Thailand marine conservation and diving holiday

“A two to eight week marine conservation volunteering trip, contributing to established project on Koh Phangan Island. Do your PADI first for additional cost. Stay in self catering accommodation on site. And what a beautiful site. ”

Highlights

Koh Phangan Island, Thailand | Marine conservation volunteering | PADI diving course | Underwater photography | Coral studies | Data collection | On site self catering accommodation | Marine conservation training | Airport transfers

Description of Thailand marine conservation and diving holiday

Become part of an important conservation mission on the stunning island of Koh Phangan. Help to conserve the world’s depleting coral reefs as a marine conservation volunteer, immersing yourself in the underwater world and diving every day.

This is a diving trip with a difference. Each day you will go under the sea to explore the realms beneath, gathering valuable data, taking incredible photographs and watching how life passes by in the depths. All of the data that you and the team collect is part of an international study into coral, and your observations count towards new policies and environmental laws.

The opportunity to gain your PADI qualification is provided for those who do not yet have an experience of diving.

Where will I be staying?
You will be living close to the seashore on the island of Koh Phangan. Accommodation is provided on the grounds of the research building, in comfortable leafy surroundings. Food is not provided, but there are great facilities for cooking, and even better options for eating out.

Day-by-day experiences

Day 1:Arrival day is Monday. Fly to Koh Samui by 17.00 for the transfer to Koh Phangan
Day 2+:Gain full immersion into the project. If you are learning to dive, this takes 4 days before you can join the actual research project.
Free time:Enjoy 2 days off per week to explore, relax and even do some more dives
Final day:Return to the airport on a Monday. Flights should be scheduled after midday.

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

01273 823 700 Calling from outside the UK?

Departure information

This project can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
SINGLE USE PLASTIC-FREE:
We are committed to taking care of the environment, both in our office in the UK and on our projects around the world. We are proud to say that we are working hard to eliminate the use of single use plastics on our marine conservation and diving project in Thailand. Volunteers are made aware that we encourage as little single use plastic as possible on our projects, and we are currently writing a guide for how to travel with as little single use plastic as possible. This will be made available to all travellers.
BAGS & SHOPPING:
Volunteers are given cloth bags for shopping purposes
PRESERVING FOOD:
We no longer provide cling film or sandwich bags in the accommodation. Instead, we have purchased reusable tupperware containers. Tupperware containers are also provided if volunteers choose to buy takeaway food.
IN THE ROOMS:
No single use plastic products are bought for volunteer use eg there are no shampoos, soaps or other such items in plastic bottles or sachets. Our no single use plastics guide will provide advice on this.
WATER BOTTLES:
We ask all volunteers to bring their own water bottles from home, to discourage the buying of bottled water on a daily basis. We request that volunteers do not buy single plastic water bottles. This is communicated pre-departure and once in-country. Clean drinking water is provided. Alternatively, we also sell reusable stainless steel bottles which can be filled up for free in approximately 50 refill stations on the island. Volunteers fill up their water bottles from the clean water tank before they leave the project site.
EDUCATION:
The project operates a no Styrofoam, no single use plastic honesty policy. As part of the induction, staff encourage volunteers to calculate their eco-footprint, and how we can work together to reduce that by reducing plastic waste.
Volunteers also clean up the reefs whilst diving, removing any plastic from them and disposing of it appropriately as well as helping with beach clean ups to dispose of any litter appropriately.
Change making:
As a result of this campaign led by Responsible Travel, we got in touch with the supplier who handles our t-shirt distribution to talk about packaging. They used to send out all our T-shirts in a plastic envelope - upon our suggestion they have agreed to stop putting the t-shirts in plastic wallets and use paper instead for safe transportation.
US pricing:
The currency converter above works on todays exchange rate. We do take bookings in USD but the price is set at a rate confirmed months in advance and is typically above the current exchange rate. Please enquire for details.
Accessible overview:
There are challenges associated with volunteer travel, and these can make accessible travel difficult. However, we are very keen to chat with travellers with specific needs to see if we can make a trip possible.
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

Thailand marine conservation and diving holiday

Carbon reduction

Your holiday will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this holiday and how to reduce them.

• For each traveller that goes away with us, we voluntarily plant a tree with our charity partners Tree Aid. Trees are planted in rural African communities and local people are taught how to sustainably use the trees to improve their economic situation - whilst also benefiting the planet.
• Where food is provided, it is locally produced and sourced, reducing food miles, supporting local industry and minimising single-use plastic
• As a traveller you will learn about the importance of reducing our carbon footprint, both pre-departure and through your volunteer project
• Accommodation is on-site, reducing the reliance on transport. When volunteers wish to go off site, this is encouraged to be in groups using local drivers
• Where possible, and without jeopardising safety or quality, transfers are done on a shared basis to reduce carbon emissions

Environment

Wildlife
Research and conservation of coral and fish are the primary aims of this project. All of the research gathered on the project is fed into an international database, from which many studies are initiated. The project works with researchers from universities worldwide, working together to understand in more detail the destruction of the coral reef and how to reverse this trend. Regular beach clean ups are also run, so that any litter or rubbish left is cleaned up quickly and not allowed to pollute the sea, thus damaging marine life.

Protecting the world
We are passionate about encouraging our travellers to be kind to the environment as they travel. Each participant receives advice about how to care for the environment whilst they are away. This includes water usage, how to avoid single use plastic, and electricity usage.

We insist that all participants bring their own water bottles when they travel with us, and clean free water is always available. We have even created a water bottle that can be purchased before departure and encourage people to use it at all stages of their journey including at the airport, on flights and whilst on their project. We are striving for all of our projects to be free of single use plastic.

Community

Meeting local needs
Volunteers live and work as a member of the local community. This is a small community, located off the traditionally trodden tourist trails, and so bringing volunteers to this area really benefits the local population. Food is bought from local markets and restaurants, trips are all sourced locally and local transport is used when needed.

Campaigning for change
A project has been launched to research different types of sail rock under the sea at this project. When enough data has been gathered, this means that it will be listed and acknowledged within the Thailand Conservation Framework.

Volunteering and charity
Whilst the majority of the costs go towards paying for the project, a generous donation is given towards the research and improving the conservation effort.

Cultural sensitivity
We emphasise the importance of showing respect for local people and their customs in our briefing material. Participants will work alongside permanent staff, forming close bonds and getting an insight into real life in rural Thailand.

We send restricted numbers of people at any one time, which minimises the environmental and social impact that the participants have on the destination. Our participants become fully immersed and integrated into the community.

All of our participants receive comprehensive pre-departure briefing. This covers topics on how to be culturally sensitive, how to best look after the environment when in the country and how to stay safe as well as up to date information on the political situation.

1 Reviews of Thailand marine conservation and diving holiday

2 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 12 Nov 2013 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The diving on Sail Rock, probably one of the best dive sites in the Gulf of
Thailand

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


This is a small village with basic amenities so be prepared to take it easy and
relax as there is a lot of down time where nothing is happening. If you get bored
easily then make sure you have brought things to occupy your time or better still
make an effort to get out and about the island.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Not really to the extent that I would have liked, sure spending money in the
local area helps but it's debatable whether the diving element makes much
difference

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


I would call it an experience rather than a holiday which to a certai extent was
what I was expecting anyway. The diving for the most part was not very enjoyable
due to the poor viz in the local bays, but overall a good learning experience

Read the operator's response here:

Thank you for taking the time to give us your feedback. We try our very best to communicate the importance of the research and how the project data is used to form legislation. On a short stay it can sometimes be difficult to see the daily workings as part of a greater picture; in the future we shall continue to reiterate how the individual’s contribution is forming part of a greater whole.

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