Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Diving in Phi Phi

Well we went ahead and did our PADI course in Phi Phi. Basically it gives us a license to dive up to 30m deep in open water. We loved it. It took us 3 days to get our certs. The first day we spent the morning watching videos for the first 3 course modules and did those 3 tests. Luckily it was a lazy morning because we'd decided to sample some of the buckets (of cocktails) the night before and I think I might have drowned if I went anywhere near the water in the morning. Anyway a big greasy burger and chips for lunch did us the world of good and then it was into our wetsuits and scuba gear and down to beach we went. We spent about and hour and a half in a roped off section of the beach and did lots of skills and exercises. We were only about 5m underwater but sure we thought we were great.
The next morning we were up bright and early and headed to Bida Nok and Malong for our first open water dives. It was soooo amazing. We got to see so many brightly coloured fish and beautiful coral. You'd nearly think some of it was fake, like something you'd buy to put in the bottom of a fish tank,  it was just incredible. We saw loads of huge star fish. We even got to see some of Nemo's cousins. Seeing a turtle was probably the highlight of the first dive but everything was really impressive. Second dive we got to see another turtle, and while we were looking at it a Leopard Shark swam by. We had lunch in Maya Bay, where the film The Beach was set. It was a beautiful location but spoiled by all the boats and tourists (yes, like us I know) who were out there.
Anyway it was just the 2 dives to 12m that day and we were fairly wrecked after them.
We had 2 dives to 18m the next day and apparently the conditions were perfect. There was a slack tide where the tide changes really slowly so there was no current and it meant we could do Bida Nai and Bida Nok on the same day, usually it's one or the other. We had another great day diving. Saw loads again. We saw one Leopard Shark lying on the sand and we were able to stay and watch it for a good few minutes. It was brilliant.
We loved the diving so much that when we passed the dive shop that evening it didn't take much to persuade us to go diving again the next day. We went out to dive the wreck of the King Cruiser ferry ship. That was a 30m dive so we had to do it as a certified dive.Now we're licensed to dive to 30m which we hope will come in handy when we go to see the Great Barrier Reef. We did 3 dives that day and they were all fab. We even got to see an octopus on the deck of the wreck.  We totally loved the diving and our dive school, Princess Divers in PhiPhi were brilliant! Unfortunately no photo's but I'll try to find a site with some pictures of the type of things we saw.
Okay so I found the website for the charts that we were using to identify the fish we saw
Saw almost all of these

Quite a few of these but none of the stingrays and the Leopard Shark was the only shark we saw

Other than that the beaches in Phi Phi weren't actually all that great. They looked spectacular from the viewpoint

But in reality they were a bit dirty, the water was murky so you couldn't see the rocks so we both got loads of cuts on our feet and you had to walk ages out to see to even get waist deep. A bit of a let down but I suppose at least they looked beautiful.
We're in Ko Lanta now. It's quieter than Phi Phi but the place we're staying in is lively enough. We did a tour of the island today. Some beautiful scenery. On the east side of the island there's a viewpoint where you could see right across to the mainland and lots of little islands between here and there.

There's 2 caves on the island too and we went caving in one of them. Really enjoyed that though it was quite a trek to get to it and hard work climbing down into it and through some narrow crawl spaces.

Tomorrow we leave Thailand for Malaysia. We've rejigged our plans for there a bit and hope to get in some of the East Coast Islands there since we only did the West Coast/ Andaman Islands in Thailand. Anyway we've a long day of travelling ahead of us I'd say, not that I'm complaining at all that we're getting to see and do!
Can't believe we've done so much already and in 2 weeks we'll be in Oz. South-East Asia flew!
Anyway looking forwards to loads of comments!!!!
Jan and Paul


  1. hi jan and fossie, just saw the photos from phi phi, ye look great. i might try the scuba diving in oz, if we have the time ( by the way this is dad ), sounds better than snorkeling. can't wait to see ye next week. have to go, mam is after running me a smelly bath and it will be cold by the time im finished this epistle
    Love dad and mam

  2. Hi Jan

    Mum Here. He is in the bath - at long last. He is --wait for it- digging a foundation out the back for a small wall!!!! Enough said. Ye both look great. What tans. What happened to Fossie's shin - he has a cut on it! I'd love to have seen the turtle - I love tortises and turtles. Not too sure about the shark - could have given that a miss!!!! It sound fantastic tho' I'm a bit surprised about the beaches. Never heard anyone say that they were dirty and the water murky but there are so many beaches there and the place is getting so popular they are bound to get a bit dirty.

    Only a week left until we meet in Perth. I am beginning to get a bit organised. After this blog dad can't wait for the barrier Reef - he's going to go scuba diving I bet!!!!! And the fish he will see will be bigger than what you saw!!!!! then the slagging will start!!!!
    see you soon - will bring a band-aid for poor fossie!!! Love mum

  3. I'm totally happy just looking at my little Nemo every day at school i swear....!!! sounds amazing, going emailing you now!

  4. Wow. It all sounds amazing. It looks amazing too. Those fish are the colours of the rainbow. The day I read about your interaction with aleopard shark, I had just watched a documentary about those type of sharks. Ye are brave out. Don't think I would do it. Ye both look amazing - ye look a different race - hope that is politically correct!!!!
    Matthew is great. He will be 11 months on Sunday - also my dads birthday. He is a little boy now. We got passport pictures taken a few days ago. He looks beautiful (of course I am biased). Planning to go to Spain in Sept for 1 week. Mum & dad will be there too - they will mind him some of the time. Its great, coz I don't want to leave him but would love a break too. Best of both worlds!!! Matthew not talking but has said mama & baba a few times. we are working on dada at the moment. Crawling mad and pulling himself up on his feet himself & standing. Not walking yet. Have taken him out a few times on is trekker. He loves it. Really appreciating it now. Its the job.
    Suppose you heard about the pig flu!!! Be careful!!! Munster v Leinster this weekend. Have no tickets - devastated!!!! Might go up anyway! Glad that ye weren't in the dodgy part of Thailand. Tell Fossie of course we were all worried. I did ask about ye - was told ye were out of it. Fossie can handle himself!!!!
    Talk soon. Mags & her 2 boys!!!!