Photo: Getting ready to dive near Komodo National Park.

Scuba diving in Asia forum

Recommendations wanted for learning to dive in Thailand

Posted by GazzShaw on 29/12/2008 at 01:40

Hi all,

I'm going to be in Southeast Asia for five months from August onwards. I want to do a PADI open water course in Thailand and have heard that Koa Samui is one of the best places to learn?

Recommendations for locations and dive companies would be greatly received.

Many thanks,


#1 GazzShaw has been a member since 12/8/2008. Posts: 10

Posted by somtam2000 on 29/12/2008 at 05:59 admin

Hi G,

Ko Samui isn't so good, primarily because it is a longish way from most of the dive sites in the area. You're better off to use Ko Tao as a base. See this story that summarises the options in the area.

#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,933
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Posted by swag on 29/12/2008 at 06:26

plenty of great spots in thailand depending on which island you want to head to. koh chang on the east coast koh lanta on the west coast similans, koh tao in the gulf all have there point is i like to try and dive at 5 star idc centres as they have the highest accreditation and usually the best safety records and equipment.remember dive shops come and go and some gear looks a bit tatty so wise to check your dive shop out before commiting to a course.have fun

#3 swag has been a member since 28/3/2007. Location: Australia. Posts: 331
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Posted by GazzShaw on 29/12/2008 at 18:46

Many thanks for the information guys, much appreciated.


#4 GazzShaw has been a member since 12/8/2008. Posts: 10

Posted by idreamofdurian on 30/12/2008 at 21:44 TF writer

Ko Tao is hands-down Thailand's dive Mecca. It has the most options and prices to suit everyone. Diving on the west coast (Similan) is great, too - but significantly pricier.

#5 idreamofdurian has been a member since 5/9/2008. Location: Singapore. Posts: 576
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Posted by thailand_asia on 5/10/2009 at 12:20

it's actually doesnt matter where you do the diving course, some instruktors are good and some are just interested on your money... its everywere the same. and a course it a course so dont expect that you see so much, you can do fundives after your open water to explore the underwaterworld. in the course you hopefully lean more that you see!!
many whishes and have fun!

#6 thailand_asia has been a member since 7/7/2009. Location: Germany. Posts: 37

Posted by greenman42 on 5/10/2009 at 14:37

You should be there by now Gazzshaw. How about a trip/dive report. I'm going to Koh Tao to do some diving courses in Jan '10, I'm really interested in other peoples experiences.

#7 greenman42 has been a member since 18/9/2009. Posts: 63

Posted by Architeuthis on 5/10/2009 at 15:48

From my own experience I can recommend you diving in the Similans. I went there in 2008 diving with the Sea Bees, which have branches in Phuket and Khao Lak. Instructions, equipment and sealife were great.
Have fun...
Take only pictures, leave only bubbles...

#8 Architeuthis has been a member since 28/7/2009. Posts: 14

Posted by davipinks on 20/10/2009 at 17:49

Would appreciate a tip.......

Going to be in the Krabi area about a week before Chirstmas.
Best to book on line before or get sorted once there?


#9 davipinks has been a member since 28/11/2008. Posts: 4

Posted by somtam2000 on 21/10/2009 at 08:29 admin

davipinks-- depends on where in the Krabi area you are considering -- and how flexible you are on accommodation. A general round-up on the "should I book" dilemma is here:

#10 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,933
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Posted by Skimonkey on 21/10/2009 at 12:36

Hi All

The cheapest place to learn to dive in Thailand is Ko Tao open water course 9800B (in August 2009) as opposed to it's next door neigbour Ko Phangan at 12500B and there are more site's. I desided to go with MasterDivers, who were fantastic, enthusiastic and paitent. Some places will offer accomodation for the duration of the course included in the cost. However as to what you get, can vairy wildly regarding habitability (from what I have been told by people I have met on the way).

I am also going to Krabi, but going straight to Ko Lanta for some apparently fantastic diving, recomended to me by MasterDivers.

As far as booking goes, it's reasuring to know that you have somewhere to stay after a long trip to get there, especially as has been suggested if your going to be arriving late, or in the small hours in the morning. Personally I have only ever booked if I know I'm arriving at 1am etc, and then only for a day or two. This gives you the chance to look for other accomodation the following day should it not be what you expect.


#11 Skimonkey has been a member since 16/4/2009. Posts: 40

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