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|Pick Up Time:
|Soft Drinks Incl.:
|Course On LOB
||All Accept OW course
||Friday, November 08, 2013
||Monday, November 11, 2013
On board MV Giamani our guest number is limited to 16 people per trip so that there is always plenty of space for all guests onboard.
We have 2 Standard cabins and four Deluxe cabins. The two air conditioned standard cabins are situated on the upper deck behind the wheel house; these spacious cabins each have two single berths and share 1 bathroom.
On the main deck we have four Deluxe cabins, each cabin has three single berths, these cabins can also be booked by 2 people that do not wish to share with a third diver. Each deluxe cabin has it own air conditioning unit, en suite bathroom and the cabin door opens to spectacular sea views.
The islands are universally recognized as some of the best world-class diving. The Similan Islands National Park lies some 100km or 4 hours from Phuket. The word "Similan" is derived from the Malaysian word " sembilan " which means "Nine" and there are nine granite islands.
The islands have never been inhabited. For many generations, the only human visitors were the so-called Sea Gypsies who came to fish on the teeming reefs. The Similan Islands were formed some 100-150 million years ago. There present formation is derived from cracked granite rock, which has been sculpted from the winds and waves.
The Nine Islands in the Similan group are: (running from North to South):
Koh Bangu (No.9), Koh Similan (No.8), Koh Pabu (No.7), Koh Payu (No.6), Koh Ha (No.5), Koh Miang (No.4), Koh Payan (No.3), Koh Payang (No.2) and Koh Huyong (No.1).
The Similans were designated as a National Park in 1982. The National Marine Park take great pride in the conservation of the islands and have closed islands No.1-3. Island No.1 is turtle inhabitation.
High season in this area officially begins in November, and ends in May, but the visibility varies all year round, from generally 20 meters to sometimes over 40 meters.
On the west side of the islands, the granite has been eroded into massive blocks. Diving here, you can explore swim-troughs, avoiding the huge sea fans, you may see a shy white-tip or black-tip shark, as they speed off into the blue. In good visibility, the granite boulders truly can seem like an underwater city. On the east side of the islands, you can drift through coral gardens and streams of fusiliers, watch dozens of feather worms pop closed as you pass, or observe fields of garden eels, swaying in the sand.
Of course, no trip to the Similans is complete without visiting the nearby Surin National Park. This is the site of the Richelieu Rock, world-famous for sightings of the magnificent, yet gentle, whale shark. Also, Koh Bon and Koh Tachai are top class dives and are the best places to see manta rays.
The reefs are home to a multitude of tropical fish of all sizes, shapes and colors, with frequent sightings of turtles, rays and sharks. Ironwood and gum trees are among the larger trees, while jackfruit, rattan and langurs, squirrels, bats, lizards and a good variety of birds. But the most striking feature of these islands, at first glance, are the huge boulders that litter the western and southern shores on several of the islands.
But most of all the Similans has it all for divers from coral walls, big rocks, huge sea fans and barrel sponges, caves and swim-troughs.
Distance from Phuket:55 Nautical Miles
Diving Depth: 0 - 40m (0-135ft)
Visibility: Excellent to fantastic
Sea Temperature: 27/29°C
Diver Level: All levels
Located just below the border with Burma on the northern end of the Thai coastline. There are five islands in all, but he two most popular are Ko Surin Neua (north island) and Ko Surin Tai (south island). The Surin Island chain are a series of jungle covered granite outcrops that are ringed with coral reefs to a depth of 25-30 meters. These islands were designated as a national park in 1981.
The whole Surin Islands National Park covers a area of about 135 square kilometer. The two bigger Surin Island are separated by a 200 m waterway. The Surin Islands are about 60 km offshore.
Ko Surin Nuea (North Surin Island)
This island is surrounded by coral reefs in several bays, some more than 300m. wide. The reef edge contains numerous corals before sloping to a depth of 20-30m; for example, Ao Chong Khat, Ao Mai Ngam, Ao Sai En, and Ao Chak. The coral reefs here suffer little in the way of strong current or wave action and provide a suitable place to snorkel. The nature trail at Hat Mai Ngam links many diverse ecosystems ranging through Evergreen Forest, Beach Forest, and Mangrove Forest to an underwater forest, the large coral reef.
Ko Surin Tai (South Surin Island)
The coral reefs of the South Surin Island are only 100-200m wide, but they have more diversity than those of the North Surin Island. Some famous diving sites are Ao Phakkat, and Ko Torinla. Ao Tao is the best site to easily see sea turtles, and has the first underwater nature trail established in Thailand to learn about the marine ecosystem.
One of the favourite dive sites is Turtle Ledges. At Turtle Ledges you can see hawksbill turtles, juvenile batfish and ghost pipefish.
The famous Richelieu Rock is a limestone pinnacle carpeted with a thick covering pink and purple corals. Richelieu is one of the only sites in the world where the whale sharks are encountered on a regular basis. See the main Richelieu Rock page for full details.
Ko Torinla (Ko Khai)
Famous as the most beautiful shallow coral reef in Thailand, it hosts a vast staghorn coral reef, the habitat of several marine animals ranging from match-stick length goby up to 4 metre wide manta rays.
In summer, this area is not only the best snorkeling and diving site of Mu Ko Surin but also the best in Thailand. It is located about 1 km from south Surin Island.
Ko Khai or Ko Torinla is located on the southern part of the Ko Surin Tai. On the eastern part of this island has a long, perfect and very beautiful coral line which very suitable for snorkelling. This island is about 6km from the national park office. The coral reef is found on the northern side of the island and is about 500m long and 100m wide before sloping to a depth of 15-20m. In the shallower areas, one of the largest and densest areas of branching corals are found. The submerged rocks between Ko Torinla and Ko Surin are an interesting dive site. There are several species of soft corals and sea fans, no less than 242 species of coral reef fish, as well as larger species like Manta Rays.
Ao Luk (Deep Bay)
Famous for its deep dark green waters with beautiful coral reef in the shallows.
Ao Chong Khat
This bay is located between the North and South Surin Islands, and its narrowest point is about 200 m wide.
Diver can be swam across during low tide. The water is shallow (1-3m), and it is a suitable place for playing, and learning to snorkel (snorkeling and diving equipment rental fee is 100 baht/day/set). The shallow water coral reef here has scattered 1-meter-high massive corals and also some submassive corals.
Marine animals found include sea anemones, over 550 anemonefish, giant clams, and small fish such as pipefish, and small parrotfish. However, one should be careful when the tide is rising or falling, and also beware of long-tailed boats since this is the route to other bays around the islands.
Ao Mai Ngam
Ao Mai Ngam located on the western part of the Ko Surin Nua or far from the national park office about 2 kilometres. A safe snorkeling and diving site and the nearest. You can get there by walking through the trail of Mai Ngam Natural Studies or taking a long tailed boat. There is a fresh water and beach suitable for swimming and coral sightseeing. The coral reef ranges from 200-800m offshore. In the shallower areas, there are many corals, particularly foliose, found scattered in large beautiful groups. Deeper, there are massive corals mixed with staghorn corals to a depth of 12 - 15m. Massive corals are habitats of many strange coloured fish like parrotfish, wrasse, butterfly fish, and anemone fish. You should snorkel during the high tide period to prevent damage to these corals.
Ao Mae Yai
In the past, it was home to one of the largest staghorn coral reefs of Thailand. Today, the area is a rehabilitation site with no permission to dive other than in the cape area at the southern tip of the bay site 20m below the surface.
A rather remote site due to its distance from the Substation (45 min. by boat), and one of the best snorkeling and diving sites of the islands. The coral reef lies at 200-400m from the shore, where Staghorn Corals and several other species can be found. The reef gradually drops to a depth of 12-15m where a few soft corals and sea fans are found.
A highlight of the area is that Hawksbill Turtles are often found, as well as Green Turtles and several species of fish such as butterfly fish and puffer. The reef here is 100-200m wide before sloping to a depth of 20m. In shallow areas are again found various corals including Staghorn Corals. There is also an underwater nature trail se out here, which is a snorkeling and diving treat not to be missed.
The area has a rich diversity of corals, especially foliose corals. Angelfish are often found and there are no less than 7 species. In deeper areas are found some small soft corals and sea fans. The coral reef is about 300m long and 100m wide, before sloping to a depth of about 18m. A popular snorkeling and diving site.
Ao Mang Kon
Ao Mang Kon located on the eastern part of the Central Island or Ko Pachumba has a beautiful coral and many big school of fishes. It's far from the national park office about 5 kilometers.
Ao Phak Kat
Ao Phak Kat located on the southern part of the Ko Surin Tai has a perfect colorful coral line. It's far from the national park office about 5 kilometers.
Near coral line of Ao Tao located on the eastern part of Ko Surin Tai is a living place of a lot of sea turtles. This beautiful coral is far from the national park office about 2 kilometers.
Located an hour east of the Surin Island National Park lies Richelieu Rock, one of Thailand’s best known Dive spots. This Reef is a “U” shaped pinnacle that starts at 40 meters and extends to the surface. Frequent visits by passing Whale Sharks and Manta Rays have made this site a world famous dive destination. Large schools of Great Barracuda, tuna, Jacks and Bat-fish are native inhabitants of the pinnacle. The site consists of a variety from brilliantly colored soft-corals and anemones in the shallows to frog fish and harlequin shrimp along the steep walls. Around the base of the site divers often spot large groupers, Titan Triggerfish, lion fish and reef sharks.