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SCUBA-L  May 1999, Week 1

SCUBA-L May 1999, Week 1

Subject:

Re: What is the diving like in Sydney (now Thailand)

From:

Monk <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Scuba diving discussion list <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sun, 2 May 1999 17:54:06 +1000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (161 lines)

I won't argue with you Bjorn.  I haven't had 100 dives all up, let alone
1,000; let alone 1,000 in one spot.  I am happy for anyone who wants to dive
in Thailand to go.  It is better if people make up their own mind.  I do
stand by what I said however, with perhaps one correction, and one
clarification.  I did not intend to write that both the Gulf of Thailand,
and the Andaman Sea are the same.  And like yourself, and I think most
people, I too believe the environment is worth protecting.
 
One more point; as hard as it maybe to believe, the thoughts that I have
expressed here, are generally a reflection of what others on the liverboard
thought.
 
KOH TAO
 
 Twin Peaks * 2
 White Rock * 2
 Green Rock
 SW Pinnacle
 Nang Yuang
 Shark Island
 Mango Bay
 Chumpon
 
ANDAMAN SEA
 
First Liveaboard                          Second liveaboard
 
 Racha Yai * 2                            Breakfast Bend
 Racha Noi * 2                           Christmas Point
 Hin Daeng * 2                            Beacon Reef
 Hin Mouang * 2                         Koh Payu
 Rock Nok: The Channel             Koh Bon
 Ha Yai * 2                                 Koh Tachai * 4
 Ha Nua * 2                                Richelieu Rock * 2
 Hin Bidah                                   Fantasy Reef
 Koh Phi Phi Ley                         Elephant Head Rock
 Corel Garden
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
> With about 1,000 logged dives in Thai waters, I feel reasonably qualified
to
> respond to what Monk wrote:
>
> > I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I really don't think the
Similans
> > is worth the time, money and effort.  I know that you probably
> > have heard a
> > lot about the place like me, but it is just talk.  Just a way of raising
> > money, and protecting the environment.
>
> Whether something is worth the time, money and effort is pretty
subjective.
> I don't know (obviously) what you heard about the Similans that caused you
> to say that "it is all talk". On the face of it, the statement implies
that
> NOTHING you heard about the place turned out to be true, a pretty
> unbelievable scenario.
>
> I also don't see anything negative in protecting the environment.
>
> > I mean the water was warm, and there was good viz (20-30
> > meters), but
> > whether you went during the day, or night, one location or another,
> > everything was the same.  There was no variety.
>
> Patently untrue. On my bookshelf, I have 4 different books about Diving in
> Thailand, and miraculously, all 4 authors agree with my own observations,
> which is that there is a huge difference between the east and the west
side
> of the islands, and that the different dive sites offer vastly different
> experiences. To wit, from my own memory, the sandy slopes of Morning Edge,
> with their bommies and staghorn, differ radically from the granite
> swimthroughs of Elephant Head. The drift dives at Snapper Alley take you
> over large granite structures to East of Eden on the east side, where the
> topography changes radically, to mostly hard coral and sloping drops into
> the darkness.
>
> The east side and the west side are completely different, and the marine
> life differs, too. Large pelagics are rarely seen south of Island # 8, and
> turtles rarely on the west side.
>
> If your complaint is that the reef-fish life is generally the same at all
> sites, I can follow you a stretch of the way, but tell me where that is
not
> the case.
>
> Pehaps a list of the sites you dived would shed some light on your
negative
> experience.
>
> > Perhaps I am spoiled.
>
> I don't think there is any "perhaps" about it :-)
>
> > I also went to Koh Toa, which has the reputation of  having the
> > best diving
> > in the  gulf of Thailand.  that may be so, but it isn't good their
either.
> > The coral looked dead to me.  Maybe it was just a differnt type, I don't
> > know.  I don't know much about fish or coral, but I do know what I like.
>
> I believe you are talking about Koh Tao, and I agree that compared with
the
> Andaman Sea, Koh Tao itself does not offer great diving. Like the Sipadan
> you like, it is starting to suffer from overloading of divers on an island
> with practically no tourism infrastructure. The Gulf of Thailand offers
> little in the way of visibility and large pelagic animals. The underwater
> topography of the Gulf impedes complete tidal water exchange, and so the
> visibility here rarely exceeds 15 meters. The large animals have mostly
been
> fished out. Having said that, it IS possible to have some quite unique
> experiences in Koh Tao and the immediately surrounding areas. I know quite
a
> lot of people who have dived with whale sharks in Koh Tao, bull sharks on
> Sail Rock, and indeed whales and dolphins, too.
>
> > This post sounds terribly negative, and I hate it to sound so, but I
just
> > wanted to bring the point across, that the diving in Thailand isn't very
> > good.
>
> And you were right, from your own perspective. As a blanket statement
(which
> is pretty much what you issued), you were as wrong as one can possibly be
> :-)
>
> > Also, I wasn't alone on that point either.  Many other people also
> > made the some point, that things looked the same.
>
> Apart from the fact that this is simply not so, you appear to be saying
that
> a lot of good diving makes for bad diving...? ;-)
>
> "Good diving" is so subjective. For a visibility-starved British diver,
used
> to 30 centimeter viz in 5 degreee C water, the Similans is pretty awesome,
> and pretty cheap.
>
> I'll finish by conceding that there are a lot of places in Asia Pacific
> where the diving is better than in Thailand. Palau, PNG, some places in
> Indonesia, Burma (which must be accessed with Thai live-aboards), all
spring
> to mind. But it really depends on what you are expecting, and what you are
> willing to pay. A lot of people don't have the money (or aren't willing to
> part with it) for trips to Palau and PNG. Going to Thailand gives them
> pretty damned good diving for much, much less.
>
> And I haven't even mentioned Koh Bon, Koh Tachai or Richelieu Rock,
> frequently included in Similan trips. It is a rare dive on these 3 that
> doesn't feature mantas, octopi, large schools of barracuda, turtles and
> leopard sharks, alone or in combination.
>
> Bjorn
> http://www.bjornjensen.com
>

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