After receiving my scuba certification in Ko Tao, I traveled to the Similan Islands on the other side of Thailand for a six-night live-aboard scuba diving excursion. I slept on a boat that offered five dives every day, including one night dive every evening. It was an incredible journey that began with a search for transportation off the island of Ko Tao.
The ferry voyage from Ko Tao to the mainland was a nightmare. Like everyone else, I purchased a ticket. We were all allotted beds because it was an overnight vacation.
With all of the bunk beds in one large room, it appeared to be a prison ship. I sat in my bed, ready for the trip to begin. Then a member of staff approached me and informed me that I was in the wrong location. My bunk was on the lower level.
It was starting to feel like I was on a prison ship! They crammed me into a room with around 5 bunks, cleaning equipment, no blankets or sheets, and other crew things. To make matters worse, the room’s door was just near to the exhaust stacks. The room was scorching hot, so the other occupants demanded that the door be opened. The room was filled with exhaust with the door open. It was a complete disaster.
I ended up putting my mattress on the deck and sleeping outside. Someone eventually informed me that one of the usual rooms had an empty bed. As a result, I was able to obtain a few hours of sleep.
I had to locate a bus to Phuket on the mainland. If you’ve never visited in Southeast Asia, you should be aware that no one knows what’s going on. You’ll be walked to a location where you’ll be picked up, then transferred to another location. Then you’ll be informed that the bus will be 6 hours late. Fortunately, my bus arrived on schedule, and I had a long drive to Phuket, which was a million times more comfortable than the boat voyage.
I had a few hours to kill in Phuket. I was too exhausted to wander around with my bag, so I located a comfortable spot to relax for a while.
I ran into one of The Junk’s crew members in the lobby of a hotel. I completed the paperwork and paid the charge. After that, I was taken to the ship.
I fell in love with the ship right away. I shared a lovely bed and a small bedroom with one other individual. The galley was adequate, and there were snacks on hand to keep us going until dinner.
We were given a tour of the ship, a diving schedule, and a safety briefing, among other things. After that, we ate dinner and rested as the ship made its way to the first diving area.
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know how much I enjoy boats and ships. The Hornblower series and the Aubrey / Maturian series are two of my favorite British Navy fiction novels. It was a dream come true to live on this ship. The fact that I was able to scuba dive five times a day was the frosting on the cake!
We spent a lot of time reading and relaxing because there was no cell phone service on the islands. Two brothers, two couples, me, and one other solitary guy were among the passengers on the cruise. On the ship, everyone was wonderful and easy to get along with.
There were also about 5 or 6 employees. An American was the main dive guide. The rest of the group was Thai. They’d assist with dive gear, operate the boat, and prepare some of the most delectable meals I’d ever tasted. Thai cuisine is one of my top three favorites (next to Mexican and Indian). Every single dinner was a complete treat. There was always a dinner or a snack waiting for us when we returned from a dive.
I’m a rather light sleeper in general. Almost every morning, I was up before the sun rose. It felt great to be alone on the terrace, sipping coffee and listening to the exotic birds on the island we had driven to late at night. Then I’d watch the sun rise while listening to the boat slowly wake up as the other passengers began to move around.
I don’t have any good pictures from the dives. I took a lot of videos, but I can’t seem to find them. They’re almost certainly on a memory card.
The life on the ship was fantastic. The dives were fantastic, but I really enjoyed being on the ship in the middle of the ocean. The tour was over after 6 nights, and we were dropped off at Phuket.
The less said about Phuket, I believe, the better. It was a shithole teeming with inebriated Europeans and sex tourists. The whole room had a sour vibe to it. Because the bus didn’t leave until the morning, I stayed for one night.
I went to a muay thai kickboxing match. It was a lot of fun, and I even made some money betting on one of the fights. I was conflicted about children fighting. Fortunately, none of them were knocked out.
The majority of the fights were between adults (both male and female). The children were on the sidelines.
I went to bed after the bouts and then took a bus to a city that is hundreds of times more entertaining than Phuket. I hope you’ll join me for that post tomorrow!