Phuket: 10-14 Mar 2009 Diving

Here are the links to the photos and videos taken during my trip to Phuket.

I booked my budget airline tickets but didn't book any accommodation because I read on the internet that it's easy to get cheap and decent rooms there.

I was on the 1pm flight on AirAsia from Changi terminal 1. T1 was great as usual with its free internet stations, clean toilets and speedy immigration and check-in. It was a 2-hour flight on AirAsia. The plane was barely half full.

When I arrived at the airport, it didn't take too long to get pass immigration because it was off-peak. I took a minibus to town. It costs THB150 per person but I had to wait a while for the bus to get filled up before it would move off. The rest of the people on the bus were Caucasians. And as luck would have it, the fattest person sat next to me. To make matters worse, she kept flinging her hair in my direction. I was afraid I would get slapped in my face with her hair. I don't have anything personal against people as long as they don't overflow into my seat or fling their hair at my face (note: skinny people can also overflow into other people's space and I am very scared of gals with poney tails in the MRT). The bus made an unexpected stop at some travel agency. The driver said that the agents would help us to write down in Thai language our exact destination. Ya rite. The agents tried to sell tours or book hotels rooms for tourists. They tried to recommend some rooms to me for more than THB1000 per night. It's cheaper than on the internet but I suspected I could probably get better prices if I just walked in. Anyway, I was already there!

I asked them to drop me off at Bangla Road where all the action is. I viewed a few rooms along a street off Bangla Road. You can get a room from as low as THB500 per night but I chose Fiddy's place for THB800 (SGD35) because it looked newer, cleaner and smelled better than the others. The bed's hard though, like most Asian beds. Friendly owner. I didn't know the guy who greeted me every morning was the owner! The room was quiet. No noisy neighbours or pubs nearby.

There's a dive shop just beside Fiddy's place. How convenient! I checked out the prices for Open Water Diver courses. Most of them charge THB12,500 and above.
After some negotiation, I agreed to pay THB12,300 (SGD535) for the course. I would have one-to-one instruction and all my dives would be around Rachi Yai island instead of having some dives off the beach nearby for the first day (I checked out the beach beforehand and the water was yucky!).

It was a 3-day course. I spent about 3 hours in the class room and about 2 hours in the pool. When I was sitting in the classroom completing the assignments and tests, I was thinking to myself: I came all the way here to study?! I expected the first day to end at 6pm but I was done by 4pm. I suppose that's because I was the only one in the class. There were 2 other students in another class by another instructor.

On the 2nd and 3rd days I had to be ready by 7.30am. It takes about 30mins to get from town to the jetty and another 2 hours to travel by boat to Rachi Yai island. The current at the dive sites was medium to strong. The instructor had to hold on to me so that I don't drift away while doing some drills. On one of the dives, I couldn't even swim against the current (I was using lousy fins) so we did a drift dive instead.

Btw, 1 student from the other class was on the same boat on day 3. He said he dived at the beach the previous day and it wasn't nice. I asked where the other student was and he said that the other guy was too afraid to dive in the sea.

Here's my dive video:

Photo album:

Hotel: THB800 * 4 nights = THB3,200 = SGD139 (SGD35 per night)
Diving: THB12,300 = SGD535
Air tickets: 66.52 + 87.70 = SGD154.22
Total: SGD830


TrainMan said...

i bet u wanna invest in a gd camera and underwater housing after this right?

Yu-Kym said...

actually no leh... i'm not very much into photography. but i certainly wun mind diving wif a buddy who has a camera!

TrainMan said... take picture of u i bet!!

I'm investing one soon..need to save up tho..