2001 Thailand Phuket

From December 11, 2001 - January 5, 2002 we were in Thailand again. This time we decided to choose live aboard trips,  a 3 day trip on board the “MS Mermaid 2” to Hin Daeng / Hin Muang and a one week trip on board the “MS Marco Polo” to Similan Islands and Richelieu Rock in the Andaman Sea. After an 11 hours flight from Frankfurt we  arrived at Bangkok. The climate in December was absolutely recommendable - not too hot and not too humid. The temperature ranged from 27C (80F) in the night up to 32C (90F) at noon. After this short stopover in  Bangkok we flew to Phuket where we started our first live aboard safari. The 3-day trip brought us to the top dive sites Hin Daeng and Hin Muang, 2 outer reefs 5 hrs. south of Phuket. There we had the impressive  opportunity to meet Manta Rays at 3 following dives. These gentle giants came very close to our group, sometimes up to 3 m distance. So I had a lot of options to make some very spectacular recordings with my video  camera. On the way back we had some dives around the Phee-Phee Islands which were not comparable to the first ones. Before we started our second dive safari we discovered the countryside of Phuket. We were amazed  about the natural landscape away from the overcrowded touristic paths. Our next trip brought us to another famous dive spots of the Andaman Sea. This one week live aboard surpassed our first trip. A much more  beautiful underwater scenery with untouched hard and soft corals and a fantastic variety of marine life motivated us to join 3 to 4 dives a day. But the absolute highlight on that trip we had at Richelieu Rock. 2  times we met a Whale Shark moving around this coral rock. With about 6 m (18 feet) length he wasn’t fully grown. Adult animals can be grow up to 14 m (42 feet)! On the way back we met further attractions like  Leopard Sharks, Sea Turtles and an Octopus. The water temperature was around 29C (84F) and offered a good basis for long dives.

Hotel in Bangkok“Grand China Princess”

View from the hotel’s sun terrace at 25th floor

Bangkok downtown

Old building of famous “Oriental Hotel”

Market in China Town

Oops - this “lady” is a man!

Thai girl in party mood

Our hotel in Phuket “Palm Garden Resort”

Wreck of a fishing boat

Lionfish

Manta rays...

...were diving with us...

...at all scuba dives of the...

...outer reefs Hin Daeng und Hin Muang

Not all of Phuket’s beaches are overcrowded

Thanks tropical climate everything...

...is growing without additional support

Thailand’s rubber plantations plays an...

...important role in the export market

Our 2nd dive safari we started on
board of
“Marco Polo”

Similan Islands are norht-west
from Phuket at the Andaman Sea

Detailed briefing from dive guide Gerd

Seastar at a coral rock

Christmas Tree Worms

Lionfish baby

Lionfish

Sea turtle at lunch...

...curious looking into my camera

Leopard Sharks are night hunters and...

...rare to meet swimming...

...at daytime

Rare type of Tapestry Shrimp

Sea snakes are very poisonous

This jellyfish...

...with its glowing organics...

...is very strange

Horst discovered...

...an octopus

It’s a great experience...

...to meet the biggest fish of the world,...

...the Whale Shark.

Great luck for us...

...that it turns...

...for a second round...

...at the Richelieu Rock

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