SCUBA diving in Thailand
Thailand attracts more tourists than any other country in Southeast Asia, and it's not hard to see why. Thailand now offers an overwhelming variety of activities, as well as maintaining all of the culture and identity it has become famous for. Go for a swim in the crystal clear waters of the Andaman Sea, before relaxing on the snowy white sands that compliment the beautiful coastline. Or if that sounds too relaxing, you could always take part in the annual Banyan Tree Bangkok Vertical Marathon, where anyone crazy enough climbs Thailand's tallest hotel the world famous charity fundraiser.
If you ask a group of people who have been to Thailand to describe it, you will undoubtedly get a colourful collection of positive remarks that will leave you wondering if they are talking about the same place. The truth is that depending on where you go in Thailand, you will experience the wonderful uniqueness of each individual place. Mae Hong Son is located in the North of Thailand, between two high mountain ranges offering some breathtaking views. Almost always cloaked in mist, this province is sufficiently tucked away to find some of Thailand's ancient hill-tribe communities. In contrast Krabi, located in the South of Thailand offers fantastic beaches and some quite irresistible SCUBA Diving spots such as the Koh Phi Phi islands.
Thailand SCUBA Diving
The Koh Phi Phi islands actually consist of two islands- Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Leh. The main reason they are known as the best places to SCUBA Dive in Thailand, is their unrivalled underwater visibility. The beaches are straight out of the movies, and underwater things only get better. You'll find green turtles, black and white banded sea snakes, angelfish, crocodile long-toms, sharks, and coral you never knew existed! Other great dive sites include- Phuket, the Similan Islands, Richelieu Rock, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai, Koh Ha, and Hin Muang.
You'll find most things in Thailand relatively cheap, and accommodation is no exception. Depending on where you are you can find more than adequate hotels with rooms at reasonable prices. The more rugged traveller will find cosy huts that look out onto the ocean going for peanuts. The locals are always friendly, and don't be afraid to try and haggle them down if you think you're being overcharged. It's also worth double-checking your visa situation when staying in Thailand as travellers originating from some countries are offered fifteen days visa-free.
Flights to Thailand
Thailand is a popular destination for tourists for all sorts of reasons, not just scuba diving - for that reason, flights to Thailand can be cheaper than you might think. As with all popular destinations, charter flights offer greater savings than scheduled offerings, however they involve greater risk and generally lower standards of comfort!
Thailand is a popular backpackers destination. To cater for this demand the carriers provision plenty of economy space on their flights. Be warned that those of you who prefer to travel in greater comfort may find prices for first or business class slightly inflated. SCUBA diving in Thailand generally takes place in the islands, however when travelling there it is probably cheapest to fly to Bangkok and make travel arrangements locally - these are cheap and easy to find, but don't be taken in by the hawkers, and make sure you shop around!
Flight time from London to Bangkok is around 12 hours direct, although you may find a cheaper deal by changing in an airline's hub. Cost for a scheduled flight can be anywhere between £300 - £900 depending on what season you travel in and the time of booking.