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Thailand Coral Reef Conservation and Diving

  • In Brief
  • The Project
  • What to Expect
  • Reviews
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Thailand Coral Reef Conservation and Diving Thailand Coral Reef Conservation and Diving Thailand Coral Reef Conservation and Diving Thailand Coral Reef Conservation and Diving Thailand Coral Reef Conservation and Diving
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Thailand continues to be one of the most tempting destinations for those who are seeking a combination of enchanting natural surroundings, alluring culture, and incredible biodiversity. Breathtaking silvery beaches lapped by warm, crystal clear waters are complemented by friendly locals, mouth-watering local delicacies, and an ancient and fascinating historical heritage rooted in Buddhist origins.

Check out our Thailand Coral Reef Conservation video


Koh Tao is most definitely the jewel in Thailand’s royal crown, famed for its laid back atmosphere and immaculate coral reef diving. However, in recent years the island's land resources and coral reefs have come under increasing threat from rapid, unregulated and unsustainable development. Join our marine conservation and diving project and help protect this beautiful island and its pristine coral reefs for future generations whilst enjoying all this exotic country has to offer the adventurous traveller.

The work you carry out will be rewarding, challenging, and hugely beneficial to conservation efforts, as well as being amazing fun!  At the end of the day you will gain immense satisfaction from knowing that you have helped to save this precious marine wilderness.

PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS

•    Learn to dive in this land of intense beauty
•    Make lifelong friends
•    Help to preserve the delicate marine ecosystems

PROJECT REQUIREMENTS

  • Intermediate level of English
Beach Emergency Hotel Research PADI Qualification Marine Coastal Snorkelling Family
FAST FACTS
Location

Koh Tao, Thailand

Activities Learn to dive on the magical island of Koh Tao
Locate and map the coral reefs
Study the varied and abundant marine life living on the coral reefs
Carry out underwater visual censuses
Study the impact of external factors on the health of the coral reef
Record organisms that inhabit the marine ecosystem
Relax on white sand beaches in your free time
Transport

Make your own way to the project site

Accommodation Backpacker-style accommodation

WHAT'S INCLUDED
Before you go

Pre-departure support
Travel & medical advice & documentation
Equipment advice
Discounted medical kit
Free Frontier t-shirt

In-country

Accommodation
Local orientation
Certificates, dive manuals, instructor fees and equipment provided
Additional dive courses available at extra cost
In-country emergency support
24-hour international HQ back-up

WHAT DOES THE PROJECT DO?

The project has been running on Koh Tao since 2008, having been set up by members of the local community to help preserve their local culture, land resources and coral reefs. The project has three different components, land conservation; marine conservation; and education, each playing their own part in helping to preserve the island.

The main aim of the marine conservation aspect of the project is to monitor and evaluate the health, status and diversity of Koh Tao’s coral reefs in order to improve their current management and to ensure their long-term conservation. The regional economies and ecosystems depend largely on the health of coral reefs, which are declining in many areas due to human activities both on land and in the sea. Through research, the island communities hope to identify negative and positive trends in reef health and produce quantitative data that can be used to focus work efforts and influence policy changes. Through the use of passive and active restoration techniques they hope to reduce the impacts of human activities on Koh Tao’s Reefs and assist in new reef development by maintaining biodiversity at levels that allows for the succession of corals following disturbance events.

Koh Tao's luxuriant mangroves, luminous sea grass beds and dazzling coral reefs play host to a multitude of tropical reef fish, seahorses and graceful sea turtles.  Offshore there are dolphins and manta rays, and the deeper waters are a regular stop-off for giant whale sharks.

WHAT WILL I BE DOING?

The marine research and conservation programme is run in association with a local Koh Tao community organisation.  This research and conservation project aims to provide the local stakeholders and government bodies with the information they need to design and implement management plans for the future protection of this marine ecosystem.  

To gather the data needed you will dive, locate and map the extensive coral reefs and study the various communities existing on them.  You may explore and record the living organisms that inhabit the luxuriant mangrove forests, dense seagrass beds and productive inter-tidals in the area.  To do this you will deploy a wide range of newly learned research skills and scientific techniques including; underwater visual census of reef fish such as cloud fish, assessment of algal and coral cover to determine the extent and degree of coral damage due to erosion, line intercept transects for benthic life and indicator invertebrate species such as nudibranchs.  You may even get to study the impact of tourism development is having on marine communities.

Although the work is challenging you will get immense satisfaction from having made a valuable contrbution to the conservation of this marine wilderness.  You will return home with the new friends you've made and a wealth of incredible memories. Whilst on your placement you will work with a group of international and local conservation volunteers, researchers and divers to learn about and be involved in local coral reef management through education, research, and restoration.
 

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I ARRIVE?

The project is located on the beautiful island of Koh Toa off the east coast of mainland Thailand. You could fly into either Koh Samui or Surat Thani airport where you will then use our easy to follow instructions to make your way to the connecting ferry. We will provide you with all the information you need prior to your departure to enable you to plan your journey.  Upon arrival at the main island pier you will be met by a friendly Frontier representative and taken to your accommodation!

WHERE WILL I BE STAYING?

Whilst participating in this project you will be staying in a simple room at a little family run resort right by the beach in the south of the island, a few minutes walk from the dive school. Local amenities, bars and restaurants are within walking distance from the resort which is surrounded by tranquil gardens making it the perfect place to relax after a fun day of diving.

WHAT WILL I BE EATING?

Food is not provided as part of this programme. This is a fun element of travelling away from home as it gives you that added freedom and is a good opportunity to bond with fellow travellers while exploring local restaurants and market stalls! All meals are based on fresh produce that is purchased from the local area.  Enjoy fragrant Thai specialities, such as mild coconut curries, fragrant steamed rice, or dumplings.  Enjoy your meals alongside your fellow volunteers in the comfort of your peaceful surroundings.

THAILAND CORAL REEF CONSERVATION  | 10 Jul 2012
The turtle's name is Bim and he is due to be released into the ocean in September.   ...

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...acquainted with a whale shark!  | 15 Feb 2012
  Stepping off the interisland ferry on to Koh Tao I had a feeling of nervous anticipati...

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The course was well executed, organized, informative, productive and most of all fun  | 2 Feb 2012
My time with Frontier was fantastic. It was my first stop on a 5 month trip around Asia where I v...

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Coral Conservation on Kho Tao  | 23 Aug 2011
My time on the Koh Tao marine conservation project was fantastic. I spent 3 weeks there, and foun...

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ADDITIONAL OPPORTUNITIES

In your spare time you can explore the local area and absorb Thailand's captivating culture. Explore golden temples, with their ancient Buddhist carvings and magical atmosphere. Try some more adventurous activities, such as mountain biking through the stunning landscape, diving, sailing or even sea canoeing.  Enjoy a Thai massage, which really will give you a new sense of serenity! As you can see, there will be no shortage of ways to occupy your time off.
 

COSTS

1 week US$ 1,195

2 weeks US$ 1,645

Extra week US$ 395

For PADI Open Water and Advanced Open Water training - US$540

For PADI Advanced Open Water training - US$360

Please note that 1 week durations only available to participants with existing dive qualifications up to Advanced Open Water level or equivalent.

EFR, Rescue Diver and Divemaster training available at an additional cost.

DEPARTURE DATES

Weekly, starts on a Monday.  This project does not run between the 15th October and 15th December due to the monsoon season.

DURATION

1 week +

WHAT'S INCLUDED

Before you go

  • Pre-departure support
  • Travel & medical advice & documentation
  • Equipment advice
  • Discounted medical kit
  • Free Frontier t-shirt

In-country

  • Accommodation
  • Local orientation
  • In-country emergency support
  • 24-hour international HQ back-up

AIRPORT INFORMATION

Nearest airport(s): Koh Samui (USM)

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

Flights

Flights are not included in our project costs. However, Frontier have partnered with an experienced and professional team of travel experts to help our volunteers find the best flight deals for their trips with Frontier. This travel specialist operates in the tailor-made, long haul multi-stop travel market, arranging complex airfares and transfers for independent travellers. They provide expertise, security and a vast product range along with a Travel Butler service which is a single point of contact and support whilst you are overseas.

We recommend that you obtain a quote using the following contact details rather than book online, as our partner will offer you the most competitive fares. To receive your quote or to seek any advice for your flights, please contact Frontier’s dedicated team of travel experts on 0800 082 9994 (or +44 800 082 9994 outside the UK) or email frontier@flightcentre.co.uk .

Visas

For fast, efficient and up-to-date visa advice please contact our recommended visa consultancy partner:

Depending on your destination country and your country of origin, you might require a visa. Please see the appropriate country consular website for details or contact our affiliate visa consultancy service. Please note that your visa will usually start on the date that you enter the destination country regardless of when it was issued. Please check with the relevant embassy or high commission. If you are purchasing your visa or paying entry/exit fees in-country you will probably need to pay in US Dollars. If you have any questions please consult the relevant embassy or high commission. Please check the visa information regularly, as changes often happen without warning.

Insurance

You'll need to buy appropriate travel insurance covering your participation on the project. You won't be able to go without the right travel insurance so double check to avoid disappointment. Please make sure that you're covered for the whole duration of your trip – from the day you leave the UK to the day you return. It's also best to get your travel insurance at the same time as paying the deposit for your project. Depending on your policy, this will cover you for any unexpected cancellations.

Your insurance should include the following:

  • Medical cover, including medical emergencies and medical evacuations (up to USD$3,000,000 / GBP£2,000,000);
  • Personal liability (up to USD$1,500,000 / GBP£1,000,000);
  • Cancellation and curtailment of your trip (up to the value of your project contribution).

If you are going to be scuba diving you should get coverage for scuba diving up to 30m, including hyperbaric therapy treatment (unlimited). You should consider obtaining insurance to cover you for any additional activities which you plan to do during, before, or after your Frontier project. We recommend that you obtain cover for your baggage and personal effects.


LEGAL STATEMENT
Frontier Partner Projects and Frontier group projects are run in partnership with in-country NGOs, small community based organisations, local research institutes, academic organisations and conservation agencies. Project descriptions and information are supplied directly by our partners or field staff and are accurate at time of publishing.

We aim to keep information up to date and accurate, however, the nature of our projects and in particular the fact that they are constantly evolving and developing in response to changing needs means that project activities, travel schedules, tour itineraries and daily timetables can change overnight and without notice.