Dec/Jan Dive Locations Quickly Accessible by Flight From BKK

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drschibi

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Wanted to see what recommendations folks have for good high quality dive locations quickly accessible by flight from Bangkok (BKK or DMK) for Nov / Dec / Jan time period.
Will be back for Dec/Jan and hoping to do a 3-5 day dive trip. Used to live in BKK and have done decades of amazing diving in Similans / Phuket / Lanta / Phi Phi / Khao Lok. Unfortunately, not best weather in Tao / Gulf. I
Looking for something different. Unfortunately there do not seem to be non stop flights to Andamans or Maldives from BKK (I am told because of security concerns).
So far, the best option seems to be to fly to Manila nonstop and drive to Anilao / Puerto Galera (which I have done the past 2 years and was WONDERFUL).
Everyplace else seems to require stopovers with long travel times (elsewhere in Phill, Malaysia, Indonesia, except Bali). But maybe I am missing someplace? Suppose Burma an option but here very very mixed reviews. Did Chang one year which seems to be on the edge of the Gulf monsoon and had fine weather, but diving was not comparable to other places above.
 

drk5036

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If international travel returns, there will definitely be non-stop flights to the Maldives…

Bali would be easy to get to as well.

I love going to Kota Kinabalu malaysia. Not the best diving in the world but cheap easy and fun. From there you’re just a short hop to Sipadan, which is the best diving I’ve ever done.
 

Centrals

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Take a look at the latest situation in Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines FIRST. None of these places are accepting overseas tourist at the moment.
There is still straight restriction for tourist entering Bangkok until further notice. If it is lifted, suggested from 1st Oct, then the flight to Maldives could be returned. Another option is via Singapore.
Situation can change very quickly.
Your best option is still the West coast of the Kingdom. East coast is far inferior even if the weather is perfect.

Good luck.
 

JonnieB

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You may want to consider Ko Lipe in the southern Andamen Sea, which is accessible by a short flight to Hat Yai and then a 2 hour ride to the ferry pier and 2 hour ferry to the island. Outstanding diving and very "chill" atmosphere. Lipe can also be done as a 3-4 day liveaboard from Phuket.
 

drschibi

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If only there were nonstops to Kota Kinabalu. That would be awesome. But by the time you do stopover it is a 6 hour flight minimum and likely much longer. ) :
But probably the best option still based on research done so far.

If international travel returns, there will definitely be non-stop flights to the Maldives…

Bali would be easy to get to as well.

I love going to Kota Kinabalu malaysia. Not the best diving in the world but cheap easy and fun. From there you’re just a short hop to Sipadan, which is the best diving I’ve ever done.
 

drschibi

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This is a great idea. Friends in BKK really love Ko Lipe for a beach escape but I had not really focused on it for diving. How is the diving / marine live / reef status there? Will check the board also.

You may want to consider Ko Lipe in the southern Andamen Sea, which is accessible by a short flight to Hat Yai and then a 2 hour ride to the ferry pier and 2 hour ferry to the island. Outstanding diving and very "chill" atmosphere. Lipe can also be done as a 3-4 day liveaboard from Phuket.
 

drschibi

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Also a great idea! I am very Burma Banks Curious. Been to Myanmar many many times since 1993, but never dived there. But there seems to be mixed reviews......... but maybe really the best balance and so easy access.

How about a Myanmar liveaboard( easily accessible from Phuket.
 

JonnieB

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This is a great idea. Friends in BKK really love Ko Lipe for a beach escape but I had not really focused on it for diving. How is the diving / marine live / reef status there? Will check the board also.
Many reports here on the Board or Google it...recommend Adang Divers.
 

Saldiac

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Kota Kinabalu, or any other part in Malaysia, won't be open for international travel by the end of 2021. The government has recently published a recovery plan with four phases, each of which can be extended if targets are not met. There is no mention of international travel in the recovery plan. Only in phase 3 would interstate travel for people already in Malaysia be allowed again which would start in November at the earliest. We are currently still in phase 1.
 
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