Dive into the past…
The Junk liveaboard, a 30m three-masted junk constructed from teak with 330m2 of sails, was built originally in 1962 as part of a small merchant fleet that traded up and down the coastline from Burma to Malaysia.
In 1985, the vessel was completed restored and redesigned to serve as a classic yacht and has been operating as a dive liveaboard since 1999. Acquired by Worldwide Dive and Sail Fleet in 2014, the Junk liveaboard today is famous for its high standard of service and quality of operation.
The Junk has six cabins with just three cabin types:
- 2x private double bed cabins
- 2x triple share cabins (can be converted to a twin bed or double bed cabin)
- 2x quad share cabins (can be converted to a twin bed cabin)
So though The Junk can accommodate up to 18 divers, as most divers prefer the privacy of a twin or double cabin, most trips have just 12 divers on board.
All cabins are located on the lower deck, are fully air-conditioned and have their own hot water shower and toilet en suite. Towels and individual reading lamps are provided in the cabins. Electricity is 220V with 2 round pin sockets (European style).
The beautifully renovated Junk mixes together the old and the new and as a result has a lot of character. There are 2 recreational areas: a large air-conditioned saloon and a lot of on-deck chillin’ space on the main deck.
The food on The Junk deserves a special mention. Many of its diving guests claim it’s the best food they ever had on a diving liveaboard! There is no fixed menu. Continental breakfast is served in the mornings. Lunch and dinner are served buffet-style in the saloon on the main deck. The cuisine consists mainly of Thai and European dishes. You can choose from 5 or 6 main dishes. Special dietary needs can be catered for. Coffee, tea, hot chocolate, water, snacks and fruit are provided free of charge. Soft drinks and beer can be purchased.
The Junk itineraries include a 4 day Similan only trip and a 6 day Similan and Surin Islands trip. The departures alternate between Patong in Phuket and Khoa Lak. Note that these parks are close between May and November by the Thai government as the seas get too rough for baots the size of dive liveaboards.
What to expect
Your cruise director will schedule up to 4 dives per day, 3-day dives and either a sunset or a night dive. The final day before disembarking has 3 dives scheduled to allow plenty of time for off-gassing. There is no diving on embarkation and disembarkation days, as the boat is underway from the mainland to the marine parks or vice versa.
The Thai dive guides are the most experienced in the region and through extensive briefings and debriefings give you insights into the local marine life. On most cruises, there are more staff on board than customers and even demanding customers choose the Junk and its liveaboard diving experience to visit these amazing sites.
Zodiacs (small inflatable boats)are used to drop divers into the water at the exact right spot and then to pick them up – wherever they surface – to bring them back to The Junk. It makes the diving safe and convenient. The crew will also carry equipment and help divers kit up in the zodiac.
Dive gear rental is available for hire; Nitrox is available for a fee, and some 15L tanks are available for hire, though advanced notice must be given.
The nine uninhabited Similan Islands offer beautiful white sand beaches and are located upstream of the Phuket‘s west coast. The diving environment of the underwater national park differs according to whether you are on the East or West side of the islands. To the West, almost all the islands are bordered by huge granite blocks that make the resulting shaped passages, caves and ravine ideal dive sites. To the eastern side of the islands are gently sloping reefs with a wide variety of hard and soft coral formations. The Similan Islands are home to some 200 species of hard coral, 350 species of coral and hundreds of fish species. If all this isn’t enough, highlights often include encounters with leopard sharks & manta rays!
Richelieu Rock is the best dive site around the Andaman Sea it is 45 km (28 miles) northeast of Koh Tachai. This stand-alone rock rises only at low tide and is completely covered with various kinds of soft corals. Due to its proximity, Richelieu Rock serves as a cleaning station for many marine species and is renowned for its unique abundance of fish such as pipefish, ghost pipefish, scorpion fish, batfish, barracuda, large groupers, mackerels and stingrays. This site is also good for whale shark encounters. The dive sites of Koh Bon and Ko Tachai are known for their Manta Ray encounters.
Very professional, friendly and helpful crew – fantastic food and plentiful – well-organized dive operation.
Trip dates & Availability
The Junk Phuket Extras Payable Locally (as of August 2018)
|Marine Park & Port fees (4 nights)||THB||1800|
|Marine Park & Port fees (6 nights)||THB||2000|
|Full set of dive gear rental (per day)||THB||800|
|Dive computer rental (per day)||THB||250|
|UW torch rental (per day)||THB||100|
|Nitrox (per day)||THB||800|