I’ve been reluctantly drying out from my last dive now for about three and a half months. And that’s just enough time for a dive junkie and her dive junkie boyfriend and their dive junkie friend to put together another dive trip! This time we’re off to…drum roll please… Thailand! The land of smiles, Buddhist temples, and spectacular diving. This trip came together quickly and quite easily thanks to our friend Alexandra Bassarab at Blue View Divers on the island of Koh Phi Phi Don, south of Phuket on the West side of the country. She was an all star in putting together a package with her local shop and booking us a boat (the whole boat!) for the live aboard portion of the trip. We never did give up on doing a live aboard and, just fyi, the Similan Islands where we’re headed are ranked by the National Geographic Society as being one of the top ten dive destinations in the entire world. WOW!
Warren and Alex will be tag-teaming the leadership of this trip and I think they make a really fantastic duo! Having someone in Thailand now who knows the place and the diving is such a huge advantage – there won’t be any disappointments or unexpected curve balls for us to contend with in regards to the dive shop, accommodations, or live aboard company because Alex has been living and working in Thailand for some time now and is busy personally checking out all those places for us. With a diver like her managing the Blue View shop, I have total confidence we’ll be taking our group to the right place!
So without further ado…here are the details!!
We’ll be running the trip through our local dive shop Ocean Sports here in Edmonton but don’t want to limit spots only to locals. So, if you happen to live elsewhere but are interested in coming…you can! All you need to do is call up Ocean Sports and pay your deposit. Right from the get go meeting new people and making new friends has always been a big part of what makes diving so awesome for me. You really do get to hang out with a diverse bunch of people, from all over the world, and a shared love of diving is all it takes to form those friendships. So, come on our trip and make some new dive friends!
Warren and Alex will also be offering PADI courses – they recommend Advanced Open Water so we can take full advantage of all the dive sites around the Phi Phi islands as well as Enriched Air as nitrox fills are awfully cheap in Thailand. Since she’s familiar with the local wildlife Alex would be a great person to take your Fish ID course with to learn all about the species found in the Andaman Sea and Indian Ocean. And if you’re interested in side mount diving, Warren is your guy!
I’m most excited about simply going so far away from home, going someplace so completely removed from the North American culture and scenery that I’m used to. The Caribbean and Hawaii are the only times I’ve stepped off of my own continent so flying to the other side of the world (and crossing the international date line while I’m at it, which is on my bucket list by the way) is completely thrilling to me. Its about time I get out and really see what else is out there! I’ve been a fairly sheltered traveler so far – I have no doubt that Thailand is going to be an enormous cultural and culinary shock to my senses. Perfect! Also awesome? Thailand is basically as far from my home in Edmonton as it is possible to go. Any further around and we’d be on our way home. Warren is convinced I’ll have less trouble adjusting to the time change too, because I’m so used to flipping between working days and nights as it is. I have my doubts about that – Thailand is 13 hours ahead…its already tomorrow over there. The jet lag will probably show us both who is boss!
In the meantime, here are some pictures of the places we’ll be visiting and the amazing things we’re hoping to see! If you’ve been to Thailand, diving or otherwise, I’d love to hear about your favorite places and any recommendations for “can’t miss” activities, restaurants, or places to see! Post away in the comments section!