Monday, July 4, 2016
Thoughts From Phuket. Is Diving in Paradise All Its Cracked Up To Be??
Most people when they go on holiday look at the people who love and work in these amazing locations around the world and think what a great life they must have. Well lets take a look at Phuket Thailand and those who spend their days diving Phuket or should I say in the Phuket scuba diving industry.
Yes dont get me wrong there are many great days with clear skies, warm blue waters and idyllic days on the ocean. Yes these are the great days. Yes this is the great life that everyone sees. But what many do not see is the story here. In a typical dive shop Phuket has many the days start early. The first staff have to be in the office before the first pick up in the morning just incase someone oversleeps and misses the transfer bus. May be someone went out the evening before and had some "dodgy sea food" and they are not well. Nothing to do with the 20 tequilas in the nightclub and rolling in at 4am. But what ever the reason this is the job of the early morning shift in the office. Their days starts very early to up and in work as most are still getting their alarm call.
Then there are the instructors and dive guides. They are already at the pier waiting for you as you step bleary eyed into the morning sunshine. They now have the job of making sure all the customers who are still half asleep get on the right boats. No bags left on the buses and all the right equipment is where its ment to be. Then breakfast and the fun bit of the day begins. This is the bit that everyone on holiday sees. The fun stuff. To be fair it is fun.
But lets step back a bit. In this day and age very few people go on holiday without knowing where they are going or what to do when they are there. Most people will go online and look up for example scuba diving Phuket. This is the way they checked out the Thailand dive centers in advance and many will have booked online before even arriving in Thailand. So then that also means you have people in the office as well designing websites, keeping up to dates with all the pricing, local divesites, whats available and whats closed at certain times of year. Making sure everything is up to date. Making sure that their dive center is easy to find online. Long gone are the days of large dive shops on the beach all aiming to get walk in trade. Very few people wake up in the morning and decide to learn to dive in Phuket on a whim. For all of these back office staff they get up and go and sit in an office all day just as millions of other people doe back in their countries. Still an office in Phuket Thailand is still way better location for an office than most. You still get to walk on the beach and relax after work in a beach front bar. The saying a bad day in Phuket is still better than a good day in.......(add your own town here).
Then during the monsoon season we have the strong winds, rough seas, driving rain. Now this is when the office staff have it good and the instructors have the bad deal. The instructors have to get to the pier in driving rain, then have rough seas, people being sea sick both above and below the surface. Then riding home again in the dark and still raining. Now the good side to this is the office staff are inside, things are less hectic for them and its cooler. So far good and bad sides to both jobs just as in any other country doing any other job.
The big draw to Thailand Phuket in particular is the Similan islands national park. This is open for six months of the year from mid October till mid May. The Similan liveaboard season is peak diving time. This is great for the instructors as they get to spend days or weeks at a time diving in one of the top ten scuba diving locations in the world and get paid for doing it. This is also easy for the office staff too as most people book these trips to the Similans well in advance to be sure of getting the trips they want. As far as the dive centers all the work is done by e-mail long in advance so all the customer needs to do is pop in and pay any outstanding balance. many times not even this as many people will just pay online. This leaves the dive center free for those people who want to learn to dive in Phuket as this can be done there and then most of the time. Again in the days of the internet many people already book in advance anyway.
Now back to the title of this blog. Thoughts from Phuket. Is it all its cracked up to be?? Well thats all up to you. Does the amazing diving for five months of the year make up for the other months?? Well most will say yes as there are many good days in low season too. Is working in an office in Phuket better than an office say in London, New York, Sydney or any other big city?? Again most will tell you yes. An office is an office but you still have the beach, the nightlife, the sea and the diving on your days off. So on the whole I guess that all the bad parts of working in Phuket Thailand are things that happen in every office or job anywhere but the plus points are far better than what you find other places. So whats your thoughts on working in Phuket Thailand. is diving in paradise all its cracked up to be ??