Register your interest
Dates, prices and updated content for this expedition in 2014 are currently being updated. Please register your interest so that we can send you details when the trip has been finalised.
Overview / Summary
An incredible 4-week voyage around Thailand. Develop and improve your PADI diving skills, dive with whale sharks around Koh Tao and explore magical underwater dive sites in the archipelago of The Similan Islands National Park. There's also time to explore Khao Phanom Bencha National Park, trek the jungle region in Chiang Mai and experience some culture in down-town Bangkok. Plenty to see and plenty to do!
The expedition is 4 weeks in duration but can be extended as required. If you're after more advanced diving skills then we also offer a Divemaster internship, conservation placements as well as underwater videography schooling.
Please check-out the itinerary for day-by-day synopsis of the core package and our bolt-ons are well worth investigating for that extra special diving experience.
We have our 'core package' which should be suitable for most diving abilities. We also offer a range of 'bolt-ons' so that you can make the most of the experience and hone in on areas that interest you most.
Base Price: £TBA
Base Duration: 4 weeks
Suitability: All levels
We offer a great service in Bangkok where customers spend a couple of days upon arrival. This allows our 'gappies' to explore Bangkok, meet other travellers and generally familiarse themselves with their new environment before being transferred to Koh Tao. Whilst in Bangkok there's a trip to Tiger Temple and the floating river market and there's a introductory briefing about lifestyle, getting around, health and safety, do's and don'ts etc.
After an overnight journey and a morning catamaran ride; you'll find yourself on the little island of Koh Tao.It is here that we have our main base for diving activities and courses.
Depending on your current dive level, we offer a range of entry-levelPADI courses for beginners and Open Water Divers whilst divers who are already Advanced Open Water qualified can simply kick-back, relax and enjoy some recreational fun dives. For more information about the dive courses and schedule please download the handbook.
A large part of any trip is dedicated solely to having fun and exploring the marine life around Koh Tao. The dive sites vary in depth from just a few metres down to 40 metres. The water temperature is always warm and visibility varies from around 15 metres to 25 metres on a good day. The marine life is vibrant and you will encounter large schools of Barracuda, Bat Fish, Trevally, Groupers, Angel Fish, Butterfly Fish, Parrot Fish, Anemone and Clown Fish, Wrasse, Trigger Fish, Moray Eels, Hawksbill Turtles and Blue-Spotted Stingrays. If that’s not enough, you may wish to prepare yourself for dives with pelagics (the big open ocean stuff!). Whale Sharks can be seen in season and Grey Reef sharks are also regularly spotted (but don’t worry, none of these sharks like humans!!).
|Dive Activity||Beginner||Open Water||Advanced +|
|EFR and Rescue||1-week bolt-on|
|Videography Workshop||2-week bolt-on|
|Videography Internship||4-week bolt-on|
|Fun Dives||Fun dives for all!|
|Divemaster Internship||4-week internship bolt-on|
If you really want to develop your diving skills then extensions are offered on Koh Tao for EFR/Rescue training, a Divemaster Internship (GoPro) as well as underwater filming! Please see the bolt-ons section for further information. All bolt-ons are fully inclusive.
Krabi / Khao Phanom Bencha National Park
After the first diving stop on Koh Tao the tour heads to Krabi on the Western coast. Just North of the town lies Khao Phanom Bencha National Park. The park is full of scenic waterfalls; including the 11-tiered Huay-To waterfall, Huay Sadeh waterfall and Khlong Haeng waterfall - all simply beautiful. There are also dramatic caves with stalactites and stalagmites, nature reserves with walking trails and some refreshing rock pools and hot springs just nearby the park.
Whilst in the Krabi region there is also time to enjoy the scenic coastline and beaches. There are many things to do here including the 'James Bond Island tour' which includes visiting the locations used during the filming of James Bond - 'The Man with the Golden Gun'.
Similan Island Liveaboard
Listed as one of the the top ten dive sites on planet earth, the Similan Islands quite simply offer the best diving in Thailand. The group of islands is famous for huge rocky drop-offs, long coral reefs and everything in between! They are in open ocean though which is why we always get people qualified to at least Advanced Open Water in Koh Tao first.
Our stay here is actually on a liveaboard boat which will provide unrivaled access to the more remote dive sites surrounding the Similan Islands. Sit back and relax in-between dives and enjoy up to 4 dives per day as we sail around these magnificent dive sites.
The trip ends with a trip to a more remote region of Thailand called Pai, which is just north of Chiang Mai and about 700km north of Bangkok. Here there is trekking, wildlife, stunning landscapes, rainforest and a few exhilerating activities such as bamboo rafting and white water rafting!
Please remember that this is a new itinerary for 2014 and is subject to change.
Arrival Bangkok: Airport pick-up and transfer to hotel in Bangkok (overnight).
Day 2: in Bangkok to recover from jet lag - FREE DAY (overnight)
Day 3: day trip floating market, river Kwai, tiger temple. Depart 8pm to Chumphon and then onto Koh Tao by catamaran.
Day 4: Arrive at 8:30am in Koh Tao. Orientation and welcome briefing. Start DIVING.
Koh Tao Experience - Diving
Days 4 - 11 (7 nights): DIVING around Koh Tao. PADI training as per dive chart with recreational diving in the local area. Option to bolt-on dive courses and internships.
The Phanom Bencha national park
Day 11: Transfer back to mainland. Overnight near The Phanom Bencha national park. Lunch, dinner and day to relax. Overnight outside Phanom Bencha national park.
Day 12: Day trek to The Phanom Bencha national park. Overnight outside Phanom Bencha national park.
Day 13: Visit and climb the nearby Tiger cave temple (1200 steps to the top ….!). Overnight outside Phanom Bencha national park.
Liveaboard - Amazing Diving!
Day 14: Early start and transfer by minibus to Khaolak to join liveaboard. Depart late afternoon on liveaboard. Overnight liveaboard.
Day 15: Similan and Surin island liveaboard. Overnight liveaboard.
Day 16: Similan and Surin island liveaboard. Overnight liveaboard.
Day 17: Similan and Surin island liveaboard. Back to mainland. Overnight liveaboard.
Day 18: Khaolak FREE DAY and OVERNIGHT in hotel.
Bangkok and relaxDay 19: Khaolak - Transfer to Bangkok day. Overnight Bangkok.
Day 20: FREE DAY
Day 20: FREE DAY
Chiang Mai Trekking
Day 22: DAY Bangkok - overnight train to ChiangMai.
Day 23: Chiangmai - You will depart from Chiang Mai at 9AM and drive about 2 hours to the PAI area where you are surrounded by jungle and mountains. The first day is the most physical as you will be trekking to high elevation through the jungle, crossing local streams and stopping at waterfalls. Your first night will be spent in a local Lahu hill tribe village where your tour guide will cook you supper and tell you all about hill tribe life.
Day 24: Chiangmai - After breakfast, more trekking but this time downhill, crossing more rivers, more waterfalls and more jungle. Watch out for the bamboo forests! Your second night will be spent in another Lahu hill tribe village where your guide will cook more food for whilst you drink a cheeky beer and rest those weary legs!
Day 25: After breakfast just a little trekking is in order to get you to the local elephant camp where you will ride elephants for an hour. After the elephants, it's time for an hour of bamboo rafting and then we get the zodiacs out for an hour of white water rafting. Superb! After the days activities you will be taken back to Chiang Mai to arrive around 5PM.
Day 26: Chiangmai to Bangkok by train. Overnight train.
Day 27: BANGKOK. Overnight Bangkok.
Day 28: END / fly home
These are the bolt-ons for this diving expedition. These can be added to the core package when you confirm a place on the trip and are always conducted immediately after your first week on Koh Tao. If you have any questions about these trip extensions please call the office to discuss them in more detail.
Duration: 2 weeks
Intensive 2-week Underwater Videography course giving you the skills you need to film, edit and produce high quality HD videos.Find out more...
Medic and Rescue
Duration: 1 week
Learn about first aid and rescue skills - two really important and beneficial skills you could use throughout your life. These courses are also seen as advanced recreational level courses and prerequisites for professional Divemaster training.Find out more...
Duration: +1 month
Extend your stay and train to become a dive professional. Spend an additional 4 weeks developing your skills to a high level so that you are qualified to start earning money and working as a dive guide / Divemaster. A popular bolt-on. Price includes apartment accommodation, unlimited diving, kit use, internship and all your DM materials!
The standard / base trip is higlighted in green. Components listed below this are optional and can be added-on as desired when booking your trip.
|Thailand Express||£TBA||4 weeks|
|Medic and Rescue Diver||£TBA||1 week|
|Divemaster Internship||£TBA||4 weeks|
|Videography Internship||£TBA||2 weeks|
A few helpful pointers. We also provide a comprehensive 'travel pack' after you book your place which provides some really good advice.
There are daily flights to Bangkok from the UK and many European cities. We recommend arriving the same day the tour starts and departing the same day the tour ends.
Return flights from London Heathrow to Bangkok typically cost from £550 (low season) to £800 (high season). Please call the GYT team on 0844 560 9958 for a quotation.
All travel arrangements are included in the expedition including meet and greet at the airport, rail tickets, boat transfers and tickets, minibuses and any other form of transport to get the group from A-B over the 28 days.
For stays of less than 30 days
If you are going to be in Thailand for less than 30 days (with a return ticket from Thailand to prove this), you can get a 30 day visa on arrival. This is free and does not require any passport photos. You simply fill in the form that is given to you on the plane and you will receive a 30 day stamp in your passport.
For stays of more than 30 days
If you are going to stay longer than 30 days, you must apply for a 60 day Tourist Visa. If you are applying in the UK, the visa can be applied for in-person at the Royal Thai Embassy in London (they do NOT accept mail applications), or by mail at one of the Royal Thai Consulates - Birmingham, Cardiff, Dublin, Glasgow, Hull and Liverpool. If you are applying outside the UK, please go to www.thaiembassy.org for a list of worldwide embassies and consulates.
You will need to complete a PADI medical form prior to departure and you will also need to see your doctor or visit a travel clinic to arrange immunisations.
Housing and Accommodation
We use a variety of hotels, lodges and camps on the trip as well as a liveaboard - so the accommodation varies. Expect to rough it a little whilst trekking and more civilised facilities when in hotels in Bangkok and Koh Tao. When travelling by overnight train we always provide good recliner seat cabins.
Food, Drink and Meals
Again, meal incclusions vary considerably on the trip from full board on the liveaboard to bed and breakfast on Koh Tao. Expect to pay for some meals when you are there. Full details in the handbook or on the itinerary tab.
If you do any PADI courses then all your materials are included and paid for in advance.
If you do any recreational PADI courses then all your fees are included and paid for in advance. Professional level course fees need to be paid for locally direct to PADI Asia.
We recommend $10 per day as a minimum to cover miscellaneous expenses including meals. If you like to drink a lot, party and socialise in the evenings then you will spend a lot more.