Scuba diving is a very time-consuming hobby. After spending so much time and resources getting scuba certified, you want to go diving as much as possible. You start planning destinations and vacations around scuba sites. Moreover, scuba diving is an expensive hobby. It typically involves a boat, a boat, a crew, a guide, and lots of scuba equipment. It all adds up to lots of time and money to scuba dive. However, as cliché as it may sound, it is a whole another world under the water. It can be amazingly peaceful and beautiful under the water.
Mr. Selfish and I planned part of Thailand itinerary around the scuba sites in Thailand, in particular Richelieu Rock. Richelieu Rock is usually rated as one of the top diving sites in the world. In truth, Richelieu Rock was the most beautiful place I’ve ever dived. There were tons of schools of fish and the most luxurious purple coral. We even saw the elusive yellow seahorse, the difficult to find sea whip pipefish, and the more common Moray eel.
Unfortunately, we had a nightmare of a time diving at Richelieu Rock. It is apparently an advanced dive site, and Mr. Selfish and I only had 16 dives under our respective belts. Furthermore, on the day that we dove, the water was particularly rough and choppy. Our instructor stated that if they knew that the water was going to be so bad, they probably would’ve cancelled the dive. I swallowed lots of Thai seawater and even lost a fin.
The water was so bad that the speedboat that was supposed to take us back to shore had some kind of accident. Instead, the liveaboard had to take us back to shore, and it was A LOT slower. We didn’t get back to our hotel until about 4 hours later than we should have.
At least, we had a beautiful sunset from the boat, and we made friends with some Americans from San Diego. Once we got back to shore, the dive company gave us some beers to compensate for the lost hours of our lives.
Our other diving experience in Thailand was at the Sattakut Wreck at Koh Tao and the Twins. It was a smooth diving experience, and Mr. Selfish and I did an advanced deep water dive to about 100 feet. However, there wasn’t much to see underwater. The coral was very lackluster compared to Richelieu Rock. We did see a sea snake, a scorpion fish, and another Moray eel though.
On the plus side, the boat ride was much more pleasant, and the water around Koh Tao was serene and beautiful.
My final note on diving in Thailand is that it is very expensive. Mr. Selfish and I have also dived in Mexico, Bali, Vietnam, and the Philippines, and Thailand was, by far, the most expensive. It cost about $150 USD for two dives per person. Whew!