5 Great Reasons to Dive the Similan Islands, Surin Islands and Myanmar in Low Season
One of the questions we are asked most frequently is “when is the best time to dive the Similan Islands?”. From our previous blog on this, you’ll know that December to April tend to be the most popular months here on the West coast of Thailand. Diving in ‘shoulder season’ and booking a Similan Islands liveaboard in October, November or May provide some great advantages though, so don’t discount them as an opportunity to nab yourself a great bargain on a fantastic Khao Lak or Phuket liveaboard onboard the Deep Andaman Queen!
The shoulder season months of October, November, and May are some of the best times to visit the Similan Islands. The storms of low season have already passed, and we find ourselves once again enjoying long sunny days, flatter seas and minimal rain. Of course, we may still experience the odd shower from time to time, and it is possible that there will be a little more cloud cover than in peak season months. But this can also be considered an advantage for those who are easily overwhelmed by the heat, and certainly reduces the chances of sunburn if you nod off for a post scuba snooze on the sun deck!
Diving the Similan Islands, Surin Islands, and Myanmar during quieter months generally means quieter boats. With fewer passengers to share the vessel, you’ll get much more space to relax in between dives and in the evenings. Plus, having fewer dive buddies also equates to smaller dive groups, which in turn means more personal attention from your dive guide. It may also result in longer dives since with fewer divers the chances of having buddies who burn through their air more quickly than you are reduced. You’ll probably even see more marine life on your dives, and in particular macro marine life, as your guide will have more time for critter spotting when not having to supervise and air check additional divers.
Another advantage is that the dive sites themselves will be quieter, which at popular hot spots like Richelieu Rock, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai, Western Rocky and Black Rock, can make a huge difference. We always prefer to see more fish than other divers, so Andaman diving at the end of October, into November and again in May are great times to guarantee yourself a more private dive site experience.
Underwater, Andaman diving conditions in shoulder season can be just as good as in high season. The water temperature does not vary significantly throughout the year, normally sitting around 28°C. Underwater visibility at dive sites in the Andaman sea for Similans, Surin and Myanmar diving ranges from 15-30 meters in the lower months. Currents and tidal changes are controlled by the moon and not affected by the weather, so these follow the same patterns throughout the year, irrespective of when you visit.
Many divers book onto one of our Similan Island liveaboards or Myanmar liveaboards for their chance to see manta rays or go diving with whale sharks. And although it is true that the chances are higher during our mid-season months, it is never guaranteed, and sometimes divers who join us in October, November and May see them when divers during peak season do not. So probability alone should not be enough to put you off when considering when to dive the Similans. In fact, divers who take our first trips at the end of October and into November get the chance to be the first on the dive sites when they are at their most fertile and healthy, following months of closure during monsoon season. So there is a whole plethora of Similan Islands marine life to see, even if you are not lucky enough to get sightings of the ‘big stuff’.
Value for Money
Hotel prices in Phuket and Khao Lak are cheaper in October, November, and May than during the peak season, helping to make your Thailand diving liveaboard holiday a little more affordable. Plus, the most popular restaurants are easier to get seated in, and even the bar scene is more welcoming and relaxed than during busier months.
Special low season deals are also sometimes available on our Similan Island Liveaboard or Myanmar Liveaboard trips themselves. So be sure to check our website for details on the most up to date liveaboard diving deals. You can also check trip availability and book online.
We hope this has you excited for some amazing diving experiences and helped with your holiday planning, and we hope to welcome you aboard soon! If you have more questions about booking your dream liveaboard diving trip in Thailand or Myanmar and would like to speak with us, feel free to contact our helpful staff at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will be happy to provide any additional information you need.