Bearded tramp at the end of LEJOG, Oct 2013
Bearded tramp at the end of LEJOG, Oct 2013
  • Similan Smiles - diving in Thailand
    • 06/02/2018
So in Nottingham i've been crashing at my friend Callum's place, an australian immigrant web developer.
His cousin was getting married in Thailand, so i tagged along for some winter sunshine.
After the celebrations on the beaches of Koh Samui, i headed to Koh Phi Phi, famed for being the location of the beach used in the film "The Beach".
The beach is now submerged beneath throngs of daytripping tourists, including boat loads of chinese snorkellers, many of whom can't actually swim and just bob around in their bouyancy aids and water wings.
Amusingly though, by walking through a bit of jungle one can reach equally idyllic sandy coves with no one else ruining the view!!!
After another quick ferry ride to the refreshingly quaint colonial town of Phuket, i embarked on something new for me, a liveaboard diving trip; 5 days at sea living on a boat and scuba diving as constantly as regulations allow.
The Similan Islands and Richelieu Rock, located in the Andaman Sea, are marine reserves and frequently appear in list of the top 10 dive sites in the world.
And indeed the underwater sights were good.
I was lucky to be in a group with 3 experienced qualified instructors (on their holidays), which meant maximum bottom time on all the dives.
So many fish that you couldnt see the fish for the fish.
Fantastic variety and abundance of hard and soft corals, nudibranch, shrimp, pipefish, and most exciting for me, octopus.
I'd never seen octopus before so to seem them jetting around, changing colours and texture of their bodies, and most lucky of all, to witness two together in a "romantic situation"!
We weren't fortunate enough to see any ocean giants (sharks etc) but there was so much to look at, shoals of barracuda, lobster, moray eels, seahorses, grouper, puffer fish, endless list of things i can't identify or remember.
The weather was fine and calm, thirty degrees plus water temperature, 30m visibility underwater.
An experience i would certainly repeat!
(for reference i went with Kholak Scuba Adventures on their boat Manta Queen 1)
I bought a GoPro especially for that trip (and general future usefulness), so have some interesting footage out of reams of blurry shakey stuff.
Generally happy with the gopro although i suspect you can get the same quality from one of the many cheap knock offs available on Amazon!


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