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Thailand, our second home!

The unspoilt island of Koh Lanta is home to Hidden Depths Diving.

Introduction to Thailand

Thailand has been a popular tourist destination for many years thus surprisinging many why we have chosen it as our second home. The answer is we have found a little gem called Koh Lanta.

Still unspoilt and not over developed, with one of South East Asias best dive sites on our door step.

We are able to offer a combination of land based and liveaboard options that cover the Andaman Sea of Thailand & Burma.

Our Thailand Holidays

Hotels & Resorts

Koh Lanta

Liveaboards

Panunee

Thailand - our rough guide

History

Thailand, or Siam as it was known until 1939, has never been colonised by a foreign power. There have been brief invasions by the Burmese, Khmers & Japanese but the kingdom has never been externally controlled.

The Thai kingdom was first established in the 13th century. However the area has been inhabited for 10,000 years and has seen settlers migrate from as far as China, Vietnam & Indonesia. This huge area means that the Thai dialect is spoken by 72 million speakers one of the highest in South East Asia.

Buddhism was introduced by Indian missionaries as early as the 2nd or 3rd centuries. This Indian prevalance was abound in the 12th century when a number of city states ruled, collectively known as Dvaravati and many Buddha images were made. At this time in the north of the country the Khmer had a strong influence with numerous conquests between the 7th - 11th centuries. In the south the influence came from the Srivijaya empire with its centre on the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

Unlike many of its neighbours the Thai kingdom isolated itself and shunned the west for 150 years until the 18th century. This policy and the fact that it wasn't colonised may explain the Thai psyche of being fun loving and happy-go-lucky, ensuring a warm welcome.

Diving

Koh Lanta, Andaman Sea

The diving to the south of Koh Lanta and the adjacent islands is exceptionally good. This is regarded as one of the best areas in Thailand. There’s a great variety of walls, fringing reefs, caves and a wreck to explore around the offshore islands, islets and rocks.

Marine life is abundant, with a healthy cross-section of reef species and pelagics. Only the local operators and a few from Krabi, Koh Phi Phi and Phuket currently utilise these sites, so they remain uncrowded.

 

Highlights

  • Similan Islands National Park: Remote nine island archipelago off the Andaman coast. Known for its profusion of hard corals.
  • Hin Muang & Daeng: Two spectacular dive sites of red & purple soft coral famous for its large congregations of Manta Rays in December & January. Whale Sharks are also spotted here.

Climate & Weather

There are two seasons on Koh Lanta – dry & wet. From October/November to April/May is the dry season. Humidity is lower in the dry season, but tourists may still find it ‘sticky’ for their first few days on the island. Days are hot and evenings remain warm, although temperatures in the dry season are lower than in the wet season. Early mornings in December and January can be quite fresh.

General Information

  • People: 75% Thai & 11% Chinese & other ethnic minorities.
  • Religion: 95% Buddhism & 4% Muslim
  • Language: Thai
  • Visas: British Tourists obtain a visa on arrival valid for 30 days
  • Health: Mineral water is recommended. Each resort has chemists and or clinics/hospitals with adequate provision of medicines. There are recommendations of inoculations but consult your G.P for the latest advice.
  • Time: GMT + 7 hours
  • Electricity: 220 Volts, 2 round pin plugs
  • Clothing: Light cotton clothes are ideal
  • Currency: Baht = 100 Satang. Denominations are 10,000Bht, 1000, 500, 100, 50, 20 & 10. Local banks deal with foreign currencies and travelers cheques. Cash dispensing machines are becoming more widespread in the major tourist destinations. Banking hours are Monday-Friday 10.00 - 16.00.
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