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Thailand diving - confused!

Discussion in 'Thailand' started by Baker girl, Sep 3, 2002.

  1. Baker girl

    Baker girl Guest

    I'm sooo confused after reading all of these posts! My friend and i are stopping in Thailand for 7 days on our way to London and we only learnt to dive last year in Fiji so we really want to dive again. We were planning on going to Koh Tao for our diving and then perhaps to Koh Samui or Koh Pha Ngan for some partying, but know i feel a bit disheartened. The reason we picked the Gulf is that we are arriving in Thailand on October 2 and heard that Phuket/Phi Phi etc was bad at that time of year for diving. Can anyone support this? We may not be experienced divers, but we certainly don't want to be diving with 100 other divers either. We both appreciate the underwater life and have always been ones to not go to touristy places...

    Please help! Would love your advice on where we should go...

    Baker Girl:confused:
  2. jamespitt

    jamespitt Nassau Grouper

    firstly welcome to the board and i will try confuse u some more.
    ok, koh tao, phangan and samui are in the gulf of thailand.
    phi-phi and phuket are on the other side, in the andaman sea.
    problem - 7 days. take 2 days out for return travel.
    koh tao - be prepared to dive with lots of divers. unavoidable unless u choose a smaller diveshop.
    samui - give it a miss unless u want maccers and starbucks.
    pha-ngan - probably your best bet for party and diving. although the 2 do not mix, espescially if u go hard like everyone else in hat rin. if u do dive, make sure u go to sail rock and chumporn pinnacle. the other sites are not too great and nothing like u would have seen in fiji.
    Phuket - good party (adult disneyworld) but maybe not the kind of party yure looking for??!! better diving if you go further out to the similians.
    Phi-phi - good diving and decent partying. dodgy bars, thai boxing rings and reggae clubs.

    unfortunately all the places u have listed are heavily touristed already. there are other islands u could dive on that are closer to BKK but the night(to-early-morning)life are not as good as the others.

    here is some details about the 2 monsoons that affect thai diving:

    The West Coast (Phuket, PhiPhi) should normally be dived from October until May with the first part better for clear waters (i.e. visibility) and the second half better for spotting large Pelagic. From June through September the monsoon blows in from the Indian subcontinent in the west.

    The East Coast (Gulf Of Thailand - Koh samui, tao and phangan) can be dived all year, as the waters are not as deep and the sites much closer to shore. However November through December, the South East Monsoon can cause rough seas and make visibility unpredictable on occasion. The best months are from February through October as the water is clearest.

    confused?? its alright cos i would love to be in your position...
    good luck,
  3. Welshman

    Welshman senior member

    If I was you I'd just email the dive shops to check on conditions. Phuket/Phi Phi should be OK by October as the monsoon should have passed. They are only 20 miles apart so share the same diving which is pretty good.

    Haven't dived Koh Tao/Koh Samui but the former has a reputation as a diver factory and the diving off the latter isn't highly rated.

  4. Baker girl

    Baker girl Guest

    Thanks all for your replies...have finally decided after much deliberation to fly to Krabi and then go to Phi Phi. I've heard too many negative things about the Samui side so Phi Phi it is.

    So...now i need some suggestions for where to stay in Phi Phi and which dive company to use. Also, is it worth hanging around in Krabi at all or just go straight to Phi Phi? I've heard that Railey (sp) Beach is great. Does anyone else think so?

    Thanks a lot...am so excited!

    Baker girl:sun:
  5. jamespitt

    jamespitt Nassau Grouper

    sawadee kap,
    definitely go to railey beach. dont worry about the spelling cos the thais spell it a couple of different ways too.
    railey is the one of the most beautiful beaches i have ever seen. although it is quite expensive for thai standards. instead go to a beach called Ton Sai. it is about a 10minute walk from railey at low tide. at high tide u may have to do a bit of climbing but it is well worth it. ton sai is where all the rock climbers hang out - my female travelling companions had nothing to complain about, cos the climbers have really good bods. it is also cheaper - stay at andaman nature resort (only B150 a night with bathroom). railey is about B600 a night for crappy rooms.
    for diving in ao nang (the little town that boats launch to railey from) - try ao nang divers.
    once in phi-phi - there are heaps of dive centres to try. i had a decent experience with viking, but take your pick cos management and personel change so regularly. also phiphi is very touristy because of leo de caprio and the accomodation is relatively expensive. long beach is full of backpackers and best for a party. a trip to phi phi lei and maya bay is also great, but barter to get the price down.
    i cant remember where i stayed in phiphi, but as u land head left to the end. if u go right, u go into the town and its dodgy.

    so if i were u, then go to krabi 1st, then ao nang/ton sai/railey and check it out. u are going in monsoon season and perhaps its better to stay on the mainland and check with other travellers.

    i have attached a pic of railey beach. its stunning. u see that headland in the background - well there is a sea-water lake inside it. u have to climb up to the top and then grapple down with ropes to the bottom. its brilliant.
  6. Baker girl

    Baker girl Guest

    Thanks Jamespitt...you've been very helpful! The picutre looked fantastic and we will definitely be checking out Railey beach! And by the sounds of it, not just for the beach, but for the good bods as well!

    So are you actually about to take a trip somewhere or are you suck an enthusiast that you just love helping other people out with their holidays?

    Baker girl:wink:
  7. jamespitt

    jamespitt Nassau Grouper

    nah, i'm just an all round legend... its really this msgboard, cos everyone is here to share info and i have learnt heaps so far. i suppose when u travel, u learn so much more from other travellers than from your lonely planet book. my mate never uses one and he has been through india, nepal, thailand, malaysia and indo without one. he just asks people for advice and if he does need one, then borrows from someone else.
    also its been nearly a year since i left south east asia and came to oz, and my heart will always be there - and so therefore i love to talk about it. i cant wait to go back. probably next year may/june to help out at my old diveshop.

    have a good trip,
  8. Baker girl

    Baker girl Guest

    I have used the Lonely planet thorn tree a whole lot and have often used recommendation from there on where to go and what places to stay. Actually, I found out about this site on there. I'm supposed to be working but i keep getting sidetracked by all these links and posts etc! Oh well...have resigned and leave in two weeks so no big dramas!

    so how long did you spend in Asia? This will be my first trip there but i wish i was staying longer. I'd love to travel through Laos and Thailand, and heard Vietnam is awesome. Need to get to London thought to get myself a job so i can do more travelling!

  9. dlarbale

    dlarbale Nassau Grouper


    Whatever you do don't trust this Mr Pitt feller, first of all he's a South African, secondly he can't dive for mustard and thirdly he has a very small......

    ......dive computer.

    As for the 'all round legend' thang - well almost but he's learn't it all from me!

    (Sorry feller it's Friday and I'm bored!).

    Later - Dave.

    PS// Have fun in Asia and get off the beaten track a bit to really experience some amazing places!
  10. jamespitt

    jamespitt Nassau Grouper

    thanks gayvid,
    will be thinking of you and your pearls of wisdom this weekend when i am diving the solitary islands marine park.
    i may also throw your name about if we have time to stop at chris and allys at SW Rocks.
    hmmm.. i wonder if i get to see those mantas up there... oh well at least the waters warm and clear.
    30 mins and i am outta here!

    ps. 7 months in asia, but 4 of those was on a small island in indo, where i ran into the accidental pommie tourist dlarbale...

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