The freshwater Chiew Lan Lake offers an experience quite distinct from diving among the reefs of the Andaman Sea or Gulf of Thailand.
With warm waters and visibility of up to 15 metres, divers will have the chance to explore grottoes and rock walls, and may encounter a number of creatures of the depths including catfish, freshwater eels and jellyfish. Being a man-made lake created in 1982 by the damming of the river makes for some unusual sights including huge submerged trees.
Dives are generally done on an overnight trip that includes a stay at one of the rustic floating bungalows on the lake, plus a few stops at local sights on the way. All the dive operators we contacted offer about the same rate of 7,900 baht including equipment rental, one-night’s rafthouse accommodation, park entry fee, meals and two dives. Non-divers may also join the trip, for a price of around 5,000 baht. Groups are usually small, around 4-5 people, and the dives are done off the side of a traditional long-tail boat. There are no dive shops in Khao Sok; most Khao Sok trips are run by dive centres based in Khao Lak or Krabi.
Khao Lak Explorer 4/81 Moo 7, Khao Lak. T: (076) 485 308; (084) 325 8106. http://www.khaolakexplorer.com
Kon-Tiki Thailand, Krabi branch 161/1 Moo 2, Ao Nang. T: (075) 637 826. http://www.kontiki-krabi.com
Wetzone Diving 33/5 Moo 7, Khao Lak. T: (076) 485 806; (085) 785 8065. http://www.wetzonedivers.com
Wicked Diving 4/17 Moo 7, Khao Lak. T: (076) 485 868; (085) 795 2221. http://www.wickeddiving.com