Scuba Diving, Phuket
I did many dive courses here, advanced, rescue, and divemaster, but also fun dives. And it was arranged by this company: http://www.greenphuket.com. On the website you can find information and foto's.
I went through the beginning scuba diver course in Kata Beach, Phuket. It is a three day course, consists of four dives and some classroom time. It takes up about 6+hours of your day for those three days, but you can't find a much better spot to train in than Phuket. The cost was approximately 300$ for everything, and all equipment was provided. I went through the main scuba renter/instructors in Kata. I was overall satisfied with the school, but our instructor (there are at least three that operate from that building) was a bit grumpy and short. The last session they take you in a long tail boat near the island off the coast for a dive, take video and photos of you while your diving, which all turned out really good. If you have a few days in Phuket/Kata that you'd like to fill you should consider learning to SCUBA, it's a lot of fun, and when you are traveling to future destinations you can SCUBA there as well! They keep the classes small (although they are mostly on demand), as mine was just my travel friend and another gentleman. The class does require homework at night.
Absolutely amazing liveaboard. It is a converted junk. Loads of space and a briliiant crew.
The dive guides really knew their stuff (we managed to see whale sharks, manta rays and turtles amongst other things).
The crew were five star as was the food.
In addition to the diving, there's loads of space on the deck for enjoying the sunshine between dives, a hi fi system that has adaptors for MP3 players and a DVD player.
The best liveaboard I have been on.
If you are a certified scuba diver, I highly recommend Sea King Divers for your Liveaboard trip because they have your safety in mind with excellent services.
All you need is to contact them and they can arrange everything for you include your airport transfers, last night accomodation in Patong and etc.
They have very experience dive guides and instructors. The ratio is one to five divers per dive guide.
The food served onboard is delicious and you will definitely look forward to your next meal.
The only setback is their cabins or rooms onboard do not have attached bathroom but their price is reasonable and competitive.
Our 4 days/4 nights Similan and Surin Islands Liveaboard (14 dives) Diving Itinerary:
Pick up at 5:30pm from hotel or Patong MacDonald
Depart to Similan Islands approximately at 7:30pm
Day 1 Similan Islands
Day 2 Similan Islands
Day 3 Koh Tachai, Richelieu Rock
Day 4 Koh Bon
Disembark at 3:00pm in Tabla Mu transfer back to hotel in Patong, Phuket
Do check out my Sports Travel & Off The Beaten Path Tips and Travelogues for more information and underwater photographs. Cheers!
When people talk about it, some may say it is expensive and dangerous.
Well they are almost right...
But think about it.. We, human, spending more money to study the universe than study the living cretures, which have been preserved and time freezed.
Just look at few of under water photos of islands near by Phuket and you may have change your mind.
Racha Island is located 20 kilometers southeast of Phuket. There are 2 Islands, Racha Yai and Racha Noi. In Thai Racha means king, and it does make lot of sanse because the underwater life around this group of islands are really outstanding. Even after the Shunami, things are not what it used to be but all the same breath taking.
PS. I left my number and email for those who want more details and what you have to do to get hook up with grest diving company.
There is a wide variety of diving available from Phuket, from 2 tank day trips up to 10 day liveaboard cruises up to Burma. Of the local (day trip) sites, my favourites are Racha Noi and Shark Point. Further afield, you can't beat the Similan islands for coral and fish life, and Hin Daeng has a great drop off and over the last few years has been the best spot for big fish.
Day trip prices are from 60 - 110 U$ depending on location, number of dives etc..
Liveaboards to the Similans can be as short as 2 days, though 4 days is recommended to see the most dive sites. If possible, get a boat that includes Richelieu Rock in the itinerary.
You can dive a good 10 days without repeating sites, making Phuket a great place for a dive vacation.
So many dive sites around and reaosnable prices then you have no excuse but to get down there. The Similans are incredible but there are closer, good dive sites particularly around Phi Phi.
Lots of competition from companies but I recommend Live And Let Dive for reasonable deals, good experienced and impartial advice and very friendly service.
Some of the best dive sites in the world are neat Phuket Island.
I did a trip (two-tanker) to a spot off Koh Racha Yai. Visibility was good, even though the sea was a bit rough. I saw lots of sea-life, dozens of sea cucumbers, and even a small ray.
Unfortunately my trip to Similan got called off because of foul weather.