Thailand, a country that will embrace you with smiles from the time you arrive at the Suvarnabhumi International airport till the time you depart Thailand on Thai airlines. New visitors often assume that the Thais are very friendly and happy people, but this is a bit of an oversimplification. A Thai’s smile can say many things such as happiness, embarrassment, fear, tension, resignation, remorse, and so on. But this diver’s smile was all about knowing that the next 7 days was all about diving off the coast of Thailand.
I had flown into Bangkok, Thailand early AM in early August. Thailand is situated in South-East Asia, covering an area of nearly 513,115 square kilometers. It is roughly the size of France. It shares land borders with Myanmar (Burma) in the north and west, the Andaman Sea in the west, Laos in the north and north-east, Cambodia and the Gulf of Thailand in the east, and Malaysia in the south.
A couple hours later I was flying to Phuket. Phuket, formerly known as Thalang, is one of the southern provinces of Thailand. Phuket, which is approximately the size of Singapore, is Thailand’s largest island. The island is connected to mainland Thailand by two bridges. It is situated off the west coast of Thailand in the Andaman Sea.
By the time I arrived in my swank 4 star hotel room in Patong overlooking the Patong bay I was ready for a good long night sleep. The next day I walked down to the town and caught up on computer sipping some serious Starbucks coffee. The whole day flew by and before I knew it I was meeting up with my new dive partners on the Mermaid 2 liveaboard. This was my second time I have been on a liveaboard and I will say I totally was hooked on this diving lifestyle. The 7 days of diving off off of Thailand’s coast in the Andaman Sea was all about enjoying diving, learning more about diving, and learning that I had so much more to learn about underwater photography. I met some great folks on the Mermaid 2 and sure appreciate Chris as well as Virginia, two great dive guides and scuba pros.
One of the coolest things I ever witnessed up close in the water was a whale shark. It was so cool to be able to get underwater pictures of this amazing slow moving filter feeding shark, the largest extant fish species. One day I will get back to Thailand. Until then, I am headed off to more diving adventures.
AKA: Doug Gulleson
Check the thumbnails out!