Asia Travel 2008 Summary – Thailand

Well, my 2.5 weeks of travel is already over before I even realise it. It’s been a load of fun though, so I can’t complain. At the same time, there were downsides, like being ripped off by taxis, sun-burnt, food poisoned.. etc etc.. Let’s put that aside for a moment, and focus on the good part..

My first destination, was Khao Lak in Thailand. This is the take-off point to Similan Islands for supposedly one of the best diving in the world. However, Khao Lak is also where it was worst hit by the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami in Thailand. If there were any hints of sadness, I certainly didn’t feel any. It certainly looked like a recovered town.

As I had 2 days there, and couldn’t dive on the first, I went and hired one of my favourite Asian form of transportation:

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Look! This one even comes with a basket at the front! How convenient! πŸ™‚

Off I went, to check out the local town and its surrounds. To be honest, this is a pretty small and quiet town. From my point of view, I can’t really tell that the town was ever hit by a tsunami at all. However, there are these:

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Yeap, that’s  a police boat washed up from the ocean, 2km in-land!! They just left it there to serve as a memorial since! All around town, you’ll spot the "Tsunami Hazard Zone" signs, along with a map to tell you where to evacuate to in case the next tsunami hits. Pretty serious stuff!!

Other than that, this town really doesn’t have too much to offer.

Diving at Similan Islands

Most people come here on a 3 to 7 days liveaboard diving package at Similan Islands. I only had one day, but still managed to do 2 dives. A speedboat picked me up in the morning, and escorted me to a liveaboard near Similan Islands. As usual, I was the only Asian tourist diving, while the rest are Germans & Brits..

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Unfortunately, I was pretty disappointed, given that I didn’t really see any large species that were promised like manta rays & whale sharks. There were interesting little ones like garden eels, and plenty of reef fishes you would expect from a diving spot like this. But it certainly wasn’t anything to brag about. Maybe it was the timing, maybe it was the Tsunami damage.. whatever. It certainly didn’t live up to the expectations that I had for it.

Fortunately, the rest of my trip is not sooo bland..

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