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Khao Lak Scuba Adventures FAQ

General Information

Khao Lak Scuba Adventures General Information of Khao Lak and Similan Islands

 

The Manta Queen Fleet
All our boats comply with all Thai Safety Standards regulated by the Coast Guard. That includes: Automatic inflatable life rafts, life jackets, lifebelt, radio communications, navigation systems, dinghy, fire extinguishers, medic first aid box, oxygen and medically trained crew.

Geography, Seasons and Temperature
The Similan and Surin Island Marine Parks are open from 15th October until 15th May every year! Out of this period it is not possible to dive at the Similan and Surin Islands. The Similan Islands are approximately 70 km offshore from the mainland; Richelieu Rock is another 100km north. Khao Lak is on the mainland 10 minutes from the departure pier, about 90 km north of Phuket airport. The water temperature is on average 29 degrees Celsius, and visibility is normally 20 to 30 meters, but can be less if there is ‘thermoclines”. Outside temperatures can top 35 degrees Celsius during the day.

Ecological Awareness
Khao Lak Scuba Adventures is committed to environmental protection and to minimize the impact of our dive tours at the Marine Parks. We expect your co-operation in preserving these beautiful areas and insist that you don’t touch or disturb any marine life. No disposable plastic is permitted on Liveaboards or in Marine Parks.

Divers Prerequisites at Trip Check In
Please bring along your diving certification or temporary dive certificate to show at Trip Check In. If you have lost it, we can check online certificates for PADI, but must be found online, as showing your dive certificate is mandatory to board any boat of Khao Lak Scuba Adventures and to purchase the limited National Marine Park Tickets. If your last dive was longer than 2 years ago and you have less than 30 dives logged you will be required to participate in a “Pool Refresher” before joining any diving trips.

We offer Pool Refreshers at 4 pm on departure days.

Scuba diving Insurance
All divers are required to have personal dive insurance cover (incl. evacuation and recompression chamber) for the diving days. Proof IN WRITING and in English will be requested during check-in according to the National Marine Park rules. If you do not have or cannot show proof of insurance coverage, you can purchase it during check-in at 250 THB per dive day plus 7% VAT.

Depth limits
Max. depth of each individual diver is according your training level (certification). Open Water Diver 18 meters, AOW Diver 30 meters. Max. depth on all our trips is 30 meters. On our trips, all divers “should” be qualified to dive to 30 meters and dive with a computer, as the most sites are much more suited to it.

Smoking
Smoking is prohibited in all cabins, salons and dive decks. On each Boat we do have designated Smoking Areas.

Electricity
All boats are equipped with 220 Volt plugs.

Free Wifi
All boats are equipped with free Wifi. However due to the remoteness of the trip you might not have any Internet coverage at some places.

Food and Beverage
Our Chefs create a combination of delicious Thai and Western Cuisine. All Food is served buffet style with snacks and fresh tropical fruits throughout the day. Our Chefs abstain from the commonly used flavor enhancer Monosodium Glutamate (MSG or E 621) and of course we cater for vegetarians and vegans. Drinking Water, Tea and Coffee is free of charge, Softdrinks are sold at 40 Baht and beers at 70 Baht per Can.

Check In / Check Out Procedures
Check in time for all our Liveaboard trips in Khao Lak is between 4 – 6:00 pm. If making their own way here and arriving earlier, guests can leave their bags in our “Lock Up”, explore or eat before coming back for trip check in latest at 6 pm.
The Liveaboard trips will be back at our Dive Centre after the trip around 5.00 pm. If needed, we will transfer you as soon as possible back to your hotels in Khao Lak and Phuket.

Shared Transfer
Do not forget to let us know one day in advance where to pick you up!
Contact us by email at transfer@khaolakscubaadventures.com
In case of any delay or problems please contact ONLY our transfer department. They are available from 9:00 am – 8:00 pm Thai time at +66 (0)83 637 8282 or +66 (0)76 485 602.
Please note that it is a shared transfer, and not a private transfer. Guests picked up first will experience longer travel times as guests are picked up on way to Khao Lak.

Scheduled shared transfer from Phuket to Khao Lak (300 THB + 7% VAT each way to be paid in cash at the Check in).

Recommended ETA at Phuket Airport should be not later 2 pm

RAWAI 11:30 RAWAI GREEN LEAF GASOLINE STATION (ONLY)
CHALONG PIER 11:30-11:45 7/11 CORNER BUILDING BEFORE PIER PARKING
KATA 12:00-12:30 AT YOUR HOTEL RECEPTION
KARON 12:15-12:45 AT YOUR HOTEL RECEPTION
PATONG 13:00-13:30 AT YOUR HOTEL RECEPTION
PHUKET TOWN 13:00-13:30 RASSADA PIER-RED POST BOX PARKING LOT
PHUKET TOWN 13:15-13:30 MC DONALDS AT ROBINSON SHOPPING MALL
KAMALA 13:45-14:00 AT YOUR HOTEL RECEPTION
SURIN 14:00-14:15 AT YOUR HOTEL RECEPTION
BANG TAO 14:15-14:30 AT YOUR HOTEL RECEPTION
BANG TAO 14:15-14:30 AT YOUR HOTEL RECEPTION
NAI YANG BEACH 14:15-14:30 AT YOUR HOTEL RECEPTION
MAI KHAO BEACH PLEASE CONTACT US FOR MORE INFORMATION
PHUKET DOMESTIC AIRPORT 15:00 – 15:15 IN FRONT OF BILLION COFFEE SHOP/EXIT 1
PHUKET INTERN. AIRPORT 15:15 – 15:30 IN FRONT OF POST OFFICE/ EXIT 3 AND 4

Diving Equipment
A full set of rental equipment includes.:
-BCD
-Regulator with alternate air-source
-3 mm short Wetsuit
-Mask
-Snorkel
-Closed heel fins
-12 liter aluminium tank
-Weights and weightbelt
-Diving computer
-Torch for night dives

Diving
-All diving is guided on our boats with a maximum of 4 divers per guide
-IF you get separated from your dive group, search for no longer than 1 minute and ascend to the surface after safety stop with surface marker. Watch out for boat traffic before surfacing. At the surface inflate your buoyancy compensator and call the next boat close to you for assistance.
-All divers are required to do a buddy check before every single dive.
-No alcohol is permitted before or between dives.
-A dive computer is not mandatory but highly recommended for your safety. 
-You are required to listen to the dive guides/Instructors. The dive guides/Instructors on the boat can prohibit participation on dives at their discretion based on lack of respect for marine park rules and regulations, lack of respect – or “handling” of any marine life, alcohol consumption between dives or not abiding by international safe diving rules. In this case we will not refund you for the missed dives.
-Please note that the number of dives we list in any package is a best estimate based on normal circumstances, not a guarantee. Circumstances may arise during your dive trip (weather conditions, illness or personal choice) where the total number of dives done is less than the number we estimate. There will be no partial refunds in these circumstances.
-Remember dehydration is the most common source of “Decompression Illness” and ill-being. Be sure to drink lots of water in the morning, between the dives and at end of day!
-A 3 mm short wet suit is included in our equipment rental sets. Full length Wet suits are available to rent. If you bring your own dive equipment make sure your equipment has gone through the annual inspection or mandatory service inspections.
-If your air consumption is high, we strongly recommend that you rent a 15 litre tank that will allow you to stay longer underwater.
-Min. air remaining in your tank at the surface is 50 bar.
-Maximum dive time is 60 minutes, except sunset and night dives.
-Stay close to your dive buddy and group.
-Monitor your air gauge frequently.
-A 5 min @ 5 meters safety stop is required before surfacing to the surface.
-Inflate your buoyancy compensator at the surface and pay attention to the dive guide or instructor for instructions during the pick up by the diving vessel.
-If you are using a digital underwater camera you need to comply with the “Safe Diving” and the “Ecological Awareness” rules. If you can’t comply with these rules our guides and Instructors will prohibit you to use the camera underwater. Please use camera with respect to other divers in group, do not slow up the dive.

Diving Courses
Khao Lak Scuba Adventures is a multiple award winning PADI 5 Star CDC Centre.
Dive courses are conducted by our team of highly trained and multi-lingual Instructors, who will provide you with the utmost care and attention.
We have course materials available for most languages: English, German, French, Dutch, Spanish, all Scandinavian languages, Russian, Chinese, Thai, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Italian, Polish and Hebrew.
Khao Lak Scuba Adventures believes that safety is the most important aspect of diving. With that being said, the first step in this process is providing the novice and inexperienced diver with proper dive education. All courses include the corresponding PADI material and an experienced PADI instructor to answer any questions that you may have and to explain in more depth the diving knowledge.
With Khao Lak Scuba Adventures we guarantee groups of no more than 4 students per instructor. This allows quality dive education throughout any diving course and also provides a safer environment for the student. If you are scheduled for an Open Water Diver course you need to be at the dive centre in the morning to start the course. Any transfer to dive centre to start course, needs to be organized by yourself.

Packing
You do not need much, but do bring:
- personal clothing including a light jacket or sweater
- toiletries
- sun tan lotion, prescription medicines
- logbook, diving certification
- diving and travel insurance details
- cash to pay for extras

Payments
We do accept Visa and Master Card and we do NOT charge any extra fee for online payments or credit card payments. The National Marine Park fee and the transfer fee need to be paid in cash, Thai Baht only!

How to get to Khao Lak
- From Bangkok or any other domestic city with an airport, fly to Phuket Island (Air Asia/Nok Air/ Bangkok Airways or Thai Airways). From Phuket airport to Khao Lak by taxi in only one hour.
- By bus from Bangkok or any other domestic city with an official bus station, take the bus towards Takuapa – Khao Lak. You can get off local bus at the Nang Thong Super Market.
- From Bangkok catch only the official buses at the “Bangkok Southern Bus Terminal” towards the south. ABSTAIN from any bus trip offered at Khao Son Road in - --- - Bangkok heading to Phuket or from some other sales agents trying to sell you bus tickets.
- By train the closest city to Khao Lak is Surathani Town in Surathai Province. Take a bus heading towards Takuapa – Khao Lak from the official bus station. From Koh - Tao or Koh Phangan take the night ferry the day before your scheduled trip departure. Catch a bus in the morning from Chumpon or Surathani to Takuapa – Khao Lak. If you prefer to leave the same day of your liveaboard cruise then leave the islands as early in the morning as possible (Lompraya speed catamaran). Catch a bus in the morning from Chumpon or Surathani to Takuapa – Khao Lak. Please note that we cannot be held liable for any delays that might occur travelling towards Khao Lak. We recommend that you show up at least one day before your scheduled trip departure. If you miss any trip because of delay in your transport to Khao Lak we will not refund any money.

Hotel Booking
If you are planning to stay in Khaolak during December to February (Peak Season), we highly recommend that you pre book your hotel stay in advance. We can help you to find budget (600- Thai Baht), medium (2,000- Thai Baht) and high standard (4,000- Thai Baht) accommodation. Don’t wait until you are in Khao Lak, as your chances of finding something for a good price will diminish.

Bank/ATM’s
There are plenty of banks and cash dispensers in Khao Lak, Khao Lak Scuba Adventures has an ATM at it ́s front door. Please be aware that the banks are closed in the weekends.

Safety
Khao Lak is a very safe place, crime does almost not exist. Don’t be too careless and follow the most common security rules, as you were back in your home country. Stay out of trouble and follow the Thai slogan “If it is illegal in your country it is illegal here”. If you rent a motorbike make sure to wear a helmet! Police will fine you if they set up a police checkpoint. The streets and traffic are not western standard, watch out for sand, animals and other unsuspected event’s and don’t drink and drive!

Health
Khao Lak has plenty of pharmacies and several doctors (small clinics) on duty to cure small injuries or illnesses. 24 hours evacuation by ICU is available; the distance to the closest hospital is 10 km. Phuket town has state of the art international hospitals and decompression chambers. Most all road accidents happen when tourists rent scooters. If you are planning to rent a small motorbike to explore the neighbouring country side. Be advised that it is mandatory by Thai law to wear a helmet for the driver and passenger, and the road rule in your country, may not apply to Thailand.

 

Map of Khao Lak and Bang Niang

 

Our Khaolak Scuba Adventures Dive Centre:

 

Similan and Surin Dive Sites