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Thailand diving / snorkel in January

  • lashend

    Joined Travelfish
    27th December, 2011
    Posts: 2

    Hi everyone,

    Thanks for fielding this question. Variations on it have been asked, but I'd really like to get your take on 'the specifics'.

    I'm heading to Thailand in January, and I'd like to do EITHER diving or snorkeling. I understand that this time of year the Andaman coast is better than the Gulf Coast. However, I also read everywhere that Koh Tao is the 'top-recommended' place for dive LESSONS.

    I've dived once before and loved it, and I thought about maybe taking the PADI open water course. However, I don't feel like I 'have to', and I'm open to the idea of 'just snorkeling', too. So ..

    QUESTION 1: How much more do you 'see' and 'experience' when diving than when snorkeling? Is it worth the up-scaling of price, etc?

    QUESTION 2: Can you help me choose a place? As I said, I see there's that tension between 'Andaman coast is in season' and 'Koh Tao is best for dive courses'.

    And, I know I can't 'have it all at once', but I would add that I'm not looking at all for partying, and if I could avoid crazy people getting drunk all around me, that would be my preference. (And I understand ... that's Koh Tao, right?) I don't want to be antisocial in total, but that's just not really the scene I'm looking for.

    I'd like to be budget-conscious and as low cost as possible, but I don't necessarily need to find the very cheapest option out there.

    And I love good food and cooking! Any place that might have a better culinary reputation (I don't know if it's at all different in different places of the south?) wins points!

    Thank you - all your ideas and advice are much, much appreciated!!

    Leah

    #1 Posted: 27/12/2011 - 07:20

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  • guava_girl

    Joined Travelfish
    21st October, 2010
    Posts: 252

    The Andaman has the best diving in Thailand. Koh Tao is okay but it is more for backpackers not wanting to spend the extra money. The similans and surin islands are the best dive sites in the country so I would recommend going to the Andaman side.

    Koh Tao is best if you want a bargain, but the Andaman (mainly Khao Lak) is famous among divers and has much more to offer in terms of marinelife.

    #2 Posted: 27/12/2011 - 19:58

  • busylizzy

    Joined Travelfish
    31st December, 2007
    Location New Zealand
    Posts: 2089
    Total reviews: 20
    Places visited:
    At least 107

    I found that Koh Tao wasn't great for snorkelling in January. Water was too rough and choppy and was a bit murky compared to other times of the year. I would stay on the Andamans side for that reason alone.

    #3 Posted: 27/12/2011 - 20:03

  • lashend

    Joined Travelfish
    27th December, 2011
    Posts: 2

    Thank you both!

    I think I will stick with the Andaman side.

    now ... to choose from among the loads of places on that side ...! What a nice challenge to have :) Tips still most welcome, thank you all very much.

    #4 Posted: 28/12/2011 - 17:16

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