April is the coolest month for Similan liveaboards – things quieten down after the Songkran holiday but there’s still great conditions and visibility
B over the yellow corals, Koh Bon Pinnacle © firstname.lastname@example.org
April is near the end of the Similan Islands diving season. The Similan Islands National Park closes in mid-May, and many Similan liveaboards stop running at the end of April, although a few hardy boats do continue to go out until the end of the season. (Check Liveaboard.com for April 2024 and May 2024 Similan departures if you’re interested in finding a trip).
Fusiliers and sunburst, Koh Tachai © email@example.com
April is also when Thailand celebrates Songkran, which is the country’s biggest national holiday where the country effectively shuts down for a massive week-long party. Thais take to the streets for prolonged water fights in the usually sweltering heat and there’s lots of drinking and dancing too.
Soft corals and glassfish, Richelieu Rock © firstname.lastname@example.org
Songkran usually happens in the first half of April (the dates vary each year) and the dive boats are packed during that week as, obviously, lots of Thais want to go diving during their holiday.
Big Barrel Sponge, Three Trees © email@example.com
That means the last couple of weeks of April as the Similan seasons ends tend to be a bit less busy as everyone has already spent their money. And this is also the time of year when conditions can be absolutely stunning in the Similan Islands too – so it’s one of my favourite times to dive the area.
School’s out, Richelieu Rock © firstname.lastname@example.org
For a general overview of diving in the Similan Islands, including what you’ll see, how to get there and what a typical Similan liveaboard itinerary looks like, see Diving The Similan Islands: A Quick Guide
Yellow snapper beneath Richelieu Rock © email@example.com
Back on board the Blue Dolphin as a last minute liveaboard deal so the Similans dive itinerary was effectively the same as the liveaboard trips I did with Blue Dolphin in February and December. (Follow the links for trip reports and see also my review of the Blue Dolphin liveaboard itself).
Jacks and divers © firstname.lastname@example.org
Highlights included a superb 3 dives at Richelieu Rock where there was a huge amount of frenetic fish action going on around the rock – it had been busy all season but on this trip every dive saw swarms of fish moving fast around the outside of the rock, heading out into the blue and then speeding back in again.
Glassfish around the reef, Richelieu Rock © email@example.com
We’d already had a similar experience at Koh Tachai where the water above the pinnacle itself was filled with thousands of fusiliers sweeping back and forth through the sun drenched waters of the shallows
Batfish and fusiliers, Koh Tachai © firstname.lastname@example.org
Ao Suthep was a pleasure to dive as always, with the sheer expanse of hard coral in this pristine garden a joy to see. The entwining shapes of the decades-old coral here is just mesmerising. (See more photos of Ao Suthep and a detailed writeup).
Hard coral circles, Ao Suthep © email@example.com
Before we’d got to Koh Tachai and Richelieu Rock, we’d also had great conditions for our dives in the Similan Islands themselves, particularly at Three Trees and Christmas Point. These sites are always a good warm up for the more challenging dives later in the trip.
Yellow coral and diver, Koh Bon Pinnacle © firstname.lastname@example.org
We did several dives at Koh Bon both on the way and coming back from Richelieu, which marks the furthest north point before boats turn around and start heading back towards home. Conditions were good enough on the last day to dive on Koh Bon Pinnacle which sits just off Koh Bon itself and is covered in bright yellow corals.
Trevally and fan corals, Christmas Point © email@example.com
Time it wrong and you can miss the pinnacle completely if there’s a strong current – on this occasion, it was was super peaceful with great visibility but sadly no sign of manta rays despite other boats having spotted them in the area.
Turtle, Three Trees © firstname.lastname@example.org
Overall, it was a classic Similans April trip – great visibility, decent weather and fewer dive boats at the dive sites as the season was starting to wind down. The fun part of doing several Similans trips over the course of a season is that, even though you’re going back to the same dive sites, they’re constantly changing and it can feel like diving a different place with only a few weeks between visits.
Fusiliers, Koh Tachai, Similan Islands, Thailand © email@example.com
Similan Liveaboards Overview
- Luxury Similan Island Liveaboards
- Mid Range Similan Island Liveaboards
- Budget Similan Island Liveaboards
- Last Minute Liveaboard Deals
- Diving The Similan Islands 2023: A Quick Guide
- Similan Islands Liveaboard Trip Report April 2023
- Similan Islands Liveaboard Trip Report February 2023
- Similan Islands Liveaboard Trip Report December 2022
- Diving Thailand Guide - Thailand’s best dive sites, Where to see manta rays and whale sharks, Similan trip reports and more