The Junk Thailand

20% off on these trips in the Similans, 13-17Nov19 and 9-13Dec19 now from $824 per person if booked before the 30Oct19 - click the specific date to see more information on that trip.

The Junk offers a unique liveaboard diving experience on board a restored teak wood Chinese merchant vessel that has also been used in several Hollywood movies. At 33 metres, S/Y June Hong Chian Lee, or The Junk as she is better known, offers 4 and 6 night trips around the Similan and Surin Islands between Phuket and Khao Lak.

She can accommodate up to 18 divers in 6 cabins with a choice of double, triple and quad cabins.
All have air-conditioning and their own private bathroom with hot showers. There is a spacious indoor lounge where you can relax between dives in air-conditioned comfort, or simply to enjoy the mix of Asian and international cuisine that is prepared fresh on board and served buffet style.

There are shaded outdoor areas where you can enjoy the breeze as you cruise between islands, or you can head up top to catch some golden rays before the next dive or watch the stars with a cool refreshing cocktail. The spacious dive deck provides plenty of space for your equipment and there is plenty of individual storage for those extra items. Once your dive gear is set up on arrival our dive crew will take care of the rest. They will happily assist you preparing for dives and, if required, will carry your gear to the waiting tenders at dive time.

The Junk - prices

Prices are per person and in USD based on 2 persons sharing a cabin.
Exact pricing is available on the schedule here as prices vary dependant on the time year, destination and the length of the trip and sometimes special offers are available.

The trip price includes:

Full board accommodation during the cruise
Up to 14 dives inclusive of night dives
Shared transfer between local hotel and The Junk on the day of embarkation, pick up times TBC (to be confirmed) or
Shared transfer between Phuket International Airport (head to Gate 3) and The Junk on the day of embarkation between 16:30 - 17:00pm only
Shared transfer between The Junk and Phuket International Airport or local hotel on the day of dis-embarkation @ 13:00pm OR 14:00pm only

The trip price does not include:

Port, park and tax fees: Similans/Surin 4 nights $50 (non-diver $35) and 6 nights $65 (non-diver $35) per trip or Southern Explorer 2 nights $35 (non-diver $12.5) per trip
Alcoholic and other selected beverages
Dive equipment rental
Dive course
Nitrox
Non-standard tanks
Merchandise
Crew gratuity – cash only (All major currencies are accepted and appreciated)
Travel & Dive insurance

*NOTE : please inform us of your airport arrival terminal so we can arrange your pick up accordingly
*NOTE : transfer time from Phuket to Khao Lak (or vice versa) takes between 2 hours - 4 hours depending on pick up point

Terms and conditions:

Individual bookings:
Booking deposit:
40% of booking is required within 7 days of booking - non refundable
60 % is due to 90 days prior to departure - non refundable.
Balance due 90 days before your trip departure date - non-refundable.
Individual booking made less than 90 days before the departured ate are payable in full at the time of booking.
Cancellation at any stage involves forfeit of monies already payed.

Group charter:

Booking deposit:
20% - within 7 days of booking - non-refundable
Second deposit:
50% 180 days prior to departure - non-refundable
Balance due
30% balance 90 days before departure - non-refundable

Diving Equipment Rentals (USD) Per day
Full Set (regulator, octopus, BCD, wetsuit, mask, fins) $ 25
Regulator with octopus $ 8
Computer $8
BCD $ 8
Wetsuit (shorty 3mm) $ 7
Mask $ 3.5
Fins (+ booties as required) $ 3.5
Torch $ 3.5

Aluminum 15 Lt Cylinder

Per day US$10

Nitrox

Per fill US$10
Per day 25

*All prices are in USD. On-board pricing is liable to change without notice. Though we try to keep documentation as up to date as possible, please be aware that, although it is unlikely, prices may be different on your cruise.

The Junk - cabins

To see photos of the cabins please visit the schedule and click on the cabin name to see the photos of each cabin, availability and price.

Cabin types onboard the Junk are:

  • 2 private cabins with double bed
  • 2 three berths cabins (can be sold as so called Shared Twins and can also be turned into a Private Double Bed)
  • 2 four berths cabins (which are all bunks but can also be sold as Shared Twin).

*All cabins are fully air-conditioned and have their own hot water shower and en-suite toilet.

The Junk - itinerary

The Similan islands

Fifty-two miles north-west of Phuket lies Koh Similan Marine National Park. This is an archipelago of nine granite islands offering some of the best diving in south East Asia. Similan islands liveaboard diving provides a huge variety of topography and boast the richest variety and abundance of reef fish in Thailand.

The eastern Similans dive sites feature lush coral gardens with sea anemones and a host of colourful reef fish. Seas are calm and dives are at moderate depths, suitable for all levels of divers and also for snorkellers. Western dive sites feature enormous granite boulders, descending down to 40 meters with swim throughs, caves and tunnels, making the diving more challenging. Currents provide nutrients for a colourful variety of soft corals and seafans.

The Similan Islands are part of anational parkestablished in 1982 and are covered in lush rainforest withan abundance of bird life. The Similan islands national park was established after the one-year exploration by the Foresty department. The park is the archipelago consisting of nine islands which are Ko Bon, Ko Bayu, Ko Similan, Ko Payu, Ko Miang (two adjoining islands), Ko Payan, Ko Payang, and Ko Huyong. Recently, the park was expanded to include the two stunning islands in the north Ko Bon and Ko Tachai. The Similans are situated 70 kilometres from Phang Nga town. “Similan” is a Yawi word which means “nine”. The Similan islands are considered the best dive sites in Thailand.

Islands 1, 2 and 3 are closed for public due to turtle hatching protection program and reef conservation efforts. Island number 3 belongs to HM the Thai Princess. All the other islands are open to diving.

Itinerary Similan & Surin Islands - 4 Nights

Total of 14 scheduled dives including up to 3 sunset/night dives.
The following is a sample itinerary of where you might dive during your holiday with us.

Your Cruise Director will schedule up to 4 dives per day; 3 day dives and either a sunset or a night dive. The diving day has a typical schedule as follows:

  • 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 after the sunset dive or before the 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. Similan Islands
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
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
Koh Tachai is famous for its pinnacle dive site and more relaxed reef diving. Normally, 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 General Richelieu, who was an important Danish officer in the Thai Navy. 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 is a high-profile reef, there are 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 honeycomb 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.

Itinerary: Similan & Surin Islands - 6 Nights

Total of 19 scheduled dives including up to 4 sunset/night dives
The following is a sample itinerary of where you might dive during your holiday with us. We wish to show you the very best diving but a number of factors can determine where we visit. Weather, tides, how busy a site is with other dive vessels all play a part in the Cruise Director’s decision of which route the yacht takes. The safety of all on board is paramount and we always do our best in offering diving at alternate locations. 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.
Your Cruise Director will schedule up to 4 dives per day; 3 day dives and either a sunset or a night dive. The diving day has a typical schedule as follows:

  • 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 after the sunset dive or before the night dive

Day 1 and Day 7 are reserved for embarkation and disembarkation; there will be no diving on these days. For the final day aboard we schedule 3 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.
Similan Islands
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, 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
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
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 General Richelieu, who was an important Danish officer in the Thai Navy. 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 is a high-profile reef, there are 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.
Surin Islands
Topside scenery of Koh Surin with evergreen forests, mangroves and small beaches, surpasses even that of the picturesque Similan Islands. Under water the reefs of Surin have the greatest hard coral diversity in Thailand. You are likely to see Napoleon wrasse, yellow-masked angelfish, bumphead parrotfish, tomato anemonefish and barramundi, as well as lots of turtles that still come ashore in this area to lay their eggs. Because of the remoteness not many liveaboard boats visit these islands and you will be able to enjoy the dive sites without sharing it with tourist hordes.
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.

The Junk - specs

Boat Specifications

Year built :1962
Year renovated :1997
Length :33m
Beam :8.5m
Top speed :10 knots
Cruising speed :8 knots
Engines :1 x Hino 380Hp
Max guests :18
Number of cabins :6
Number of bathrooms:7
Tenders :1 x 40 hp 4.20 meters 1 x 60 hp 5.80 meters
Water capacity :8000 ltr
Fuel capacity :10000 ltr
Freshwater maker :6000 ltr/per day

The Junk - diving

Similan islands dive sites

Thailand liveaboard trips to the Similan islands and Richelieu rock generally last 4-6 days and leave either from Phuket island on the west coast of Thailand or Thaplamu one and half hours north of Phuket.
Travelling overnight they arrive in the Similan islands on the following morning to begin your first days diving. Continuing north over the course of the trip to Koh Bon, Koh Tachai and finally the amazing Richelieu rock. These liveaboards encompass the best diving that Thailand has to offer on the best boats Thailand has to offer.?
All our boats are liveaboards for people enthusiastic or serious about their diving but also welcome snorkellers and non-divers who will have their own separate itinerary.

Boulder City (Island Three - Koh Payan)

Boulder City lies some 200 meter south of Koh Payan. The dive site is completely submerged with two mooring buoys to mark the location, one at the north end and one at the south. Descending down the north line takes you to 20 meters and the south line to 30 meters. This is a dive in the 20 to 30 meter mark making it not a long dive but the underwater scenery here is spectacular with large granite boulders some bigger than a house, with swim-throughs and the chance of swimming with large pelagics. Eagle and manta rays cruise around the large boulders while large fan tail rays rest in the sandy bottom. This is also where I have been lucky enough on two separate occasions last season to witness the mating of leopard sharks. With a family of large humphead parrot fish and napoleon wrasse living in the area the beautiful soft corals and large gorgonian sea fans make this an eye opening dive site with the occasional whale shark cruising past.

Koh Miang # 4 Honeymoon Bay

Honeymoon Bay is a beautiful bay on the back side of island 4 with its quiet beach and tranquil bay it’s the perfect place for a snorkel or our sunset dives on the gentle slopping reef down to 24 meters. In the shallows around the coral heads you will find octopus, crabs and mantis shrimps on the hunt for food.

With the occasional hawksbill sea turtle and white tip reef shark patrolling the reef will keep you busy on your dive.

Koh Payu # 7 Deep Six

Deep six lies on the northern tip of island 7 and has a buoy line running down to 18 meters there as the name implies you can descend down to over 60 meters. Here the dramatic underwater boulders have formed some excellent swim throughs, tunnels and canyons that make this an exciting dive. But down in the soft coral garden the largest gorgonian sea fans in the Similans survive untouched. With the occasional manta ray gliding passed in the blue will make for an enjoyable dive.

Elephant Head, Hin Pousar

Deep six lies on the northern tip of island 7 and has a buoy line running down to 18 meters there as the name implies you can descend down to over 60 meters. Here the dramatic underwater boulders have formed some excellent swim throughs, tunnels and canyons that make this an exciting dive. But down in the soft coral garden the largest gorgonian sea fans in the Similans survive untouched. With the occasional manta ray gliding passed in the blue will make for an enjoyable dive.

Koh Bangu #9 North Point

North point lies on the west side of the island with a dramatic underwater scenery of large boulders with canyons and swim throughs. As you descend down the line passed the tall fin bat fish and head through the tunnels, keep your eyes open for a pair of Napoleon wrasse. In between the large canyons grow large gorgonian sea fans with excellent soft corals hiding harlequin ghost pipe fish but a look out into the blue can be rewarding with frequent visits from the graceful manta ray passing over head.

Koh Bon - The Pinnacle

Koh Bon island lies 12 nautical miles south of Koh Tachai island and the dive site is located around 150 meters north west of the island and has no bouy line so location is by GPS. When the captain signals its time to jump into the blue and descend down to the pinnacles. The top is around 18 meters and continues to run down to over 50 meters to the sand bottom were the docile leopard shark sleeps while white tip reef sharks patrol the reef in search of a meal.

These amazing pinnacles are covered with colourful soft coral trees, large gorgonian sea fans and barrel sponges running down the walls. With 5 species of clown fish in the magnificent anemones and their shrimp and porcelain crab hosts its difficult to keep your eyes of the pinnacles but a look out in to the blue can be rewarding with manta rays gliding around and the occasional whale shark. But don’t forget to keep a check on your air supply as its time to head back to the surface and leave these beautiful creatures behind.

Koh Tachai Island - The Dome

Koh Tachai lies 22 nautical miles south of Surin, the dive site is located around 200 meters south of the island and is marked with a bouy line which descends down to 16 meters to reach the top of the plateau. From here you decide which way to go ? North or South. North takes you over the plateau to the beautiful coral garden at around 22meters to 26meters with some of the best soft corals and sea fans in the area, which will keep underwater photographers busy. South takes you down over the large boulders to between 36meters and 40meters to reach the sandy bottom looking for the docile leopard shark and large stingrays. Up above schooling great barracudas with tunas and trevallys darting down to catch the baitfish hanging around the reef. With a multitude of small creatures to look at try not to forget a look into the blue to see the manta rays gliding past and the occasional whale shark make Koh Tachai a spectacular dive site.

Richelieu Rock

Richelieu lies 7.5 nautical miles east of the Surin islands national marine park. Here this large rock pinnacle just breaks the surface at low tide and descends down to around 33 meters to the sandy bottom. The northern side has an excellent wall with lots of cracks and holes for you to look inside. The wall is covered with coral and zig zag oysters where you can find over ten species of moray eels like the commonly spotted white eyed, giant, yellow edged, and bartail morays or the shy dragon, leopard, honeycomb and zebra morays.

The wall is all so home to many species of shrimps from the cleaners, anemone, saron, squat and the colorful harlequin shrimps. The west side contains mostly soft corals and sea fans with ghost pipefish and tigertail sea horses hiding in between the branches. But its here where we all so encounter large schools of silver jacks and bluefin trevallys with chevron and great barracudas too.

Its also home to the gentle giant the whale shark anywhere from 2 meter babys to 8 meter subadults. The walls seem to move with so much life or look closely at the camouflaged scorpion, stone and lionfishes that blend in to the rock. A truly spectacular dive site no matter what the visibility.

Koh Bida Nok and Koh Bida Nai Islands - Koh Phi Phi

These two uninhabited islands lie south of Phi Phi and are a Mecca for leopard sharks. These harmless and docile creatures are usually sleeping around the sand and coral banks of the islands usually no deeper than 20 meters. With Bida Nok as the larger of the two it offers great hard and soft corals with turtles and sea snakes passing bye. The deeper of the two with depths to 30 meters on the west side wall teeming with life from lionfish to baby morays poking there heads from the cracks and well camouflaged octopuses blending in to the rocks will keep your eyes busy on this dive site.

Bida Nai island smaller and slightly shallower offers the chance to see the sleeping leopard shark anywhere from 1 to 10 sharks resting on the bottom in between the staghorn corals. Here the soft corals are abound with their beautiful colors but look closely at the sea fans to find the Tiger-tail sea horse. With two swim-throughs covered in small baitfish and shrimps, lots of colorful reef fish and schools of barracuda and trevallys darting over the reef, and not forgetting the many nudibranches along the way make this a wonderful dive site.

Diving License Logbook
As a safety precaution for all our guests, as well as to identify the experience level of each diver, it is required that all divers possess proper and valid diving license / certification card, as well as the most updated logbook, which will be checked upon boarding the ship and their own dive computer.

The Junk - schedule