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Island advice please

Discussion in 'Thailand' started by NYCcowgirl, Oct 18, 2019.

  1. NYCcowgirl

    NYCcowgirl Divemaster

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Vermont
    38
    10
    8
    Hi all. Looking for your experiences / suggestions on where to stay & dive on my trip to Thailand in March 2020. I am staying 5 weeks with no concrete plans at the moment.

    I have done several dives off Phuket (many years ago when doing my Open Water course), a day in the Similan Islands lo those many moons ago, about a zillion dives in Koh Tao (lived & worked as a DM there) including a few trips to Sail Rock, and that's it for Thailand.

    I am happiest with fewer people / less supervision as I am a photographer. Experienced diver (OWSI) and accustomed to diving in lots of different conditions including current & poor vis, though ideally on a relaxing vacation there would not be too much of either of those things to contend with.

    I really enjoy macro - spent 2 weeks in Lembeh and was crushed to leave - but if I'm going to be in Thailand I would also love to get a chance at mantas / whale shark(s) bc it's been way too long.

    Looked at some of the Similan liveaboards & considering one of the mid-budget 5-6 day options. Nothing worse than a long trek to the dive site on a small speedboat, IMO. Not looking for a big party scene but the option to grab a beer at night would be good. Looking for relaxing but not total isolation. I think Koh Lipe looks really nice, but there are soooooo many other islands, I am little overwhelmed.

    Would like to spend some land based time with nice beach, snorkeling from shore, somewhere in between shoestring backpacker budget & super spendy.

    I would thoroughly appreciate any advice / experiences y'all are willing to share! Thanks in advance :)
     
  2. Centrals

    Centrals Barangay Pasaway

    # of Dives:
    Location: Hong Kong
    6,185
    1,526
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  3. Bubble Junky

    Bubble Junky Course Director

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: In paradise...
    1,871
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    63
    Maybe have a look at splitting your time between a stay in Khao Lak for the liveaboard, and Koh Lanta to dive at Hin Daeng with the mantas...
     
  4. kassj0peja

    kassj0peja Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location:
    65
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    Would you consider crossing the border to Myanmar. The Mergui Archipelago is a great diving destination where you won't see any other divers. There are some resorts now too.
     
  5. Edward3c

    Edward3c Instructor, Scuba

    1,397
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    Koh Lipe is just coming out of high session in March. I used DJL and did some of the less visited sites.
     
    NYCcowgirl likes this.
  6. Barmaglot

    Barmaglot Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Israel
    604
    226
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    Another vote for Lanta.
     
  7. UFOrb

    UFOrb Barracuda

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Brighton, UK
    486
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    +1 for Lanta but no snorkelling from the shore.
    Koh Lipe is nice with some ok snorkelling from the shore. Relaxed but so-so diving in my (limited) experience.

    Did you dive the east side of Koh Tao? We recently stayed at Tanote Bay and dived with Calypso. The east coast sites were uncrowded and the Calypso guys were great - very laid back and no packed boats. Shore diving possible too.
    Decent snorkelling off the beach and at Sai Daeng further down the coast.
     
  8. NYCcowgirl

    NYCcowgirl Divemaster

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Vermont
    38
    10
    8
    I looked at the place you recommended in another thread - looks gorgeous but a bit spendy. Same with most of the liveaboard options that go there after all the fees.
     
  9. NYCcowgirl

    NYCcowgirl Divemaster

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Vermont
    38
    10
    8
    Don't recall Calypso off the top of my head but yes I have seen the east coast. Koh Tao can be lovely but not going back there on this trip.
     
  10. NYCcowgirl

    NYCcowgirl Divemaster

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Vermont
    38
    10
    8
    Koh Lanta proponents, any particular dive resorts you recommend?
     

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