Eco Friendly Scuba Diving – Marla’s Mystery

Scuba Cat Diving is a pioneer of Environmentally Friendly Scuba Diving in Phuket.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand PADI Green Star Award

For many years we have actively looked for new ways to help our coral reefs and beaches around the Phuket area.

The founder of Scuba Cat Diving, Mike Stark created Marla’s Mystery – the first artificial reef in Phuket.

Marla’s Mystery is named after Mike’s daughter…. Marla.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Mike Stark

"Mike, Prisana, Eric, Marla and Glen"

Back  in 1989 Mike, a PADI Instructor made his first of many dive at Racha Yai Island located south of Phuket, Thailand. For many years he continued to enjoy the incredible beauty of the underwater environment.

By now many divers were coming to Racha and it had become the busiest dive location close to Phuket due to its amazing underwater beauty. This was having an impact on the tranquillity of what had been and he realized he needed to find a way to help the reefs sustain these multiple visitors.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Racha Yai Island

He had an idea, “Wouldn’t it be great to to create a new dive site located a short distance away from the existing reef to help relieve diver congestion and create new habitats for marine life”

Mike found the hull of a confiscated smuggling boat which had been lying abandoned in a Phuket shipyard for years. She was big boat, over 30 metre in length, everything had been stripped from her. Mike could see her as a safe and environmentally friendly artificial reef.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Marlas Mystery ashore

After many hours preparing her for her final voyage and 15 years of shipyard fees paid… she was ready.

November 11th 2000 was the chosen night.

Mike was not happy with only sinking her he wanted to take her final journey with her.

“Chris, Jessie and were are standing on the stern of “Marla’s Mystery” clad in dive gear. It seemed only proper that we escorted her to her new home. The filling of the boat was a slow silent, process and we had plenty of time for speculation of what about to happen. The bow appeared to be sinking first; hence we were at the stern. Torches were switched off; the full moon would supply all the illumination we needed.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Eco Phuket

As the sea poured in the bow of the boat she rose up in the air in classic style, rapidly the stern was rapidly submerged, and us, for the ride to the bottom. There was no turning back ! We were being sucked down with the boat; the vortices produced had me going fins over head just like being in a washing machine. On the first revolution I sensed our support vessel was beening sucked over the sinking boat- sure hoped they didn’t panic, start the engine and turn the propeller guys! Then going down again- making sure to clear my ears. Had been having some ear problems of late; I thought it might hurt. Going up again, no pain, looks like my clearing had been successful. Going down, as helpless as any other piece of plankton adrift in the ocean. How deep were we going? I reassured myself that we are exactly at the chosen location and the bottom would be where we expected. My next thought – was there any chance that I would somehow get sucked under the boat and then crushed like a bug? I hadn’t thought of that before! A quick reassurance, the boat was dropping much too fast; I would never get caught underneath.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Marla's Mystery

"Marla's 10 years later"

Suddenly there was a loud thud….  the boat crashed into the bottom and my washing machine cycle is over. I turned on my torch and found myself in the middle of a dust storm as the fine sand was thrown up by the impact slowly settles. I saw two other torch beams  close by and we duscovered ourselves on the deck of the boat. Tentative OK signals were exchanged and when the reality of the situation sunk in High 5’s and squeals of delight filled the new reef. A glance at our computers showed the 30 meter ride to the bottom had taken slightly less than a minute.”

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Marla's Mystery

"Inside Marla's"

Scuba Cat Diving continue to Dive at Marla’s Mystery when ever possible, the change in her over the years has been incredible. Life is now abundant on her and more and more things appear around her. If you dive it today you will see bath tubs all around her, this is due to the “Bath tub” race Scuba Cat held on her 1st Sinking anniversary and Artificial Cubes sunk to enhance the reef.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Artifical Reef

Need to relax after your PADI IDC?

After a day on the PADI IDC with Scuba Cat Diving what better way to relax and recap the day than with a traditional Thai Massage.

Thailand is renowned for therapeutic massage. It is recognized by the Government as one of the branches of traditional medicine and is regulated accordingly. Thai massage is also practiced and taught by a number of non medical massage technicians in the spa industry within the tourist areas. It is believed that Buddha’s physician, Jivaka Komarabhacca, developed the art of Thai massage over 2500 years ago. It has a combination of influences from India, China and areas of South East Asia. There are regional differences in the art of Thai massage throughout the country. It is known in Thailand as nuat phaen boran, which literally translates to the ancient manner massage. Unfortunately, most of the ancient medical texts were destroyed by the Burmese when they invaded Ayutthia in 1776. Some stone inscriptions survived and in 1832 King Rama III had these placed in the walls of Wat Po where they can still be seen today.

Thai massage is normally conducted on the floor with the recipients wearing loose comfortable clothing to ensure freedom of movement.  No oils are used. The massage itself involves a lot of stretching with deep rhythmic actions. During the course of the massage many yoga like positions are performed. The practitioner leans on the recipient’s body using their hands and straight forearms locked at the elbow to apply firm, rhythmic pressure. The masseuse often uses their feet and legs to do the massage action. It is considered that Thai massage is more energizing and rigorous than more classic forms of massage as it works on the entire muscle-skeletal system of the body. There is a standard procedure to Thai massage, which follows the sen lines of the body. There are over 72,000 energy lines within the body. Ten of these energy lines are major and are known as sen lines. The object of Thai massage is to release any energy blockage within these lines. One of the key features of traditional Thai massage is the blocking and releasing of blood flow known as trigger point therapy. This is when sustained pressure is applied for about 30 seconds where the legs and arms join the torso. Also during the treatment muscle compression, joint mobilization and acupressure techniques are used.  The Thai massage finishes with a mini head massage. The practitioner closes the ears with their fingers for a few seconds and then releases. This is a motion that is designed to bring your mind and thoughts back to the here and now. It is considered a good way to bring you round.

There are many benefits of traditional Thai massage. It is believed to increase energy, relieve and reduce stress, improves circulation, increases flexibility. It also encourages a healthier sleep pattern and centres mind and body. It is also a very effective treatment for back, neck and shoulder pain. However, it is not recommended for people with the following conditions: infectious skin diseases, rash or open wounds, immediately after surgery, immediately after radiation or chemotherapy treatment and people who are prone to blood clots. If you have a heart condition it is recommended that you should see a Doctor before massage therapy.   It is also recommended that a pregnant lady should have a massage performed by a therapist who specializes in pregnancy massage.

Prior to treatment it is advisable not to have a heavy meal.  If at anytime there is discomfort during the session, which typically lasts for two hours, you must tell the therapist. After treatment it is advisable to relax, drink plenty of water. Traditional Thai massage is also a good detoxification treatment.

Thai massage in recent years has become increasingly popular worldwide. More and more people are realizing the benefits of this ancient traditional massage therapy and are seeking qualifications at prestigious training centres such as Wat Po in Bangkok.

PADI Poseidon Rebreather Course

Scuba Cat Diving are proud to have the Open Water Training for the first Phuket PADI Poseidon MKV1 Closed Circuit Rebreather Instructor Course on board MV Scuba Fun this week.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand MV Scuba Fun

Think rebreathers are just for technical diving? Think again….

The Poseidon MKV1 Closed Circuit Rebreather are lightweight, easy-transportable units that use sophisticated electronics to simplify their use.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand PADI Rebreather

The benefits of diving a closed circuit rebreather over traditional open circuit scuba include;

  • longer no decompression limits
  • reduced gas consumption

Imagine the experiences and photographs you could get with the underwater wildlife as you become part of their world with no bubbles and less noise….

The PADI Recreational Closed Circuit Rebreather course is now available at Scuba Cat Diving in conjunction with Ben Reymenants.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand PADI Rebreather Courses

The two courses we offer for Recreational Divers are :

PADI Rebreather Diver 

How long is the Course?

3 days/4 Dives

You must be:

  • a PADI Open Water Diver (or hold a qualifying certification from a recognized organization)
  •  a PADI Enriched Air Diver (or hold a qualifying certification from a recognized organization)
  •  18 years old with 25 logged dives
What you will learn on the Course:
  •  to use Rebreathers to a maximum of 18m depth within no-decompression limits.
  • to set up and care for, plan and make dives on the Poseidon MKV1 Closed Circuit Rebreather
Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand PADI Advanced Rebreather
PADI Advanced Rebreather Diver

How long is the Course?

3 days /4 Dives

You must be:

  • a PADI Rebreather Diver (or hold a qualifying certification from another organization)
  •  a PADI Advanced Open Water Diver (or hold a qualifying certification from another organization) prior to certification
  •  a PADI Enriched Air Diver (or hold a qualifying certification from another organization)
  •  18 years old with 30 logged Dives
What you will learn on the Course:
  • Teaches you to carry a bailout cylinder and dive to 30m max (40m max with PADI Deep Diver).
  • Respond to problems – bailout to open circuit – you will have a bailout cylinder to enable you to bailout from greater depth.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand PADI Rebreather

Meet our dedicated IDC Boat…….MV Scuba Sport

When the decision was made to retire MV Scuba Cat after 18 years working in the Similans and Racha Yai, this left our transfer boat MV Scuba Sport without a job.

Scuba Cat Diving PADI 5 * CDC Phuket Thailand MV Scuba Sport

After much though on what to use her for and looking at the local diving area we decided that a half day trip would be the perfect solution.

Up until now Phuket has been lacking a well organized half day diving and snorkeling trip from a purpose built dive boat. She has a big advantage over the longtail boats, where sunburn can be a problem or difficult shore entry for guests who have never dived before.

She also offer flexibility for our PADI Open water students, who have limited time in Phuket, so the course can be completed in 2.5 days rather than 3 if they arrive mid morning.

So MV Scuba Sport has been refitted with compressors, nitrox blending and a zodiac. She is based in Patong bay and offers both morning and afternoon trips on a very flexible basis.

Scuba Cat Diving PADI 5 * CDC Phuket Thailand Zodiac


We wanted a boat that was available for both fun divers, PADI Discover Scuba Diving experiences, PADI Open water courses, snorkeling and Night dives, for both fun or as part of the PADI Advanced open water course.

Since she has started to run in November she has proved popular with trips to Paradise reef and Kalim Reef.

Scuba Cat Diving PADI 5 * CDC Phuket Thailand Patong Bay

She is also used every month with our PADI IDC. This allows our candidates to gain valuable experience of the dive sites where their PADI IE for open water will take place. Whilst being used for IDC’s no other customers are onboard to allow the maximum time for training, time can be used more effectively and the location of the boat means no long travelling time.

Scuba Cat Diving PADI 5 * CDC Phuket Thailand IDC Boat


Due to the popularity of this trip and being able to offer more variety of diving for our guests there are more plans for Scuba Sport for next season.

Want to be able to teach DDI ?

Confirmed Date for the next DDI (Disabled Diver International) Instructor Course

15th and 16th June 2012

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Disabled Divers international

As a PADI Instructor or an instructor from another agency, we already know you can already teach scuba diving, this course is designed to educate you about disability and special considerations for diving, and teaching diving to people with disabilities.

It covers a large number of disabilities and disability issues:

  • Accessibility,
  • Traveling for people with disabilities
  • Special considerations for diving with a disability
Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Disabled Divers International

DDI Pool Training

Scuba diving can give people with disabilities an opportunity to participate in an active sport.  For people living with disabilities, scuba diving is a seemingly impossible challenge and succeeding results in improved self-confidence. Scuba diving provides people with something new to look forward to, whether it’s a trip to an exotic destination or discovering a new part of their local environment.

Some disabled people may wish to try scuba diving for the simple excitement and fun of the activity.

Scuba diving has shown numerous advantages as a social and physical rehabilitation of disabled individuals, with many feeling that the normal obstacles and restrictions their disability gives them on land, disappear in water when given the right equipment and training.

Participating in regular recreational activities, which involve physical exercise, is rewarded with better health, both physically and mentally. Scuba diving is a social sport, and can have a tremendous positive effect on disabled divers and their ability to interact with non-disabled divers alike.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Disabled Divers International

Confined Water Training

Do you want to stand out from the crowd……..

Working with disabled divers is rewarding for everyone involved, the students share their excitement and joy of their experiences and so will you.

Come and join me for this hugely rewarding opportunity

PADI Divemaster Exchange program, Koh Tao Candidate

The day had arrived, Richard had departed for Crystal Dive Resort on Koh Tao and we were to meet the other half of the Exchange program, Emma Van Burck……..

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand PADI Divemaster Exchange Program

A whirlwind of diving passion had arrived, we had planned a liveaboard trip for her on board MV Scuba Adventure to Similan Islands as her first learning experience with us so she could gain an insite into this valuable Divemaster role. The only thing was she has 2 hours with us in Phuket before Adventure departed..

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand MV Scuba Adventure Similans Liveaboard

Emma's first home in Phuket

Emma’s experience

The general experience provided by the exchange program was one that increased my passion for diving, enjoyment of the DMT program and desire to complete PADI IDC ten fold. I would personally recommend all DMTs to complete the same if not similar program as part of their Dive Master training. It gave me more insight into how dive centers are run, how PADI Open water programs can be presented, the management of staff and the options available for fun diving. This new information has allowed me to make a more educated decision towards furthering my career in both diving and with PADI.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand MV Scuba Adventure Liveaboard

The support provided by both dive centers during this program was second to none. Sarah Kench made an exceptional effort in including me in all aspects of her business and provided the experience of a life time. The highlight of the trip was by far the liveaboard trip but the time spent working on land in the shop and assisting instructors was both rewarding and enjoyable. Sarah was hospitable, friendly, professional and supportive in a way that made me feel like I was a permanent part of her team not just a passing through guest. She allowed me to have an experience at Scuba Cat that showed the real side of her business not just a snapshot of the “good things”. By giving me this kind of experience I felt that the program provided all the right kind of information for a DMT who is looking for guidance in where to go with their diving career.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand MV Scuba Adventure Liveaboard

Koh Tachai

In comparison I found the two dive centers to be very different. The infamous thai phrase same same but different could not be more appropriately used than in describing Crystal and Scuba Cat. Both businesses are run to high standard, with well trained staff and exceptional facilities. However, the atmosphere and the general set up sets them apart. Having only ever trained and dived at Koh Tao I was naive as to the variety of centre set ups. By doing this exchange so early on in my career I feel like I have widened my perception on working in the dive industry before I become stuck in a single mindset towards one dive school and it’s systems.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand MV Scuba Adventure Liveaboard

Scuba Cat has the distinct advantage of providing the Similans diving experience. The variety of dive sites, dive conditions, and enormity of the sites is a massive draw card and provided me with the most enjoyable dives I have ever done in my short diving career. It allowed me to take the basic training I completed in Koh Tao and push new boundaries. The beauty of the sites and variety of things to see is unquestionably the best part of diving on the west coast. The opportunity to do night dives, drift dives, sunset dives and swim with manta rays was the highlight of my trip and for that reason alone I would return to the west coast to go diving. The boats and boat staff that Scuba Cat have are exceptional and are a big part of why the live aboard trip was so enjoyable. The staff are helpful, friendly and professional at all times and the boats used by the company are far more superior to Crystal’s.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand MV Scuba Adventure Liveaboard

While the variety of dive sites on Koh Tao is much smaller than in Phuket and the Similans I personally feel it provides the perfect diving experience for completing any course especially open water. As a zero to hero DMT the smaller dive sites provided me with the perfect introduction to diving and allowed me to gain my confidence.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand MV Scuba Adventure Liveaboard

I was very Impressed with the open water schedule provided by Scuba Cat in which the confined is run as an all day experience with a relaxed atmosphere. The three dive day one and one dive on day two schedule on the boats with the opportunity to complete half of your PADI advanced on the second day is an excellent way to improve customers chance of wanting to complete their advance course.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand PADI Divemaster Exchange Program

It is hard to draw a line and say that one dive centre is better than the other as they provided completely different experiences and opportunities for divers who are training or fun diving. The program was introduced to me by saying that the east coast and west coasts are very different but both have their strong points. This is exactly what I experienced. It has also broken down many misconceptions that I had about the differences between the two sides of Thailand.

PADI Divemaster Exchange Program

So the pressure was on, we needed to find a Divemaster Trainee who would get the most from the exchange program.

Then we received an email from one, he had been let down at the last minute by another Dive Company and needed to find a Divemaster Program at short notice.

Scuba Cat’s Candidate was found. Meet Richard Catt…….

Scuba Cat Diving PADI 5 * CDC Phuket Thailand  Divemaster

Graduation Day

I arrived at  Scuba Cat Diving  in Phuket at the beginning of April for five weeks. The plan was to finish my PADI Dive Master training and to decide if i wished to persue a career in the dive industry. Also I aimed to log 100 dives and do my PADI Deep Diver Speciality.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand PADI Deep Diver Speciality

First I had a day to relax, get over my jet lag and explore Patong which was to be my home for the next month. Had a chat with Sarah about my training, the PADI Dive Master Exchange Program and let her know i was keen to get back in the warm water after two weekends of dry suit diving in the UK (a chilling six degrees!)

I spent the next three days diving, learning how Scuba Cat runs and going out on the day boats assisting on PADI Open Water Courses.

I enjoyed working with the PADI Instructors of Scuba Cat as they made me feel welcome and part of the team. Finding out about the boats, MV Scuba Fun and MV Scuba Sport and how they are run was very interesting. Over the next few days i got to meet Instructor, Vince and the people I would be doing the Divemaster course with.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand PADI 5 * CDC

After the Phuket Tsunami warning

Following this we then had ten days of theory and pool sessions to get my training finished before I went on Exchange Program. The other trainees were doing their PADI IDC/IE after the DM course, so I also did the extra theory work they were given. In the UK I had practised the 24 scuba/skin diving skills, with Vince’s guidance I was able to perform them all at a higher standard. This helped me with my confidence when I next assisted on the courses. It was a hard, enjoyable and very rewarding ten days but i was glad to get it all completed before going to Koh Tao to start the next part of the adventure.

PADI Region 26 had arranged a Dive Master Exchange Program for DMTs to experience some of their training at another 5 star PADI CDC Centre. I was unsure about the expectation of this PADI Divemaster exchange but was looking forward to taking part. After all this was the first one anywhere in the world!

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand PADI 5 * CDC

After a quick flight to Samui, I caught a ferry Crystal Dive Resort on Koh Tao. All staff were really friendly and helpfully & made me welcome. Spent most of the time with Divemaster team – Josh, Sasha, Amy, Keith, Neil and Jen. Each had their own way of doing things and teaching. Which helped me realise you need to approach each class/session differently depending on who you were teaching, so the the lesson flows and was fun. Students & Staff were impressed with my own equipment. (Role model behavior!) Having my own gear made getting it ready easier and quicker, as I was familar with it. It allowed me to help students with their set up and other boat preparation. A valuable part of this program/exchange was definitely helping students, along with getting to lead actual dives (under supervision) another one of the big highlights was seeing students faces after their first dive this is a feeling that money can’t buy, and of course them thanking me personally for my support. Had some great dives, the Discover TEC dive with Ivan, leading the PADI Advanced Open Water wreck dive. Swim throughs at Red Rock-Japanese gardens, whales shark spotting and the fun dives with the other DMTs. At Koh Tao I was able to do several dives on the same sites, which is a first for me. This enable me to learn the sites and point out parts of interest when leading the dives. Also helped with my confidence during the dive briefings.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Discover Tec

Made friends with Emma’s (the other half of the exchange program) group, who made me feel welcome and took me out to eat most nights. Crystal was a big social community was nice to catch up with everyone at the end of the day, have a chat do log books and plan the next day.

Starting My PADI Divemaster Course in England and finishing it off in Thailand has been a great experience. It was good see to how two PADI 5 star CDC centres work and compare them to my dive shop at home and others places I have dived. Being part of the staff I was able to really see how they run. Thailand has really opened my eyes regarding the professional training supplied and received from both Scuba Cat and Crystal Resort. Both centres have passion and professionalism for scuba diving and PADI. Along with excellent facilities and accommodation. It really has been one of the best experiences of my life.

Being able to see both sides of this country and the diving/training these centres has had to offer is truly incredible. Anybody thinking of doing this program should sign up straight away. I think doing this exchange along with all the other places I have dived will make me a better PADI DM/Instructor.

After the exchange Sarah gave me a chance of a Liveaboard trip on board MV Scuba Adventure to Hin Dueng and Hin Mueng. Working on the liveaboard was another great learning experience, was able to see how the boat and crew work. Kath, the Tour Leader did a great job making sure everyone settled on board showed as to our cabins and where to set up our scuba gear. The crew did brilliant job of getting everyone safely in and out of the water and were always on hand to assist you with your equipment. The food was amazing, a mini feast was laid out for us after every dive.

Scuba Cat Diving PADI 5 * CDC Phuket Thailand Divemaster

"Working hard................"

Had to draw a few dive maps so I could do some of the dive briefings and then lead the dives. Lots of great dive sites, full of soft and hard corals. Especially enjoyed Hin Muang and Hin Daeng. Had to look at my fish slates after each dive to remember all the fish and learn the names of new ones. The West Coast has some great and varied dive sites. When I come back I’d love to dive the Similans. Really enjoyed the 3 days, Sarah was lovely and added another dive to the trip so I was able to my 100th dive before leaving Thailand, it was a great way to end an amazing 5 weeks.

Scuba Cat Diving PADI 5 * CDC Phuket Thailand  Divemaster

"Dive Briefing with a Difference.............."

All the staff at Scubacat were a pleasure to work with, I enjoyed my time in Patong. Everyone gave me advice and encouragement to continue my career in diving. I prefer the smaller size of the dive groups and boats at Scubacat. Vince was a great DM mentor and I learnt a lot from his various interests in diving including Tec and Chamber work. Even got to do my PADI Deep Diver Speciality with Sarah herself.

I look forward to returning to do my PADI IDC/IE with Sarah and Sean later this year. When I return to the UK I will assist on courses with my local dive shop, to gain as much experience as possible.

Scuba Cat Diving PADI 5 * CDC Phuket Thailand  Divemaster Exchange

Best trip I have ever done, do not know how I will beat it. Still smiling when I think about all the things I was able to achieve.

Phuket or Koh Toa? Why not visit both?

Scuba Cat Diving and Crystal Dive Resort teamed up to create the brand new PADI Divemaster Exchange Program between the East and West Coasts of Thailand.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Divemaster Echange Program

Could you be next........

I was approached by Tony Andrews, PADI RM for the West Coast of Thailand in March 2012 ago to see if Scuba Cat would like to take part in this brand new initiative by PADI Region 26.

All that was left to do was to find a suitable candidate……….

Happy Songkran !

Its nearly here……. no not a Day’s Diving, we have that here everyday at Scuba Cat Diving…….


What is it?

April 13th is the traditional Thai New Year’s Day, which is celebrated throughout the country by all Thai people, whether young or old, of all walks of life including the Thai Royal Family. April is also the time when farmers are free from their normal farming duties allowing them the time needed to take part in the annual tradition, which involves the deeply important task of paying respect to their ancestors and elders.

The tradition was adopted from India, the ancient Brahmins, who believed that the sun finished its orbit round the earth on April 13 and re-entered Aries.

The significance of Water

Water is traditionally used during the Songkran festival, to gently wash the hands of elders and monks and bathe Buddha images.

Soft chalk power called “Din Saw Phong” is traditionally applied on the face or body. To touch others without their permission is considered an ill manner by civilised Thais. Therefore you should not offer unrequested help with this.

Proper bathing is divided into two categories:

  • Bathing of elders (according to tradition ago 60+) as a tribute of respect and for blessings. Youngsters pour scented water onto the hands of the elders. In return the elders will grant their best wishes upon them.
  • Traditionally, upon the bathing ritual, elders are given toilet items: clothes, “Pha-nung” (loin cloth), handkerchiefs, towels, soap, perfumes and powder.
  • Bathing for peers or juniors. Permission should be asked for before gently pouring the scented water over their shoulder and down their back whilst giving a blessing for the New Year. However close friends, can enjoy splashing water on each other as they wish still with appropriate manners and moral.

The water used for bathing and splashing is regarded as sacred. It must be clean water or scented water with floral pedals, and NOT dirty water or ice.

The highest form of respect is made by bowing with pressed palms, arms and forehead touching the floor in front of the person or the image paying respect to.

To bathe the Buddha image or any idol, it is appropriate to pour the scented water on other parts of the Buddha image but not the head.

If you are in Patong, Phuket for Songkran:

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand  Songkran

  • The streets become crazy! Thai’s arm themselves with water guns, hoses and buckets to soak anyone and everyone they see. YOU WILL GET WET if you go onto the streets and perhaps be smeared with white powder. Keep your temper and smile. Unlikely as it seems this is part of the ancient tradition of paying respect to elders.
  • White tops will be pretty revealing when wet. Do you really want to become a participant in a Wet T-shirt competition, wear dark tops if you don’t want the unrequested attention.
  • Remember Thai’s and Tourists alike will consume lots of alcohol at this time. The streets will be crowded, you will get soaked and painted with white powder. Remember it is one big party atmosphere, everyone just wants to have fun so take it all in good spirit.
Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Songkran Thai New Year
  • Protect your cameras and mobile phones; electronics don’t work after they get wet! If you want to get photos of this festival then make sure you have waterproof protection for this or buy a camera that is waterproof. Don’t don’t wear your best clothes. Leave all-important documents in the hotel safe.
Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Dri Dock
  • IF YOU DON’T WANT TO GET WET STAY INSIDE YOUR HOTEL ROOMS! Movies, room service food, snacks and a good book will keep you entertained.
  • Jungcelon and Central Festival will all be open all through Songkran. You WILL get wet on the way there and back. Think about getting a taxi if you don’t want to get wet, you will be an easy target in a tuk-tuk.
  • If you hire a car during Songkran don’t expect to keep it clean: it is will get white clay and water smears on it . Make sure that you have topped up your windscreen wipers with plenty of water. Some people may even try to open your car doors, unless you want to get wet keep them locked and windows closed.
  • If you hire a scooter take great care, bike accidents soar during the festival period.

There is so much more to the Songkran festival than just water fights. Make sure you take the time to see the more traditional side during your stay with us in Phuket.