper, giant travallies and tuna swimming amoung boulders, as well as schools of neon fusiliers, bluefin trevallies and yellow snapper. When passing through the swim-throughs, you may encounter big snappers, oriental sweetlips or harlequin sweetlips, and if you are lucky, you will spot ghost pipefish and frogfish camouflaged amoung the pinnacles. The lush corals are home to various small marine critters such as tha fire gobies, blennies and nudibranches
· WEST OF EDEN basically comprises giant granite boulders that create nice canyons, with walls covetha with colourful soft corals and giant sea fans. Some areas are characterised by rubble and sand slope falling to a depth of 30-35m.. The shallows are home to many reef fishes, and have stacked granite boulders covetha with hard corals, soft corals, gorgonians and feather stars.
· EAST OF EDEN the reef slope ranges from 5-40 m. In the north of the Similan diving Island, there is a cluster of staghorn coral and blue coral punctuated by sparse rocks. In the middle of the site, you will find mostly sand and scattetha fire corals. The highlight of Similan diving site is a pinnacle called Ruan-Mai (the Orchid Garden), which is covetha with colourful soft corals and sea fans, a magnificent sight that shows the diversity and beauty of the marine life
· ANITA’S REEF the reef slope from the reef flat at 5-10m to the sandy bottom at a maximum of 26-28m. Shallow coral gardens comprise huge pore and staghorn corals with small pinnacles. Colourful corals are scattetha along white powdery sand, creating beautiful natural scenery.· BOON SUNG WRECK, sunk in 1985, this tin dragger went down in 20 meters of water, after somebody flushed the toilet and the water started rushing in and did not stop! Over several years, it became colonized by thousands upon thousands of fish, glad to be lucky enough to have to an artificial reef in a vast expanse of sand. When the tsunami hit in 2004, it broke the structure into four main pieces, making it ever more interesting.Around the wreck, which locals describe as “fish soup,” you will pass through clouds of snappers, fusiliers, batfish, and travelly as you look for the special things living within the wreck and in the surrounding sand. Crocodile fish, stonefish, scorpionfish, lionfish, ornate ghost pipefish and much more reside with the kings of the site, the nudibranch.
16h00 Check in Start
18h00 Depart to the Pier
18h30 Boat Briefing
18h45 Cabin allocation
19h15 Equipment setup
07h00 Wake up call
07h30 Safety/dive briefing
08h15 Dive #1 Similan Islands
11h45 Dive #2 Similan Islands
15h30 Dive #3 Similan Islands
18h15 Dive #4 Night dive - Similan Islands
06h00 Wake up call
06h30 Dive #5 Similan Islands
10h30 Dive #6 Similan Islands
13h45 Dive #7 Similan Islands
17h00 Dive #8 Night dive - Similan Islands
06h00 Wake up call
06h30 Dive #9 Koh Bon, West Ridge
10h15 Dive #10 Koh Bon, West Ridge
13h30 Dive #11 Tachai Pinnacle
17h00 Dive #12 Tachai Pinnacle
06h00 Wake up call
06h30 Dive #13 Surin Islands
10h15 Dive #14 Richelieu Rock
13h30 Dive #15 Richelieu Rock
17h00 Dive #16 Richelieu Rock
06h00 Wake up call
06h15 Dive #17 Koh Bon Pinnacle
09h00 Dive #18 Koh Bon West Bridge
11h15 Departure briefing
13h15 Dive #19 Boonsung wreck
16h00 Transfer to checkout lounge
16h30 Transfer to our hotel
Baan Laimai Resort occupies a prime position in Patong’s shopping district, steps from popular Patong Beach. It features a large lagoon pool with pool bar, free WiFi and 3 dining options.
Deluxe rooms come with spacious balconies and offer spectacular views. Amenities include a satellite TV, an electric kettle and minibar. The en suite bathroom offers a shower and a hairdryer.
Laimai Courtyard Restaurant & Bar opens daily from 06:30 until late and serves a wide variety of Thai and international dishes, as well as fresh seafood caught from the Andaman Sea. The swim-up pool bar also serves cocktails and light snacks. Meals can also be enjoyed in the privacy of rooms.
Baan Laimai Beach Resort is about 25 km from Phuket Airport, while Jungceylon Shopping Centre is within a 10-minute walk.
TOUR PRICE: R19710 pp sharing in non-ensuite rooms or R21350 pp sharing in ensuite rooms (excluding flights – will be confirmed in early 2021)
5days/5nights liveboard accommodation in ensuite cabins (10) or non-ensuite (2)
- All meals, fruits and snacks
- Drinking water, tea and coffee
- Experienced multilingual dive leaders
- Free Wifi* Hot-Spot access
- Torch for night dives
- 19 dives including Nitrox (if certified)
- National Park Fees for Similan
- Scheduled group transfer from Phuket to Khao Lak return ticket on day of departure and arrival
- 15 liter scuba diving cylinder
- Soft drinks onboard 40 THB (R20)
- Beer onboard 70 THB (R40)
- Lunches & dinners in hotel