Among all these islands, we will have to choose ...
Among all these islands, we will have to choose ...

Preparations but not too much

  Thailand: Islands - February 2009

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation made from a post originally written in French. My apologies for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have been generated during the process. If you are reading French, click on the French flag below to access the original and correct text: 

Are you the kind of person who plans everything before you leave, or who improvises as you go along? I'm more in the second category. In a week, I'll be in Thailand. I haven't booked much, except the essentials: plane tickets, a room in Bangkok so I don't have to struggle when I arrive in the evening, a diving cruise in the Similan.

The rest... we'll see! 😎

Search information on the internet

My only preparations these days have been to browse the web, looking for fresh information and impressions from travelers, on various places that interest me: Koh Yao Noi in the bay of Phang Nga, the beaches a little away from the tourist flow in the south of Phuket (Ao Sane, Nai Harn, Ya Nui, but hush!) and a whole string of islands along the Andaman coast, up to the Malaysian border (Koh Jum, Koh Muk, Koh Libong, Koh Bulon, Koh Lipe).

Among all these islands, we will have to choose ...
Among all these islands, we will have to choose ...

I will not be staying in Krabi or Koh Phi Phi or Koh Lanta, where I have been hanging my flip flops a few times. I do not know yet if I will go very far to the south. My initial project was to target Koh Lipe ... But I may change my mind along the way.

For island to island connections in the Andaman Sea (ferries and speed-boats), I found several interesting sites. It gives you an idea of the existing routes and fares:
"Andaman Island Hopping
"Tiger Line Travel
"Satun Pakbara Speed Boat Club
"Koh Lipe Thailand
"Koh Yao Travel

Diving gear

My most serious preparations were to invest, finally, in a thicker dive suit (there were specials on the 5mm to RenSports!). It will advantageously replace my discarded 3mm (on the left on the picture), even if the water is hot at the moment in Thailand (it should easily oscillate between 27-30°C).

So I should not go out blue and chattering like this summer in Bali, on the side of Nusa Lembongan.

The bottom of my old combi 3mm left, the 5mm right.
The bottom of my old combi 3mm left, the 5mm right.

I've also put money into a new diving computer: the Pucks de Mares. A simple computer, one of the cheapest on the market, but which does its job very well, according to the opinions found on the web. In any case, this model is more than enough for the "leisure" diver that I am.

The Puck is more complete than my old Aladin Pro (Uwatec), since it can handle the air AND the nitrox (well yes ... I had it that well, since there is the free nitrox on the boat that I I chose for the Similan cruise). It gives the temperature and you can change the battery yourself, which is not the case of the Aladdin.

Aladin Pro (Uwatec) vs Puck (Mares).
Aladin Pro (Uwatec) vs Puck (Mares).

UPDATE → In 2015, I changed my wetsuit again and in October 2016, I unfortunately "left" at the bottom of the Red Sea, my faithful little Puck, who always worked very well... So I changed my computer again! To see all the parts of my diving equipment, visit the page Equipment.

Travel Guides

I took advantage of these "preparations" to gather all the travel guides on Thailand that I have kept over the years. I found seven, and I do not count the two chapters of the last Lonely Planet, downloaded from Pick & Mix Chapters.

I see that in 2004 I was still embarking hitchhiker

My travel guides about Thailand.
My travel guides about Thailand.

And that's when I realized I didn't even have a map of Thailand... to die for. Zoo! To Ariane, the travel find one. The map's on the wall and it's already taking me on a trip!

Finally, final and very serious preparations: I have restocked my swimsuits. In-dis-pen-sa-ble!!!! I confess: I bought three at once. Since I'm in the water all the time, I like to change.

Now I think I'm all set! 😀

In short, the pleasure of projecting myself into the coming journey is, in my eyes, more important than planning a roadmap ... If you read English, go take a look at How to plan a trip without making any plans, on Vagabondish. I find myself well in this article.


  Thailand: Islands - February 2009