Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Why You Should Do a Similan Island Liveabaord Trip When In Phuket Thailand

Why You Should Do a Similan Island Liveabaord Trip When In Phuket Thailand







For many years now many people have been flocking to join a similan island tour during the high season months of mid October till mid May. The similan islands are a marine national park located north west of phuket thailandSimilan liveaboards were made popular ever since the famous Jaques Cousteau came to the area and was amazed when diving Richelieu Rock. This is a large collection of pinnacles arranged in a horseshoe formation. This site in itself can offer 2-3 dives back to back and still have plenty to see. For many people scuba diving phuket means warm clear waters, a huge variety of marine life from he very small to the massive Whale shark and Manta Ray.


 There are really three main types of similan island liveaboard. The first is a one or two night trip to the similan island national park. this can take in the similan islands themselves and go as far north as the Manta Ray hot spot island of Koh Bon.  Then there is a three day trip that runs to the north from Koh Bon to the surin islands which also gets you diving Richelieu Rock.  This trip is where the bigger stuff can be seen. All dive sites you can expect to see Manta’s, Whale Sharks, Black tips, Leopard sharks and this year both Guitar sharks and even some people got a pod or Orca’s.


Then there is the four or five day similan island liveaboard trip. This will take in both the similan islands, Surin islands, Koh Bon and then a day diving richelieu rock and back down again. Then there is the ultimate of the phuket liveaboards. The eight day trip on a luxuary yacht that will take you on a trip of a life time.

This similan island liveaboard will take you to the similan islands, Koh Bon then a day diving richelieu rock then further north into the Burma banks. This phuket liveaboards will take in some of the best diving the planet has to offer all in one trip and can be done in style.


No matter what level of diver you are when you are in phuket thailand and you have a few days  then it really is worth spending some time joining a phuket liveaboard.



So many divers come to enjoy the diving in the national parks as they are only open from 15th October till may 15th each year which does help keep them in pristine condition. For anyone who enjoys scuba diving in phuketor any warm water location then a similan island liveaboard has got to be on your bucket list.




Sunday, May 29, 2016

Why Scuba Diving Phuket Is So Good.



Phuket Thailand has for many years been a very popular place for that perfect tropical beach holiday. It has been a well known in diving circles that phuket scuba diving offers some of the best diving in the world. For many, scuba diving phuket became well know after Jacques Cousteau came through and started diving Richelieu Rock. This is listed in his top 10 dive sites so with an endorsement from him is enough to bring divers from all over the globe to the area.  The island of phuket thailand is now home to many dive centers and dive schools. Centers like Thailand Divers have been teaching people to dive as well as amazing day trips to all the local islands for 15 years or more. Most dive centers also run similan island liveaboard trips out to the similan islands national park so everyone can experience diving richelieu rock and follow in the foot steps of Jacques Cousteau.
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Scuba diving phuket is now a massive part of island life now with many dive centers starting up and and closing down each year. The secret when selecting one for your dive trip is at first glance a challenge. But with a day or two looking online and asking a couple of key questions you should be able to eliminate 99% of them. Firstly look for a dive center that has been there for 10 years or more. This way you know they are well run,  they will have experience instructors rather than travelers and gap year students just passing through. They will also have many returning customers and also you will know know they are on the ball with the constant changing rules that Thailand has concerning law, insurance and the other mountain of paperwork needed to run a good dive center. Then send an email to them and check the response. Are they asking you questions on your diving and what you want or are they just offering you trips and prices. Once you have got rid of the ones just selling to you then you will have one or two left. Check trip advisor then if they have a live chat option on the website have a chat and see who you fell suits you best.
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Phuket diving has so many options from doing your  PADI Open Water Course phuket is a great place to learn to dive in phuket from total beginner to getting your instructor course. Learn to dive phuket is an ideal location for all.
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For many the big draw is the similan islands. These lie to the north west of phuket and the similan island liveaboard trips have now become really popular for everyone. For years this was only available to those divers that already have their open water license or above. Now however the open water course similans is an option as you can do the class and pool sessions during the day and then leave in the evening on the similan island liveaboard to complete the course. The similan islands are a great place to dive and they can be  seen on almost any length of trip. From an overnight similan island trip to a massive 8 day trip taking you to the similan islands, surin islands, then diving richelieu rock then on into the Burma banks  before heading back to phuket diving all the way.
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As for scuba diving in phuket there are great diving on the day trips too. These run all year round come rain or shine as there are dive sites that can be used on all sides of the islands so no matter what the weather does diving phuket will always be a great day on the water. So when looking for that arm water dive trip take a quick look online and select the correct dive center. One like Thailand Divers with a long proven record and a live chat option so you can get a feel for the center too. Then pick a date and phuket scuba diving will be a reality and not a dream on a bucket list. phuket thailand these days is not so far and the diving is out of this world.
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Friday, May 27, 2016

Scuba Diving Phuket. When is it Good and When Not so Good.

Scuba Diving Phuket. When is it Good and When Not so Good.



To be honest scuba diving phuket is good all year round. Yes the are days when the sea is rougher or the sky cloudy. Again yes here in phuket thailand it does rain from time to time. We also can have big tropical storms too just like anywhere else in the tropics.  However people have been scubadiving in phuket now for many years and the dive centers and experienced instructors know that no matter what the conditions above the water there is always fun to be had underwater. Many people will find the conditions scuba diving  phuket far better than many locations they are used to compared to the conditions they are used to back home. In phuket scuba diving really is in a class of its own. Warm water 365 days a year with it never going below 26 degrees and mostly 28 -30 degrees for most of the year.



phuket thailand is blessed with its location as in reality the weather comes from the east for six months and then from the west for six months. This means that when in phuket scuba diving the dive sites are protected for months on end. We have dive sites that we use in high season and ones in low season. Most islands lie north south so as can just switch from one side to the other as the season changes which again means that each side of the island is free from divers and snorkelers for half the year and gives the locations plenty of time with no human interaction at all.



During “high” season the weather comes from the east which makes for flat seas and light winds as a rule. These conditions also mean that the similan island national park opens up some of the best diving on the planet. The similan islands lie to the north west of phuket offering 40 meter viz almost all the time. The similan islands are a fair distance so when scuba diving in phuket the best way is to join a similan liveaboard. These range from an overnight trip to eight days. The highlight for many is diving richelieu rock which is listed as one of the top 10 divesites of the world by National Geographic.  The similan islands are open from 15th October each year and close again around the 15th of May.



The basic rules when in phuket scuba diving are from mid November till mid May the weather should be from the east and flat sea and blue sky. Then from mid May till mid November you can expect on a two week holiday a few days of rain.  This does not really affect the diving too much but during the off season you get the odd tropical storm. This can cause the waves which can be not so good getting to and from the divesites. As mentioned before the sites themselves are sheltered but its getting between the islands that can be bumpy. The good thing is there are islands and other locations in very close for the dive trip to be cancelled is very rare.



phuket thailand is a great place to dive all year. Low season offers a much quieter time and the boats are half empty and many more shy creatures come out that have been scared off by the noise of high season but the sea may get bumpy for a few days and you may get some rain, but underwater you dont know its raining anyway as you are already wet. All it means is you cant use the sun deck between dives. High season is blue sky and flat sea but boats are full and the need to book well in advance is certain to get to the more popular locations. So if you are looking for a great scuba diving trip then low season in phuket thailand is great as the hotels are cheaper, the boats and dive sites quieter. After a days diving in phuket there are no crowded restaurants so you can eat when and where you like. Get a seat at the bar to watch a live band and a quiet beer or cocktail without getting swamped by 20 others all looking for the same seat. So as you can see scuba diving  phuket in low or green season really is a good move and you can get in some great diving all year round.


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Amazing New Jelly Fish Found. Surely One of The Most Beautiful Creatures on Earth

Amazing New Jelly Fish Found. Surely One of The Most Beautiful Creatures on Earth



The great thing with scuba diving in phuket or anywhere in the world come to that is the fact so much of the ocean is undiscovered. Each year thousands of people come to places like phuket scuba diving for their annual warm water diving fix. Some go to places like the similan islands on a liveaboard so they can spend 2-8 days diving to maximize their time underwater. Places like  diving richelieu rock are listed by National Geographic as one of the top 10 location in the world so it only goes the quality of the diving all around the area. The diving around phuket thailand is some of the best there is.

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As divers we know that two thirds of the planet is covered in water and of that we have explored only the very smallest amount. Every time we enter the water we can see totally new creatures. All we need to do is to know whats new and whats not. There are places like james bond island that lie just north of phuket thailand that has many tourists everyday. These places still have much to explore as there are so many islands in the area and so many and all the tours go to the same places. Another example is bamboo island which people go to for great snorkeling as part of a say trip to Phi Phi island tour. Even at places like these we here at Thailand Divers with our instructors are still finding fish that we have never seen before and cant be found in any books.

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Then imagine what its like to be one of those who really are exploring unknown waters. The latest type of jelly fish found really could be mistaken for alien life. This creature lives 2.3 miles below the surface in a place that is so dark that very few living things will ever see it.Its been found in the Mariana Trench which located deep in the Pacific Ocean between the Philippines and southern Japan.  Thats a real shame is it surely must be one of the most beautiful creatures on earth.

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If people need another reason to to learn scuba diving in phuket other than to see creatures as stunning as these then I can not think of one. To be able to do the open water course similans inphuket thailand is an amazing place in itself but to do it diving Richelieu Rock is a once in a lifetime chance. When diving here you will be sure to see things that you are convinced no one has sen before. Here at Thailand Divers is one of the few places that the open water course live aboards similans optionin the similan islands is available. No matter what your experience from total novice to people with ten thousand dives diving in phuket offers so much. If you dont get in the water then you can never see over two thirds of the planet and you could be missing out on seeing things like this.
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Saturday, May 21, 2016

Dolphins Have Made Phuket Their Home Once Again.

Here in phuket thailand the last few years have seen the return of some wonderful creatures that used to be around all the time and had for some reason left the local waters. Whales, Manta Ray, Orca’s, Whale sharks are always in the news. However for those lucky enough to have been in phuket scuba diving 8-10 years ago will be aware that the numbers of Bottle nose Dolphins had almost vanished.  The boats when taking people scuba diving in phuket regularly had Dolphins escorting the boats until about 6 years ago when they suddenly vanished.cf4a7-549248_205919872855426_1236415236_n
Unlike the popular book the Dolphins had not left the planet before its destruction but had just moved to a new location. The waters round James Bond Island to the north and Yao Yai became their home.  The problem was the amount of boat traffic. Trips to places like bamboo island and many other phuket snorkeling tours combined with the fishing boats both day and night had just become too much for them.  Out in thesimilan islands they were seen from time to time too but never with in easy sight of the people staying on phuket.
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Then three years ago a small boat started to take people from phuket scuba diving to a small island called Maithon that all the boats used to pass on there way to other places but never stopped or went too close. The island was not too spectacular compared to other locations in the area but it had lots of shallow reef and was close  to phuket so was a good location for a 2 dive trip and for those learning scuba diving in phuket.
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It soon became clear that the divers were not the biggest things in the water. On only the second trip we could hear the Dolphins and during lunch as we sat there with the engine off sure enough a couple of Dolphins came to investigate from a distance. Then day after day with just small numbers of divers on a small boat the Dolphins got used to us. we could hear them almost every dive and when we we on the boat they came closer and closer.  They were still too shy to come close to us underwater. They followed us as we can hear then but just out if sight. At this time we thought there was 12 – 15 of them in the pod.
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The following year a pod of Orcas was seen in the similan islands and at the time I did not know this but Orcas are the biggest of the Dolphin family. They are called killer whales as they are a killer of whales and not because they are whales that kill. This pod was the first in many many years and one was even seen in the busiest bay on the island this year.
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Patong bay which was full of jet ski, parasailing, long tails and many other craft in the middle of high season had a visit from a full grown Orca.
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Back to the ever growing pod on Maithon. Now the numbers were growing and they were seen from Maithon to Koh Doc Mai. Then they followed the boats further and further and can be seen from Phuket all the way toPhi Phi. There area was getting larger and larger as the numbers were growing. During monsoon season as  is the case this year they return back to Maithon.
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The way things look now id that they have made there home in the water off phuket thailand and are happy here. They are used to boats of people scuba diving in phuket passing them and slowing to look at them. They know the people in phuket scuba diving are no threat and they are as interested in us as we are in them. What is need now is the same trust to be built up by the other small boats as it will only take one aggressive speed boat driver to scare them off. Getting too close when there are young around and they will vanish again.
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If these beautiful creatures are allowed to live in peace then their numbers will grow and their area will grow. It wont be long before they let us snorkel with them at places like bamboo island or james bond island.  Then if all the people who go to the similan islands on liveaboards each year need another reason. How cool will it be to dive with Manta’s and whale sharks then have a quick snorkel with Dolphins too all in the same day.phuket scuba diving is some of the best in the world and also offers amazing phuket snorkeling tours too.phuket thailand really does have it all and it just must be cared for as an island paradise can so easily be lost.
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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

WHAT MASS TOURISM IS DOING TO PHUKET THAILAND AND HOW CENTERS LIKE THAILAND DIVERS CAN HELP.

WHAT MASS TOURISM IS DOING TO PHUKET THAILAND AND HOW CENTERS LIKE THAILAND DIVERS CAN HELP.

james bond island which lies to the north of phuket in the gulf of Thailand., like so many beautiful places around the world, phuket thailand has been well and truly discovered my the masses. What was once a large island base for people to explore the Andaman ocean has also led to the destruction of the reason so many people flood there each year.
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Places like james bond island made famous by the movie ” The Man With The Golden Gun” or phi phi island from the movie “The Beach” Now people flock to these tiny islands in the thousands or some cases ten thousands. This in itself is terrible news for the tiny islands as they cant cope with that sort wear from tourists. Then there is also the knock on effect. Other islands in the area get discovered and added to tours to make a longer day out of it. Islands like bamboo island to the north of phi phi. Its not much more than some sand, a few rocks and a few palm trees. Its a real pirates desert island. You could imagine Jack Sparrow staggering round the corner at any moment. However bamboo island is now home to a few shacks selling drinks, ice cream and snacks, plus a thousand or more tourists who stop off on their way to or from phi phi for a spot of snorkeling. This little island can not take this kind of mass tourism. its so small its cant take anymore than a couple of dozen people a day without having an effect.
The same can be said for the similan islands. Many dive centers run similan liveaboard trips  from October till mid May. These on there own cause little damage as the boats and divers do not go onto the islands themselves and all divers have to be certified. This way they do little damage. Then speed boats of snorkelers arrive who do go on the island and do stand on the coral and feed the fish. Divers can spend several days there as they stay on the boats but snorkelers can not. So they put some log cabins and tents on one island. Now the same thing is happening the more people go the more other want to and the more damage is done. This year a great island that lie to the north of the similan islands called Koh Tachai has been close to all for the next few years as to limit the damage. This was one of the top dive spots of the world and being so far north of the similan islands was not too popular. Then again the snorkelers and all the rest turn up too. Again these tiny islands cant cope with more than a few dozen each day and Koh Tachai was getting a thousand a day in high season. Its great that its been closed to protect it but so sad to think that it was allowed to get like that to begin with. The similan liveaboards were going there for years with very minimal damage as they were  arriving off shore. diving and moving on. Now this great site has been lost to all.
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For dive centers like Thailand Divers and many others around the world who really care for the world we live and work in its sad to see mass tourism bought to such places. Yes all companies like to be busy but in and around phuket thailand we have so many great places and even the average places here are better than most, so we have so many other stunning options for taking snorkelers and people learning to dive that we dont need to take then to the more fragile areas. But like so many places before some companies prefer quantity rather than quality and we loose another of the worlds most beautiful islands.  So when looking at thailand liveaboards please ask the size of the boat and if the boat has more than 15 – 20 people then look at other options as you will have a better trip. You will see more than just other divers,  the boat will be friendlier and you will do less damage as you pass by.  Day trips tend to go to more robust places anyway that can take larger numbers of people but all place have a limit.
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So I can guess when finding that perfect location in some isolated corner of the world the best option is “dont tell anyone”  But as thats not going to happen and we all want to go to see the stunning places  so the next best option is to talk to the better dive and tour centers and find the times of year when there are less people. Is there a quiet time during high season ? Is there somewhere to get away from the masses?  is the place worth going to?  The answer to these questions is always yes if you are talking to someone who is not there just to sell to you. Companies like Thailand Divers want these great places visited but not over run. Look on trip advisor  and other places like this to see what others thought. Places like bamboo island are great places to visit at certain times of the year as are the similan islands ( which are closed for 6 moths of the year which is a massive help).  Places like maya bay on phi phi,the so call hidden beach is stunning when you are not there will the other hundred speed boats. So pick the tours that suit the time of year that you will be going on holiday. If you want certain tours then you will not be let down if you ask when is the best time to go there.  phuket thailand does have some amazing places like james bond island to visit but to get the most out of these amazing places its best to see them well away from the masses.
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Sunday, May 15, 2016

The Reality in Phuket Thailand in Low Season With Thailand Divers

The Reality in Phuket Thailand in Low Season With Thailand Divers

This is a very mis understood time of year for so many people around the world. Yes  phuket thailand is in the tropics and does have a wet season and a dry season. The dry season is “high season”.  But low season is not how most people think of it. Yes it  is monsoon season but that does not mean that everyday is driving rain and storm force winds. What it really means is that between the end of May and the end of October you may get some rain. This is why scuba diving in phuket is so amazing as we can dive all year round in great conditions. Around phuket scuba diving is blessed with so many islands that no matter what direction the weather comes from there are many dive sites that are well protected.
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During the “monsoon season” in phuket thailand yes the Similan Islands are closed but this is as much to do with them being a marine national park as anything and the turtles and the rest of the wildlife need time to breed in peace and generally have a break from the divers and snorkelers who flood the area from November to May for amazing diving and live aboard trips from phuket scuba diving.
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The weather for the six months is slightly cooler (which is nice) but still in the 80s during the day and top 60s at night. The main reason for the cooling is it can rain at night which cools everything down. I am not saying its perfect all year round as for sure you can have three or four days of rain during the day. Monsoon season just says that during this time you can have a tropical storm. From November till may the chance of any rain is very remote indeed. During June to October then in a 2 week holiday you will have some sunny days, some rain, some cloud all mixed together but a fair chance of some rain at night.
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Mornings are normally the best time of day for the sun and the cloud normally comes in the afternoons making for stunning sunsets.
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This again is why the diving is fine here all year round as all the scuba diving in phuket starts in the mornings and the last dive is normally over three ish in the afternoon with the aim of giving people the best chance of missing the rain. Genrally the mountains of phuket draw the cloud and out on the ocean its sunny. The other good thing with the tropical storm is that on the ocean you can see them coming as make plans to be having lunch inside when the storm comes past and then with luck it will be passed by the time for the next dive.  Or we can just change the order of the dives to fit with avoiding the rain as much as possible.  But as all divers know that when you are under the water it makes no difference other than the rain can wash the salt off you and your gear for you.
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For those of us lucky enough to live on phuket thailand all year round we tend to like the off season far more as its quieter, more relaxed,  empty beaches and best of all quiet dive sites. This means we get to see far more as the noise from so many boats and divers from high season are gone. The ocean is quiet again and the more shy creatures come back. The top dive sites are less crowded and the scuba diving in phuket can really be seen at its best. Yes there may be some rain left over in the mornings or rain on the way back. May be you can not sit on the sun deck during lunch break but the quality of the diving more than makes up for that. All the downsides are may be and all the plus sides are certainties. When in phuket scuba diving it really is warm water diving all year round. Monsoon season is not typhoons everyday, its really just island life as normal with a chance of rain. Low, monsoon or green season in phuket thailand really is a great few months or quiet, relaxation on a warm tropical island with the odd day for shopping, watching a movie or having a massage in the afternoon while the rain passes.
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Monday, May 9, 2016

The Reality in Phuket Thailand in Low Season With Thailand Divers



This is a very mis understood time of year for so many people around the world. Yes  phuket thailand is in the tropics and does have a wet season and a dry season. The dry season is “high season”.  But low season is not how most people think of it. Yes it  is monsoon season but that does not mean that everyday is driving rain and storm force winds. What it really means is that between the end of May and the end of October you may get some rain. This is why scuba diving in phuket is so amazing as we can dive all year round in great conditions. Around phuket scuba diving is blessed with so many islands that no matter what direction the weather comes from there are many dive sites that are well protected.
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During the “monsoon season” in phuket thailand yes the Similan Islands are closed but this is as much to do with them being a marine national park as anything and the turtles and the rest of the wildlife need time to breed in peace and generally have a break from the divers and snorkelers who flood the area from November to May for amazing diving and live aboard trips from phuket scuba diving.
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The weather for the six months is slightly cooler (which is nice) but still in the 80s during the day and top 60s at night. The main reason for the cooling is it can rain at night which cools everything down. I am not saying its perfect all year round as for sure you can have three or four days of rain during the day. Monsoon season just says that during this time you can have a tropical storm. From November till may the chance of any rain is very remote indeed. During June to October then in a 2 week holiday you will have some sunny days, some rain, some cloud all mixed together but a fair chance of some rain at night.
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Mornings are normally the best time of day for the sun and the cloud normally comes in the afternoons making fir stunning sunsets.
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This again is why the diving is fine here all year round as all the scuba diving in phuket starts in the mornings and the last dive is normally over three ish in the afternoon with the aim of giving people the best chance of missing the rain. Genrally the mountains of phuket draw the cloud and out on the ocean its sunny. The other good thing with the tropical storm is that on the ocean you can see them coming as make plans to be having lunch inside when the storm comes past and then with luck it will be passed by the time for the next dive.  Or we can just change the order of the dives to fit with avoiding the rain as much as possible.  But as all divers know that when you are under the water it makes no difference other than the rain can wash the salt off you and your gear for you.
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For those of us lucky enough to live on phuket thailand all year round we tend to like the off season far more as its quieter, more relaxed,  empty beaches and best of all quiet dive sites. This means we get to see far more as the noise from so many boats and divers from high season are gone. The ocean is quiet again and the more shy creatures come back. The top dive sites are less crowded and the scuba diving in phuket can really be seen at its best. Yes there may be some rain left over in the mornings or rain on the way back. May be you can not sit on the sun deck during lunch break but the quality of the diving more than makes up for that. All the downsides are may be and all the plus sides are certainties. When in phuket scuba diving it really is warm water diving all year round. Monsoon season is not typhoons everyday, its really just island life as normal with a chance of rain. Low, monsoon or green season in phuket thailand really is a great few months or quiet, relaxation on a warm tropical island with the odd day for shopping, watching a movie or having a massage in the afternoon while the rain passes.
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