Posts Tagged ‘Patong’

Geography of Phuket

Posted on September 26th, 2013 by admin-scubacat-dw  |  Comments Off on Geography of Phuket

Phuket is one of Thailand many islands situated on the southwest coast of it. It is 860 km south of Bangkok. It is located in the Andaman Sea which is a part of the Indian Ocean. It’s the biggest island in Thailand and it is considered as a province, the island is 49 Km long and 21 Km wide, the total area of it is 570 Km2. All around it there are so many islands which the most famous is Koh Phi Phi.

map phuket
It’s connected with the mainland of Thailand with Sarasin Bridge which crosses the 600 meters of water which makes Phuket an island. Phuket is composed of granite and sedimentary rock and there are so many hills covering the landscape, the most famous is the one with Big Buddha on the top, from there we can have a view of all over the island.

Things to do in Phuket
The island has about 70% coverage by forest which is generally located on the west coast.


sarison bridge
The western coast also has several sandy beaches, while on the east coast beaches are more often more muddy and smaller. However, east coast is a considerate “green” with a lot of mangrove forest.
Near the southernmost point is Laem Promthep (Brahma’s Cape), which is a popular sunset view point.

Patong Beach

One of the most popular tourist areas on Phuket is Patong Beach on the central western coast due to easy accessibility to its wide and long beach. Most of Phuket’s nightlife and cheap shopping are located in Patong and the area has become increasingly developed.

patong beach

On December 26 2004, the tsunami scrapped one of the most famous beaches of Phuket. However, thanks to a burst of energy on the part of the population, has been rebuilt and cleaned at a record pace. Indeed, there is few or no trace of this tragic episode. Patong is considered the most dynamic range for outings and shopping sprees, especially with the big Jungceylon mall or places like the Hard Rock cafe and Tiger Bar.
Cultural pluralism is everywhere in the city, so you can drink and eat Italian or sauerkraut in some parts of the city. Most shops are open through the day and late into the night. All conditions are met in the city so that the services offered to tourists will be open 24 hours.
This bay 4km crescent-shaped is covered with fine white sand and is suitable for the practice of all water sports

view point patong


Kata beach
Space, water sports available, local restaurants on the beach and a village atmosphere characterize Kata. Undoubtedly intended to relax rather than an active and sporty holiday, this wide range curve is currently divided into 2 bays, Kata Yai and Kata Noi, seperated by a rocky headland, Kata Yai is a range of two kilometers of white sand lined with trees and a few restaurants, while Kata Noi, the smaller beach, offers seclusion and tranquility.
Unlike Patong, Kata development was done slowly and with emphasis, with small guesthouses, some resorts, local restaurants and small shops plus some original attractions such as Dinopark Minigolf.
Club Med, established more than 15 years, is located in the center of the main beach and effectively preclude an ugly swing. The city center is located just off the beach with shops and events around the Kata Corner at the north end. The southern tip is occupied by restaurants on the beach and hotels.
There is a bus service between Kata and Phuket Town in the day. It is an ideal beach for family holidays and snorkeling practice in high season.

karon beach

Karon Beach

Just 10 minutes south of Patong Beach is a long stretch of white sand, Karon. The second largest beach in Phuket is quiet, with many very good local restaurants and a wide range of accommodation, from family pension to resorts offering various sports and leisure activities.
The nightlife is not as varied or colorful than Patong. At Karon, people come to enjoy a good meal, drink on the terrace with friends or daydreaming while watching life unfold before their eyes. And if you fancy a change of scenery, it’s easy. Kata village is easily accessible on foot, and Patong is not far by car for a lively evening.
The beach is wide, space is not lacking and it is rarely crowded. Refreshments, fruit, sarongs, all this is offered by street vendors and local restaurants are located on the beach. So needless to move, unless it be to rent a jet ski or go snorkeling to explore the marine life of the southern end, where a coral reef stretching toward Kata and to a small island off (Boo island.)
Sand is a unique phenomenon in Karon – as you walk on the white sand, you will hear squeaking! Nobody seems to know why. From November to April, Karon offers perfect conditions, but from May to October, bathing is sometimes dangerous due to currents, so be sure to watch the flags.


Kamala beach
During the past years, Kamala Beach has changed dramatically from the small fishing village with buffalo trotting along the deserted beach in a small town lively and active. Many hotels have opened here and there, from the most luxurious to the cheapest, but all offer a great quality / price and excellent service, typical of Thailand and Asia report.
To get to Kamala, a distance of fifteen minutes drive north of Patong on a beautiful renovated road you can admire the stunning views of Kamala Bay with its turquoise waters and sandy white beach.
Kamala is divided into two bays. The main beach is a crescent with 3 km of pines on its first half and coconut or palm sugar on the other. A little further south, the second track is smaller and more isolated and home to the Terrace Resort Kamala Beach.
There are two routes to reach the village: “Kamala Road” wide and busy road passing through the outer and lined with small shops, grocery stores and gas stations, it leads to the famous Fantasea Park and continues to Laem Sing and Surin Beach
The second, “Kamala Street” is narrower and quieter. It crosses a small bridge near a newly built Thai Temple, through the school of Kamala along the bay and enters the heart of Kamala. Surrounded by many small and large restaurants and bars, it is nice for a stroll in the evening because of low traffic (unlike Patong Beach). Grocery stores, tailors, souvenir shops, diving centers and travel agencies offer their services throughout the day and are often open until late at night.
The beach is wide and sandy, with tropical blue water like you see on postcards. Chairs with umbrellas are available everywhere at low prices. You will not really bother by the hawkers here who know how to be discreet and do not insist if they refuse. However, if you’re tempted, do not forget to haggle tight!

kamala beach


Phuket Town
The city of Phuket, Thailand, was founded a little over a century by Chinese traders and Malays came to exploit the tin mines around the port of Phuket close being more adapted to receive larger vessels than the traditional port city of Thalang. Despite the difficulties inherent in growing a thriving city, and despite the massive fire that destroyed much of the city, Phuket town grew and prospered to become the commercial and social center and political of the island.
The early 20th century was a period of positive growth for Phuket. The exploitation of tin mines prospered, and caring and very competent governor Rasada Korsimbi contributed to the diversification of the economy of the island. Being the capital city of Phuket its modern expansion grew quickly; its streets mark out significant buildings and boats around the world did stop in its busy port.
Today, the main attractions of Phuket Town are the old Sino-Portuguese buildings, Chinese and Thai temples of refined architecture and popular markets. Most buildings downtown date back about a hundred years ago, during the first period of prosperity for the operation of tin. Their architecture, the so-called Sino-Portuguese, denotes the mixture of Chinese and Western influences. This style is also common to all mining in the Malay Peninsula coastal regions. These characteristics constructions are longer than wide, and the entrance is decorated with finely crafted fantasy lattice. You’ll see some lovely examples Dibuk Road, and if you walk up, you will pass the most important of them: The Town (Phuket’s Town Hall), the Provincial Court (Provincial Court), and the Nakorn Luang Bank. But the most representative of the architecture of the early century public building in Phuket is the Governor’s House (Government House).
These past few years, Phuket has grown considerably, but has managed to retain its customs and origin from its multi-ethnic roots traditions. The best way to enjoy an overview of the city of Phuket is to walk up to the hill of Rang Hill, just north of the city.

phuket town


Nai Yang Beach
This place is known for its impressive forest of tall pines. Hawkers of fruits and food settled around the park, doing good business, especially on weekends. As everywhere in the south of Thailand, if you find a beach frequented by Thais, you will also find many stalls where you can taste all kinds of grilled seafood and other good things. Nai Yang Beach is no exception. At low tide, if you swim you will find nearby a large coral reef that is home to many marine species. Here, shells sometimes back to shore, especially after a monsoon storm. Nai Yang Beach gives a very different impression of the southern beaches. The Pearl Village Beach Hotel in front of the beach usually hosts an elephant, giving you the opportunity of a little excursion on his back in the sea with a few sessions of watering for a few baht. Nai Yang is also the last step safari beaches of the north coast.

nai yang beach

Nai Yang National Park
Located at the north end of the island, there are two beaches, Nai Yang and Mai Khao beach, and covers no less than 10 miles (16 km) of white sand. From above, at low tide, the sea can seem muddy compared to the transparency of the beaches further south, it is partly for this reason that these beaches are less popular with tourists and are less developed. Another reason is the shore that falls steeply on several levels, creating unpredictable and dangerous ocean currents during the monsoon season. This makes it an ideal place for giant sea turtles (Giant Ridley Sea Turtle), which can weigh up to 850 kg (1874 lb) and are shy creatures, so preferring to have a beach to themselves. Each year, between November and February, these lumbering giants haul out onto the beach at night to lay their eggs, digging holes with their flippers to bury. They can lay up to 200 eggs. This instinctive behavior is older than 90 million years. Unfortunately, the number of sea turtles by making an annual appearance continues to decline. To ensure re-population, awareness programs have been implemented for the people, and young turtles born in captivity are released. The turtles usually lay very late at night, but maybe you’ll get to witness the miracle of nature. Then be very discreet and try not to disturb them. The authorities are closely monitoring the eggs, moving many of them in areas of special hatch.


Rawai Beach
This narrow and picturesque bay is a favorite among Thais for picnics. They will gather around the stalls of seafood in the shade of trees. On the other side of the road, there are many Thais and Europeans restaurants where many residents like to spend their evenings. The beach is not great but the water is shallow and safe for children, sheltered from the wind. Many longtail boats and speed boats (outboard) are anchored and can be hired for trips to neighboring islands such as Coral Island which is 15 minutes by speedboat. Not far away on the road back to Phuket, the Museum of shellfish (Seashell Museum) may be of interest to collectors. Rawai is one of the few places where you can buy shells.

rawai beach

Chalong Bay
Quiet and serene, this bay offers all kinds of boats (sailboats, yachts and cruise ships) shelter against strong winds. It is also the starting point for excursions to the famous islands such as Phi Phi, Coral Island, March Thon Island, Racha Islands and to dive sites Koh Doc Mai and Shark Point. The bay teems with life at the first light of day until 9, when the boats leave for the day’s destination. Then again bustle back cruises and excursions between 16 h 30 and 17 h 30. At night, the restaurants of the pier attract busloads of tourists arriving after admiring the sunset from Promthep Cape.

chalong pier

Phromothep Cape
‘Prom’ is the Thai name referring to the Hindu god Brahma “signifying purity and «Thep»is the Thai word for God. Promthep is a headland that plunges into the sea, forming the southern tip of Phuket Island. It is traditionally the first point on the coast that see the sea approaching the island.
No trip to Phuket is complete without taking a few photos of this magnificent panorama. The best time to visit is the sunset over the Andaman Sea. But do not miss the sunrise if it is possible, because many people find it even more spectacular and the crowd is less dense. The view is almost irresistible for a photographer, especially when the bay reflects the colors of coral reefs, changing shades of the waves crashing on the boulders.

Prom Thep Cape

Prom Thep Cape

Why visit Phuket in the green season?

Posted on August 2nd, 2013 by admin-scubacat-dw  |  Comments Off on Why visit Phuket in the green season?

In Phuket, the weather doesn’t have the same four seasons as other parts of the world like in Europe. Don’t be afraid of the weather in low season. In July, you can wear polo shirts and shorts every day. The temperature doesn’t drop below 28°C.

There are a lot of reasons why people choose to take a vacation in Phuket.
Mostly people come to Phuket for the sea and the beaches, but there are so many more reasons, such as scuba diving, culture, great and cheap food or for the nightlife.

During the high season can be when you get the best weather, this is approximately between November and May. It is also the time when the west facing beaches in Phuket are sheltered and calm. That’s why this is the period when most of tourists come.

So, why choose the low season, here are the main reasons:

Low season is the period from June to October. Actually, it is in July we entered in the South West Monsoon season. But low season is a great time to visit Phuket. You will get sun most of the time, so many days are hot and if it does start to rain you just have to go as shelter for as long as the rain lasts. The rain that does fall mostly comes at night and often passes quickly.



Monsoon, makes people forget about beachfront vacations. But, In June,July and August for example there are not so many days of rain. During the monsoon season Phuket turns lush and green; it can be the coolest period in the year, quieter and most relaxing of all as there are few tourist in the resorts and service is at a high standard.

You can do anything in low season that you can in high season, but there are advantages to this time of year.
Hotel rates are slashed and you can generally get lower prices from tour operators, vehicle rentals, boat trips …. The months June, July and August are still a popular time to visit as people take advantage of the low season prices.
Big resorts drop prices dramatically, and you can found cheap guesthouse rooms with all necessary comfort for a handful of bhat.

Furthermore, this period is called the “green season” because with the rain there are so many tropical plants that cover Phuket. And with the fewer tourists in this season you have more space to move and to enjoy beaches and islands. Indeed, you will find more room next to the sea, less divers in the water and more space in the shops and restaurants.



Don’t hesitate to come in low season, you will find the same charm and the same beauty that Phuket and surrounding area has, but for a lower price and few people.

During the Green season we are still offering a full range of daytrips on board MV Scuba Fun, and also offer overnight trips to Phi Phi on our liveaboard MV Scuba Adventure. It is still possible to learn to dive or take continuing education programs with us throughout the year.


2013 Green Season Offers

Posted on May 15th, 2013 by admin-scubacat-dw  |  Comments Off on 2013 Green Season Offers

Book now for high season 2013/2014 pay in full and receive 10% discount, this includes courses, Scuba Adventure Liveaboard and Scuba Fun daytrips.



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Be prepared for Sonkram

Posted on April 12th, 2013 by admin-scubacat-dw  |  Comments Off on Be prepared for Sonkram

Of all the feasts and festivals in Thailand, which are many, the Songkran Festival is the most striking, and it is celebrated not only in this country but also in Burma, Cambodia and the Lao State.
Songkran has traditionally been celebrated as the New Year for many centuries, and is believed to have been adapted from an Indian festival. It is now observed nationwide, even in the far south. However, the most famous Songkran celebrations are still in the northern city of Chiang Mai, where it continues for six days and even longer. In Phuket the main day is the 13th of April, with some starting a day early or carrying on the next day.
The date of the festival was originally set by astrological calculation, but now fixed to the 13th of April which is in the hottest time of the year in Thailand, at the end of the dry season.

Songkran is a Buddhist festival and many people go to a wat (Buddhist monastery) to pray and give food to monks. They may also cleanse Buddha images from household shrines as well as Buddha images at monasteries by gently pouring water mixed with a Thai fragrance over them. It is believed that doing this will bring good luck and prosperity for the New Year. In many cities, such as Chiang Mai, the Buddha images from all of the city’s important monasteries are paraded through the streets so that people can toss water at them, ritually ‘bathing’ the images, as they pass by on ornately decorated floats.

But the most obvious celebration of Songkran is the throwing of water. Thais roam the streets with containers of water or water guns (sometimes mixed with mentholated talc), or post themselves at the side of roads with a garden hose and drench each other and passers-by. This, however, was not always the main activity of this festival. Songkran was traditionally a time to visit and pay respects to elders, including family members, friends, neighbours, and monks. The songkran festival is counted as a new life. The throwing of water originated as a way to pay respect to people, by capturing the water after it had been poured over the Buddha’s for cleansing and then using this “blessed” water to give good fortune to elders and family by gently pouring it on the shoulder.

Among young people the holiday evolved to include dousing strangers with water to relieve the heat, since April is the hottest month in Thailand (temperatures can rise to over 100°F or 40°C on some days). This has further evolved into water fights and splashing water over people riding in vehicles.
In recent years there have been calls to moderate the festival to lessen the many alcohol-related road accidents as well as injuries attributed to extreme behaviour such as water being thrown in the faces of traveling motorcyclists.

Songkran is also celebrated in many places with a pageant in which young women demonstrate their beauty and unique talents, as judged by the audience. The level of financial support usually determines the winner, since, to show your support you must purchase necklaces, which you place on your chosen girl.
In Phuket Songkran starts off innocuously enough but by midday on April 13 streets are lined with pickup trucks with their beds loaded with ice-cold water which is thrown at any passer by. It can be a chaotic scene.

Small children and adults alike delight in using water guns and spraying anyone who comes in their path – no one is safe. It is best to leave leave your cameras and anything likely to suffer water damage behind in your hotel room, because of all the water flying around.

Exhausting rescue course

Posted on December 29th, 2012 by admin-scubacat-dw  |  Comments Off on Exhausting rescue course

Rescue Diver Course

I was fortunate enough to have completed the Rescue Diver Course with ScubaCat Diving over the last 5 days with 3 other trainees – Noel, Josh and Kasper. Patrick and Sean were our brilliant instructors for the course.

Day 1 – Theory Lesson

We spent the whole of the Day 1 in the classroom learning about Emergency First Response (a pre-requisite for the actual Rescue Diver Course).

Sitting through hours of dry, boring videos is never an easy task – I was struggling to keep myself awake at times. However, the lively discussions that we had with regards to the subject as well as the mock scenarios we were given to remedy made the day so much more bearable. It also helped that our instructors shared many of their real-life experiences, making the knowledge fed to us a lot more relevant and memorable.

Day 2 – Pool Session


Day 2 was our first taste of the Rescue Diver Course. In the training pool, we learnt how to deal with, and pretend to be, a panicked, tired or unresponsive divers on the surface and in the water. Despite the training being serious and extremely draining, there was never a shortage of laughter throughout the day. Of course, Sean, being our instructor was the one who always had the last laugh, and an extremely sinister one in fact – in Patrick’s words “a bit of a mix between that of a Dracula and the Devil”. Midway through our training we even got to meet Sean’s hairy ‘son’ (Jasmine, I think he was called)! Towards the end of the day it started to drizzle. A sign of things to come the next day.

Day 3 – Practice Exercises @ Paradise Beach

The day began beautifully. The air was nice and warm. It was also the first time we got to see the Sun in days. We were on MV Scuba Sport in less than 30min after setting off from ScubaCat’s back office.


The objective for the day was simple; we were going to do what we did the previous day in the pool, except this time we would be subjected to the sea condition. We didn’t think much of it since the sea conditions seemed rather favorable that morning. Our instructors, of course, had very different ideas. Sean and Patrick casually mentioned that it would be a lot more beneficial to us trainees if the sea was choppier and winds were stronger. They then proceeded to summon a thunderstorm (which came within 5 minutes) with their secret mutant powers. Sean would later pretend that he had no hand in the sudden change of weather by humming to ABBA’s Mamma Mia!


As rescue diver wannabes, we were all getting more and more comfortable with the drills and routines we were supposed to do. Pretending as panicked or unresponsive divers, we were all getting more and more comfortable with having seawater go up our nostrils and into our eyes.

Day 4 – Practice Scenarios @ Rachai Yai

The 2nd day out at sea started early at 7.00am. We headed to Chalong Bay where MV Scuba Fun was already waiting for us. It was Christmas Day so there were no surprises when we found Santa Hats on board. The videographer Johnny B. was a strong advocate of them hats and spent a good 15mins trying to convince others on board to put them on as he did. The journey to Rachai Yai wasn’t the most comfortable one as the ship took a good beating from the angry sea. However, once we got into Bungalow Bay of Rachai Yai, everything was nice and calm again.


Today was the day we became extremely proficient in getting into our diving gear and jumping into the water. I think we may have gone in and out of the water no less than 15 times. Working together, we found out how much easier things could be if we established good communication during our rescues.

The highlight of the day came when we had a real search to carry out – fortunately, not for a real case of a missing diver – after it was discovered that one of the customer’s fin was knocked into the sea just as the boat was moving to another dive site. Eventually, we managed to recover it rather quickly.

Day 5 – Knowledge Review and Theory Examination


After 4 tiring days, we concluded the course with Patrick going through our knowledge reviews and then sitting for our theory examination, which all of us aced. We were now newly certified Rescue Divers! A bittersweet moment for me since although the course being absolutely exhausting, it was also extremely fun and insightful!