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The Junk

Diving Squad Rating:


9.6 / 10

If you like the sound of a liveaboard that’ll let you discover the most famous Thai diving regions, whilst feeling as if you’ve stepped back hundreds of years in time, consider The Junk. 

Charming yet affordable, this 33 meter long wooden vessel is also one of the best Thai liveaboards for beginners as most of her trips only require open water certification and 10 logged dives. 

Great for: Beginners, Short Trips, Exciting Dive Routes, Authenticity, Affordable

Length of Trips: 2 – 6 nights

Max Guests: 18

Operates: All Year

Also known as June Hong Chian Lee, The Junk is a traditional wooden vessel that was once part of a micro merchant fleet which traded up and down the coastline from Burma to Malaysia over the 1960-80’s. Because of her authentic design, she was used in the ZDF documentary “Das Weisse Gold”, to show what life was like centuries ago, when junks like her were the main mode of transport around South East Asia.  She has also appeared in two movies – as the vessel escaped on by Bond and his gal at the end of “The Man with the Golden Gun” and as the pirate ship in “Stranded”.  With quad, twin, triple & double cabins – all of them resonating the same traditional, minimalist feel as the rest of the ship, this is a tranquil feeling liveaboard from which to discover the very best of Thailand.  Between dives, guests can make use of the free kayaks as well as look forward to plenty of beach visits and snorkeling! The experienced crew are particularly friendly, with the knowledgable dive guides making every briefing fun and informative and the hearty chefs cooking 5 meals a day, including 2 breakfasts. Relax in the indoor saloon and dining area with TV and speakers or head out to the spacious main deck. Up top, there’s a partially shaded sundeck with loungers and beanbags from which to take in the views. 2 ROUTES:
  • Similan & Surin Islands: Witness white beaches and tropical forests above water and Thailand’s best hard coral below. Look out for turtles, fish, crustaceans and mollusks as well as leopard sharks, blue spotted stingrays and black tip sharks. OW + 10 logged dives required. 4 – 6 nights.
  • Southern Explorer: Explore Phuket, Koh Phi Phi and Koh Haa. Despite the short length, you’ll discover a great variety of dive sites, including “shark point” , “king cruiser wreck” and “anemone reef”. OW + no extra logged dives required. 2 nights.  

Guest Reviews:

Rod B UK
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"Highlights have to be the three dives on the Western Ridge where we saw oceanic mantas on all three occasions and the three dives on Richelieu Rock where the diversity and condition of marine and coral life is simply mind boggling. They are unforgettable life changing experiences that we’re privileged to have".
Evan MU.S.A
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"While the vis wasn’t the best, the diving was word class. My only feedback would be that the tenders were very difficult to get in and out of. Then need a new ladder system, and it would have been nice it the crew noticed that I was having officially (arthritic knees) and had been a bit more pro active in helping me in and out. Aside from that.....excellent ship, crew and diving. Food was great , too".
Lene TNorway
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"The diving at Richelieu Rock was amazing. Have been there twice before but the guide and the dive planning were this time at a more professional level. All services were excellent from all staff members. They remembered how you wanted your coffee, what you needed of help for gearing up, all small thing that made life on the boat easier".

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Written by:

Picture of Alex


Scuba fanatic, travel ecstatic and loveable rogue. A rootless divemaster and perpetual adrenaline-junky, Alex holds the esteemed rank of Grand Admiral of the Diving Squad; a title he most nobly awarded to himself. A scuba-junky since 2014, he's dived much of the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Maldives, Red Sea, Ireland, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Panama. It's hard to say where he'll pop up next for he never settles; forever a leaf on the wind... or perhaps a lone bubble blasted along on the current.