See our COVID-19 Travel Requirements page for the latest COVID-19 travel updates.
Thailand – Passport holders of most western countries will be issued a single entry* visa or entry stamp upon arrival for a stay of up to 30 days* in Thailand. Nationals of countries not included in Thailand’s Visa Exemption scheme may need to obtain a tourist visa from their nearest Royal Thai Embassy or Thai Consulate, or apply on-line for a visa on arrival. Further information relating to Thailand visas and entry requirements can be found on the Thai Immigration Bureau’s website here: https://www.immigration.go.th/
To check if you need a visa to enter Thailand, or if you have any queries about entry requirements, please check with the Royal Thai Embassy or Consulate General in your home country. Contact details and locations of Royal Thai Embassies and Royal Thai Consulates-General are available at
Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Thailand. Entry to Thailand is normally refused if you have a passport which is damaged or has pages missing.
Visa and passport regulations for different countries are constantly in a state of flux. We always advise our guests to check their nearest Royal Thai Embassy or Thai Consulate regularly for updates and changes.
Proof of onward travel and funds
Immigration officials in Thailand may ask you to show a confirmed ticket to leave Thailand within the maximum number of days you can stay in the country as proof of onward travel (e.g. a return or onward air ticket). Immigration officials may also ask for evidence of adequate finances equivalent to 10,000 Baht per person, or 20,000 Baht per family (for on-arrival-visa visitors).
No specific vaccinations are required unless you are coming from or passing through contaminated areas. However, we strongly advise that you ensure that your standard vaccinations are up-to-date (tetanus, polio, MMR, etc.) and check with your nearest travel clinic for the latest information and recommendations.
Please make sure you use insect repellent and cover exposed skin to reduce the risk of Dengue Fever and other insect borne diseases.
Yellow fever certificates are required for those who are coming from the following 14 countries: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Angola, Burkina Faso, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Mauritania, Mali, Nigeria, Sudan and Zaire.
Travelling with Medications
There are certain medications, including psychotropics and painkillers containing Codeine, which are restricted or prohibited to bring into Thailand. Guidelines from the Thai FDA can be downloaded here: Guidance For Travelers carrying personal medication
If you are travelling with medication, please ensure you bring your physician’s prescription with you.
We recommend arriving in Phuket at least one day before the departure date of your liveaboard to allow for possible flight delays and to ensure that you are well rested before the start of your cruise. If you are planning to arrive on the day of embarkation for a Thailand itinerary, your flight arrival time should be no less than 3 hours before your liveaboard embarkation time (4 hours for 18:00 departures from Chalong Pier).
Transfer between Phuket Airport and Tap Lamu Pier (Khao Lak) is approximately 1hr.
Transfer between Phuket Airport and Chalong Pier is approximately 1 ½hrs, depending on traffic..
Please allow at least 2-3 hrs for international flight check-in and 1 ½-2hrs for domestic flights.
Thai is the language of Thailand, which remains largely incomprehensible to the casual visitor. However, nearly all Thais who work in the tourism industry speak some level of English, and Thai-English road and street signs are found nationwide. More than 90% of all Thais are Buddhists, although they have always subscribed to the ideal of religious freedom, thus, sizeable minorities of Muslims, Christians, Hindus and Sikhs freely pursue their respective faiths.
The local currency is the Thai Baht (THB). The majority of established hotels and restaurants accept major credit cards. However, smaller, family-run places probably will not. There are money-changers and ATM machines located at the airport and at the ports.
Health services in Thailand are generally very good. Hospitals in major tourist destinations have modern technology and well trained doctors, including several in Phuket. Please make sure you use insect repellent and cover exposed skin to prevent any insect borne diseases. We recommend that travelers follow normal precautions with food in order to prevent stomach upsets, and be sure to drink bottled water only.
In general, Thailand has great internet and mobile phone coverage.
‘Roaming’ will work throughout most of the country, or a local SIM and data package can be purchased at Bangkok and Phuket Airports, and most convenience stores or shopping malls.
Please be aware however that connectivity may be limited in some rural areas and some of the remoter islands covered by our liveaboard itineraries.
There are 3 distinct seasons: ‘Summer’ from March through May, ‘Rainy’ (still with plenty of sunshine) from June to October and ‘Cool’ from November through February. The average annual daytime temperature is around 30°C (86°F), ranging anywhere from 34°C in April to 27°C in December with slightly cooler temperatures in the evenings.
Thailand’s tropical climate is influenced by the southwest and northeast monsoons. From late May to early October, the southwest monsoon hits the western coast of Thailand, and the northeast monsoon sweeps through the Gulf of Thailand (east coast) between mid-October to mid-December.
Water temperatures throughout the Andaman Sea average around 28°-29°C (82°-84°F), although you may experience thermoclines and slightly lower temperatures in some areas.
Since August 2021, sunscreens which contain reef damaging chemical compounds have been banned in all Thai Marine National Parks.
The prohibited ingredients are Oxybenzone (Benzophenone-3, BP-3), Octinoxate (Ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate), 4-Methylbenzylidene Camphor (4MBC) and Butylparaben.
Anyone violating this ban can be fined up to 100,000 baht (approx. $2,875 USD).
All guests are advised to only use reef-safe sunscreen products containing mineral-based ingredients such as zinc oxide-based, which studies have found to be safe for the marine environment. Additionally, to minimise the need for sunscreen, we recommend wearing lightweight long-sleeve tops, trousers and sunhats, and remaining in the shade where possible.
There are 2 recompression chambers in Phuket which can be reached within a few hours by speed boat from anywhere in the Similan Islands.
During Your Trip
The water temperature averages around 28°C (82°F) throughout the year and most divers are comfortable with a 3mm shorty wetsuit, which are available to rent on our vessels. However, divers who are inclined to feel cold should consider bringing additional thermal layers, or a full-length wetsuit.
The vessel is on 220V and has power outlets typical to Thailand which will accommodate Type A, C, E & F plugs. Please bring adaptors as there are non available on board.
There is no Wi-fi or internet access available on either of our Thailand vessels.
Phones with International roaming, or a Thai SIM and data package will allow guests to stay connected for most of their liveaboard itinerary, should they wish to do so.
However, in and around the Similan and Surin Islands, there is a limited mobile network with some islands having no signal at all. Around Phuket’s southern islands and Koh Phi Phi, phone coverage is fair but somewhat intermittent.
Marine Park and port fees are obligatory for all guests, and depend on the areas covered by each itinerary and trip duration.
The applicable amount will be added to your invoice as an onboard payment at the time of booking your liveaboard.
You can pay Marine Park and port fees and any other all onboard extras by card or in cash (THB, USD, EUR & GBP).
Credit card payments on board (Visa or Mastercard) are subject to a 3.5% surcharge