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South Siam Divers
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Stefan S wrote a review Mar 2020
Singapore, Singapore722 contributions77 helpful votes
+1
If you google Similans Liveaboards there's plenty to choose from. This 40+ metres boat with 4 decks would fit nicely in the budget column. Yet at budget prices what we need is efficiency, reasonable comfort, customer-centred services and of course, diving safety. I have been using this company and their boats for more times than I can count since they started in 2002. The key is efficiency. The time you depart, the time of pickups, the time of meals, dives etc, amazingly on time and no surprises in the Thai world of "Mai Pen Rai" or "It Doesn't Matter". Though almost 2 decades and their boats are a little tired and can use some refurbishment, try another boat in the same price range and you will come back to them. SSD has 2 daytrip boats that ply the training site of Racha Yai and the 3 dive day of the ever popular King Cruiser, Shark Point and Koh Doc Mai. There's also 2 identical large Liveaboards with 17 rooms each plying Similans every season. Somboon 3 and Somboon 4, difference being Somboon 4 goes further North to Tachai and Richielieu Rocks while Somboon 3 stops at Koh Bon and turn back South. Only flip side with SSD is if you book directly with SSD, you won't know whom you will be diving with until you get grouped on the boat. SSD uses a lot of freelancers every season thus you might be diving with an experienced guide with 10,000 dives in these waters OR your guide might have just graduated yesterday since Phuket has a large pool of IDC classes. Thankfully, Phuket has plenty of agents. Dive centres and Dive Travel agents that doesn't own boats book you on the boats of your choice, and usually these agents or instructors will come onboard to be your dive guide or course instructor if you are taking a dive course. Similans has great diving that sometimes can be treacherous with strong currents, best enjoyed at Advance level or small group sizes. Consider taking up Advance Course onboard if you wish to enjoy Similans properly. Book ahead and speak at lengths with your guide or instructor. Lots to see in the Similans if you dive with the right guide. Especially one that is safe, reputable and knowledgeable with Similans' diving
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Date of experience: March 2020
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Chloe T wrote a review Feb 2020
3 contributions4 helpful votes
My fiance and I who are novice divers scheduled a live aboard through Merlin Divers in Kamala Beach. They were excellent but I'll digress. We were picked up by a bus on time at our air bnb. Shuttled to the speed boat and once on the big boat had a snack and were briefed for our first dive. Big's was the name of the Dive master and he was very professional and focused on safety and fun. This was our first liveaboard experience and we were the most novice divers on the boat by a margin. The sites were beautiful. People were saying that visibility was worse than past years but hey, mother nature always wins the day. And even if visibility was not the best we still had the 100% aquarium experience seeing octopus and cuddle fish as well as all the beautiful reef fish and turtles. We had a great time on this trip and the crew was amazing. Food was great, they even traded a fishing vessel a case of cola for some fresh caught squid that we ate that night and it was soooooooo good. There was one dive site with a strong current that was pretty difficult to access but all groups were gathered and accounted for . It was a bit exciting for us as we are pretty new to the sport but again, mother nature rules the day. All in all our experiece was top notch and for a "budget liveaboard" we felt pampered and were very happy with our trip. I would book with them again 100%.
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Date of experience: February 2020
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Helenaa wrote a review Feb 2020
St. Moritz, Switzerland1 contribution2 helpful votes
Go with this company and boat. We traveled as two mid-aged European women with decent physical condition on South Siam Diver boat Somboon 4. This is my very first post on the review site and I am posting the review because the people working onboard the boat deserve it. We are not expereinced divers. I had 27 dives before the trip and 42 after, I didn't miss a dive. My companion also is similar. We are loving it so much. We made a 4D/3N trip. We booked through an 3rd party diving agency who was very good at explaining to us about the itinery, what to expect and about the company we would be diving with South Siam Diver. This we realized was essential and after reading some review below I think its important to find the right diving agency who will be honest to you. The boat is big, tidy and has alot of space.There was around 20 of us for the trip to north Andaman but a little more busy during a couple days at lunch time due to the operation of the boat and new people arriving and some departing. The cabin is nice with 2 beds, air conditioning, low level lighting, blankets, plug sockets. We stayed on 'A' Deck which is the bottom row and has 2 toilets/shower there and is very fine but I would however recommend to request an 'B' deck cabin when you book as there is bigger windows and 4 toilets/showers there. There is a snack bar upstairs, fresh coffee expresso, fresh milk, tea, chocolate, soda, beer, cold water. A fridge for your own belongings if you need it. The food is just great. So great and plentiful with fruits, salads and snacks served throughout the day. We didn't go hungry throughout our trip. Breakfast lunch dinner is a mix of East and West foods. The diving was fun and fabulous. We dived with a Thai local guide called L. He was very sweet and patient man. He was a little shy but tried his hardest with us and let his diving skills do his talking. We needed his help as we are not that good divers when we arrived but he made us better divers at the end. So calm and so safe he guided us through strong currents and showed so many stuffs including cute seahorses to bigger sharks all with a famous Thailand smile. The professional and safety here is 100%. I read some review below and don't understand, what are people expecting? Somebody to make the red carpet for them?. Every staffs on board is fantastic and organized, so friendly and welcoming. I congratulate every one of them. I can see they are tired but they kept going and kept smiling. Inparticular I congratulate L our Guide and boat master Sean, a British man who knew what hes doing and I think been around a long time. The briefings are brilliant and delivered in the best humorous way. Delivering important serious rules and safety information but remembering we are on holiday and making us laugh. Currents are discussed and what to do in them, divesites information by using big professional printed map, what fish can see (each fish promised we saw), no breaking coral etc. Even on first briefings its included in rules to clean in toilet if you make them untidy. All very detailed, professional, organized and safety orientated. Just remember to book with the right and truthful diving agency, I can see that it is important! Our best experience and our pleasure to write this reviews for you. Thank you so much. Congratulations to staffs onboard and South Siam Divers!!
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Date of experience: January 2020
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Nicolai W wrote a review Feb 2020
1 contribution
Booked af LOB for 3D/2N. We booked through sunrise divers in Karon, and were surprised, that We were diving with this Company. We were picked up on time, but with little to no information rushed to a speedboat, which took us to South Siam 4. Once We arrived, We were thrown straight in to our gear and thrown in the water. No one checked cerificates or did buddy checks. We felt that everything was rushed, and it didnt feel well organized and Secure. It was lucky that, there were very limited bookings. Otherwise the boat would’ve been overcrowded. Dive briefings were short, slow paced and rarely accurate. Our guide was a really Nice guy, but safety was not a top priority. All in all - very Nice dive sites, but i will never use this Company or the agent again.
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Date of experience: February 2020
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andreea_popa wrote a review Feb 2020
Bucharest, Romania15 contributions
Initially we booked 3 nights, but we decided to extend our stay. Excellent conditions on the boat, good food, friendly and helpful staff. I fully recommend them as the best diving company from Phuket. All the complaints I have read below are overreacting. Our experience was great! Arju was our dive master on Boat 3. She is absolutely amazing. On the day trips we had Big (Smith) as instructor for one of our friends. He has a lot of patience, is dedicated to his job and friendly. Definitely we will return to dive with South Siam Divers.
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Date of experience: January 2020
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