Phi Phi liveaboard

Phi Phi liveaboard2 days 1 night liveaboard to Phi Phi Islands

NEW Overnight liveaboard from Phuket to Phi Phi Islands.

May to August 2015. Departing every Tuesday morning from Chalong Bay, Phuket. Returning every Wednesday evening.

7 dives including 1 night dive. 4 dives will be around the Phi Phi islands including Koh Bida Nok, Koh Bida Nai. 3 dives will be on the dive sites between Phuket and Phi Phi including Shark Point, Koh Doc Mai and the King Cruiser Wreck.

11,900 baht per diver in a twin or double bed cabin. The master cabin is 12,900 baht per diver.

These trips are also open to snorkelers and snorkeling guides are provided.

Giamani takes just 10 guests in 5 cabins. Each cabin has air conditioning and a private en-suite bathroom. More details about the boat here

Diving over the sandy bottom

Bluespotted stingrayAt some point during many of your dives here in Thailand you will find yourself swimming over the sandy seabed. Many divers just consider this a transit from one beautiful coral bommie to the next but it’s worth taking your time to see what’s lurking in these sandy areas. Here are a few critters that you could bump in to.

Bluespotted stingray. Or Kuhl’s stingray can be seen on the sandy bottom at the outer edges of reefs. Their upper is sandy coloured with bright blue spots which warn of their venomous spines. Often the first thing a diver will see is the two eyes poking up out of the sand. Approach too close and they will swim off a short distance before settling back in the sand and using their wing like pectoral fins to bury themselves.

Stonefish. Another fish that likes to bury itself in the sand, the stonefish is a highly venomous, potentially deadly member of the scorpion fish family. Normally they stay still on the seabed, disguised as a rock or lump of coral. If disturbed they raise there dorsal fins as a warning. They are slow, clumsy swimmers, hindered by the algae and hydroids that they allow to grow on their body to improve their camouflage. Stonefish are less commonly seen than the abundant tassled scorpionfish.

Flounder. Another master of disguise, the flounder spends all it’s life hiding on the sandy bottom. Look for an oval shape in the sand about 15-20cm long. An adult flounder has both it’s eyes on the upper side of it’s body. Their pectoral and anal fins run almost the whole length of their body. Flounder prey on small fish and crustaceans that swim too close.

Garden EelGarden eels. Related to the conger eel, garden eels get their name from the fact that they live in groups on the sea floor and spend their time with most of their body in their own individual burrow, heads poking up to feed on plankton. They are constantly swaying about in the current and as you swim closer they retreat into their burrows. As you swim away they pop out again like a garden growing. This makes garden eels very hard to photograph close up because as soon as you approach they duck back down. Even when spawning garden eels keep their tails anchored in their burrow, a mate must be close enough to stretch across to.

Garden eel colonies are found on sandy bottoms close to reefs where there is current but no waves. The spotted garden eel found in Thailand is grey coloured with large dark spots behind the head. They are about 1cm in diameter and poke out of the sand about 10-12cm.

Bent stick pipefish. You can see all sorts of pipefish on dives in Thailand. Divers get excited about the Ornate ghostpipefish or Harlequin ghostpipefish which can be found hiding in the coral. The poor bentstick pipefish causes less excitement because it just looks like a bent stick. But because of this they are very hard to spot so if you see one you should pat yourself on the back for being so eagle eyed. Look on sandy bottoms around marine debris for something stick like but with a head off the ground. Their long snout resembles that of the seahorse, to which pipefish are related.

Cuttlefish. Part of the cephalopod family that includes octopus and squid the cuttlefish isn’t actully classed as a fish but as a mollusc. They have eight arms and two tentacles and a unique internal structure called a cuttlebone which they use to regulate their buoyancy. Cuttlefish can often be approached quite closely by divers. If you see one cuttlefish while finning over the sand have a look around for another because they are often found in pairs, either two males fighting for territory or a male and a female mating.

Cuttlefish have the ability to change their skin colour rapidly and can put on an amazing display for divers. They also change their shape and skin texture to camouflage themselves.
Some interesting cuttlefish facts are that they are colour blind, they have three hearts and their blood is green. Like octopus and squid, cuttlefish can squirt ink if threatened by predators.

Red Fire GobyGobies are small bottom dwellers. There are more than 2,000 species of goby and most are just a few cm’s long. Gobies live in male-female pairs and make burrows for dwelling and spawning. If you are patient you can sit on the sandy seabed and watch gobies making a burrow then protecting it with small pieces of rubble.

Some gobies also form symbiotic relationships with other marine creatures. They share burrows with shrimps where the shrimp will dig the burrow and the goby will act as sentry. Gobies also provide cleaning stations for bigger fish such as grouper or snapper who choose to be cleaned rather than make a meal of the gobies.

Last minute discount

Summer Specials20% Off Deep Andaman Queen liveaboard to the Similan Islands, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai and Richelieu Rock. 4 days 4 nights with 14 dives.

17-21 January 2015
Standard triple share cabins: 25,600 baht (reduced from 32,000 baht) per diver
Deluxe double or twin cabins: 32,000 baht (reduced from 40,000 baht) per diver

22-26 January 2015
Standard quad share cabins: 24,000 baht (reduced from 30,000 baht) per diver
Standard twin share cabins: 28,000 baht (reduced from 35,000 baht) per diver
Deluxe double or twin cabins: 32,000 baht (reduced from 40,000 baht) per diver

The trip was awesome!

Here is some feedback from a diver on Deep Andaman Queen liveaboard to Similan Islands / Richelieu Rock over new year.

Thailand Liveaboard Special OfferThe trip was awesome! The boat had great facilities and was well laid out. Lots of living space and the sun deck made it feel spacious for the 5 days. For a 4 person share, I felt we had plenty of space.

All the staff were great. Food was well prepared and a good mix of thai/western. Steve, Ann and Craig were fantastic and made every dive interesting with detailed briefings and lots of knowledge of the sites as well as making the time on the boat fun.

As you know I was a little nervous but they gave me lots of confidence and this combined with a dive focused boat with a large platform made entry/exit easy.

We were lucky to see so many fish, including a whale shark! I didn’t have a camera but I think Sharni (who also booked with you) will have some for you.

Nothing negative to say about the trip, only suggestions would be more control over the aircon and the addition of some kayaks/paddle boards.

Overall I wasn’t sure about the trip and was a last minute decision but very glad I went as had an awesome time and you never forget your first whale shark!

January sale

Special OffersIf your new year resolution was to dive more here are some offers to get you in the water this month.

10% Off DiveRACE liveaboard to the Similan Islands and Richelieu Rock 13-17 January. Prices start at 21,600 baht per diver.
Boat details: www./

10% Off Hallelujah liveaboard to the Similan Islands and Richelieu Rock 13-17 January. Prices start at 29,700 baht per diver.
Boat details:

The Junk 5 days 6 nights liveaboard for just 25,000 baht per diver

There are 2 spaces left on the Junk for 31 Jan to 6 Feb. 25,000 baht is a great deal for such a good boat. These are the only available spaces in January and February, all other trips on the Junk are full.
Boat details here:

Day trip diving packages

We offer discounts if you book multiple day trips diving from Phuket and Khao Lak.

MV Kepsub Phuket day trip dive boatPhuket dive packages

  • 1 day trip (3 dives): 3,700 baht
  • 3 or 4 day trips: 3,330 baht per day
  • 5 or more day trips: 3,145 baht per day.

Dive equipment rental is 500 baht per set per day.

Dive sites include Racha Yai, Racha Noi, Phi Phi Islands, Shark Point, King Cruiser Wreck, Anemone Reef and Koh Doc Mai.

MV Namsai Similan Islands day trip dive boatKhao Lak dive packages

  • 1 day trip (2 dives): 4,500 baht
  • 3 or 4 day trips: 4,280 baht per day
  • 5 or 6 day trips: 4,050 baht per day
  • 7 or more day trips: 3,830 baht per day

National park fees are 600 baht per day. Dive equipment rental is 600 baht per set per day

Dive sites include Similan Islands and Koh Bon

New Year liveaboard availability

Similan islandsWant to bring in the new year diving from at the Similan Islands? Fancy being underwater as the clock strikes midnight?

We are getting lots of requests for liveaboards over Christmas and New Year. Most boats are already fully booked but we still have a few spaces available if you act fast.

Here are two boats with free spaces:

The Deep Andaman Queen has one twin bed cabin available for 30 Dec to 4 Jan. 5 days 5 nights to the Similan Islands, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai and Richelieu Rock.

For the same dates Similan Explorer has one twin cabin free and also some cheap berths in the 4 share cabin.

December Diving Discounts

The JunkHere’s an early Christmas present.

Book any available berth on The Junk 5 day 6 night Similan/Richelieu liveaboard in December for just 25,000 baht. This amazing price is to fill the last few remaining spaces in December.

Available dates are 6-12 Dec, 13-19 Dec and 20-26 Dec.

The new year trip is already full, every boat is now full over new year. We still have a few spaces on a few boats available over Christmas

Diving Health and Fitness

Are you fit enough to dive?

DCIIf you want to be safe while diving you need to be physically and mentally healthy with strong heart and lungs, a certain level of maturity and discipline.

If you want to enjoy diving you should also be fit enough for the activity. That doesn’t mean you need to be able to run a marathon or do 50 press ups. But you should be fit and agile enough to carry the SCUBA gear and you should be able to swim.

Before you do a dive course with us we will ask you to complete a divers medical statement declaring yourself fit to dive. It is not mandatory for you to get a doctors certificate before diving in Thailand but if you currently have or have previously had any of the medical conditions listed on the medical statement you should get doctors approval before diving. The main issues are illnesses of the heart and lungs or any mental health issues. Asthmatics, old smokers, anyone who has had major surgery and the obese should get medical approval. If you want to see the complete PADI Medical Statement let us know and we’ll send you a copy.

If you are congested you may not be able to equalize your airways making diving to depth painful and dangerous so if you have a cold it’s best to wait it out.

Other (but not all) general dive safety considerations that all divers should think about are to stay well hydrated, don’t drink alcohol until after you’ve finished diving, dive with a buddy and do your buddy checks, plan your dive within safe limits and dive your plan, keep your SCUBA gear well maintained, don’t fly too soon after diving (see flying after diving guidelines), get adequate dive insurance.

Decompression Illness refers to both decompression sickness (the Bends or DCS) and Arterial Gas Embolism (Lung Expansion or AGE). For a full definition of both have a look at this Divers Alert Network article. Obviously we don’t want to get either of these scary sounding conditions. Both are serious and you should be aware of their signs and symptoms because early recognition and treatment is important. If you are fit to dive and dive safely DCI is very rare.

In the unlikely event that you do get DCI you’ll be happy to know that Phuket is well supplied with health facilities for divers. Both the major international hospitals on the island have recompression chamber facilities attached and a well practiced system is in place to evacuate divers quickly from boat to chamber. Dive boats also carry emergency breathing oxygen.

Phuket recompression chamber

Phuket recompression chamber


Cheap Similan Islands liveaboard

DiveRACE10-20% OFF DiveRACE Liveaboard to Similan/Richelieu Rock

It’s a great time to be in the Similan Islands right now, Pawara just came back with reports of two whale shark sightings at Koh Tachai, it’s are not the only boat getting lucky. Grab one of these cheap spaces on DiveRACE and see for yourself.

If you are travelling solo you get 10% discount. Find a friend and you both get 20% off.

Dates: 22-26 November 2014
Duration: 4 days 4 nights. Departs evening 13 November, returns 17 November afternoon
Dive sites: Similan Islands, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai and Richelieu Rock.

Standard lower deck twin cabin 24,000 baht per diver 21,600 baht for 1 diver or 19,200 baht per diver if there are 2 of you.
Standard upper deck twin cabin 25,000 baht per diver 22,500 baht for 1 diver or 20,000 baht per diver if there are 2 of you.
Deluxe twin cabin: 28,000 baht per diver 25,200 baht for 1 diver or 22,400 baht per diver if there are 2 of you.

The Junk

6 nights on the Junk for 25,000 baht

Also, there are still spaces available on the Junk for 22-28 November These spaces are at the give away price of 25,000 baht per diver on a first come first serve basis.

Dates: 15-21 November or 22-27 November
Duration: 5 days 6 nights. Departs evening 22 November, returns 28 November morning
Dive sites: Similan Islands, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai and Richelieu Rock.
Price: Any available berth 25,000 baht per diver