Koh Tao is the most popular diving destination in Thailand. The name, Koh Tao, can be literally translated as the aptly named ‘Turtle Island’. The island itself has pristine white sandy beaches, tropical palm trees, impressive limestone cliff backdrops, sunsets to die for and crystal-clear waters essential for a truly unforgettable diving experience. It is located in the Gulf of Thailand just North of two other beautiful islands, Koh Samui and Koh Phangnan. People flock to this region from all over Asia to soak up the mystical Thai culture, enjoy the world-famous parties and yoga retreats of Koh Phangnan, the fantastic array of spicy authentic Thai cuisine, and of course, the breath-taking diving sites of Koh Tao. To learn more from a first person perspective, you can checkout this article written about it in the Huffington Post – very informative.
Koh Tao has the second largest number of dive certifications per year in the world; a big reason for this is because of how affordable it is compared to other diving destinations. There are about 60 dive shops on the island that provide the PADI certified Open Water Diver course. You will start off with the Knowledge Development part of the course by learning the basic principles of scuba diving, which can either been done in the classroom or online. You will then progress to the Confined Water Dives conducted in a swimming pool in a controlled environment. Finally, you will be allowed to develop the skills you have learnt doing Open Water Dives with fully qualified PADI instructors who will be keeping a watchful eye over you.
What to Expect to See
Once you have become PADI certified you will then have the freedom to go off and explore all the incredible sea-life, coral reefs and underwater treasure – including a shipwreck – that lie hidden from sight in the depths of these warm, sapphire blue waters. The best time for scuba trips is from March to June, when the weather is hotter and drier. As the island’s name suggests, one of the most frequently spotted aquatic animals is the sea turtle. Some other creatures you are likely to see are reef sharks, whale sharks, triggerfish, seahorses and jellyfish, and if you are really lucky you may even come across whales, dolphins, barracuda or octopus. The whale shark is the largest fish in the world, and it really is an incredible experience to swim with these majestic creatures. Koh Tao is one of the few places you will ever have the opportunity to be right there with them in their natural environment.
If people have any prior medical conditions, it is always wise to check with a doctor first before committing to a scuba diving course. You can find a doctor online by following this link. Always remember, safety must come first.
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There comes a time when everyone is looking for a holiday with a difference and this is why adventure holidays could be the answer. Asia is a continent that is fast emerging as a great place for activity holidays and here are just a few that should be on anyone’s wish-list.
Kayaking in Papua New Guinea
Officially Papua New Guinea belongs to Australasia but it is very close to south-east Asia. Head to Tsoilik, a place that can only be reached with the help of a sea kayak. You set out from New Ireland and this is a place where visitors will truly feel as though they on their own. There are some guides but they aren’t available all the time. The kayaking trip covers 30 miles and when visitors arrive they find that there are only a few locals on the island. However, once here there is plenty to see and do. The wreck of a Japanese battleship lies just off the coast and this is a big attraction for snorkelers.
Monsoon snake-hunting in India
While this may not sound like everybody’s dream holiday, there is a guided trip in India to spot snakes. Lead by an expert in reptiles and amphibians, the trip takes visitors through the Western Ghats in southern India. The trip involves trekking through the mountains and jungle to see a wide variety of the creatures. The tour is part of the conservation work that is being done to save many of these rare creatures.
Cross-island Cycling in Sri Lanka
Any cycling enthusiast will love the sound of this trip to the island of Sri Lanka. The route will take you right across the island, through jungle and paddy fields as well as through the Knuckles Mountains. Stop at one of the tea plantations along the way or visit a temple or two. Spend the last couple of days relaxing at the beach before heading home.
Hiking in Nepal
Walking holidays are always a great choice for those who want to be active without risking life and limb. They are also a great choice for those who want to take the environment into consideration. Try a trip through the Sailung Valley just to the east of Kathmandu. These trips are designed to meet the needs of the walker so at times when only a short walk is needed that can be arranged.
Cruise along the Ganges in India
There are now more options for cruising along the Ganges thanks to the use of new boats that can cope with the shallower waters that are seen in parts. Now tourists can cruise along sections such as Varanasi. The trip will visit sites such as palaces and Moghul forts. There may also be the opportunity to spot one or two of the river dolphins.
Photography can be an exciting experience, especially with the modern developments in technology which have led to the designing of high-resolution cameras. Avid and experienced lensmen and documentarians have pushed the quality bar a notch higher, with cutting-edge photography pieces that capture the amazing underwater environment for you. Underwater photography can be done when someone is scuba diving, or with specialised cameras while on the surface of a large water body, like a lake or an ocean. In some instances, there are remotely operated vehicles which have been designed to take photos of underwater surfaces. The advancement in the photography profession has also seen the designing of automatic cameras, which can be mounted on lower water surfaces, to capture the needed pictures.
Getting The Best Underwater Images
Underwater photography is of exceptional importance to different categories of people. It could be historians, archaeologists, investigators, or curious paparazzi out to satisfy their spirit of adventure. For the scientists interested in new or unique breeds of fish and the gamut of marine mammals, underwater photography provides a much-needed learning opportunity. In some instances, investigators also rely heavily on underwater photography to study shipwrecks, such as the ones that resulted from the Maersk Lima accident in Buenos Aires. Visit movon.com for some of the spectacular images that have been captured in underwater experiences.
Barbara Cole Fine Underwater Photography
If you are a fashion or photography enthusiast, perhaps you have heard about Barbara Cole, who started her impressive career as a leading fashion photographer for the famed Toronto Sun Magazine. From the early 1990s, Cole has diversified her photography collection and has now permanently settled on underwater photography. This amazing ‘wet world’ photography by Barbara Cole
covers collections which range from sportswear captions for top brands like Gravis to fine art pictures.
When considering taking up SCUBA diving as a hobby there are several things that need to be considered.
Research dive school, reviews, safety standards, student to instructor ratio, instructor accreditation, is training in warm or cold water, is training in a swimming pool or sea/ocean and the cost.
Yoga is thought to help with the breathing techniques used in diving, taking a few lessons may help to boost confidence. Swimming lessons for those who are not strong swimmers may also help confidence.
ALWAYS check equipment before a dive. Never dive if there is the slightest concern about a fault.
Feel free to ask the instructor questions, even they were beginners once and should answer any concerns sympathetically and in a way that makes it easy to understand.
NEVER dive with a sinus infection or cold or any sort of open wound – this can be dangerous.
To avoid dehydration drink plenty of water. It is a well-known fact that urination frequency is more common while buoyant.
Stay close to the instructor.
Keep a close eye on the air gauge, alert the instructor if it goes low.
Most importantly, in case of mishap or issue don’t panic, keep breathing steadily!
Have you booked your diary for that epic, and adrenaline pumping holiday escapade for 2018? If not yet, the year is still young and we are promising to cover the possible list of unusual and memorable holiday adventures. From uplifting hikes to fear-instilling swimming caves and the famed Active Galapagos series of walks, amazing boat rides, and incredible biking experiences, the choice is all yours. We are also going to update you on epic sailing adventures like the awesome ‘around Britain Sailing Adventure’ an event scheduled for April and August 2018. Treking on mystical, mountainous and vast remote areas can also be exciting. Well, this is what the much-hyped Bhutan expedition is all about. These are just a few of our 2018 holidays to take you away from that boring office or lab work. Keep reading and get to unravel the whole packages as you hobnob and globe-trot this beautiful universe.
Discover The Virgin Under Water Caves
World over, expeditions around water bodies have attracted an immense following. The beautiful aquatic flora and fauna add to the thrill of such adventurous trips. These explorations have led to historic discoveries some of which are finding a space in the archaeological Guinness Book of World Records. For instance, most recently, explorative scientists discovered the World’s longest underwater cave in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula around the Tulum City. Christened as an archaeological milestone, this flooded cave is massive and stretches an unimaginable length of 216 miles along subterranean caverns while bifurcating in magical, yet natural patterns. More to its beautiful nature, this cave presents a lot of historical learning points according to Guillermo de Anda, a lead researcher at the Institute of Anthropology and History in Mexico. He argues that the cave is home to some extinct animal remains which can be traced back to indigenous Maya culture. Nevertheless, this huge discovery was not a mere coincidence, it was a reward for the concerted effort by a group of explorers from the Great Maya Aquifer Project (GAM) led of course, by the director Robert Schmittner and specialised cave divers.
Impressive Deals At Accommodation Engelberg
If you want to satisfy your spirit of adventure by visiting such underwater caves, you can get in touch with Accommodation Engelberg and enjoy a share of lifetime convenience and deals. Not only do we limit our services to the Yucatan Peninsula but we are also spread to all corners of the globe. In case you want to be part of explorers in the much awaited mountainous trek in Eastern Himalayas Bhutan expedition, we are here for you. Our services are available in almost all major global languages as evidenced in our foot-hold presence in more than 200 countries. We will hook you up with the most sought-after hotel rooms, guest houses, motels, and more. As part of the deal, we will also arrange for some of best car rentals and even flights around Switzerland and the rest of the World with guaranteed value for every coin. In case you choose to stay around Switzerland, some of our best-recommended hotels include the likes of The Angels Lounge.
Most people when taking a holiday in the Caribbean think about relaxing by the pool or sunbathing on a beach, but there is so much more that tourists can do in this area. From diving to kitesurfing, the islands of the Caribbean have it all.
Kitesurfing in the Dominican Republic
The wind conditions in the region making this a great place for activities such as kitesurfing and windsurfing. Head to Cabarete on the north coast of the Dominican Republic. The best time of the year for an adventure holiday here is in February and March or May to August.
Scuba Diving in Bonaire
Diving enthusiasts from all over the world come to Bonaire to explore the waters around the island. Diving equipment can be hired on the island and beginners can take classes. The bright corals and fascinating underwater landscape will delight anyone who wants to escape from the world above for a while.
Sailing Holidays in the British Virgin Islands
The waters around these islands are protected and the short trips between the various islands make this area a good choice for sailing. There is a sailing school located in Tortola where novices can pick up a few tips. Charters and flotilla holidays are on offer and this is the ideal way to explore the area at your leisure.
Parts of Haiti are still recovering from the earthquake that occurred in 2010 but this still remains an extraordinary country. Visitors love to see the beautiful buildings and get closer to this unique culture. Visits to Port-au-Prince and Jacmel should be part of the trip in order to give a clear picture of life on this fascinating island. Opt for a trip that includes a guide.
Paddleboarding in Tobago
Try a phosphorescent lagoon for paddleboarding for a truly spooky experience. The water is inky black and the action of paddleboarding will leave a trail of eerie green light. Some people even jump in to swim through the glowing waters. There are instructors that can given lessons in paddleboarding and this can be part of a package deal for a holiday to remember.
Hiking in St Eustatius
This is a Dutch island that is very quiet and very beautiful. The only way to get there is to take a flight from St Maarten. One of the main reasons that visitors come here is to enjoy the tranquillity that they can get from hiking and diving. There are plenty of wrecks in the waters around the islands that have become popular dive sites. Quill is a dormant volcano on the island and the hike up it – almost 2000 feet – can take around two hours. The coastline has been designated as a marine park and there is a great deal of conservation work taking place here.
There are three phases to becoming certified in scuba diving and they all have to be completed before it is possible to go out on unsupervised dives. This applies all over the world.
The first of these is knowledge development. This provides the diver with the basic knowledge that they need. The trainer will explain exactly what should be considered when planning a dive, how the diver should choose the right equipment and diving procedures such as the use of underwater signals. The PADI Open Water Diver Manual is essential for anyone wanting to learn to dive. This can be done online or with an instructor. The end of each chapter is followed with a test to ensure that the reader has understood. A PADI instructor should be on hand to make sure that the learner has understood everything. When the course is ended there will be a final exam. Videos and demonstrations will also help with this part of the training.
The next stage is confined water dives. These are often done in a swimming pool or in calm waters along the coast. This is where all the skills learnt in the first stage of scuba diving training can be put into practice and it gives the learner the opportunity to become familiar with all the equipment required. During this phase the learner will be taught how to set up the scuba equipment, how to remove water from the mask, getting in and out of the water, navigating underwater, the various safety procedures and buoyancy control. The instructor works with the learner until they are comfortable with all of these things.
The final stage is the open water dives. This is where the learner goes out with an instructor and completes a number of dives under supervision. These are usually done over a period of two days. It is a great opportunity to explore the underwater world and the learner can put everything that they have learned into practice. This type of training can be done almost anywhere but many people opt to do it while they are on holiday. The instructor can also explain to you how to transfer to other instructors if you start learning in one location but then decide to finish your training in another.
There are many different types of adventure holiday on offer around the world. These days not everyone is happy to go on holiday and just relax on a beach. They want to be able to go home and tell everyone that they did something extraordinary.
Everyone knows that cycling, hiking, climbing and kayaking are very popular options on adventure holidays around the world, but there are things that can be done that are very different. What about hot air ballooning? Some people have chosen this way to view their holiday destinations from a very different angle. One example is the hot air balloon trips that can be taken across the Serengeti, seeing the wildlife at close quarters but definitely out of reach. Alternatively there are hot air balloon festivals in a variety of other destinations including a number in the USA and Europe at various points during the year.
Ziplining is another option for those who want an adrenaline boost. The ziplines take people from one tree to another or from one high point to a low point and there are many zipline parks around the world. Consider those in Thailand, Canada or Wales for a holiday activity with a difference and one that the whole family can enjoy.
Trekking historical trails is a must, particularly for those who visit South America. The trails to Machu Picchu – known as the Inca Trail – will take visitors to a number of different ancient cities through the Andes. For most trips this will take around four days and you get to camp along the way. Some points along the way will see groups standing at 13,000 feet above sea level.
It doesn’t matter what the skill level, either a well-seasoned diver or snorkeler or just a beginner to the hobby, the Great Barrier Reef offers some amazing dives and the chance to see some of the most beautiful marine life in the world. The reef itself is 2,300km, there is plenty of room to spare for anyone looking to enjoy everything this stunning natural wonder has to offer.
It is only possible to reach the dive sites via boat trip. Those who are beginners or novices to the craft will be taken to the shallower, calmer waters leaving the deeper waters for those who are experienced divers. This doesn’t mean that the dives are any less breath-taking, it is purely for safety reasons. The option to learn how to snorkel is there too for those who do not like putting their head under water. No-one needs to miss out on seeing first-hand the amazing ocean life in and around the reef.
Regardless whether visitors are staying on the coast or on one of the many islands, dive spots are no more than about an hour away, and excursions are offered daily.
Anyone considering an adventure holiday should really think about going to South America. The area alone is so diverse that just holidaying there could be considered an adventure, but for those who really want something different there is a wide range of options.
The Lost City of Choqueuirao is just as amazing as Machu Picchu, but much less touristy, so it is possible to enjoy the fortress built by the Incans with much less hustle and bustle from crowds. The view of the Vilcabamba Range of mountains is also stunning.
Angel Falls and Venezuela’s Lost World should not be missed. The Angel Falls are the worlds highest waterfall, and perhaps the best way to see them is by a flight over, either small plane or helicopter ride. The ‘Lost World’ is very dense jungle, like something out of the movies.
Equador, although small has so much to offer the “adventure seeker” . The Avenue of Volcanoes is not for the faint hearted, the climb takes stamina but the views from the top is well worth it. It is also possible to take a hot spring bath, a great reward for reaching the top.