Diving the best of Thailand & Riding through country-side Cambodia
14th to 27th April 2018
Join us aboard the Junk to explore the very best dive sites in Thailand in style! We welcome you on a cruise around the stunning Similan Islands on board of a famous historical vessel accompanied by the nicest crew and delicious food. This unique combination makes for an unparalleled and outstanding diving holiday you will never forget.
The Similan Islands in Thailand are thought to have inherited their name from the Malaysian word sembelan, which means nine, as the Similans consist of a grouping of nine granite boulder Islands arranged in a South to North access. All the Islands have Thai names but even your Captain will refer to them by number, starting with Island #1 in the South and finishing ten nautical miles in the North with Island #9. Above the water topography is stunning, lush vegetation topping the Islands gives way to granite boulders or white sandy beaches, surrounded by clear blue water. But it is what lies beneath the water that allows the Similans to lay claim to being one of Thailand and Asia's top scuba diving liveaboard destinations.
4 Nights, 14 Dives including up to 3 sunset/night dives
The following is a sample itinerary of where you might dive during your holiday with us.
Light Breakfast followed by a briefing & Dive 1
Full Breakfast, relaxation followed by briefing & Dive 2
Lunch, relaxation followed by briefing & Dive 3
Dinner will be served either before or after the sunset/night dive
Day 1 is reserved for embarkation, there will be no diving on this day. For the final day aboard we schedule 2 dives to allow plenty of time for off-gassing before disembarkation and your flight home. The Cruise Director is happy to listen to requests from guests to visit or remain at certain sites and providing it is possible and the schedule allows, then guest’s requests are respected.
The above water scenery will provide stunningly beautiful white sandy beaches with small forested areas. Dive some of the following sites; Boulder City, Sharkfin Reef, Anita's Reef and Honeymoon Bay. Under the surface you may see: Leopard (zebra) shark, blue spotted stingrays, clown trigger fish, rabbit fish, scorpion fish, snappers, emperor fish, giant trevally and angelfish. The coral gardens, bommies and boulder formations are wonderful to dive. Elephant Head Rock, visible from the surface, this is the biggest pinnacle in the Similans and has some fantastic swim-throughs. If lucky you might see some white tip reef sharks, batfish, trevally and barracuda can often be seen on the perimeter of the boulders and if you look closely in the cracks and in the rubble you can see smashing mantis shrimp, porcelain crab, moray eels and cleaner shrimp.
Koh Bon is a dive site where manta rays may be seen. You are likely to see Napoleon wrasse, sweetlips, octopus, blue fin trevally, giant moray eels, great barracudas, fire dart goby, popcorn shrimp, spiny lobster and nudibranchs of many types. The dive sites vary from wall diving to gently sloping reefs and from submerged boulders to coral gardens.
Koh Tachai is famous for its pinnacle dive site and more relaxed reef diving. Normally Leopard Sharks, Marbled Whip Rays, Turtles, Barracuda, Pipe Fish, and Nudibranchs can be found here. There is also a chance to see bigger species in this area like Manta Rays and Whale Sharks, especially by late January till April.
Richelieu Rock. This limestone pinnacle was named by Jacques Cousteau after the character in the Three Musketeers, Cardinal Richelieu, as it reminded him of his deep scarlet cape. There are gorgeous purple dendronepthya soft corals covering most of the pinnacle and other areas covered in magnificent sea anemones as well. Barely breaking the surface at low tide, this horseshoe-shaped outcropping, slopes steeply to a sandy bottom at 18 to 35 meters (60-120 Ft). This site offers great diversity for such a small and isolated spot. It also offers excellent multi-level diving and, because it’s a high-profile reef, there’s always sheltered areas to hide from current. The marine life is prolific and includes amongst, many other things; Pharaoh cuttlefish, large octopi, all 5 varieties of anemone fish of the Andaman Sea, variety of moray eels, ornate ghost pipefish, smashing mantis shrimps, harlequin shrimps, tiger tail sea horses, Spanish mackerel, frog fish, many schooling snapper and occasional sightings of manta rays and whale sharks.
Khao Lak Wrecks
There is a choice of easily diveable wrecks between The Similan Islands and Khao Lak. The Boonsung and the Premchai are old tin miners that were sank 25 or so years ago and are a treat for underwater photographers as well as lovers of life of all kinds!! Only in 18m of water they are covered in nudibranchs and shrimps as well as large numbers of the unusual leopard moray. There are also huge numbers of schooling fish as well as rays and leopard sharks that can occasionally be seen. Sea Chart 1 is a slightly more challenging dive and lies between 40 and 25 metres. Sunk during a storm in 2009 with a full load of teak, she is relatively new but already hosts an abundance of schooling fish.
An incredibly beautiful, fun and cultural motorcycle tour across Cambodia’s mighty Cardamom Mountain range. Starting off in the picturesque town of Siem Reap you will have the opportunity to visit the ancient temples of Angkor before saddling up for what will surely be one hell of an adventure! With exciting off-road riding for both novice and expert riders, we have options for some difficult riding in the rocky sections, or for those who want to take it a little easier we can stick to cruising the winding dirt roads through the hills. Temples, big guns, rocky hill climbs, river crossings, spectacular views, rural home stays and of course, the beach… this ride packs an immense variety of experiences into a one week trip!
DAY 1: SIEM REAP – BATTAMBANG | 185KM
Leaving the city behind, we’ll head west towards the Thai border. We’ll ride a variety of dirt roads and winding trails as we ride past lakes and alongside rivers. We’ll stop for lunch besides a large reservoir before continuing to the old French colonial town of Battambang. You’ll even have the chance to sample some of the local rice paddy rats at one of the roadside BBQs! Mmmmm rat. Tastes just like chicken, of course.
Accommodation will be in a quality hotel with a pool.
DAY 2: BATTAMBANG – OSAOM | 220KM
A short cruise out of Battambang is Phnom Sampeau – a small mountain which witnessed major atrocities committed by the Khmer Rouge. We’ll visit the gruesome Killing Caves and see the guns that the Vietnamese used to keep the Khmer Rouge at bay after they’d taken hold of the mountain.
We’ve got some awesome trail riding today, from fast paced dirt roads, muddy sections in ‘sticky land’, river crossings and winding dirt roads that climb up in the Cardamom Mountains providing breathtaking views across the hills. We’ll finish up the day by crossing a lake on a small wooden boat before arriving at a beautiful homestay style lodge, surrounded by lakes and jungle. Cool off by jumping in for a swim behind our lodge.
Accommodation will be in a homestay style lodge.
DAY 3: OSAOM – KOH KONG | 115KM
We’ll ride a fun dirt road in the morning that sweeps through the hills. We then branch off into thick thick jungle for some epic singletrack riding, stream crossings and hilly sections. After the jungle section we’ll ride a beautiful dirt and concrete road through the mountains on the way down to Koh Kong, visiting a couple of waterfalls en route. Tonight’s destination is Koh Kong – a riverside town close to the Thai border.
Accommodation will be in a quality riverside hotel.
DAY 4: KOH KONG REST DAY
A non-riding day today and we have the option to relax on a beach, visit Koh Kong island, kayak through mangrove forests or relax at a beautiful riverside restaurant, borrowing their kayaks to paddle on the river and watch the fire flies come out as the sun goes down.
DAY 5: KOH KONG – CHIPHAT | 130KM
Today we have a difficult option and an easy option. The harder route tackles the ‘old smugglers trail’: steep and technical rocky hills, lots of quirky bridges, river crossings, bamboo jungle and some really fun single track trails. The easy route sticks to the beautiful smooth roads that wind through the mountains, visiting the impressive Tatai waterfall along the way. Late afternoon we will take cold beers down to the river / rapids for a swim.
Accommodation will be in small home stay in this beautiful riverside eco-village.
DAY 6: CHIPHAT – SIHANOUKVILLE | 160KM
We’ll cross the river out of Chiphat on small wooden boats in the morning and ride the dirt roads through the hills of sugarcane. We then have some fun open sandy trails that lead into the jungle. We will have lunch at Kbal Chay waterfall before continuing on jungle trails through to Sihanoukville where we’ll finish the tour with sunset beers on the beach!
14 days / 13 nights
ex Canberra via Singapore
Up to 14 dives on The Junk Liveaboard
6 days dirt bike tour
All meals included on the liveaboard and ride trip
Deposit of $500 required at time of booking, our travel agent will contact you once your online booking has been received.