Thailand dive vacation

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Thailand dive vacation

Post by raptor » Tue May 29, 2012 12:47 am

Well I am thinking of going to Thailand for a dive vacation. If anyone can give me some pointers. On where to stay and dive that would be great. Also what time of year to go.

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Re: Thailand dive vacation

Post by deep diver » Tue May 29, 2012 6:35 am

We are going in Sept. to Koh Tao, which is a diving Island off the east coast in the gulf. It is our first time there, but we did a lot of checking. We originally wanted to do the dive liveaboards in the Similans as that is the best diving, but with the cost of the boats a lot higher, we could go for almost 3 weeks for the same price as 5 days on a boat. Since we have never been, any area we dive should be good. Liveaboards all leave from the west coast and are best from Nov-April.
Koh Tao is dive able most of the year, but worse in Oct./Nov/Dec, but that time can be good depending on the year.

There are tons of dive shops on Koh Tao. They all do boat dives $25.aprox. a dive, but the more you dive the cheaper it gets. This includes all your gear if you choose not to bring your own. The hotels are plenty and depending what you are looking for would be the area. The most popular area on Koh Tao is Sairee beach with all the main hotels, bars, and all the partying. Prices range from around $7.night on up to over $100. Pretty good range. Best would be to check trip advisor for reviews. Food range according to a friend that goes every year is around 2-5. a meal. Beer is about the same as food, so she feels bad paying for a beer what she pays for a meal.

If there is anything else that you would like to know, you can PM me. We have been doing research for awhile now so might be able to make your search shorter.

Good luck and happy planning

It's a good day.... nobody died!

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Re: Thailand dive vacation

Post by BillZ » Wed May 30, 2012 8:48 am

My wife Cindy and I planned a dive trip last year to Thailand last year. I say planned because we actually ended up flying to Indonesia and diving Komodo and Bali instead.

So here is what we found out....

- The best diving in Adaman Sea is done on a liveaboard. The day-boat diving out of Phuket and the touristy areas are still recovering from the Tsunami and gets pressure from the tourst divers

- The diving in the Gulf of Thailand is just so-so.(again this is hearsay from people we've met etc.)

- September through November is the monsoon season on the Andaman Sea side of Thiland. Most of the liveaboards pack it up and head to different areas during this time of the year. - Since we had frequent flier flights into Bangkok mid September we ended up taking a flight from BKK to Indonesia and diving there instead.

- Liveaboards run the gamet from 5 star luxury to basic accomodations. In Komodo we booked with Wicked Diving who operates trips to the Similans from December through August ( Their livaboards are in the basic accomodation category but their staff is great and safety is a top priority.

- Many of the liveaboards do 5 day trips into Burma. The DMs on our liveaboard all agreed that the diving in Burma is by far better than the diving in Thailand.

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Re: Thailand dive vacation

Post by raptor » Thu May 31, 2012 4:14 am

Well I will be going Late Nov early Dec. I was thinking Phuket because I am going with some none divers. I am currently stationed in Korea and that is the time i get for Vacation so nothing i can do to change that. If there is any other good places to stay that would be good for diving and none diving I would love to know. Also if you set it up with a travel agent or not.

This is all in the early stage of planing so i am up to change anything.

Thanks for all the help

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Re: Thailand dive vacation

Post by Blow-N-Bubbles » Thu May 31, 2012 4:07 pm

Been about 10 years ago I spent a few weeks on Coral Island which is a 30 min ferry ride from Phuket. They rent gear ( cheap ) and you can dive right off the island which has some very nice reefs ...or go on daily excursions that scuba. Very small island and very private. Spent 10 days there snorkeling every day as I wasn't scuba certified.

If you google Coral Island Resort shold have all the info.

Just FYI
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Re: Thailand dive vacation

Post by seainggreen » Fri Jun 01, 2012 3:07 pm

Extra thanks for the info on Phuket/Thailand as I too am visiting there. Diving's not the primary objective, but since there's the opportunity, might as well give it a go...

On a related note, given the upcoming relocation to SE Asia, feel free to ping me if you have questions on locations around there. I've found out a good deal of information from good sources and have travel to Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia and Truk on the docket in the coming months for both recreational and technical diving.
"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power." - Abraham Lincoln, 1809 - 1865
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Re: Thailand dive vacation

Post by 60south » Fri Jun 01, 2012 4:58 pm

It's been a few years, but I went to Koh Tao, Phuket, Krabi, and the Similans (live-aboard) on one trip.

Here's my impressions...

The Gulf of Thailand had warm, gin-clear waters. But the same clear waters don't feed a lot of life. Still, the diving was fun. If I wanted to get a Divemaster or Advanced certification in a cheap, fun place, this would be it. Koh Tao was a hoot.

I buzzed through Koh Samui so I can't say what the diving is like. It's not far from Koh Tao, so it's probably about the same. Too busy and commercialized for my tastes.

Phuket is commercialized too, but there (were) lots of good day-trips and excursions you can do from there. Some of the liveaboard boats are based out of Phuket. Phuket is easy to get to but I have no desire to go back.

Krabi was amazing. The limestone formations are incredible. Good snorkeling out in the islands, Koh Phi Phi and vicinity. The diving was okay, more interesting than in the gulf. The waters on the western side of Thailand are colder and have more nutrients, so they're murkier, but that feeds more life. It takes some effort to get to Krabi but it's worth it.

That said, if I was to go back on a serious diving trip, I'd blow-off all of that and head straight to the Similans, Burma Banks, and go as far north in the Andaman Sea as possible on a liveaboard. That was incredible. Richileu Rock alone was amazing. This is not necessarily easy diving, although PNW divers might think so. The waters can be rough/still, cold/hot, and variable currents, all on the same dive. That's what's feeding the life.

Anywhere you go you'll have a great time. Thailand is filled with friendly people and great food.

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