If you’re going to spend the money to travel to Thailand for diving, might as well make it memorable by doing some of your dives off a liveaboard that’s a restored Chinese sailing ship, right?
The June Hong Chian Lee, otherwise known simply as “The Junk,” is a restored teak wood Chinese sailing vessel that offers a unique diving experience in Thailand. It’s also the ship that was featured in the 1974 James Bond film “The Man With The Golden Gun.”
Since The Junk was incorporated into the Worldwide Dive and Sail fleet in 2014, guests have traveled aboard her to dive the Similan and Surin Islands.
With the Similan National Park’s recent closure, the folks at WWDAS are now offering dive trips to the Phi Phi Islands, Koh Haa, Hing Daeng and Hin Muang with combinations of two-day/one-night or three-day/two-night cruises.
Company General Manager Mark Shandur says:
“This part of the Andaman Sea offers a great variety of dives for all levels and it will be a pleasure to introduce our guests to it on board such a charming and historic boat.”
The 33-meter/108-foot-long tall ship has three masts, and can accommodate up to 18 divers in six air-conditioned cabins. The Junk offers divers their choice of two-person, three-person and four-person cabins, all with their own private bathrooms and hot showers.
As for the diving, from May through September the company is offering trips to the Phi Phi National Marine Park and the islands of Koh Haa, where divers could see pinnacles, limestone walls full of soft corals and gorgonians, as well as shallow coral gardens full of macro life. You might see tigertail seahorses, ghost pipefish and nudibranches around the islands, as well as leopard sharks, black tip sharks, bamboo sharks, turtles, octopi, scorpion fish, frog fish, and schools of barracudas or snappers.
Weather permitting, you might even be able to sail aboard The Junk and dive Hin Deang and Hin Muang. These two sites, only 500 meters/1,640 feet apart, could have reef life such as small invertebrates, big schools of snappers and barracudas and even bamboo and leopard sharks.
Prices start at US$354/316 Euros per person for the three-day/two-night trips, depending on the cabin size you get.
For more information, check out The Junk website.