thailand diving

Informations Générales

Phuket is the largest island in Thailand. With 540 km ², it is about the same size as Singapore. Located just over an hour's flight from Bangkok or Singapore, and through regular flights connecting most major Asian airports, Phuket is the perfect place for an escape break or a relaxing holiday.

The office opening hours are generally 9am to 17h from Monday to Friday, and 9am-12pm on Saturday, with the exception of Holidays during which times vary widely. Banks are open on Monday to Friday from 9:30 to 15:30. ATMs currency exchange are available almost everywhere, normally open 12 hours a day, 7 days 7. The shops and stores are open from 11am to 10 or 22 or 23h every day.

The currency is the Thai Baht. Currently (2002), about 43 Baht per U.S. $ 1 and 38 Baht for 1 €. Use our Quick Converter to check or find value in your currency.

  There are also ATMs everywhere, accepting major credit cards such as Visa or MasterCard.

Photo and Camera Equipment: We found almost everywhere in Thailand and Phuket brands and types of films and most popular films. Development hour service is widespread. Disposable cameras are also available.

The electricity is 220 volts Alternating Current 50 cycles. Several types of plugs and sockets are in use, but the two-pin flat (U.S. type) or round (European style) are universal. However, it is very easy to find adapters if needed.

Geography

Located at 8 ° latitude of the equator, and well below the latitudes where tropical storms occur, the island of Phuket enjoys a mild tropical climate tempered by cool breezes from the north-east from November to March and by fresh sea breezes during the summer months. The time difference is + 7 hours (in advance) on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), 1 hour less than in Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia.

  Compared to France, so there are 6 hours difference in winter, 5 in summer (more). Losqu'il is Midi in Paris, he is 18h in Phuket.

Phuket is the natural starting point to explore the Andaman Sea.

The Andaman Sea, separated from the Bay of Bengal by the channel formed by the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, part of the Indian Ocean. West coast of Thailand on the Andaman Sea, extends over 870 km from the Surin Islands on the Burmese border in the north to Tarutao National Park in the Malaysian border in the south. Hundreds of islands are accessible from Phuket to small boats, many are those who are uninhabited, mostly forested and bordered by beautiful coral reefs. Quite often you will not even find a footprint on their beaches.

In the Andaman Sea, two kinds of distinct islands coexist, both as striking beauty. Some, succession of granitic rocks of low altitude, including the Surin and Similan Islands stand in a line almost parallel to face those that impress with their spectacular karst cliffs. Groups of islands such as Koh Phi Phi were carved by the combined action of natural forces in a limestone deposited mass there are 350 to 450 million years.

James Bond IslandPhuket island, granite itself for the most part, consists of covered by forest and a multitude of beaches of white sand, located mainly on the west coast hills. Deforestation was important, first because of the impressive setting of rubber plantations (for the exploitation of rubber) and due to the strong development of tourism. It absolutely must not miss visiting one of the last remaining virgin forests, Khao Phra Thaeo Park in the northeast of the island.

The provinces of Phang Nga and Krabi, both their mainland and the islands that compose them, offer the same geographical landscapes ("karst") extraordinary Phi Phi Islands.

The Khao Sok National Park, north of Phuket on the continent is covered with large areas of tropical forest with a great diversity of plant and animal species. Of ecotourism excursions are organized in recent years, offering the opportunity of a return to nature. Most tours depart in small groups to minimize the impact on the environment.

Population

According to the last official census, 231,206 people live on the island of Phuket. This figure takes into account only those registered as resident in Phuket, but there is a large workforce more or less permanently from other Provines Thailand, and up to 35,000 visitors each arrival . This is why it is likely that the figures for the population of Phuket are higher.

  Phuket Town, the capital, has more than 60,000 inhabitants.

Patong Beach, the most developed seaside resort on the west coast, has quickly evolved from a small fishing village to a prosperous city in the space of 15 years.

Ethnic composition

  •       Thais
  •      Chinese
  •      Muslims (original Malay)
  •      Chao Le (sea gypsies)
  •      European
  •      Indians and Arabs

Industry

* Tourism

Over the past decade, the main income comes from tourism area which continues to grow. One of the key issues is how to engage the benefits of tourism while preserving the attractions that have attracted visitors from the beginning.

Phuket now attracts more than 3 million visitors each year, and this number is increasing. The island has become a very popular holiday destination for both tourists from Asia as in Western countries.

* Other industry

Rubber. Introduced in Malaysia in 1903, plantations in orderly rows of rubber (rubber trees) came to draw many local landscapes. They always play an important role, but the growth of real estate investment and tourism boom announce the initiation of the use of land for other purposes.

Etain. This ore was extracted from the ground in Phuket since time immemorial, and demand fell. Dredging of tin in coastal waters also declined in recent years, regulation has also to protect coral reefs and beaches of the western coast. Meanwhile, mining on the island comencé processing. The ugly scars they had left have become complex beautiful hotel, marinas for yachts, golf courses and other sports facilities like bungee jumping.

Coconut, pineapple, banana, cashew, etc.. Many crop varieties still contribute significantly to the economy of Phuket, but more and more farmland - including rice - are in the process of covering buildings, roads and other infrastructure.

Fishing. It is still an important part of people's lives on the coast, although the small-scale fishing is undermined by trawling, often illegally exercised. As the major fisheries are threatened by modern sales system lean, overfishing has caused the removal of fish stocks in trade.

Environment

The waters around Phuket are full of spectacular underwater scenery, stunning coral reefs are among the most beautiful in the world. It therefore follows that diving has become one of the major activities of the entertainment industry in Phuket.

These coral reefs are home to an incredible variety of reef fish. In this extraordinary wildlife add an unknown number of species of soft corals in addition to tens of thousands of other marine organisms such as crustaceans, worms and echinoderms (sea urchins, starfish ..), each fulfilling its own role in maintaining the coral reef ecosystem. (See our section Diving).

These waters are visited by over 850 species of pelagic (open sea), they live in deep or surface, including some high-value. The Andaman Sea is on the migratory routes of common giants like blue marlin, and other sought as fishing trophies such as black marlin (relatively rare), the sailfish (Istiophorus platypterus), barracuda and a variety of sharks, particularly tigers and makos (Pacific blue sharks). (See our Fishing pages).

Five species of sea turtles nest on the islands of Thailand waters - the so-called soft-shell leather, green turtle, the hawksbill, the beaked hawk and ridley. All are endangered and are more rare each year. Outside the 30 varieties of sea snakes recorded the only other marine reptile of the region is the crocodile brackish water species that inhabits almost extinct mangrove swamps and river estuaries along the southern peninsula.

Mammals are also present in the waters of Thailand, at least two species of common dolphins: the Indian porpoise and dolphin snout. Whales are also passed to the occasion. The dugong or "sea cow", became very rare and was declared protected by the Ministry of Fisheries Thai species.