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Trip to Thailand

Discussion in 'Thailand' started by Thanshin, Jul 31, 2009.

  1. Thanshin

    Thanshin Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Spain
    192
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    28
    I'm going to Thailand in a month. I've just finished owd precisely because I was going to Thailand and wanted to include some diving in the trip.

    Now I've got the basic knowledge, no equipment at all and about three weeks in Thailand, where I'll probably take the owa and I wouldn't mind doing even the rescue.

    I've got no fixed plans except landing in Bangkok and two hotel nights reserved.

    So, two questions arise:

    - Taking into account I'll be both visiting the country and diving, what places I should absolutely include in the itinerary for the diving part? (The over water part is easier to investigate).
    - I live in Spain. Should I buy the basic equipment here and bring it with me? Or buy it in Thailand.
     
  2. morgan84

    morgan84 Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Tonsberg, Norway
    77
    0
    0
    hey there thanshin!

    my father live in thailand, and i visit him there every year, so i guess i could give you some pointers :D

    My recommendation is to take your diving certificates on the island called Koh Tao. Its a small beautiful island, which specialize in the diving section of tourism. The dive shop i used there was called "Bans Diving Center" and i really suggest you google them. They are from what i understand the biggest diving school in the world and they have a beautiful resort! I had such a great time there that I decided to take a pause in my studies, to now work full time in order to save money for my divemaster and instructor degree, which i plan to take at that shop around christmas.

    The instructors there are great fun, and they have a great attitude towards safety and they ensure you get some really great experiences. I was fortunate enough to experience bullsharks and a whale shark at that island!

    Also, buy your equipment there. its alot cheaper, and they have all the biggest brands for everything you might need. Another tip for you : you can get a tailor made wetsuit on Koh Tao for about 4000 baht! Perfect fit, and you get to choose the design! I saw a man in a "spiderman" wetsuit down there lol! The food on the island is very diverse. You can have both the new exciting asian cuisine and the familiar western food. And the accomodation at Bans start at only 200 baht pr night (for diving students).


    As for everything else, i guess you should check out the palace of King Rama the 5th in Phetchaburi (2 hours south of bangkok), and DEFINITELY go see the Tiger Temple in Kanchanaburi (2 hours west of bangkok) this is the most insane thing you will ever experience! you get to play with tiger cubs, and have the adult ones sleep with their head in you lap! Fantastic experience! There is also elefant treking in the jungle which is awesome.

    Oh, there is also a fantastic cave you should check out in phetchaburi! I cant recall the name of it, but if you are going to phetchaburi to see the temple, you should also see the cave! (its on the way when ur heading south to do your diving.

    oops! i have to run! got to get back to work. let me know if u found this useful, and ill send you some more tips :D
     
  3. Arizona

    Arizona PADI Pro

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Phoenix, AZ
    1,327
    7
    38
    I agree with Koh Tao. Many good options including Bans. As for equipment, not sure of the pricing in Spain but having your own kit is always a good thing. If you bought things on Koh Tao I don't think the prices would be radically different than what you would pay in the EU. The selection on Koh Tao is very good. Be sure to consider if you will be doing mostly warm or cold water diving. If you buy on Tao and have any problems it can be quickly resolved. This may make it better to dive and buy in Thailand.

    Safe diving,
     
  4. Thanshin

    Thanshin Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Spain
    192
    58
    28
    I hadn't thought of that. Obviously it's a great advantage to not be thousands of km. away from the shop the first time you really try the equipment.
     
  5. Thanshin

    Thanshin Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Spain
    192
    58
    28
    Extremely useful. It's exactly what I was looking for.

    Now I'll process all the info at home and start preparing my Koh Tao diving adventure. :)


    ...

    Great. Now I want a custom made wetsuit. With big blue scales.
     
  6. morgan84

    morgan84 Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Tonsberg, Norway
    77
    0
    0
    awesome idea!
     
  7. jkaterenchuk

    jkaterenchuk Dive Travel Professional

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    Compared to the US and Canada I have always found the prices in Thailand to be close to the same or more expensive when it comes to most dive equipment.

    I would buy your life support equipment (Regulators) so that you know they work and are familiar with how they operate. Everything else can be easily rented and it gives you a chance to see what models, fit and styles you like before buying.

    Then you can look at pricing in EU on the internet while in Thailand and decide if its worth buying and going thru the hassle of baggage allowance on the way home or just better to wait and buy it at home.

    John
     
  8. lord khram

    lord khram Loggerhead Turtle

    1,312
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    Last post is exactly right, my general experience is that scuba equipment, along with most things imported to Thailand are significantly more expensive than what you will pay in europe, due to Thai import taxes. Also within europe now with the massive competition present between all the shops and internet sales, which is not mirrored in Thailand, seems to have supressed prices over the last few years.
     
  9. Quero

    Quero Will be missed Rest in Peace ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Phuket, Thailand
    9,494
    2,247
    0
    Regarding what to buy and what to rent....
    I agree with John that having your own regs gives you peace of mind, but depending on how equipment fits you, it's also a good idea to buy other items. For example, the first things I bought when I became certified were fins/booties and a mask. The reason was that rental fins (typically full foot styles) cut off the circulation to my toes (high instep) and rental masks often have a bit of plastic between the lenses that gives me a headache. Soon after that I bought my own BCD since the rentals are all designed for men and they never fit women comfortably (they end up scraping the skin off our necks).

    Regarding where to buy...
    Make sure that there is a large selection of brands and models in the general area where you shop. Look for Mares, ScubaPro, Seac, and Aqualung, for example. You do not have to buy from the shop that books your dives. Most shops carry only a limited selection, and they are very motivated to convince you that it's exactly what you need. Shop around. I'm not familiar with the retail sales outlets on Koh Tao, but here on Phuket there are many big, big shops with great selections of gear. The prices of imported goods here do have the cost of duties included in the price, but you can also ask for the VAT tax back when you export goods you purchase here and take home. You cannot get your VAT back if you buy in Spain. So all in all, the prices may not be so different.
     
  10. lord khram

    lord khram Loggerhead Turtle

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    I can not agree with the last post from Quero at all. Despite now living in Thailand I would only purchase equipment on my visits back to the UK (except through necessity) as the costs is so much less, and the variety of equipment available is infinitely bigger. I will quote 2 examples.
    1) earlier this year I was quoted for a suunto D9 in Thailand 80000 baht (£1600 at the time) back in the uk I purchased the same item for £775
    2) Through necessity I purchased a mask in thailand not long ago for 3500 baht (£63 at the time) The same mask in the UK not long after when I purchased a spare was £34.50.

    Correct me here if I am wrong as I am not involved in the industry but it seems to me that one company (dive supply) imports and wholesales most of the dive equipment in Thailand.
    Therefore as most retailers are purchasing their stock from one supplier, that must stifle competition somewhat. And also limits significantly the variety of equipment available within The country.
     

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