The Smiling Seahorse
The Smiling Seahorse
5
9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
About
The Smiling Seahorse offers dive cruises to the best dive spots in the Andaman Sea in Myanmar. We offer: - a relaxed atmosphere - a confortable vessel - small groups - nitrox and padi courses - yummy food We just built a brand new boat for even more confort to explore Mergui Archipelago. AC in all cabins, ensuite bathrooms, photographer's room, very spacious common area and still the Unmistakable Smiling Seahorse Atmosphere.
Ranong, Thailand
Meets animal welfare guidelines

Awards
Travellers' Choice
2024

Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Travellers talk about
(14 reviews)
(25 reviews)
(11 reviews)

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

We perform checks on reviews.
Tripadvisor’s approach to reviews
Before posting, each Tripadvisor review goes through an automated tracking system, which collects information, answering the following questions: how, what, where and when. If the system detects something that potentially contradicts our community guidelines, the review is not published.
When the system detects a problem, a review may be automatically rejected, sent to the reviewer for validation, or manually reviewed by our team of content specialists, who work 24/7 to maintain the quality of the reviews on our site.
Our team checks each review posted on the site disputed by our community as not meeting our community guidelines.
Learn more about our review moderation.
5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles195 reviews
Excellent
170
Very good
12
Average
8
Poor
2
Terrible
3

Andrew G
Bangkok, Thailand23 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2020
My wife and I intended to dive the Andamans for quite some time now. One reason for which we kept postponing was that in general the liveaboards leave from Khao Luk, which for us meant taking an expensive flight from Bangkok to Phuket.

We were very happy to find out that The Smiling Horse liveaboard starts its trips from Ranong, a much nicer and quieter city in our opinion, easy accessible from Bangkok by plane at a cheaper price.

Our diving trip was amazing. We were the only boat in usually crowded places such as Richelieu Rock, Tachai or Ko Bon. Lots of fish, good visibility for most of the trip, great food.

The thing I personally liked the best is that nitrox is available on board. With daily dives at over 23 meters, and a total of 10 dives spread over a 3 day period of time, nitrox becomes an important safety factor. And a good way to prolong the bottom time a little bit and enjoy the exceptional marine environment the Andamans have to offer.

The liveaboard has great staff and experienced dive leads. We stayed in the master cabin, a comfy room with its own private bathroom.

Many thanks to Franck and Camille, the owners as well as to all the crew involved in creating a great experience for us.
Peach and Andrew
Written 3 December 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thanks for leaving us this lovely review Andrew and Peach! and see you next month! We are so glad you are coming back so soon! :)
Written 30 January 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Pawat
3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2020
Apart from amazing underwater experience around Andaman Sea (Surin Island, Bon Islands, Tachai and Richelieu rock), the life on this boat is safe and relax.

This diving boat defines the standard of what should diving boat look like. The rooms are cozy in tiny space with shower room inside. The ventilation is perfect since the door and windows are on the rear side of the boat.

Sleeping on this boat is different. You never feel running engine when you go to bed. However in the morning, the boat is ready for new dive site.

Total number of traveller (around 18) is match the boat size. The platform for giant strike to the ocean is organized with all equipment spread around evenly for red and blue team. (Look at the platform picture)

The food is excellent. Loving barbecue on last dinner and everything on the fridge

If you care about environment, this boat provide you with their bottle to refill water all the time on the trip. This boat also provide different buckets for each type of rubbish. The straw for coconut is also stainless.

If you love to find out what you saw underwater, they provide many book to find the creatures you found.

Surely go diving again with The Smilling Seahorse
Written 20 December 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Wow! Thanks for your kind words! I'm glad to read you had such a great sleep onboard and appreciated our organization and food onboard! The environment is indeed extremely important to us, and we do our best to keep as close as we can to zero waste. Water bottles are banned and replaced by aluminum bottles, plastic straws are replaced by aluminum straws, we use reusable baskets for our shopping and offer organic reef-friendly hair& body soap + conditioners (in refillable containers). We try to recycle whatever we can and we reduce the seafood we serve to locally sourced abundant species. It was lovely meeting your group and we look forward to seeing you again soon!
Written 30 January 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

gillyblack
Cambridge, UK3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
We had a fantastic week on the Smiling seahorse. I have been on many liveaboards and this certainly is one of the best I have been on. Everything and I mean everything was totally organised well. A guide for 4 divers and the dive deck was organised for the groups so it was easy to get ready. I liked the rotation for diving. Julian was brilliant and even though he was only maybe 5 years old and needed a haircut his dive guiding was faultless. He taught me a lot but not in an annoying way.

The boat was spotless and the food endless and very nice indeed. New Years Eve was celebrated and everyone joined in. The boat boys worked so hard and knew how to. help.

Simply having enough coat hangers and pegs for wet suits and wet gear makes life onboard so easy.

The crew worked hard to get us the best diving for the season. I loved it. We hope to be back if you will have us.

Gill and Nick
Written 4 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Dear Gill and Nick, We would be delighted to have you back indeed! Thanks for the lovely review.
Written 5 January 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Fabian
Bangkok, Thailand1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2020
I joined the Smiling Seahorse tour End of December 2020 and over New Years as a solo traveller.
The booking process (which in my case involved quite a few emails with questions) was very accomodating. Camille was very helpful with all things that needed to be organized.
Having done quite a few dives already, I was surprised by the professionalism in everything dive related. The rental gear was new and no holes in the wetsuits and damages at the BCD like in every other diving company I went diving with so far. We all enjoyed diving to the maximum, but Franck and his team always had an eye on safety as well.
The atmosphere on the boat was great and as a solo traveller i was never bored as everyone was super open and easy to connect with. You could also really feel how the crew had fun working and being on the boat.
The food was just amazing and the Captain was very skillful bringing us directly on top of the dive side, or picked us up at the horizon when a current took us away.
In our small dive group consisting of 3 guest and our dive guie Itt, we enjoyed her extremly accurate knowledge of all the different places. She knew exactly where to find tiny creatures like nudibranches to massive rock lobsters and we had a lot of fun under and above the water.

For sure not my last time on the Smiling Seahorse!
Written 22 January 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
We sure had a lot of fun too!!! Thanks for the raving review Fabian. There is no better way for a solo traveler to actually connect and create new friendships with like-minded individuals than going on a liveaboard cruise! See you soon!
Written 30 January 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

alwayslove2travel_10
Brisbane, Australia25 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2023 • Couples
Wow, just sailing back to Ranong after a 5 day trip on the Smiling Seahorse.

Khao Lak to Ranong

Full of praise for all the staff, the quality of dive gear, cleanliness of the boat and the food oh the food was plentiful and wonderful.
We have been on many Liveaboard trips across the world and The Smiling Seahorse rates almost the best we have sailed on.

The dive staff have a safety first culture which is second to none. They are very friendly and relaxed and provide full briefing and debriefing with every dive.

We had 15 guests and 4 dive masters so the trip was certainly not over crowded. Staff can also speak a variety of languages which made communication very easy for all guests.

Diving in the Andaman sea and around Similan Islands is great at the best of times but was made even better thanks to the wonderfully professional dive team and crew. Everything was looked after from the moment we stepped onboard.
The equipment is well maintained with a spacious dive deck to make gearing up easy. The boat is fully equipped with Nitrox so you can dive Nitrox every dive for a small charge which was well worth the cost.

Cabin was clean and spacious, we had a Master Cabin at the front of the boat with ensuite however all rooms were equally as good.
Plenty of comfortable space to chill out between dives and you can easily find a quite place to read a book or have a snooze.
The boat was fully equipped with everything we could want on our trip and there was ice cold beers to have with dinner.

The captain was fantastic motoring through the night to our next dive site. All cabins face out to the water with air-conditioning and opening windows if you want fresh air. The boat is very stable and does not rock around while travelling or at anchor.

Thanks to James, Julien, Mint and Joon our team masters for making this trip an unforgettable holiday.

Highly recommend The Smiling Seahorse

Thank you team.
Written 25 February 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Navigate09594052597
2 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2021
The Smiling Seahorse is an owner operated scuba diving liveaboard in the Andaman Seas. Frank and Camille are welcoming, relaxed and generous owners who love diving and enjoy hanging out with their guests. Richelieu Rock is the highlight dive day- schools of fish, hard and soft corals, cuttlefish and the possibility of whale shark sightings. The Surin and Similan Islands are "meh". Not much underwater diversity in topography or marine life. Divers accustomed to excellent diving diversity and luxury service might be underwhelmed by the boat experience and the majority of diving. The boat itself is basic. The cabins are small with hard mattresses. Bathrooms are adequate. There is a loud creaking sound that is constantly present. Cabins are not tidied, bathrooms/towels are not cleaned during the cruise. No service provided during meal times. Guests attend to their own equipment throughout the trip, although staff refills the tanks. Some assistance is provided getting on and off the boat before and after dives. For low budget divers satisfied with minimalist cabins, and a laissez faire approach on board, the Smiling Seahorse is the way to go.
Written 10 January 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
We are truly sorry that your holidays was anything less than perfect. We are doing whatever we can to make our guests happy but there is not much we can do about unlucky weather (or waves, causing the creaking), nor the lack of marine life to your linking... I'm surprised however that you didn't find our staff helpful on the dive platform as that is a compliment we often receive. Not only do we fill your tanks (a minimum), but we help you gear up, help you come in and out of the water, and rinse your gear at the end of your trip with our reef-friendly wetsuit shampoo...
Written 31 January 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

thuffman7
Singapore, Singapore9 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Friends
My buddy and I have just returned from a terrific 9d/8n manta ray expedition with the Smiling Seahorse. Per usual (this is my 3rd trip with them) we saw a ton of reef fish, pelagics, hard and soft corals, sharks, rays and plenty of the macro stuff my old eyes are having trouble finding on my own these days. What we did NOT see were other divers (or mantas, sadly). For the most part, we were completely alone. This made diving some of the best sites in Southeast Asia even better, sites like Shark Cave, Black Rock and the incredible Burma Banks. Definitely a perk of choosing one of the more remote itineraries.

Franck and his crew were, as always, professional, attentive and dedicated to making the trip safe and enjoyable. James was a superb trip leader - personable, fun, knowledgeable and quick on his feet when plans have to change. Our DM Simon was great: found things we'd have never seen, kept a good pace, kept us on good routes through the dive sites, and just generally made the trip better for everyone on his team (4 divers). This was challenging for him I suspect as two of us were photographers and two were not. Never had any trouble with this though, Simon kept us all heading in generally the right direction.

Our specific trip included the welcome contribution of Jamie Piyada, a marine biologist who heads up the Manta Project in Thailand and environs. Her presentations were informative and interesting and a little sad having to discuss candidly the existential threats to mantas worldwide, the most deadly of which are of course caused by humans. Our failure to find any mantas on this trip underlined that point a little too effectively, if unintentionally.

To end on a happier note, this trip also included an evening (or two!) of black water diving. A very different perspective than the one we normally have diving. I am now much more aware of the complexity and beauty of all that "stuff" floating around in the water, stuff I previously ignored. Do it if you get the chance.

Things you will probably see mentioned favorably in other reviews include the trip BBQ, friendliness and professionalism of the whole crew, nice rooms, nice boat, good food, excellent organization overall. These comments are accurate. It's a class outfit and from what I understand the only operator currently allowed in Burma. I would highly recommend them to anyone, on any of their multi-day itineraries. All in all, a great trip with a great company.
Written 9 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Rodney S
Phuket, Thailand19 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2022
Our liveaboard experience aboard the Smiling Seahorse was so much fun I'm still smiling a month later! These guys do it right! We had a comfy cabin with private bathroom. Our cabin was on the dive deck so we didn't have to climb stairs to and from. The food was good and plentiful. The crew were always there to lend a helping hand whatever the situation. Our guide, Alex, was top notch. But all these good words are nothing unless the diving is great, and boy was it ever! We had friends that had done a trip with SS just a month before and raved about it, so our expectation level was very high, SS blew those expectations to smithereens. The diving was phenomenal! We are very experienced divers, and have dove some of the worlds top dive locations. Palau, the Philippines, Indonesia, Belize, and Cozumel to name a few and Thailand is right up there in the top tier. I have to mention the owners, Franck and Camille. They know how to keep the fun factor at a high level while running a smooth operation. I know there is a lot of hard work that goes into these liveaboard dive trips, it doesn't happen accidently. My hat is off to all involved. The trip was well conceived and executed flawlessly.
Written 25 May 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Dear Guest, Thank you so much for taking the time to leave us this review. Your kind words go straight to our hearts as we strive to create the best diving holidays for our guests. We are so happy to hear you enjoyed the comfort of your cabin, our food, and I will pass on your kind word to our crew regarding the level of service onboard. It is also nice to hear that we and the diving beat your high expectations despite your level of experience. We hope we will have another chance to host you for another Andaman Sea Adventure.
Written 18 February 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

truttmannmartina
Singapore, Singapore5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2021 • Friends
Diving on board the Smiling Seahorse was so much fun last year that I had to return for another trip. Once again it was worth every penny.

The owners Camille and Frank really take care of their business, every question is answered promptly. They treat their whole crew as family and carefully select the best dive instructors. Not only do the instructors take the best care of the customers while diving, also the briefings and de-briefings on board have been absolute highlights. Never before have I learned as many interesting, funny and weird facts about the underwater world. The equipment is very well taken care of.

At any time of the day there are plenty of snacks, foods and drinks avaiable and the boat offers many corners to socialize, relax or hang out. The cabins are spacious and cozy and the hot showers help you warm up after a long dive. Franks passion for underwater photography is catching and his pictures are simply stunning.

Thank you for an unforgettable trip!
Written 27 December 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you so much for leaving us such a wonderful review Martina! We are so glad you enjoyed your time onboard and Franck's photos as a keepsake! See you soon above and below!
Written 10 May 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Barry L
20 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020
Just completed an excellent trip on the Smiling Seahorse in the Andamon Sea. The Smiling Seahorse is an well equipped dive boat with great facilities and excellent crew. Dive guides extremely capable and helpful. Dive sites varied and offer lots of photo opportunities, great underwater topography and excellent choice of night diving. Overall a great trip and many thanks to Frank and his crew.
Written 25 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Showing results 1-10 of 127

THE SMILING SEAHORSE (Ranong) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

All things to do in Ranong
RestaurantsFlightsHoliday RentalsTravel StoriesCruisesCar Hire