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Tibbs

Punting & Scuba

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I'm planning my holiday for this year and was thinking about combining my traditional diving trip (I usually go to Egypt) with somewhere good to punt.

Thailand seems the obvious place, but I was wondering if anyone had specific advice for somewhere in Thailand that had a good balance of diving and girls. Or is there somewhere else in the world to think about?

I typically spend ~£1200 on my holiday, would that be enough to get me a week's worth of diving and punting?

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Apologies but diving and muff diving springs to mind - know which one I prefer. With one of them you don't get wet (unless you are pretty good).

Enjoy!

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Yes you could do this In Thailand, but depends what time of year you plan on going, as the countries three coasts are subject to different monsoon seasons, the Andaman coast diving season which Includes Phuket Is usually from November to April, I have gone out In May, but It was choppy, and I missed a couple of days due to the bad weather. I would recommend staying In Patong for the night life, If you book a dive with a dive shop they'll pick you up from your hotel. The gulf coast Is more sheltered and you can dive most of the year, Pattaya might be the best option.

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I would recommend Kho Samui but OP I don’t think your budget is big enough if that’s to include flights and accommodation. I usually budget £100 a day for food drink and “entertainment” but even that’s a bit tighter now days with the crap exchange rate. So with flights (including internal) running you about £600 then dive course (£200?) + hotel about £100-£150 for the week your looking thin in the wallet department.

Phuket would be about the same cost wise, Pattaya cheaper for accommodation and entertainment and no internal flight needed but unless you want to take home memories of the “lesser knotted condom” or the “greater spotted turd” I would leave the diving alone I would not even paddle in Pattaya bay never mind immerse myself in that water, :o

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That £100 a day for food drink & entertaining, how does that break down? I'm not really a big drinker and was thinking one girl each night would be more than enough!

Thanks for the input - I'm happy to go higher if the trip warrants it - I just need to adjust my savings plan!

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Hey Tibbs

I was out in Thailand last March diving. Stayed on Phuket at Kamala Beach which was quiet but just what I needed.

I used EuroDive dive centre, they do upto 5 dives in a day for around £150. The dive master was Candian was a good laugh. You are fed and watered during the trip so don't need a lot of spending money during the day.

I ate on the beach each night loads of restaurants to choose from, couple of beers with starter and main about £10 per heads. Cocktails at a bar for a couple of hours could be upto £20. Some female company overnight about £50. Although I didn't go for that ;-)

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West coast of Thailand (Phuket) is definitely the prefence for diving. Possibly prefer east coast (Koh Samui) for general holiday. You can get a decent boat up to Similan Islands from Phuket (speedboat or 3 day liveaboard) which is amazing. East coast is ok but you would be disappointed after Egypt. A lot of people go to Koh Tao and there is a good diving community but I wasn't impressed with the dives.

As for £100 per day, I am stunned! It is a while since I visited last but only around 7 years ago I could have a great night out, food and a bed for around £30. Girl for the night around £15 (I was told ;)) or sometimes if you do it right free! I guess it depends on the standards of room you want but I found something very good very quickly.

I haven't been to the Philippines but perhaps that's an option?

Cyprus has some good dives depending on your experience and better punting than you would imagine in terms of quality and value for money. Can be expensive holiday though for diving and beer though.

Some other places to think about:

Mexico - diving ok, punting ok but can be expensive.

South Africa - can be a bit dodgy but diving is fantastic

Australia - both great but expensive holiday.

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Ah ok thanks for the ideas guys - Phuket was at the top of the list.

I've been to Cyprus before - the diving was ok, but not much life underwater which was a shame. The Zenobia was pretty cool though. One to consider, I hadnt thought of it as a Punting spot though.

The Phillipines I had definitely considered, though if I went that far I'd want to do Truk Lagoon, and I'd want to do that properly so I'd be looking at a trimix expedition (I have all the right tickets) and that sort of thing is the wrong side of £3k, which I can't justify right now. :(

Mexico is interesting, hadn't thought of that - I'd like to get cave qualified diving the cenotes in Yucatan. Are ISG and WSG the place to check out punting in Mexico? Any ideas on rough prices?

South Africa is way too scary for me (too many bad stories) and Australia is too far and too much right now :(

Really great ideas, you've all got me thinking which is fantastic - thanks a lot!

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As someone mentioned, Pattaya would be your best bet for a springtime visit. It's less than 2 hours drive from Bangkok and the nightlife is certainly plentiful. See other threads for recommendations of hotels, bars, etc.

As someone else quite rightly pointed out, you wouldn't dream of paddling in the ocean off Pattaya beach - however, the dive sites (Far Islands, Near Islands, Samae San) are far enough offshore that you don't have to worry about the pollution. The water didn't smell funny and vis was great.

I had some great dives there, including the Near Islands and the Hardeep wreck, and can heartily recommend it. Just avoid overindulging in the nightlife the evening before as the boat leaves early in the morning and you need a clear head!

I did my dive trips with these guys: http://www.mermaiddive.com/ - they were very safe and professional.

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I'm planning my holiday for this year and was thinking about combining my traditional diving trip (I usually go to Egypt) with somewhere good to punt.

Thailand seems the obvious place, but I was wondering if anyone had specific advice for somewhere in Thailand that had a good balance of diving and girls. Or is there somewhere else in the world to think about?I typically spend ~£1200 on my holiday, would that be enough to get me a week's worth of diving and punting?

http://www.scapa-flow.co.uk/

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I've been to Scapa - but I didn't see much opportunity for punting ;)

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Cant say anywhere has compared to Egypt for diving.. I'm out there several times a year.. Most otherplaces haven't compared.. Cant advise you about punting out there sorry.. I'm always on my best behaviour out there.. x

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I think Cuba might offer a few opportunities, not been there but would like to and the Lonely Planet Book has a section on the Sex Trade. And snorkelling!

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