Lanta Diver miss you!
Uncertain times for Lanta Diver and for many businesses on Koh Lanta!
It’s been six months since we had to close Lanta Diver due to COVID-19, and even if some things are getting back to “normal” this is for sure difficult times for most people on Koh Lanta. Here is a little update on what we’ve been up to past months.
We spent lot of our time during Lockdown preparing for a possible opening. It wasn’t easy to find what kind of new regulations there would be if we could run Dive trips again, but with a lot of researching we manged to write new guidelines for diving, how to run the shop, cleaning dive gear, social distancing on the boat e t c.
Dive against Debris
Diving was not allowed during lockdown but we asked the authorities and we got the permission to do some “Clean up diving” around the pier. We managed to do five Clean ups and picked up several hundred kilos of trash. For obvious reason the Klong does not have the best vis but we managed to spot a juvenile scorpionfish, some nudis and flatworms, happy not just trash! All divers behaved like children on Christmas day, so excited to be back in the water! We also did a beach clean up on Long Beach and plan for more.
Ellse, a rescue dog
Due to COVID-19 Lanta Animal Welfare are struggeling with their kennel full and we wanted to help them and give one of the rescue dog some kennel rest. We chose Ellse who already was adopted and just waited to go to her for ever home. At first our plan was to foster her for a few weeks, but with a lot of time on our hands, and also falling in love with her, weeks turned into months. Charlie wasn’t too happy at first but after a couple of weeks they became best friends. We fostered Ellse for five months and when she finally went to her “parents” in the UK we were heartbroken. But, I am so happy we gave her a family for a while and I know she loves her new home, and that she is well taken care of. I get weekly updates on her progress, and I am so grateful for that! The couple who adopted Ellse also adopted her brother Tivoli! How amazing is that!
Back in business (sort of)
June 1 we got the go-ahead to open the dive shop but with Marine parks closed we had to try other dive sites and with a lot of hard work we managed to run our first Dive trip after Lockdown June 12! We went to Koh Maa and Hin Bida and there was a lot of happy faces on that boat! On July 12 Koh Phi Phi Marin park opened and we ran our first Dive trip to the Bida islands! Anamazing day indeed! Since then we’ve been running dive trips about once a week, which is a lot less than a normal Low season. With no regular tourists on the island it’s difficult to get the boat out, but we are happy to be able to run trips at all! We are determined to survive this and we plan for the future even if it is uncertain times.
The importance of Social media
Together we are strong! As no tourists are allowed into the country at this point we have to market ourselves even more towards Thais and Expats. Thanks to our dedicated staff we now have a small “social media group” working on ads, facebook posts and Instagram posts in Thai. We try to market not only Lanta Diver but also Koh Lanta! Our Thai staff told us Koh Lanta is a bit unknown for many people living in Thailand (which I didn’t know) and they choose Pattaya, Phi Phi, Phuket and Koh Tao for their holiday. We put together a dive package but also recommend other activities on the island for those not interested in diving. Hopefully this will help us and Koh Lanta!
This too shall pass
Even for a low season it is very quiet on the island and it is heartbreaking to see all the empty shops, empty restaurants and empty beaches. So many businesses are forced to close due to almost no tourists. Thailand is making plans for how to open the country with a new tourist visa for selected countries. But with the 14 days of quarantine in expensive ASQ hotels (Alternative State Quarantine) we most certain will have to wait for High season. People are really struggling just to survive and I hope the process of opening the borders will not take too long.
Difficult times yes, but we are looking forward to October 15 when Koh Haa, Hin Daeng/Hin Muang and Ko Rok open again! Let us know if you want to join us!
If you want to help us, please share our facebook posts and write a TripAdvisor review! You can also purchase a Voucher which you can use when you can come back to Lanta.
As English is not my first language I apologise for any spelling- and grammar errors 🙂
Stay safe everyone!! Hope to see you soon!