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Nunomix

Help on places to stay and dive in Thailand / Malaysia

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Dear All,

 

After some time without being able to dive, I will be going in June to travel around Thailand and Malaysia and want to get back on track!!! I would like to ask you what are your recommended resorts/places to stay where there is nice diving as well as the diving centres to use (hopefully in the resort itself). This time I will not be taking my diving equipment with me since I will not have space so quality of rental equipment is also of importance.

 

The places I am planning to go are:

 

Thailand:

 

- Koh Samui and Koh Tao

- Koh Phi Phi

- Railay

 

Malaysia:

- Palau Redang

- Sipadan (not sure I will be able to get there though)

 

Thanks a lot !!!

 

Cheers

 

Nuno

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The places I am planning to go are:

 

Thailand:

 

- Koh Samui and Koh Tao

- Koh Phi Phi

- Railay

 

Malaysia:

- Palau Redang

- Sipadan (not sure I will be able to get there though)

 

Hi Nuno,

 

I can recommend the following for you :

 

Malaysia

 

Redang - I would go for Coral Redang (foreigner/expat standard) - Matt, Kola and Cheng are a great team of divemasters and the resort is comfortable, well run and has a great feel to it. They are pretty camera-friendly too as their boss has a D300/Nexus combo. Slightly cheaper and more basic (ie local Malaysian standard) is Redang Kalong, which is run by AB Lee who is a keen (and highly proficient UW photographer). The rooms are pretty spartan and u need to enjoy local Malay cooking, but I enjoyed myself there.

 

Sipadan

It takes approx 6 hrs to go from Kl to Mabul. Air Asia to Tawau (cheap if u book early), then transfer to Semporna and a boat out to Mabul. Sipadan Water Village is great (I just returned from 5 days there) and I also wandered around Borneo divers resort next door which looked more expensive but very nice too. Just note that you'll really need to check how busy it is when u go as there are no guarantees of getting a day permit to dive Sipadan, but a 4 day stay *should* get u a good shot, especially if u book your resort place well in advance. I used Scuba Dynamics in Sri Hartamas, KL to book and liase with SWV and everything was cool.

 

 

Thailand

 

If you want to dive Phi Phi islands, you could do worse that fly from KL to Krabi and then transfer to Ao Nang, which is a great, small, quiet place that has a good selection of dive outfits and cheap decent hotels to stay in. I would highly recommend Ao Nang Divers - they run day trips out to Phi Phi and Don Muang/Hin Daen. Their boat -Petchmanee is also pretty good and comfortable for the 2-3 hr sailing out and back. Roland, a Swiss divemaster there, was great. For accomodation there is everything from backpack lodges to 4* hotels. Most hotels do good 3D/2N or 4D/3N packages and are located minutes from the dive shops and the shore.

 

 

Can't comment on Railay/Koh Samui/Koh Tao as I've not been there.

 

Hope this helps,

 

Steve

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Thailand

 

If you want to dive Phi Phi islands, you could do worse that fly from KL to Krabi and then transfer to Ao Nang, which is a great, small, quiet place that has a good selection of dive outfits and cheap decent hotels to stay in. I would highly recommend Ao Nang Divers - they run day trips out to Phi Phi and Don Muang/Hin Daen. Their boat -Petchmanee is also pretty good and comfortable for the 2-3 hr sailing out and back. Roland, a Swiss divemaster there, was great. For accomodation there is everything from backpack lodges to 4* hotels. Most hotels do good 3D/2N or 4D/3N packages and are located minutes from the dive shops and the shore.

 

 

Can't comment on Railay/Koh Samui/Koh Tao as I've not been there.

 

Hope this helps,

 

Steve

 

Krabi is an amazing place, the scenery is just breath taking, especially if you get away from the crowds.

 

Anither place to dive is Racha Noi, not many people head out to the Racha Islands but from what I have been toldd is very good. I have dived Racha Yai which is ok, but not Noi. Obviously the Similan and Surin islands are IMO the best dives out there ( nov-april ), closely followed by Hin Muang Hin Daeng.

Have a look on sawadee.com for all your Thai needs.

 

Happy travelling

 

Stew

Edited by stewsmith

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Nuno,

what sort of budget do you have? In most of those places you've listed, there are 5* to backpackers places.

Railay beach is a known party spot with DJs like Fatboy Slim and Sasha making appearances when they stay at the Rayavadee. Very picturesque place too, but you lose the beach in June due to high tide and the winds and rain picks up on the entire Andaman side. Staying on Krabi/Ao Nang is ok too. I prefer diving from Phuket myself because the boats are nicer.

PhiPhi also has a variety of dive ops and resorts for all budgets. If you want to dive Hin Daeng/Muang, move down south and stay at Ko Lanta or somewhere closer, the long ride from PhiPhi/Krabi/Phuket isn't worth it unless you do a liveaboard, especially during June. Weatherwise, June isn't the best time to visit the Andaman side of Thailand.

However, I'd rather visit a windy/rainy Andaman side than go to Ko Tao/Samui/Phangan for more than 3 days. Featureless islands with badly developed places and only 2 real dive sites to speak of. But that's just me... I never got into the scene at Ko Tao, and the 3000 divers which share the same sites is just chaos sometimes. Underwater, it's not as nice as the andaman side overall. But that's my opinion (plus I'm a Phuket resident part year :))

 

If you want far off adventure, instead of Sipadan, try Pulau Weh near Sumatra. It's an easy flight from Penang and the diving is better than Redang.

 

If you give a budget, I can recommend resorts for Thailand.

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Thanks a lot guys.

 

Drew,

 

I don't have an exact budget but will be a whole month traveling around Thailand, Malaysia and Cambodja so trying to staying in nice places but not way too expensive. My idea is to combine some nice resorts with some more modest (but still nice). How important is to book in advance (more than a couple of days) those places over there?

 

When you say that June is not the best time, could you please elaborate a bit more? I understand it is (or starting) the monsoon season right? How bad is it? Is it just some hours of rain but still able to do nice beach or is it worse?

 

Cheers

 

 

Nuno,

what sort of budget do you have? In most of those places you've listed, there are 5* to backpackers places.

Railay beach is a known party spot with DJs like Fatboy Slim and Sasha making appearances when they stay at the Rayavadee. Very picturesque place too, but you lose the beach in June due to high tide and the winds and rain picks up on the entire Andaman side. Staying on Krabi/Ao Nang is ok too. I prefer diving from Phuket myself because the boats are nicer.

PhiPhi also has a variety of dive ops and resorts for all budgets. If you want to dive Hin Daeng/Muang, move down south and stay at Ko Lanta or somewhere closer, the long ride from PhiPhi/Krabi/Phuket isn't worth it unless you do a liveaboard, especially during June. Weatherwise, June isn't the best time to visit the Andaman side of Thailand.

However, I'd rather visit a windy/rainy Andaman side than go to Ko Tao/Samui/Phangan for more than 3 days. Featureless islands with badly developed places and only 2 real dive sites to speak of. But that's just me... I never got into the scene at Ko Tao, and the 3000 divers which share the same sites is just chaos sometimes. Underwater, it's not as nice as the andaman side overall. But that's my opinion (plus I'm a Phuket resident part year :))

 

If you want far off adventure, instead of Sipadan, try Pulau Weh near Sumatra. It's an easy flight from Penang and the diving is better than Redang.

 

If you give a budget, I can recommend resorts for Thailand.

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Dear All,

 

After some time without being able to dive, I will be going in June to travel around Thailand and Malaysia and want to get back on track!!! I would like to ask you what are your recommended resorts/places to stay where there is nice diving as well as the diving centres to use (hopefully in the resort itself). This time I will not be taking my diving equipment with me since I will not have space so quality of rental equipment is also of importance.

 

The places I am planning to go are:

 

Thailand:

 

- Koh Samui and Koh Tao

- Koh Phi Phi

- Railay

 

Malaysia:

- Palau Redang

- Sipadan (not sure I will be able to get there though)

 

Thanks a lot !!!

 

Cheers

 

Nuno

 

Every year i do the january month from Phuket.Just love that damn place.Gets crazy but fun.Try Seaworld Dive team or Warm Water divers,they offer daytrips to dive just outside Phi Phi(i.e Kingcruiser,Shark Point,etc)

Otherwise you can catch the Mermaid 2 LB on its return from the Similans from the Andaman safari.They stop at Phi Phi to dive the South spots Hin Daeng for 2 nights.

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Diving in the Phuket, Krabi, Phi Phi region is much better than the Koh Samui/Koh Tao region

 

Weather is an Issue, during the wet monsoon season June to October your options are reduced a bit. Its not possible to travel to the Similan Islands (usually a great trip), and I advise against staying in Krabi or Koh Lanta as so many businesses are closed for the season.

That being said, I was just in Phuket 2 weeks ago, the diving was great and it only rained one day.

 

For dive sites, Racha Noi, Racha Yai are great.

 

If you have the time spend a few days in Phuket, and a few in Phi Phi and dive both.

 

check out latestays.com , for good late minute deals on hotels

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Thanks guys for all your help!!!

 

Ended up most of the time in Malaysia. Dived in Redang, Perhentian Islands, Kapalai, Mabul, Simail and SIPADAN !!!

 

In Redang I stayed in Redang Kalong and I loved it. Indeed, being modest, the place is awesome in the sense that is very quiet. Ppl were also very nice. In Perhentian I dived with Perhentian Island Resort Divers and they were also pretty good and relaxed. The Pinnacle and the wreck are the must-do over there.

 

In Borneo I stayed in Kapalai Resort and got to dive two days in Sipadan. Amazing dives all the time. Kapalai, Mabul and Simail not that much but also not too bad.

 

Looking forward to go back to Sipadan, this time with my UW Camera gear !!!

 

Cheers

 

Nuno

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