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View Full Version : heading to Vietnam and Thailand this summer


arashsheikhpoor
04/15/2015, 09:34 AM
Any sites that I must go to? I would prefer if they are not completely filled with tourist. If anyone has any pics of sites in either country it would be great!

ace_92101
04/15/2015, 11:58 AM
Ive been to both. In Vietnam I dove Phu Quoc Island. From a tourist standpoint, it's similar to Phuket 20 years ago. Tourism is about to explode. The diving is similar to other places in the Gulf of Thailand. Visibility is ok with fair coral development in shallower water. You might want yo check out Rainbow Divers Vietnam. They're he main PADI outfit. Con Dao island looked interesting, but I didn't go. Most divers go to Nha Trang, as it's easy to get to.

For Thailand, the best diving is on the Indian Ocean side. I've dove both sides. Given the choice, I'd go to Koh Lanta or Koh Lipe. Good to very good diving and much more laid back than Phuket. Good coral and very good soft corals. Great fish life. Make sure it's not the rainy season. If you want a liveaboard, the Similian Islands offer the diving in the country.

arashsheikhpoor
04/15/2015, 04:46 PM
Awesome! I'll be sure to check those places out.. now I gotta invest in a underwater camera!

ace_92101
04/15/2015, 05:04 PM
If you have the time, you could do both! Flights between the two are short and cheap. I took a van and ferry to Phu Quoc from Hochimihn city which was very cheap.

teemee
04/15/2015, 11:58 PM
Lucky you - I've spent many months in Thailand, and travelled Vietnam bottom to top and been back a few times...
I've done probably 100+ dives in Thailand, though on the Andaman Sea side.
On the gulf side of Thailand I've always heard the diving was pretty crap. People don't go there to dive, they go there for the raves...
That said, the diving on the gulf side just south of Thailand in Malaysia is pretty spectacular.
It really depends on when you're going - any time after May, on the Andaman side, at least when i used to go 10 years ago - and who knows what's happened with climate change - visibility would go from 30m to 0.5. If things haven't changed too much, things suck on that side until ~ september. If you are going in Summer, i really suggest going down to Malaysia for some not too expensive, but what I found to be really enjoyable diving (Perenthian islands) with great biodiversity.
I haven't done any diving in Vietnam. Tried to do a trip with the guy who looks like Chuck Norris - and really, he does - but he was booked full up when I was there.
Can I make a couple of of suggestions -
if you are going just to go diving, go to Indo.
If you are going to travel, please go to Cambodia for 3-4 days. There are inexpensive flights from tons of places in both Vietnam and Thailand, great places to stay, and lots to see.
If you are going after September, go do the Andaman side of Thailand - I really suggest a live aboard to Surin/Similan and Richlieu Rock - the diving there is world class, though i've heard there has been significant bleaching at some point in the last decade. Otherwise, the diving out of Ao Nang or Koh Lanta is really good - you'll do more or less a lot of the same sites, but the boats just come from different directions.
If you want any more info, just let me know or send me a pm.

arashsheikhpoor
04/16/2015, 12:34 AM
I'm definitely gonna try an hit up most of those dive sites you mentioned. Im goin to travel mostly and do some snorkeling, maybe even get scuba certified out there. I'm not really into the raving and clubbing so I'll probably avoid the gulf. I should be there with my GF for about 3.5 to 4 weeks total between the two contries.

One thing that is funny is that she has been urging me to go to cambodia (she has been twice) but up till not I have been stuck on these two places. So you Really think that cambodia is a must?

Btw i'll be heading there sometime between july 5th-8th.




Lucky you - I've spent many months in Thailand, and travelled Vietnam bottom to top and been back a few times...
I've done probably 100+ dives in Thailand, though on the Andaman Sea side.
On the gulf side of Thailand I've always heard the diving was pretty crap. People don't go there to dive, they go there for the raves...
That said, the diving on the gulf side just south of Thailand in Malaysia is pretty spectacular.
It really depends on when you're going - any time after May, on the Andaman side, at least when i used to go 10 years ago - and who knows what's happened with climate change - visibility would go from 30m to 0.5. If things haven't changed too much, things suck on that side until ~ september. If you are going in Summer, i really suggest going down to Malaysia for some not too expensive, but what I found to be really enjoyable diving (Perenthian islands) with great biodiversity.
I haven't done any diving in Vietnam. Tried to do a trip with the guy who looks like Chuck Norris - and really, he does - but he was booked full up when I was there.
Can I make a couple of of suggestions -
if you are going just to go diving, go to Indo.
If you are going to travel, please go to Cambodia for 3-4 days. There are inexpensive flights from tons of places in both Vietnam and Thailand, great places to stay, and lots to see.
If you are going after September, go do the Andaman side of Thailand - I really suggest a live aboard to Surin/Similan and Richlieu Rock - the diving there is world class, though i've heard there has been significant bleaching at some point in the last decade. Otherwise, the diving out of Ao Nang or Koh Lanta is really good - you'll do more or less a lot of the same sites, but the boats just come from different directions.
If you want any more info, just let me know or send me a pm.

arashsheikhpoor
04/16/2015, 12:34 AM
If you have the time, you could do both! Flights between the two are short and cheap. I took a van and ferry to Phu Quoc from Hochimihn city which was very cheap.

Yea, I have been looking around and the flights are so cheap!

r-balljunkie
04/16/2015, 05:12 AM
..... maybe even get scuba certified out there.

Based on the above statement, you are not scuba certified, you might want get certified in advance of your trip if indeed diving is on your list. The dives in Thailand are easy ones if you stick to the Andaman side.

I've only done the Andaman side and it was nice IMO, lotsa nice softies and good densities. Thailand is awesome, tons of stuff to do and see while on land. We did a few days in Bangkok, a few days in Dewa, and then down to Patong.


There's lotsa temples in BKK to go and see. We enjoyed going to see the tiger temple tour.

If you ask nicely, you might get to view Chingchai's tank.

A lot of people travel north to Chang Rai, Chang Mai. you kinda have to pick which you are going to do....head north, or head south. I've heard the ancient temples are excellent in the north.

there's sooo much more to Thailand than simply defining north or south. Many smaller islands to visit, things to do.

Going south, you head to Phuket.

Dewa was a bit slow for us, enjoyed staying in Patong, more action.

Patong is off the rocker as far as a party scene, a lot of Aussies this part of the world.

As far as Vietnam, I've only done Saigon, no water play. Make sure you process your travel visa's early. It was a very good trip. It's a vibrant city on the come up. The street food was excellent. I would recommend booking some tours thru a guide and driver (Cu chi tunnels, Mekong delta), others just grab a cab and venture out (Embassy, City tour).

I havent travelled north...if you and your GF are adventurous, jump on a bus and take a ride!!

Like others have said, tons of places to venture out from in SE Asia. Cambodia, Laos, Indo etc.

Good luck and Good travels!

shah1
05/02/2015, 06:10 AM
In Thailand, phuket or pataya are the best places to visit and you take boat tough to treasure island where you can dive..

tajaba
05/19/2015, 09:39 AM
Hi, I'll chime in here

I haven't dived every single site in Thailand yet, but am getting close

as many said here, the best sites are in the andaman side (that means phuket, krabi, phanga, trang, satul)

If you are not looking for courses to take, you can just go to the andaman side for trips or day trips. If you have time, I highly suggest that YOU TAKE THE LIVEABOARDS, you will have fun, and also see big pelagic animals. However, if you want to relax, go to phuket or Krabi, Lipe island is also pretty good (especially if you're coming here during june-august) they have very good accomodations, just try to speak thai so you can negotiate prices etc.

edit: if you want to get certified: go to Koh Tao, cheapest place in the world to get certified, and lots of things to do around the island

granted, the dive sites there aren't what they used to be, they are still pretty good, who knows, the resident whale shark might even turn up

DivingTheWorld
05/29/2015, 10:38 AM
+1 on a Liveaboard trip to the Similan Islands. We did one a few years back and loved it. Great people, great food, great diving.