Dec/Jan Dive Locations Quickly Accessible by Flight From BKK

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stevenl

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Kata, Phuket, Thailand
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I just don't log dives
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.
Yes, nice atmosphere and cool island, although last years it has been build up a lot.

But 'Oustanding diving' really is over the top. Some sites are on par with e.g. Shark Point, and it is considerbly less diving than from Koh Lanta with Hin Daeng, Hin Muang and Koh Haa. The liveaboards from Phuket don't go to the Lipe area but to Hin Daeng etc.
 

JonnieB

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Pattaya, Thailand
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Yes, nice atmosphere and cool island, although last years it has been build up a lot.

But 'Oustanding diving' really is over the top. Some sites are on par with e.g. Shark Point, and it is considerbly less diving than from Koh Lanta with Hin Daeng, Hin Muang and Koh Haa. The liveaboards from Phuket don't go to the Lipe area but to Hin Daeng etc.
You're right...I meant Hat Yai/Pak Bara Pier.

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JonnieB

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Yes, nice atmosphere and cool island, although last years it has been build up a lot.

But 'Oustanding diving' really is over the top. Some sites are on par with e.g. Shark Point, and it is considerbly less diving than from Koh Lanta with Hin Daeng, Hin Muang and Koh Haa. The liveaboards from Phuket don't go to the Lipe area but to Hin Daeng etc.

I guess it depends...if one wants more open water pelagic action pinnacles like Muang/Daeng are good...if you prefer muck Lipe is better. Also, many dive sites Lipe are 10-20 boat rides but HD/HM are quite far from Lanta. They're just different...best to go to both!
 

stevenl

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Kata, Phuket, Thailand
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I just don't log dives
I guess it depends...if one wants more open water pelagic action pinnacles like Muang/Daeng are good...if you prefer muck Lipe is better. Also, many dive sites Lipe are 10-20 boat rides but HD/HM are quite far from Lanta. They're just different...best to go to both!
Also for small lige Hin Daeng and Hin Muang are excellent. Muck diving, I don't think there is any real muck diving anywhere in the area. Yes, divesites are closer, which is very convenient. But that doesn't affect the quality of diving, if anything in the long run it will have a negative impact.
 

Centrals

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I believe quality of diving is what most divers after.
How many divers would prefer to dive Shark Point over Richelieu Rock?
 

JonnieB

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Pattaya, Thailand
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I believe quality of diving is what most divers after.
How many divers would prefer to dive Shark Point over Richelieu Rock?
I dunno...I spotted a White Moray Eel at Kata Reef a couple days ago...a very rare find. Depends on what one's after...200 baht for a tank and a walkout shore dive or a 4000 baht 2 dive day-trip or 30k liveaboard to Richelieu/Similans.
 

Centrals

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I dunno...I spotted a White Moray Eel at Kata Reef a couple days ago...a very rare find. Depends on what one's after...200 baht for a tank and a walkout shore dive or a 4000 baht 2 dive day-trip or 30k liveaboard to Richelieu/Similans.
As long as you are happy.
How do you quantify quality?
 

Centrals

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You just defined it :)
But please leave out the money part because you are comparing apple and orange.
How do you quantify quality?
I can tell the difference between a quality Pad Thai from the run of the mill.
 

JonnieB

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But please leave out the money part because you are comparing apple and orange.
How do you quantify quality?

Also: I believe quality of diving is what most divers after.
How many divers would prefer to dive Shark Point over Richelieu Rock?


You pose an interesting question, especially if not considering costs. Even then, however, I can see plenty of reasons for preferring Shark Point over RR...time and distance being two of them. RR has to be done from Khow Lak if a day trip or otherwise as a liveaboard, which is usually a 5-7 day commitment of time. Shark Point can be done from Phuket, where most visitors are likely already staying. Even if the diver was in Khow Lak, I believe the day boat to RR takes over 2 hours (or 1 hour by speedboat). The comfortable "slow boats" from Chalong to Shark Point take about an hour. If the vis is good, Shark Point and nearby Anemone Reef are beautiful dive sites, covered in hard and soft corals and huge sponges, with a lot of marine life. While not as dramatic as RR...a large pinnacle in the open ocean, it's nothing to sneeze at. I've dived RR a few times from liveaboards and sure it's great site but the PITA factor to doing a liveaboard is high. Also, my back doesn't fancy a one hour speedboat trip to and back for 2 dives at RR in a day. As for seeing pelagic at RR...it's the same as anywhere...maybe you will and maybe you won't...I never did. But I have seen them recently at Racha Noi...and one was spotted in Bay 1, a shallow "easy" divesite at Racha Yai yesterday (Harambe Wreck)

So what is quality will be defined differently by each diver taking into account their prefered type of driving (shore, boat, liveaboard), interests (macro, open water,photography, drift, muck, etc., time available for diving, etc. Everyone has their own metrics and how to weigh the options. At this point in my diving, I like shore and day boat diving, with the sites around Phuket being just fine in terms of accessibility and comfort. Later this year, I hope to make my way down to Ko Lanta for Hin Daeng/Muang and Ko Haa and then after that go further south to Ko Lipe. When international travel opens up again, my first foreign trip will be to Banda Aceh and the island of Pulau Weh in Indonesia. I'm sure I'll find plenty of quality diving in all these places.
 
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