Photo: Getting ready to dive near Komodo National Park.

Scuba diving in Asia forum

shall i just go snorkelling?

Posted by andrea13 on 30/7/2010 at 02:57

Hello all!
Ive never dived before, and since my time in SE Asia is limited to two months, shall I spend three days getting my PADI certificate or is it not worth the time? Money isnt a major issue as the diving is so cheap, but how much difference is there in experience between diving and snorkelling?

Thanks everyone!

#1 andrea13 has been a member since 5/5/2010. Posts: 31

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Posted by bradmcfc81 on 30/7/2010 at 07:12

There's a pretty big difference between snorkeling and diving. Once you get your Open Water course done however, you won't look back.

If you are unsure about actually doing the Open Water course, then i would suggest the introduction to diving, which is basically a days course that introduces you to the basics of diving. From there, i think you will be able to gauge whether or not the Open Water course is for you.

#2 bradmcfc81 has been a member since 21/6/2009. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 27

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Posted by ayesha on 30/7/2010 at 08:50 TF writer

I agree!

If you love snorkelling then you will love love love diving.

And if you are spending a few months here then its good to have your licence - it only takes 3 and a half days and then you can dive anywhere.

You can do a Discover Scuba Dive to try it out first if you like and if you do like it then you can just continue straight on and complete your course.

If you are worried about time then you can do your theory online before you leave to travel. Just look at the PADI website and follow the links for elearning - you have to choose your school though but you can change this later.

The other thing you can do is find a dive centre locally to you at home and do your theory and swimming pool work at home and then just complete your four dives when you arrive here. This is called a referal.

#3 ayesha has been a member since 12/6/2009. Location: Thailand. Posts: 74
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Posted by andrea13 on 30/7/2010 at 17:51

Thankyou both for the quick reply thats really helpful

#4 andrea13 has been a member since 5/5/2010. Posts: 31

Posted by DomesticG on 3/8/2010 at 14:00

Just to add, I think that 3 days would be just nice to take up your open water dive course. I did mine within 2.5 days, so 3 days is not a problem. Just be prepared that these 3 days, you will have to spend time, doing some readings, watching of videos, swim test, pool training before you get to the fun part, diving! In fact, on top of these, I still went partying every night when I was in Ko Tao.

It's definitely worth the time, effort and money! I've just got my OW cert almost a year ago, and I've been looking for new dive sites in Asia to explore! The excitement and new people you meet on each dive is an experience!

#5 DomesticG has been a member since 3/6/2010. Posts: 15

Posted by bradmcfc81 on 4/8/2010 at 06:49

Totally agree with DomesticG with regards to meeting new and exciting people on each dive, especially if you are traveling alone. It's a great way to hook up with people.

#6 bradmcfc81 has been a member since 21/6/2009. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 27

Posted by divejunkie on 28/8/2010 at 19:53

** how much difference is there in experience between diving and snorkelling? **
I encourage you to take open water course, then you will find the answer. While you're in SEA, enjoy diving in warm water! I Agree with DomesticG, lots of diving site in SEA to explore! You can find lots of info on SEA dive site at

Happy diving!

#7 divejunkie has been a member since 6/4/2010. Posts: 21

Posted by slapbreeya on 25/4/2011 at 13:04

I agree with many of the other comments. If you love to snorkel you will love to dive. The two are very different experiences.

I love them both for different reasons. Snorkeling you are free, you can surface dive down and sea the animals in complete silence with no breathing apparatus. SCUBA diving, you can go deeper and sea other animal life as well as the thrill of being 18-30m underwater.

My advice, do both. "Never try, never know", a wise old bird told me once. Its only three days and it could change your life and the way you travel :)

#8 slapbreeya has been a member since 22/4/2011. Location: Thailand. Posts: 50

Posted by Andy1979 on 16/5/2011 at 00:33

Interesting you ask, because I went through a similar experience to yourself. I've been living in the UAE for 8 months now which has some decent diving and snorkelling on the east coast. Me and a friend did quite alot of snorkelling together and really enjoyed it. We both enjoy swimming down to deep depths and we found we were seeing alot of wildlife on our outings, so we thought 'is diving worth it?'.

Some cheap Open Water courses came up through work so I decided to do it because I knew I wouldn't get it at that price anywhere ever again! Loved the course but I did a subsequent dive with 2 buddies and really didn't enjoy it! I was very disappointed. However, we thought maybe it was because we dived in a 3 and the dynamic just didn't work. Plus we rushed the dive a bit and the wildlife wasn't great at that location.

A couple of months went by and neither of us went diving again, but we went snorkelling a few times! Eventually though, we decided to give diving another chance and booked onto a dive day in Musandam, which is renowned for its good diving. It consisted of 2 dives and, let me tell you, as soon as we were underwater we knew it was going to be awesome! The wildlife was spectacular and diving in a pair worked SO much better. We could both relax and take our time finding lots of awesome things. Sometimes I would stop and look around and couldn't see the surface, but was surrounded by so much wildlife, it really was like another world.

I was sold on diving on that day. My faith was more than restored! Now I'm looking at doing some diving in Thailand in June/July.

Do it!

#9 Andy1979 has been a member since 15/5/2011. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 5
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