Thailand 2002 (revisited)   March 2002
As you can probably tell from pictures from my first visit to Thailand I liked it a lot. The best diving I have ever seen is the one in Similan so I definitely wanted to go there again. This time I revisited Similan Islands, Phi-Phi Islands and Phuket on a three week trip and once again I stayed a few days on the live aboard diving boat with Scubacat to Similan Islands. On several dives we saw leopard sharks and lots and lots of cute turtles. I also visited Raya Island on a day trip.
The snorkling is great on many other places in this area, not only Similans. If you go snorkling outside Long Beach on Phi-Phi Islands (there's a rock about 100 meters outside the beach) early in the morning you will get there in time for the sharks' breakfast. It's an amazing sight to see sharks on close distance. I had two reef sharks encircle me at a close distance and I kept staring at them while my heart pumped like never before. Eventhough they were not large (about 1-1.5 meters - see the pictures below) you can still see the coldness in their eyes and how great a hunter they would be. Amazing animals!
Phi-Phi however seems to get worse every time you go there. If you are planning to take a trip there first take a look at this image and tell me if you are willing to help ruin this (once paradise) island any further. Phi-Phi is a sad sight these days. At least to me who prefer nature and sunshine over disco lights and bars.
(click on the images to enlarge them)