December Diving Discounts

The JunkHere’s an early Christmas present.

Book any available berth on The Junk 5 day 6 night Similan/Richelieu liveaboard in December for just 25,000 baht. This amazing price is to fill the last few remaining spaces in December.

Available dates are 6-12 Dec, 13-19 Dec and 20-26 Dec.

The new year trip is already full, every boat is now full over new year. We still have a few spaces on a few boats available over Christmas

Diving Health and Fitness

Are you fit enough to dive?

DCIIf you want to be safe while diving you need to be physically and mentally healthy with strong heart and lungs, a certain level of maturity and discipline.

If you want to enjoy diving you should also be fit enough for the activity. That doesn’t mean you need to be able to run a marathon or do 50 press ups. But you should be fit and agile enough to carry the SCUBA gear and you should be able to swim.

Before you do a dive course with us we will ask you to complete a divers medical statement declaring yourself fit to dive. It is not mandatory for you to get a doctors certificate before diving in Thailand but if you currently have or have previously had any of the medical conditions listed on the medical statement you should get doctors approval before diving. The main issues are illnesses of the heart and lungs or any mental health issues. Asthmatics, old smokers, anyone who has had major surgery and the obese should get medical approval. If you want to see the complete PADI Medical Statement let us know and we’ll send you a copy.

If you are congested you may not be able to equalize your airways making diving to depth painful and dangerous so if you have a cold it’s best to wait it out.

Other (but not all) general dive safety considerations that all divers should think about are to stay well hydrated, don’t drink alcohol until after you’ve finished diving, dive with a buddy and do your buddy checks, plan your dive within safe limits and dive your plan, keep your SCUBA gear well maintained, don’t fly too soon after diving (see flying after diving guidelines), get adequate dive insurance.

Decompression Illness refers to both decompression sickness (the Bends or DCS) and Arterial Gas Embolism (Lung Expansion or AGE). For a full definition of both have a look at this Divers Alert Network article. Obviously we don’t want to get either of these scary sounding conditions. Both are serious and you should be aware of their signs and symptoms because early recognition and treatment is important. If you are fit to dive and dive safely DCI is very rare.

In the unlikely event that you do get DCI you’ll be happy to know that Phuket is well supplied with health facilities for divers. Both the major international hospitals on the island have recompression chamber facilities attached and a well practiced system is in place to evacuate divers quickly from boat to chamber. Dive boats also carry emergency breathing oxygen.

Phuket recompression chamber

Phuket recompression chamber

 

Cheap Similan Islands liveaboard

DiveRACE10-20% OFF DiveRACE Liveaboard to Similan/Richelieu Rock

It’s a great time to be in the Similan Islands right now, Pawara just came back with reports of two whale shark sightings at Koh Tachai, it’s are not the only boat getting lucky. Grab one of these cheap spaces on DiveRACE and see for yourself.

If you are travelling solo you get 10% discount. Find a friend and you both get 20% off.

Dates: 22-26 November 2014
Duration: 4 days 4 nights. Departs evening 13 November, returns 17 November afternoon
Dive sites: Similan Islands, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai and Richelieu Rock.

Prices:
Standard lower deck twin cabin 24,000 baht per diver 21,600 baht for 1 diver or 19,200 baht per diver if there are 2 of you.
Standard upper deck twin cabin 25,000 baht per diver 22,500 baht for 1 diver or 20,000 baht per diver if there are 2 of you.
Deluxe twin cabin: 28,000 baht per diver 25,200 baht for 1 diver or 22,400 baht per diver if there are 2 of you.


The Junk

6 nights on the Junk for 25,000 baht

Also, there are still spaces available on the Junk for 22-28 November These spaces are at the give away price of 25,000 baht per diver on a first come first serve basis.

Dates: 15-21 November or 22-27 November
Duration: 5 days 6 nights. Departs evening 22 November, returns 28 November morning
Dive sites: Similan Islands, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai and Richelieu Rock.
Price: Any available berth 25,000 baht per diver

Discounted Similan liveaboards. Last minute bookings

Thailand Liveaboard Special Offer20% Discount on Deep Andaman Queen Liveaboard

Spaces are still available on the Deep Andaman Queen for the 4 day 4 night trip to the Similan Islands. There is space in the quad share cabin and deluxe cabins are also available.

Dates: 17-21 November 2014
Duration: 4 days 4 nights. Departs evening 13 November, returns 17 November afternoon
Dive sites: Similan Islands, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai and Richelieu Rock.
Prices:
Standard quad share cabin 30,000 baht per diver 24,000 baht per diver
Deluxe twin / double cabin: 40,000 baht per diver 32,000 baht per diver


The Junk

6 nights on the Junk for 25,000 baht

Also, there are still 4 spaces available on the Junk for 15-21 November These spaces are at the give away price of 25,000 baht per diver on a first come first serve basis.

Dates: 15-21 November or 22-27 November
Duration: 5 days 6 nights. Departs evening 15 November, returns 21 November morning
Dive sites: Similan Islands, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai and Richelieu Rock.
Price: Any available berth 25,000 baht per diver

20% Off Similan/Surin liveaboard

White Manta liveaboardDiscount on White Manta Liveaboard

Spaces are still available on the White Manta for the 4 day 4 night trip to the Similan Islands. There is one of each type of cabin available, a deluxe double, a deluxe twin and a standard twin.

Dates: 13-17 November 2014
Duration: 4 days 4 nights. Departs evening 13 November, returns 17 November afternoon
Dive sites: Similan Islands, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai and Richelieu Rock.
Prices:
Standard cabin 32,000 baht per diver 25,600 baht per diver
Deluxe twin / double cabin: 45,000 baht per diver 36,000 baht per diver

Also for 15-21 November there are still 6 spaces available on the Junk. These spaces are at the give away price of 25,000 baht per diver on a first come first serve basis.

Dates: 15-21 November 2014
Duration: 5 days 6 nights. Departs evening 15 November, returns 21 November morning
Dive sites: Similan Islands, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai and Richelieu Rock.
Price: Any available cabin 25,000 baht per diver

Whalesharks!

Diving with whale sharks in the Andaman Sea

The Thailand Andaman sea diving season has only just begun and plenty of divers have already seen whale sharks! We’ve had reports back from 3 different boats in the last week of whale shark sightings in Similan, Surin and south at Hin Daeng. Normally we would consider November too early for whale shark sightings but it seems like nowadays big fish sightings are possible at any time.

The first boat to report a whale shark sighting was Diva Andaman, they saw it at Richelieu Rock which apart from being Thailand’s best dive site is also the most likely place to see whale sharks.

Next up were Scuba Explorer and Pawara but Pawara got the photographic evidence (no proof no glory) of their sighting at Elephant Head Rock dive site in the Similan Islands.

Thailand whale shark

Whale shark at Elephant Head Rock, Nov 2014

Finally Diva Andaman reported another whale shark, this one in the south Andaman sea at Hin Daeng. This time they got a photo.

Thailand whale shark

Whale shark at Hin Daeng, Nov 2014

 

Liveaboard diving with children

liveaboard diving with children

Oktavia liveaboard welcomes children of all ages on board. Non diving (snorkeling) kids get discounted rates. They can go snorkeling with the snorkeling guides while you dive. Or if you need the services of a child minder a baby sitter is available (pre-booking required).

Prices for children on Oktavia liveaboard (2014-15 season):

2 days 2 nights to Similan Islands

  • 12,800 baht per diver / 9,600 baht per snorkeler
  • Children 3 to 12 years in their own bed get 25% discount
  • Speedboat transfer fee 1,000 baht per person
  • National park fees: 800 baht per diver / 400 baht per snorkeler
  • Baby sitter: 5,000 baht

3 days 2 nights Koh Bon, Koh Tacha and Richelieu Rock

  • 19, 600 baht per diver / 14,700 baht per snorkeler
  • Children 3 to 12 years in their own bed get 25% discount
  • Speedboat transfer fee 1,000 baht per person
  • National park fees: 1,400 baht per diver / 800 baht per snorkeler
  • Baby sitter: 7,000 baht

5 days 5 nights Similan Islands, Koh Bon, Koh Tacha and Richelieu Rock

  • 26,900 baht per diver / 20,200 baht per snorkeler
  • Children 3 to 12 years in their own bed get 25% discount
  • Infants up to 3 years old free of charge sharing their parents’ bed
  • National park fees: 1,800 baht per diver / 800 baht per snorkeler
  • Baby sitter: 10,000 baht

Infants younger than 3 years old cannot join the the 2 and 3 day trips because the speedboats do not take infants.

We have the best prices

Save money divingSave money diving with us. 

It’s a new month but still the same great prices.

As we enter November the Thailand diving season is getting into full swing. Many of our special offers expired at the end of October but here’s a reminder of some offers still available in November.

  • A berth on any available cabin on the Junk for just 25,000 baht per diver. Book any trip departing in November and your place costs just 25,000 baht. That could save a diving couple as much as 81,000 baht!
    Spaces are subject to availability so don’t delay.
  • Free nitrox on Pawara liveaboard. Any trip. For nitrox certified divers.

Dive Equipment. Rent or buy

Dive Equipment. Rent or buyIf you are coming to Thailand for a dive holiday you may be wondering if it’s better to bring your own gear or rent it here. There are several considerations with no clear cut best answer.

May be you haven’t bought your own gear yet and are considering buying. This will depend on how often you dive and where you dive. If you are a regular diver in your home country, or have plans to be, it will be financially beneficial to own your own gear, even when you factor in the cost of servicing. But even if you have your own dive gear you still have to decide whether to travel with it or not. Some airlines, especially the budget carriers, charge extra for scuba gear. You also have to consider if you want to carry a big dive bag around on your holiday when you are not diving, or where you can leave it while you go on, for example, a jungle trek.

Thailand equipment rental prices

The typical cost of renting a set of diving equipment (BCD, Regulator, Mask, Snorkel, Fins, Wetsuit) is cheap in Thailand. Prices range from 500 – 800 baht per set per day so on a typical 4 day 4 night Similan liveaboard equipment rental will only cost an extra 2,000 – 3,200 baht. That’s not much to save you the hassle of traveling with your own gear.

Here is an example of the breakdown of rental costs:

Mask and snorkel: 100 baht
Fins: 150 baht
Regulator: 200 baht
BCD: 200 baht
Wetsuit: 100 baht
Full set: 500 baht

Dive computer rental is usually 400-500 baht extra per day so it’s definitely worth bringing your own if you have one. More and more boats are now making it mandatory to dive with computers.

But price is not the only consideration, safety and comfort are also important.

Safety

We should never forget that dive equipment is life support equipment so you need to know that your rental gear is new and/or well serviced. A dive shop offering free dive equipment rental may not be the deal that it first appears.

From a safety point of view having your own gear is definitely better. In an emergency it helps to know where everything is quickly. If you are a buddy pair who always dive together and have own equipment you will each know how to find your buddy’s alternate air source quickly, how to release your buddy’s weights in an emergency and so on.

Comfort

You also need gear that fits. Putting on unfamiliar rental gear will not be as nice to dive in as your own equipment that you know inside out. You’ll probably spend your first dive in rental gear adjusting buoyancy and trim. If you wear different equipment each time you go diving you’ll never tune in to what it’s like to be really perfectly set up on a dive so that you are neutrally buoyant and perfectly at ease in the water.

Rental fins are nearly always the closed heel variety so if you prefer open heels with straps and booties you should invest in your own.

Rental wetsuits are 3mm shorties. If you need a long suit you will need to bring your own or buy one here (wetsuits are cheap in Thailand).

If you need a prescription mask you should bring your own. Even if you don’t need a prescription mask the benefits of diving with your own mask that you are comfortable with cannot be ignored, a leaking or fogging mask can ruin the enjoyment of a dive, waste air and be a safety risk.

Rental BCD’s do not have integrated weights and are not gender specific. They also tend to be lacking D rings and decent pockets.

Hygiene

How well is that rental dive gear really cleaned. Are you sure you want to use a rental snorkel or regulator mouthpiece? Did the previous renter have a throat infection or a cold sore? How do you feel about wearing a wetsuit that someone else has peed in?

Travel dive gear

In recent years dive equipment manufacturers have addressed the issues of travelling with dive gear and introduced equipment that is lighter and packs smaller. A travel BCD can fit in your suitcase and a regulator in your hand luggage. How to pack your gear is a subject for another day.

Many divers travel with basic gear and rent the big items. A mask and snorkel should always be in your bag, especially here in Asia where there are so many great places to go snorkeling. A rash vest is often good enough for exposure protection, the water temperature here is around 27°C.

Small accessories that won’t be included in a rental gear set include things like tank bangers, delayed smbs, reels, slates and surface signalling devices like whistles. If you have these they are worth bringing, just don’t forget them on tanks and in BCD pockets.

Buy dive gear in Thailand

You may also like to check out the price of buying dive gear here in Thailand, differences in the exchange rate can often make it cheaper to buy here and all the top brands are available with international warranties. Wetsuits which are manufactured in Thailand often work out cheaper here, you can even have your own custom fitted suit made at Hotwave in Phuket.

What not to bring

We have seen divers arrive on the boat with their own lead weights (and expect the staff to carry their bag). While we’ve never seen anyone bring a drysuit to Thailand there are plenty of cold water divers who leave their drysuit hose attached to their first stage. Why not remove it and leave it at home? Pony bottles and dive knives are also pretty troublesome to travel with.

20% Off White Manta liveaboard

White Manta liveaboardLast minute special offers

There are some really good deals around at the moment. Here are four promotions to get you diving soon.

20% Off White Manta liveaboard
31 Oct-3 Nov
3 days 3 nights liveaboard diving at Hin Daeng, Hin Muang, Koh Haa (10 dives)
Standard cabin 17,600 baht (reduced from 22,000 baht)
Deluxe cabin (twin or double bed) 21,600 baht per diver (reduced from 27,000 baht)

20% Off White Manta liveaboard
3-7 November
4 days 4 nights liveaboard diving at Similan Islands, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai and Richelieu Rock (14 dives)
Standard cabin full
Deluxe cabin (twin or double bed) 36,600 baht per diver (reduced from 45,000 baht)

20% Off The Junk liveaboard
For bookings made before 31 October

25,000 baht for any available berth on The Junk
1-7 November
5 days 6 nights liveaboard diving at the Similan Islands, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai and Richelieu Rock