Reef cruising – snapshot travel moments

It’s not often I am caught unaware on camera , but my buddy for this dive somehow managed to here.  I was enjoying a reef in one of Thailand’s lesser known dive spots:

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To read more about what I saw and the general diving conditions around this lovely island, you can read my blog post here.

Koh Tachai beach – snapshot travel moments

This is everyone’s dream – being on a deserted beach!  I found myself on this one during my dive trip last month – on Koh Tachai  in the Similan islands, Thailand.  One of my best dives ever was just around the corner from this headland:

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To learn more about the dive trip and the Similan Islands, you can read my blog here.

Koh Phi Phi revisited

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Koh Phi Phi was initially put on Thailand’s tourist map by film maker Danny Boyle, who used stunning Koh Phi Phi Ley as the main location for the 2000 film “The Beach“.  Although the film wasn’t a hit, it’s notoriety provided backpackers with a new holy grail destination when “doing” Thailand. The rest of the world however may sadly remember Koh Phi Phi Don as one of the numerous locations devastated by the 2004 tsunami.  Here is one of the most famous pieces of video footage captured when the tsunami hit Koh Phi Phi Don’s Cabana hotel on the morning of 26 December…

When I backpacked around Thailand in 2005, I decided to spend one of my six weeks helping some of the tsunami effected areas, either by volunteering with the clean up or just spending my money to help restart their local economies. When I reached Phuket the clearing up was pretty well advanced, so I headed to Koh Phi Phi.  On arrival it was clear they had a long way to go rebuilding – here are some of the images I took of the destruction that remained seven months after the tsunami hit… Continue reading

Diving Richelieu Rock and the Similan Islands, Thailand

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You often hear about dive sites that are reportedly one of the “top ten dives sites in the world”. I have no idea how many top ten lists there are, but there are a few dive site names that I hear repeatedly and Richelieu Rock is one of those legendary dive sites names I keep hearing.

Discovered by Jacques Cousteau and some local fishermen, Richelieu Rock in Thailand’s Andaman Sea can be accessed as a very long day dive or as part of a liveaboard.  Dive cruise itineraries also includes the Similan islands, which form the Mo Koh Similan National Park, north of Phuket and approx 50 KM West of Kao Lak.

The diving season for the Similan Islands is during Thailand’s cool season – December to April, so since I live in Thailand, I decided now was the time to tick off Richelieu Rock and the Similan islands. Some friends recommended I dive with the Pawara, a liveaboard in its second season and operated by Phuket based West Coast Divers. Continue reading