In november of 2016 me and Daniel were talking about doing a scuba diving liveaboard together somewhere in the world. We decided to go to Thailand and do my first scuba diving liveaboard in the Similan Islands. Daniel had been both in Thailand and Similan Islands before, but I hadn´t so I was very excited. This was mine and Daniels first vacation together and it was really nice to get away.
11th of april in 2017 our travel begins, we took the bus from Gothenburg, Sweden to Copenhagen, Denmark to get on our flight direct from Copenhagen to Bangkok. In Bangkok we had a layover to Phuket. We flew with Thai Airways and there were no problems at all. We were allowed 30 kg of luggage each and it was very good since we bring our own diving equipment which can be quite heavy.
Our trip to Thailand lasted 11-20 of april, and before we went on the scuba diving liveaboard we spent two nights in Patong at a small and cheap hotel called Red Planet. What should I say?… It was what we paid for. The room had a bed and a bathroom with toilet and shower. The room were quite small and with our bags and equipment it was a bit tight to be honest. The positive things were that it was located in a fairly good place in Patong. It was located in the beginning of the main road and ten minutes walk, maximum, to Bangala road. Next door to the hotel a supermarket were located which was convenient for us when we wanted to buy water or some snacks.
Songkran made us wet
When we decided to travel to Patong these days we totally missed that it was Songkran, the Thai new year. And for you that don´t know what Songkran is, it´s a huge water fight all over the city. Everyone run around with buckets of water or water guns and shoot at each others. Included us. At first we thought it was quite nice to get a bit wet in the heat but after a few minutes we were a target for everyone it felt like. Especially Daniel, after a short walk to get some food he looked like he had showered with his clothes on, haha. I guess Songkran had been better if we were prepared for it and were there to enjoy it. Unfortunately this time it wasn´t THAT funny because the water they throw is not the best. When we get back to the hotel our clothes were smelling like I don´t know what. Luckily we had some laundry detergents for the clothes that we used so the rest of the clothes in our bags wouldn´t take smell of the stinky ones.
On the way back to the hotel and the day after we found out that walking on the beach were a better idea because the water fight were up on the main roads. So we walked the beach and just chilled out in the sun, stoped and ate good food which was really nice.
The reason we wanted to stay for a few nights in Patong before we went on our scuba diving liveaboard were because we wanted time to look for some dive shops and experience the country a bit. We went around in Patong and found for example All 4 Diving – Phuket and Love Diving Phuket.
Scuba diving liveaboard with MV Hallelujah
We decided to go with the scuba diving liveaboard MV Halleujah since it looked fresh and had a good dive deck and good cabins and of course good reviews. This was my first time at a scuba diving liveaboard (maybe Daniels 5th or 6th time) and it was the first time diving in warm water (I took my open water in Sweden, it was 12°c).
I didn´t know what to expect, not from the diving itself or from the trip. Actually I had never been sleeping on a boat that size before either. And the food, should I be able to eat something at all? (I am allergic to quite much things and don´t eat fish or seafood). So there were very many new things which made me nervous. But Daniel were there and support me and that I am very thankful for.
I had decided to do my PADI Advanced Open Water at the boat and because of that me and Daniel had our own instructor. Or I an instructor, but since Daniel is my dive buddy he was included. So the whole trip it was just me, Daniel and the instructor diving together. Really nice! Of course it was around 18 other divers and four instructors and staff on the boat.
When we did the first dive I remember the feeling was so wierd. When I had dived before I wore a thick 7 mm semi dry wetsuit, gloves, hood, a jacket style BCD which made me feel very big and clumpsy.
When you are dressed in all that you are very warm on land but entering the water you feel the cold water against the face. In Thailand I had a 2 mm shorty and that was that. No gloves, no hood, no long thick semi dry wet suit. That was a strange feeling when I entered the water jumping from the dive deck on the boat into the tropical turquoise water with a temperature of 31°c. From my experience it should be cold when I enter the water, this was the same temperature as the temperature on land. Very strange. I just felt I get wet in my hair and face and against my body but it was not cold. Very strange feeling I must say, but of course totally awesome.
The dives went well I will say and I pass the PADI Advanced Open Water ofcourse. It was a really nice experience to be diving at a liveaboard. You fix your gear the first day and then it stands there throughout the trip. Very comfortable not to pack it down and up before every dive.
After our 5 days/4 nights scuba diving liveabaord with MV Hallelujah we were dropped of in Karon. In Karon we had booked a modern and good looking hotel called Hotel Ikon. We just wanted to be here and relax and have a great time in the sun before we were booked back to Sweden. The hotel was very nice, huge modern rooms and nice swimming pool. We can really recommend it if you are in the area.
I am really satisfied with my first scuba diving liveaboard experience and the first time travel to Thailand was amazing.
This article is written by Rebeccas perspective, first time in Thailand and first time scuba diving from a liveaboard.