View Full Version : Going Thai in January!

07-29-2007, 22:08
After a couple of years of talking casually about it, we're finally booking our trip to Thailand for this January!

We're going from Jan 11-24. Flying from LAX to Bangkok, of course.

My wife is currently a non-diver, although hopefully she'll be certified by the time we go. So it's likely I'll be trying to find a mix of easy diving for her and perhaps an advanced dive or two for me.

Currently the plan is to stay a couple nights in Bangkok, then hop on a local flight to Phuket or perhaps somewhere IN the Similian Islands (staying in Koh Samui). I get 5 days for diving-related activities, then we fly back to Bangkok (since other point to point flights seem to not be an option in Thailand) for a night, and then to Chiang Mai for the balance of the trip to do touristy stuff, and finally back to Bangkok before returning to LAX.

Now, we have our international flight plans nailed down, but haven't locked anything in for moving around the country one we arrive.

It would be very easy if I could just do a liveaboard, but my wife gets VERY seasick, so that's not even remotely an option. Boat trips will need to be short and sweet. Will this even work? I really want to max out the diving possibilities of my allotted days, especially since we won't be able to dive on the last day with a flight looming.

Does anyone have any specific tips for working within those parameters? Any good Dive Op recommendations? (I'd prefer something other than a cattle boat.)

At this point, it's going to be tough to get reservations at the places we want, so our choices will be somewhat limited, but I'd like to make the best of our options.

Ask me about California diving, and I can quote chapter and verse. But I am soooo clueless about Thailand. My wife has done all the research for the touristy parts of the vacation, but she knows nothing about diving, and we're really just winging it since we've never been to Asia before. Does anyone have any good tips for us? Know any good travel agents with experience with Thailand dive vacations (and Thailand non-dive vacations)?

07-29-2007, 22:49
Congrats man. That sounds sweet. I don't know much about Thai diving, although I've heard that Phuket is awesome.

As for your wife's seasickness, if she gets sick easily, even short runs w/o medication won't be in the realm of reality. I'm so prone to seasickness, I've gotten sick in the harbor before the boat left dock before, but the scopalomine patch has gotten me through some rough seas. What ever she uses, I'd really recommend checking it out on a day boat before you go to make sure it works for her. Through trial and error, I know the only two things that work for me are the patch and original dramamine. Dram 2/Bonine (meclazine) doesn't do it. Sea Bands, Ginger, nope. Those error days sure did suck.

07-30-2007, 00:48
I'm hoping to try her on Bonine loading... start her up 24 hrs in advance. As worked wonders for some friends. Question is when will we have a chance to test it! We have some scop patches that she used in Jamaica on a snorkeling run... super mild seas, 5 min boat ride in a pretty wide catamaran/party boat to an islet 1/2 mile from the dock, and she was a shade queasy, so I'm not sure that even works. :( She's fine once in the water, though. We'll see.

We need a good travel agent for this one, though... just too foreign to wing it.

07-30-2007, 05:31
My SO gets seasick, poor guy. It's been getting worse each time we go out on the water. I agree with making sure not to let the meds lapse as prevention is waaaaay easier than treating after the fact.

Now, about Thailand, can I go packed into your suitcase? I won't be much trouble at all, I just want to do a couple of measly little dives.

But seriously, have fun. It will be a heck of a trip.

07-30-2007, 08:09
We need a good travel agent for this one, though... just too foreign to wing it.

At your service. I'm an agency manager and diver. PM me with more details and phone number. I'm PM'ing you with my info.

07-30-2007, 10:19
Thanks, Rick! Reply sent...

Moxie, if you can figure out how to be positively buoyant in the air, I'd be happy to bring you along! I'm in a mild state of panic about luggage weight restrictions as it is, between fins, bp/w, camera gear, regs... and the rest of the stuff I'm supposed to bring for a vacation!

07-30-2007, 11:54
Enjoy it man! Hope you and your wife have an awesome time, and also that she does get certified prior. I've been trying for a few months to get my wife certified, but between 3 kids and work, it's easier to wish than to do. Make sure you post some pics when you return!!

07-30-2007, 12:46
Certification is going to be a challenge, due to her special circumstances. She's willing to give it a go... not dying to try it, but willing to see what all the fuss is about, and a fan of pretty fishies since she grew up with a huge tropical aquarium.

Issue is she had back surgery about a year ago (micro discechtomy L4-L5) and has been in physical therapy since, trying to strengthen her back to hold up what's left of her disk, and avoid a fusion.

End result is she's never really going to be able to carry dive gear on her back for more than a moment or two... all gear will need to be donned/doffed in the water, where things are nice and weightless, and then I'll be the gear sherpa. Under those circumstances, her doctor will sign off on her diving. We'll need understanding instructors (I'm sure I can handle this one) ... and a dive op who can accommodate our needs.

Once she's in the water, of course, a weightless environment, she should be fine. And it's not like she's a cripple, there are just certain stresses her back isn't up to handling. So she'll be an occasional warm water vacation diver in exceptional conditions, only, but hey, it's better than nothing!

07-30-2007, 13:08
Congrats on your upcomming trip! It sounds awesome! I can't wait to hear you trip report.

07-30-2007, 14:49
I'm in a mild state of panic about luggage weight restrictions as it is, between fins, bp/w, camera gear, regs... and the rest of the stuff I'm supposed to bring for a vacation!

Congrats on the upcoming trip!!! I've heard Phuket is lovely, and lots of places to snorkel from the beach. I don't know specifically about the diving, but I have heard it's nice.

Have you checked with your airline about weight restrictions? Last time I travelled with my gear I had about 3kg left for non-diving related gear, so as you can imagine I took very little with me. Just as well it was a liveaboard and I was doing 3-4 dives a day so didn't need to much extra. But after I got home I found out that if I'd told the airline that I was going on a sporting holiday, they would have given me an extra 10kg in weight allowance. That would have helped hugely. Worth checking out - although if you are getting internal flights as well you'd have to check with them also, as you don't want to be stung with overweight charges if they don't allow it as well.

Oh I'm so jealous, you'll have a blast!!

07-30-2007, 15:17
cool....i'm very jealous

07-30-2007, 15:44
sweet vacation.

07-30-2007, 21:19
Thailand is lovely but just about everywhere that I know of requires a long boat ride, especially from Koi Samui. I've done Koi Samui and Payatta, both rides were at least 2 hrs, I think Koi Samui was like 4 hours each way out to Sail Rock and back. PM me at [email protected] if you have specific questions.

09-06-2007, 12:40
Years ago I dove with Klaus Orlik, a german expat, who had an interest in a hotel in Phuket and had a dive operation. Very personabl, proffessional and very laid back.

09-06-2007, 12:59
I went Thai today - spicy noodles, beef, 3-star

09-06-2007, 13:09
Torrey- you're making me hungry!! What I wouldn't give for some curried tofu..

As for the trip, I admittedly don't know much about diving in Thailand, but I will definitely say good luck to your wife. I'm really happy for her to at least be willing to try diving out, and no matter what bring us back lots of awesome photographs!

09-06-2007, 13:59
I was in Thailand last November. Didn't go diving though it was during my layoff before I started diving again. I went to Thai Massage school for two weeks in Chiang Mai. I got a massage every day I was there... only 400 baht for two hours (that was about $11.50 at the time. You could arrange it with an instructor at the end of day after class) :-) Did the Elephant Safari, river rafting... the usual tourist stuff. I had a great time! :-)

I've been invited by a friend to go to Phuket in February. I'm thinking to try and go in late February and then head over to the Philippines for a U/W photography workshop in Puerto Galera in early March. Just thinking about it right now.... always contingent on my work giving me permission to take leave. I'll be looking forward to your trip report :-)