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Thailand first time visitor

Discussion in 'Thailand' started by rayaslin, Jan 24, 2019.

  1. rayaslin

    rayaslin Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Oklahoma
    Hi folks.

    I'm looking at a visit to Thailand with my wife - coming into Phuket - and doing a liveaboard for 7 nights.

    I have a couple of questions and was hoping for some guidance.

    Time of year / sea conditions /weather =

    What months would you avoid, or be best. The only months that are likely not going to work for us is May, June, July, August, Sept.

    I was looking at an October trip, or possibly February. But other months are possible.

    Best liveaboard itinerary:

    Any liveaboard route that I should do or should stay away from?

    About our dive experience:

    We are a mid 40s couple, fit to dive.

    We have both been diving >10 years with several hundred dives, we generally dive a couple of times a year - Cozumel is a yearly trip. The only liveaboards we have done was the Red Sea - last May. We are comfortable in the water...no one likes fighting a current the entire dive.

    What is important to us: reasonably warm water (76F or better) clear (60ft vis or better) and something interesting to see - we love reefs, and reef fish - but the chance to see a pelagic is always exciting. Manta rays and whalesharks are on our list of things we have not seen. Sharks and turtles are always exciting...as are big colorful reefs and all the things that live on them.

    Topside: beyond the liveaboard we will likely spend a few days before and after there Wish we could do more, but it's hard to take more than 10-12 days of vacation at once. Once you figure in the flight time that means coming down, having perhaps a day before the liveaboard, and perhaps 2 days after.

    Is there anything we should do with that time, given how little we have (that one thing that everyone should do other than dive, while they are there).

    I'm still looking at boats, itineraries - sites, I'm at the very early stage of planning - so any info about it is quite welcome.

  2. Centrals

    Centrals Barangay Pasaway

    # of Dives:
    Location: Hong Kong
    Similan LoB ONLY.
    May to Sept is NOT the right time and Oct is a wee bit too early so Feb is your best bet. Around Lunar Chinese New Year(late Jan to mid Feb) will see hordes of chinese divers visiting the island. I would try to avoid to share any boat with them therefore pick your boat carefully. Any operators which have chinese web site is a good indication.
  3. Mr. Sunday

    Mr. Sunday Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Seattle-WA-USA
    Late Feb to early March has alway worked well for me. Only 3.5 weeks to go until Im headed back and cant wait!
  4. Divemaster No.1

    Divemaster No.1 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Koh Phangan, Thailand
    As the liveaboards to Similans tend to start in October again for the season, you can often get some excellent bargains on trips as the dive centres need to fill their boats - it's worth booking nothing in advance, and bargaining when you get there! The same goes for the trips going out in March/April.

    The busiest times are December and January, with dive sites very full.

    From Khao Lak if you want a more luxurious trip you could check out Big Blue, for a cheaper option Khao Lak Scuba Adventures aren't bad and have a number of boats offering a variety of liveaboards (3 day, 4 day etc etc).
  5. Buadhai

    Buadhai Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Korat, Thailand
    I've lived in Thailand since 2005 and have dived here, on and off, since the late 80s. I much prefer the South Andaman to the North mainly because it tends to be less crowded and has a wealth of dive sites; some of which are rarely visited (Hin Khao, for example).

    The water temperature hovers around 30ºC (85ºF). I never wear a wetsuit. Visibility is highly variable. On a great day you might get 30 meters (100 feet), but you're likely to experience much less than that.

    If you have time, try and see someplace other than Phuket; or at least someplace other than the main tourist beaches. When my wife and I do liveaboards out of Phuket, we don't spend a single night on the island. Fly in the day the boat departs and fly out the morning after it arrives. (Many boats catering to Thai divers allow you to spend the night on the boat the evening of your arrival on Phuket.)

    Have a look at my thread on my dive plans for 2019.

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