Key Reasons to Dive the Similans in November
One of our most frequently asked questions is ‘when is the best time to go diving in the Similan Islands’. While December to May draws divers in like fish to bait, November remains one of the best months to strap on your fins and explore the Similans.
The month of November is the unsung hero of the Thailand diving as it all too often gets overlooked as everyone focuses their attention on Christmas preparations or booking their summer holidays.
However, for anyone wanting to explore the underwater world in the Similan Islands November is the ideal to time to visit. The archipelago is only open from 15th October through to the 15th May limiting the months visitors can access these beautiful waters in order to keep them fertile and healthy, which is fantastic news for divers with an ethical sense of aquatic-awareness. In addition, recent changes to the Marine National Park regulations has limited the number of daily divers allowed into the area – which arguably makes the Similan Dive Sites one of, if not, the most exclusive in Thailand!
So, why November?
October is popular as visitors are desperately trying to eke out the last gasps of their summer holidays and December is always a fun time to visit as everyone loves to get away on a Christmas holiday. January to May sees divers frantic to head to sunnier shores, leaving November as the black sheep of the open diving months, which as a result makes it one of the best months to visit.
Let’s take a look at why the Similans in November is such a great time to go diving:
What Weather Can I Expect?
Similan Islands Weather – November is one of the best times of the year to visit the Similans, as the rainy skies of low season have all but disappeared and the sun has put his hat back on and is out and ready to play. Whilst there is still that chance of the odd shower, clear skies and good seas coupled with long sunny days are perfect for anyone hiding away in front of their fire in frost-bitten Europe.
How is the Water Visibility?
The visibility is great in November as the sea has calmed down after monsoon season leaving behind it crystal clear water with great visibility of 15-30 metres. The temperature of the water is also ideal as divers can expect to enjoy plunging into water that is a welcoming 28°C.
What Animals Can I See?
Similan Islands Marine Life – As the national park area only reopens its reefs to visitors in mid-October, the water is teeming with marine life and you can expect the full cast and crew of ‘Finding Nemo’ to be busy getting on with their daily routines as we explore our way from the south to the north of the Islands.
Green and Hawksbill Turtles
Shy Sea Horses
Gentle giant Manta Rays
Placid Reef and Nurse Sharks
Batteries of Barracuda
The Whale Shark
It is worth remembering that it is simply impossible to predict what animals will decide to grace you with their presence but isn’t this unpredictability the beauty of seeing nature in the wild?
Why is November Different to the Rest of the Year?
What is it about November that makes it such a great time to visit?
One of the most obvious benefits of diving in the Similans in November is that you will avoid the busier months. The start of high season sees fewer boats, which inevitably means fewer people and as the Similans are far from being overrun, divers can enjoy exploring a thriving underwater world without worrying about running into a ‘lesser-spotted’ diver when they would rather find a turtle.
Hotel prices in and around Khao Lak are cheaper than during the peak season, restaurants are easy to get a seat in and bars are friendly and welcoming rather than spilling out onto the street. While always hot, the temperatures aren’t as stifling in November as they can be later in to the Season.
Warm weather, empty waters and fertile seas topped off with the lure of a great deal should be enough to make you swap your winter thermals for a wetsuit and enjoy diving in the Similans before everyone else arrives.
You might ask ‘why should you choose November’ – We challenge you to find a reason as to why not…