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Thailand forum

Learning to dive in Thailand - where?

Posted by damo on 10/11/2009 at 00:28


I've decided to learn how to dive while I'm visiting Thailand this December. I had previously not planned to visit any islands or anywhere south of Bangkok, so now I have a fairly big change to my itinerary.

I've read that Koh Tao would be a bad place to aim for at this time of year due to the weather, so I'm thinking of either Koh Chang or somewhere on the Andaman coast. Does anyone have any advice? I suppose I'll want to hang around for a few extra days on the beach. I'm not into hitting party-central, I prefer natural beauty, quiet beaches, outdoor activities and a small social scene.

Also, should I book this course in advance, or would I be better just showing up and trying a few places for a good price (everywhere seems to be about 50% more expensive than Koh Tao).

Any tips or advice much appreciated.

#1 damo has been a member since 9/11/2009. Posts: 14

Posted by Architeuthis on 10/11/2009 at 03:42

Hi damo.

In 2008 I went diving with the Sea Bees in Khao Lak and it was one of the greatest experienced I made. They have one of the hightest standard in equipemt security imo. We went diving near the Similans which is one of the best divespots worldwide.

So, divespots, trainers and the crew where great.
If you have enough time, you can just show up. If not, I think its better to book in advance. If you are unsure about the whole diving thing, its good to find a diveschool which offers one-day trydives. And if you like it they give you discount for the whole course.

Hope this helps

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

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Posted by chris1dna on 10/11/2009 at 03:58

My experience has been the best diving is in the andaman but the best dive instrutors are in koh tao. Its very cheap to take courses there and rooms are cheap. Khao Lak is where all the boats operators pick up there divers from live aboards to day trips. My last live aboard off phuket/khao lak was with west coast divers. They were very profesional and the boat was fantastic. On koh tao i always get my certifications with scuba junction at sairee beach on koh tao. They are inepensive and very profesional and reliable. I'm not shilling for either of these outfits. I just had good experience with them is all. The conditions are spotty in the gulf this time of year and the andaman is always spectacular. You sound like you want lessons so maybe koh tao is right. The conditions there on koh tao are that it is low vis sometimes but the sea conditions are just fine. The gulf of thailand is still stired up somewhat from the storms to the east and south. You will have a great time no matter which you choose my friend. The diving is all your gonna be thinkin about during the class anyway so have fun! =)))

#3 chris1dna has been a member since 19/11/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 23

Posted by chris1dna on 10/11/2009 at 04:01

Ohh, and another thing. Koh Tao is very laid back and relaxed and the food there is much better than anywhere on Phuket. I'm not judgin I'm just sayin. I don't know how they do it on Koh Tao so well but they do.

#4 chris1dna has been a member since 19/11/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 23

Posted by damo on 10/11/2009 at 19:58

Thanks for the replies. Would I get a few decent dives in as part of an Open Watre course? If so, I don't really see the point in going somewhere with low visability. Will it be the same story up on Koh Chang?

#5 damo has been a member since 9/11/2009. Posts: 14

Posted by chris1dna on 10/11/2009 at 21:59

I don't know about Koh Chang. I'ts in the Gulf of Thailand as well right? I would think conditions would be similar. The open water dives I took on Koh Tao about five years ago were great! I have been back there three more times and the dives were outstanding. If this the only time in your life you will EVER go diving then by a means the Andaman Sea and Kao Lak is the right choice. If wanting to learn at a reasonable cost with many more dive to come, Koh Tao would be my choice. Koh Tao is a divers Mecca. Only one of the dives was really bad. That was a a dive a Koh Nangyuan. You get at least five dives with the SSI open water course I beleive. Scuba Junction has a website that could tell you more. I hope this help friend. I think we just got lucky to have had the experience's that we had. My wife and I have a good friend on Phuket who steered us to Koh Tao when we were wanting to take the Open Water course. I am sure that no matter where we would have gone would have been great as well. Learning at Koh Tao worked very well for us. Diving now all over Thailand and off Burma are fantastic almost anywhwere you go.. =))

Best Regards, Chris

#6 chris1dna has been a member since 19/11/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 23

Posted by Amarusol on 11/11/2009 at 10:46

How much do these courses cost, me and buddy are doing 6 months in this lovely part of the world and would love to experience some scuba diving. Is it worth it if your just backpacking around to invest in this? Anything is appreciated.

#7 Amarusol has been a member since 14/10/2009. Posts: 11

Posted by damo on 11/11/2009 at 17:24

seems to be around 10,000 baht on Koh Tao and closer to 15,000 elsewhere

#8 damo has been a member since 9/11/2009. Posts: 14

Posted by thailand_asia on 12/11/2009 at 22:33

on koh chang the open water coast about 13000, the conditions are similiar than on koh tao, in dezember are on chang island the best conditions with 25m+ visibility. enjoy

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

Posted by chris1dna on 13/11/2009 at 00:26

A large part of Koh Tao is mostly backpacker types anyways who also happen to love scuba...=) I it worth in investing? Depends on you. For me it's kinda like this. I cant go to outer space so this is the next best thing. Actually I heard somewhere that there is far more knowledge about the moon than there is about our own ocean's. It's amazing..=) Good luck.


#10 chris1dna has been a member since 19/11/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 23

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