Some years ago now I went to meet the guys on board Phuket’s infamous liveaboard, MV Giamani. A 5 day trip out to the Similan’s to explore the underwater world with some top divers. An incredible dive trip with some incredible people. This year I had the absolute pleasure of joining another trip out to the Similan’s and it was just as I remembered it.
Giamani is a higher class liveaboard that offers 2,4 and 6 day dive safaris to Hin Daeng, Hin Muang and the Similan Islands with a must stop at stunning Richelieu Rock. Italian owned this boat is run and managed by one of the most experienced and knowledgeable divers I have ever met, Ricardo Trabulo and his exceptional colleague, Francesco. An accomplished Instructor with PADI, SSI and RAID, Ricardo has been diving for over 30 years and is a really key individual for this company. His warm and welcoming and super helpful approach to every desk is incredible. I trusted his expertise complicity.
This boat carries a maximum of 10 guests and is a known high end trip out of Phuket. The boat, well looked after and maintained to an exceptional standard transfers you to the stunning National Marine Park that is the Similan’s, a set of 9 islands that have been rated in the top 10 dive sites in the World. Jacque Cousteau discovered this incredible pinnacle with the help of local fisherman and listed it as one of his favourite sites and it wasn’t hard to see why. Partly due to its geology as a solitary pinnacle it attracts a variety of different pelagic species. Snappers, batfish, lionfish, triggerfish and the most amount of glass fish I have ever seen in my life adorn this dive site. It is also a site known for its small and sort after, must see critters including seahorses, frogfish, harlequin shrimp and pineapplefish. It is one of the best dives I have ever done!
My second fave site on this trip is Boulder City. Only 1km southeast of Koh Pa-Yan and a few hundred meters off Shark Fin Reef lies a site full of giant granite boulders, hence the dive site name. Ranging from depths of 12m to 40 it is an awesome site to explore. Golden gorgonian fans and sea whips grow in the cracks of the boulders and in every crevice you can spot something interesting. It is the dive site I love to explore the most out of the Similan’s. Currents can be a bit hairy but again we felt, as I did the first time I dived this site wonderfully briefed on the best way to dive it. I was given ample advice from the dive team. Like I mentioned previously, I never felt unsafe or unprepared.
There is something quite special about being at sea with a group of likeminded people with no cares in the World other than what the next dive site is and what you hope to see. This is the magic thing about liveaboards, they allow you to immerse yourself in the ocean and totally getaway for that brief time. Dive chat buzzing on the boat, sunrises and sets to die for and sea air. What is not to love!
Nitrox and rental equipment at the ready, a rebreather and trimix friendly environment, Thai and international cuisine, clean, en suite cabins and a wonderful crew. There is not much else you could really ask for. I also love the addition of the new shop in Chalong, a great place to pop into for trip information and to purchase last minute bits and bobs for the trip. Centrally located and managed by extremely helpful staff, it’s a nice place to swing by even if you just fancy a hello.
This personalised adventure is in my top 3 dive safari trips and a good enough reason for me to always return to Thailand. I recommend it to friends and divers I meet all the time and have every faith that they will have the same experience I did. Dive Thailand, Dive from MV Giamani.