Entry or visa regulations for Thailand
You need a passport or provisional passport that is valid for at least 6 months. The same applies to children. Furthermore you need a valid return ticket out of Thailand.
For stays in Thailand of up to 30 days a Entry PErmit is issued on arrival for most nationals when you enter by plane. When you enter the country by land you are granted a 15 day Entry Permit only. If you wish to stay for more than 30 days you can apply for a Tourist Visa to Thailand at a Thai Embassy or Consulate prior to arrival in Thailand. A tourist visa allows you to stay 60 days in Thailand with possibility of a 30 days extension at any Thai Immigration Office. Double entry visas are available in some places but not all and you normally get better visas at the consulates than at the embassy itself.
Non-immigrant visas like Education Visa, Retirement and Business Visas take more paperwork and check with you nearest Thai Embassy or Consulate for further information. Unfortunately these rules change constantly.
All further regulations can be found on the homepage of the foreign and commonwealth office of the UK (United Kingdom).
When should you travel to Khao Lak?
Thailand’s climate is tropical and usually temperatures average between 30 and 35 degrees Celsius with very high humidity. October to May is the high season in Thailand and this is when the weather is the best with hardly any rain and the wind blowing from the East. Khao Lak, Phuket, Similan and Surin National Marine Parks are all located on the West Coast of Thailand and have the best weather in this period with calm seas and lots of sun. Similan and Surin National Marine Parks are ONLY OPEN in this season. So if you want to go scuba diving or snorkeling on the best dive sites in Thailand you have to plan your trip in this season. From May to October, Thailand has its green season, during which torrential rainfall can occur regionally. For all who travel during this season it is recommended to inquire about the current situation with tour operators or hotels and attentively follow local weather reports. Eden Divers can help you with updates on this information prior to your scuba diving or snorkeling holiday in Thailand. Best weather forecasts for Thailand are available at WindGuru. (Change “spot” for other areas of Thailand). The forecasts are always worst case scenarios as if the weather front would blow straight at your chosen spot – so only trust 48 hours.
Thailand’s population is approximately 60 million people where 10 million of them live in Bangkok. Thailand is a constitutional monarchy where His Majesty The King holds a central position as both head of the state and supreme guardian of religion. Thailand is strongly affected by Buddhism. To avoid offending the Thai religion you should be mindful of appropriate clothing when entering temples or other sacred places and public offices.
It is important to be mindful of regulations on the import and export of cash and goods. Please use our link to the homepage of the foreign and commonwealth office of the UK for recent updated rules.
Which vaccinations are necessary?
An up-to-date vaccination against Yellow Fever is obligatory for all travelers older than 9 months if they enter from an area affected by Yellow Fever (see http://www.who.int/topics/yellow_fever/en/). If you travel directly from Europe there are no vaccination regulations.
The foreign office furthermore recommends vaccine protection against: Tetanus, Diphtheria, Polio, Hepatitis A, for stays longer than 4 weeks and particular exposure also Hepatitis B, Typhus, Rabies, and Japanese Encephalitis. Here too, our link to the homepage of the foreign and commonwealth office of the UK (United Kingdom) provides you with updated information.
It is recommended to take out travel health insurance if you are not covered by your own home insurance and it could be a good idea to make sure it covers scuba diving injuries. We are fully insured here at Eden Divers but it is always good to have your own. There might be issues to deal with after leaving our dive center or after working hours where we can be out of reach.
How can I pay?
The Thai Baht (THB) is the national currency. Traveller’s cheques and cash in Euro, US Dollars, or other currencies can be exchanged without a problem. Several Banks operate branches in Khao Lak, such as the Bank of Ayutthaya, Siam Commercial Bank, and the new Kasikorn Bank with 7-day service.
There are many exchange offices with extended opening hours. Depending on the season they are open until 9 PM. ATMs can be found everywhere: From Tab Lamu Pier to the 7Eleven in Khao Lak. All ATMs accept Visa and MasterCard and many even accept the Maestro EC-card.
Which diving courses are available?
We mainly offer our diving courses from PADI. We do all courses from beginner to professional in our own facilities and the diving is done on The Similan Islands or on our local dive sites either on day trips or on M/V Sea of Fantasy – our own exclusive liveaboard safari boat with room for both scuba divers and snorkelers. Or on comfortable big day trip boats and our local dive sites are reached by original local long tail boats. All boats are specially designed for scuba diving and snorkeling.What kind of transport is available?
What kind of transport is available?
The local means of transportation are share taxis (Song Tao) and motor cycle taxis. Share taxis are usually modified pick-up trucks with roofed benches on the cargo area. They cover a fixed route and it is possible to get on or off anywhere along the route. Bigger resorts offer a shuttle service to Khao Lak town center. Cars, jeeps, motorcycles, scooters, and bicycles can be rented for a reasonable price. In Thailand you drive on the left side of the road and it is not recommended to attempt your first ride on a scooter in Thailand. We here at Eden Divers Khao Lak and from Eden Divers Phuket include pick up from both Khao Lak and Phuket for our liveaboard safaris. For day trips we include pick up in Khao Lak for day trips to Similan Islands – from Phuket we include pick up for day trips out of Phuket. We can arrange individual pick up at compatible prices by taxi or minibus from all over Thailand on request – anything is possible with Eden Divers.
Will my mobile phone work and where can I send an email?
Khao Lak has many Internet cafes with an ADSL high-speed connection. Most of our resorts offer this service as well usually in the lobby.More and more resorts and hotels have Wi-Fi in the rooms as well. You can use your own mobile phone. You should ask your provider about roaming costs before you begin your travels. It is also possible to buy a Thai SIM card with prepaid credit and change your SIM card while you are here.
Where do you dive in Khao Lak?
All dives are always executed from one of our diving boats. All diving boats depart from Tap Lamu Pier. The numbers of different dive sites are endless from Khao Lak with the Similan Islands, Koh Tachai, Koh Bon, and Richelieu Rock as some of the 5 STAR dive sites in these waters located in the Similan National Marine Park and the Surin National Marine Park in The Andaman Sea.
How long is the crossing to the dive spots of the Similans?
The crossing from Tab Lamu to the Similan Islands takes, depending on the type of boat, approximately 2½ hours. The trip to Koh Bon takes approximately 2 hours and to Koh Tachai approximately 3 hours. With these long distances our liveaboard safaris with M/V Sea of Fantasy 1 are amongst the most popular but we do day trips to all the dive sites as well for both scuba diving and snorkeling. We have speed boat trips as well when weather allows and that will shorten all travel times to half the time. We recommend the big comfortable boat but have the offer if you should prefer the fast boat. Local reef and local wrecks are 20 to 30 min away depending on which dive site.
Do I need to bring my own diving gear?
All diving equipment can be rented from us for the duration of a day trip, liveaboard dive safari and scuba diving training courses.