4. For Sun, Sea and Socializing: Phuket, Thailand
What Makes it Special: Thailand’s a global hotspot, with numerous topside attractions including shopping and a thriving nightlife. Phuket, on the country’s western Andaman Sea side, boasts ancient Buddhist temples, gorgeous beaches, mangrove forests and waterfalls.
Why Learn to Dive Here? Spectacular reef and underwater rock formations, a vast array of underwater life, calm, crystal clear waters hovering at a warm 28 degrees Celsius. It’s budget-friendly, too.
What You’ll Find Underwater: Moray eels, leopard sharks, seahorses, plenty of coral.
Learn to Dive with: If you want to avoid the crowds, consider booking onto a dive liveaboard (boat) that can get you to the more secluded sites.
Don’t Miss: If you’re travelling the entire country, visit the Elephant Nature Park outside Chiang Mai in the northern part of Thailand. Unfortunately, many elephants catering to the tourist trade in or around Phuket are less well taken care of.
Travel Tip: Some regions of Thailand have recently experienced violent political unrest, so check travel advisories before booking.