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PADI OW cert at Khao Lak, and fun dives

Discussion in 'Thailand' started by ladra, May 12, 2018.

  1. ladra

    ladra Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: USA
    131
    24
    18
    Hello,

    I would like to get my niece (13) and nephew (10) into scuba diving and we are thinking of go to Thailand in late July/ early August for summer (large) family vacation. Not everyone will be diving so I am trying to see what options are available.

    We'll be in Thailand for about two weeks but I can only stay for about a week. Most of the time will be spent in Khao Lak and some in Phucket.

    I would like to accomplish the following;

    1. Get OW junior certification for my niece and nephew.
    2. As many fun dives as possible for me at the best dive sites, I have AOW.
    3. Try to be with my niece and nephew as much as possible, if not all the time.
    4. Try to combine #1 and #2, if possible. Meaning maybe some of the OW Jr cert dives can be at the fun dive sites?
    4. Is it possible to combine LOB + OW Jr cert class?

    I understand I can't get everything I want, just trying to see my options.

    BTW, how are diving conditions in July/August? Water temp, waves, etc.?

    Thank you all in advance for your input!
     
  2. Barmaglot

    Barmaglot Barracuda

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Israel
    498
    175
    43
    As far as I know, Khao Lak is mostly about liveaboards to the Similan Islands/Richelieu Rock, which are closed from May to September. July/August falls into the monsoon season on the west coast, so diving conditions are unlikely to be good, although I can't speak from personal experience. You may want to consider Gulf of Thailand locations instead, particularly Koh Tao, which has plenty of easy dive sites to get certified on, and some of the lowest costs of diving anywhere, plus the weather there in July is quite decent. Most shops there run training groups and fun dives off the same boat, so you can be with the kids during the surface intervals. All the dive sites are within easy reach off the island, so no liveaboard is necessary - typical schedule for dive boats there is to gather around 6 AM, come out around 6:30, do two dives between 7:30 and 11:00, come back, come out again at noon, do two more dives, come back around 4 PM, then maybe come out again around 6 PM for a night dive, so you can do 3-5 fun dives a day with some effort.
     
  3. ladra

    ladra Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: USA
    131
    24
    18
    Barmaglot,

    Appreciate the detailed information. Will look into Koh Tao.

    Thank you.
     
  4. Barmaglot

    Barmaglot Barracuda

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Israel
    498
    175
    43
    For what it's worth, I've been to Tao three times now (Oct'14, Feb'17, Mar'18), so while I'm hardly a fountain of knowledge about the place, I can try answering questions that you may have.
     
  5. Diving Dubai

    Diving Dubai Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dubai UAE
    2,954
    2,587
    113
    @ladra,

    While it is true that Kao Lak is "the gateway to the Similans" and thus has a number of LoB that depart from there dive shops do run OW.

    I recall that the Similans and Surins have a closed season I think it's between end of May and Beginning of November, which might mean teh dive ops there are either closed or in "off season mode"

    All that said, I can recommend Wicked Diving, I've been with them in Kao Lak and in Komodo, and they are a safe contentious outfit.

    Before I became an instructor, they were the only place my wife and I trusted to take our boys on their Discover Scuba dive. My wife and I are pretty experienced divers, so know what to look out for in a Dive centre
     
  6. ladra

    ladra Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: USA
    131
    24
    18
    @Diving Dubai,

    Wicked Diving does sound like they're what I'm looking for. However, it seems like Khao Lak is closed during July/August like you mentioned... I'll have to do some more research.

    Thank you!
     
  7. stevenl

    stevenl Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Kata, Phuket, Thailand
    2,333
    274
    83
    In July/August diving from Khao Lak will be done in Phuket, so a 2-hour minibus transfer each way. That is if the DC is open, quite a few will be closed that time of year. Look at staying on Phuket where diving is year round, much more comfortable for you.
     
  8. ladra

    ladra Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: USA
    131
    24
    18
    Really appreciate all the informative inputs!

    I did not know about the off season period at Khao Lak.

    We are now considering Koh Tao or Phuket. Also, no more little ones for OW cert, now possibly two adults.

    Little ones will get their chance in December at Kota Kinabalu.

    Thank you!
     
  9. stevenl

    stevenl Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Kata, Phuket, Thailand
    2,333
    274
    83
  10. Barmaglot

    Barmaglot Barracuda

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Israel
    498
    175
    43
    In general, I think Phuket offers better dive sites, but they're considerably further away, limiting you to 2-3 dives a day, and in July-August, weather may interfere, so it's kind of risky - may turn out great if you luck out, or very bad if you don't. Koh Tao sites, overall, are not as good, but much more accessible - you can do as many as 5 days a day if you push it. Tao is also much less expensive - a 3-dive day trip from Phuket is typically 3700 baht + 500 baht for gear rental, while on Koh Tao, most shops will offer you a 10-dive package for 7000 baht, with equipment rental included.
     

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