Guide to Diving the Similan Islands: Liveaboards

It's been six years since I first came to Thailand and I've been diving here ever since. Yet somehow, I've never been to the Similans until now.  People say that the Similans are the best dive sites in Thailand, but it's also the most expensive. I've always justified to myself not to go because it wasn't worth the price or that it was cheaper just to dive somewhere else, but I gotta say, after these last three days, the Similans might be my favorite new dive site in Thailand.

The only problem is, since the Similan Islands are so far off the coast, you only have two options, one is take a speed boat on a day trip, or the second is to stay overnight on something called a liveaboard. Here's my guide to diving the Similans.

How to get to the Similans:

Aside from staying at the national park headquarters on the actual island, 99.9% of people stay either in Khao Lak or on the actual dive boat itself which also leaves from Khao Lak.  You can either fly to Phuket or to Krabi and take a taxi from where.

Khao Lak itself is more family beach town just an hour north of Phuket or 1.5 hours from Krabi.  The taxi costed us 2,800 baht round trip to and from the airport and we booked it through our dive shop.

Day Trip or Liveaboard?

I looked into booking a day trip but quickly realized how uncomfortable it would be to sit on a small, loud, windy speed boat for 4 hours. I ended up booking a 3 Day / 3 Night liveaboard through Wicked Diving, which came recommended from a friend.  It was $585 for the trip but included all of your meals, accommodation, and 9 dives.

A few years ago I never would have dreamt about spending almost $600 on diving but now that business is doing well, I figured it was worth the splurge, plus I was kind of hoping that I would generate enough passive income during the trip to cover it, more on that later.  

The Schedule:

Everyday you basically wake up, dive, eat, dive, eat, dive, eat and repeat. It was awesome. The food was pretty good, and I personally enjoyed sleeping on the boat.  Here's a video of my trip, including some footage of a Whale Shark that we were lucky enough to during our dive at Tanchai. 

The Diving:

We chose to do "Similans North" instead of the normal Similans trip as it included Richelieu Rock which I had heard was the best site.  Unfortunately Richelieu was  too busy with other dive schools for my liking. I'm sure some days it's much better than the day we went, but overall, it wasn't as impressive as I was hoping. I really enjoyed the 9 dives over all and liked it enough where I would go back and do another 3 day liveaboard trip to see the rest of the Similans.

However, if you're just looking to do a day trip, I would go to Hin Daeng/Hin Muang off of Koh Lanta instead, as it's just as beautiful as Richelieu, it's where I've seen Manta Rays a bunch of times, and it's possible to do on a day trip.

No Internet:

I didn't even bother to ask ahead of time because I already knew the answer, but there is no internet or cell phone connection while  you're on the liveaboard ship.  You are too far away from the shore and even though the captain has a radio and satellite phone for emergencies, don't expect to check your email during those three days.  

The good news however, is knowing I would be offline, I was forced to hire a VA, train others to do fulfill my orders and automate my business enough where I could be gone Tuesday, Wednesday , Thursday in the middle of the workweek and still be okay. My goal was to also to make enough sales and passive income to cover the cost of the trip. My flight was $400 and the dive trip was around $600.  By the way this photo was taken as my "office of the day" but unfortunately, we couldn't' even record a podcast episode as it was too windy.  I did however get to transfer everyone's photos and videos onto my laptop.

The Passive Income Goal:

I was hoping to turn on my computer with a ton of new sales from my dropshipping store and was hoping for enough to cover my entire trip. But I was disappointed, and only got 1 new sale during the three days I was at sea.  The good news however is since I now have Larissa's new store as well, all together I made around $600 which covered the liveaboard itself just not the plane ticket.  Oh well, shoot for the moon, land among the stars they say.  

Other good news is since I've been underwater, my filipino VA has edited another 22 episodes of the podcast onto youtube.  You can check out the Travel Like a Boss Podcast on Youtube here. So even though I wasn't personally working, my businesses were still running like a boss!

The new goal is to get our stores even more automated so both of us can go on vacation more often while making enough to cover whatever stupid expensive plane tickets and tours we sign up for. Keep an eye out on this blog and follow the journey!

Warm Regards,

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