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Diving near Bangkok (without flying)

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#1 Nicool

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Posted 13 August 2012 - 08:38 AM

Hi there,

I might be lucky enough to relocate in Bangkok, and of course I'm thinking about the diving opportunities over there.
I'm writing to seek for recommendations of the closest dive spots to Bangkok, meaning the ones on which you can go just for a week-end (or even a day trip), without taking a plane (with a plane I definetely know where to go Posted Image). I'm wondering whether I could get good 'regular/cheap' diving there.

So I've heard that Pattaya and Koh Samet would be close.
1/ Are there other places you would recommend?

I've also heard that Pattaya/Koh Samet were "not that nice" for diving, and I'd like to understand what it means, what's the quality of the diving there. For me good dive sites are those with lots of fauna (and diversity of fauna), as well as health of reefs.
I imagine that Pattaya/Koh Samet are less good that Phuket, Sipadan & other diving meccas...
2/ but what do you get there? What sort of animals? How does it compare to, let's say, the french/italian Mediterranean cost (for those who have practiced them), or with the Red Sea?
If some of you have pictures/videos taken in Pattaya/Koh Samet I'd be very interested in viewing those.

Thanks in advance for your advise!!
cheers
Nicolas

#2 Nicool

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 01:37 AM

Hi everyone,

No one has any diving experience to share on that area?

#3 Cary Dean

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 12:54 PM

Pattaya's water is pretty dirty.
Most of the good diving is at the South of the country
and far enough away that it is better accessed by airline.
Generally an hour or so flight.
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#4 Drew

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 07:25 PM

Pattaya is mostly known for wrecks and nominal macro life. I never found it very interesting but as Cary says, the viz isn't always optimal either. It is however, a good way to get wet on a weekend without flying. I found Koh Samet to have slightly better viz but diving to be about the same as Pattaya, but perhaps a bit more healthier.

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#5 Nicool

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 03:56 AM

Hi Drew, Carry Dean,

So when diving in Pattaya are you struggling to find photo subjects?
Does the scenery/ability to find big animals make you stick with macro, or can you manage to do some good wide angle?
That's a frustrating thing where I live currently: biggest fishes a 20cm or so, and it's all rocky with no corals, and you need to get deep to find gorgonians. So I'm wondering if Pattaya would provide better wide angle capabilities.