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Diving in December in Thailand and other questions

Diving in December in Thailand and other questions

Apr 1st, 2013, 09:13 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 315
Diving in December in Thailand and other questions

Hi everyone

Our last great adventure to Thailand was a huge success as a direct result of all the help from this wonderful forum and resulted in this HUGE trip report:


The years have passed, the children are now 22 and 18 and we are ready to head East from Cape Town again and once more request your help and advice.
This is our thinking so far:

leave Cape Town about 22 Dec and fly to Singapore and then on to Krabi? Phuket?Koh Samui?
we would like a family Christmas with some luxury, good food, shopping, beach time for a week and so thought of Krabi - your thoughts?
On 30th December we were thinking of going to Koh Phangan - we have friends there - and staying until 1st or 2nd January
The husband and children want to dive somewhere after this, but where? I need some luxury and some snorkeling maybe and they want "good" diving so where do we go? Please can you help?
On 5th January we need to be back in Singapore where we are meeting up with friends so in total we have about 13 or 14 days in Thailand

Any thoughts and suggestions would be very much appreciated
thank you in advance
capetownfolk is offline  
Apr 1st, 2013, 04:49 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,160
Hi again!

If you want a combination of beach, dining option and being relatively close to a good diving destination then I suggest the area from Phuket going North unto Koa Lak. There are many good hotels along this stretch and the restaurant in Phuket will keep you well fed.

The best diving and snorkelling in the area will be the Similan islands. To properly enjoy the area you will need to do an overnight trip onboard a dive boat and you can do both private charter or join others.

Koh Phangan is on the other side of the peninsula and will require some traveling but the best and most convenient way will be to fly from Phuket to Koh Samui. Bangkok Airways operate flights between the two cities so that will save you a lot of time.

The diving in the Similan is superior to those around Koh Phangan (Koh Tao, Koh Nang Yuan etc). So if your family want the best then the Adaman side (Similan islands, Burma Banks etc) will be a good choice.
Hanuman is offline  
Apr 1st, 2013, 07:31 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 28,930
hi M... hope you are all well, and the kids are all grown up!

we love khao lak (1.25 hours easy drive north of phuket airport). we prefer the jw marriott hotel but the le meridien is quite nice as well... good food at both hotels and in town as well... lots of diving in the area.

at krabi i can suggest the amari vogue hotel... the sheraton and ritz are also very nice there.

you need hotel res now as it is a very busy time

rhkkmk is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2013, 04:02 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 315
Hi guys

so nice to hear from you both and I know we will have an amazing trip with all the input from this forum - yes the children have grown up now but still going along for the free vacation!

Hanuman - we have also heard that the Similan islands are the best and the husband and children can do an overnight on a dive boat - I will be booking into a nice spa somewhere! We had heard that the area was very badly by the terrible Tsunami and so the diving is not as good now as say Koh Tao - what would you say?

I will do some further reading on Khao Lak this evening and yes we are very keen to book soon due to the peak season rush

all the best
capetownfolk is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2013, 05:34 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,160

IMO the damages caused by the tsunami was on land. Underwater reefs were more effected by coral bleaching and global warming. To be honest the last time I visited the Similans was before the tsunami and the last time I was at Koh Toa and Koh Nang Yuan was a couple of years after the tsunami. Some of my relatives, who are diving fanatics, all prefer the Similans over Koh Toa and they do several dive trip per year.
Hanuman is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2013, 07:13 AM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,844
The Similans suffer greatly from coral bleaching right now. There are some sites that are not as affected as others, but overall the diving is not as good as it was four or five years ago. If you're not looking to do a five or six day live-aboard, then you might actually go south of Phuket and have a look at Lanta. You can do an over night trip to Hin Daeng / Hin Muang, which will get you to these sites before the speedboats arrive. These sites are still quite good and much less affected by bleaching.

The diving on gulf side has been extremely good in the last year. All my friends in the area have reported some great experiences, including lots of sharks - whale and others. There's no telling how the coming season will be, and in any case December is the really slow time of year, as it's still the rainy season there. My friend who runs a small dive shop on Samui actually shuts down for most of the month, but larger operators will still be open. However, conditions won't be the best.
MichaelBKK is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2013, 12:06 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 28,930
M, btw, there is a dive shop right at jw marriott, k/l.. its called sea bees.
rhkkmk is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2013, 07:05 AM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,844
The Seabees shop in the Marriott is a branch office. Their main shop is on the road between Nang Thong and Bang Niang. However, if you decide on Khao Lak I would recommend Wicked Diving, a really class outfit with great people and some nice boats.
MichaelBKK is offline  

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