Andaman Sea, a wonderful Adventure for Divers & Explorers
About the same size as France, Thailand stretches over 1,770 kilometers from north to south and covers about 325,000 square kilometers. It has two coasts, one by the Andaman Sea and the other adjacent to the Gulf of Thailand.
In the Andaman Sea, water temperatures are ordinarily warm, ranging from 79 to 84 degrees, although it may be a little cooler in depth, especially in March and April. The clarity of the water varies from less than 20 feet to 150 feet or more, depending on the season. In general, it is best to start in November. Plankton flowers in March and April fall the Vis. Most diving liveaboards to the Similan Islands stop traveling from June to late September, the southwest monsoon season when the visibility can be excellent, but the seas can be rough, especially in exposed sites. In the Gulf of Thailand, water temperatures are in the low in the mid-1980s, with the hottest conditions in May and June. Vis isn’t as great in the Gulf due to freshwater runoff, plankton, and water circulation. The northeast monsoon blows from November to February, stirring the seas and sediments. February to September is usually the best time for diving when conditions improve.
On my last trip to the Andaman Sea in Thailand, almost two years ago, I explored the Similan Islands and visited the south. On this journey, the itinerary takes us back to the Similans and the north to Burma, or Myanmar as we now know. On the way to the north, we make a stop at the Richelieu Rock, which for me is the highlight of the trip.
To explore this destination through liveaboard, check out our list of Andaman sea diving liveaboards to the Similan Islands.
An explosion of firecrackers bursts the tranquility after sunset. If we had not been briefed moments before, I might have jumped overboard in a panic. But, as explained during the briefing on board, it is a Thai tradition to light fireworks at the front of a ship leaving the port. It is supposed to dismiss evil spirits for the safe journey of the ship. As the smoke clears the bow, I look at the calm expanse of the ocean. The agitation of Phuket disappears behind us, and we make good progress.
After many hours of flying, it finally appears to me that I arrived in the exotic world of Thailand. There is no better description than, simply, fascinating. Above and below the water, few places on earth compete with the assortment of colors, textures, tastes and sounds of Thailand. Even the sounds of the boats are distinctive here: fishing ships and water taxis use simple, one-cylinder “eggbeaters,” as they are seldom called, which make a peculiar “thwok, thwok, thwok” sound, like a helicopter’s rotor blades underwater. But as we make our way further and further from the harbor, even the sounds of these engines fade behind us.
- On 26 Jan 2017
- By Philippe Pouillart