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Thailand forum

Best island for diving/getting your Beginner PADI certificate.

Posted by EmilAndersen on 21/1/2010 at 14:56

Hi guys and girls.

I'm looking for a place to get my Beginner PADI certificate. Do you guys know any good places to get it? the best island and the best school with the best theachers?

The last thing i would like to know is where is the best place to buy your diving/scuba gear?
IM planning on scubadiving and diving pretty much in my 3 month trip. im thinking i should have my own goggles, snorkel and fins.
Should i get anything else? Is the best place Bangkok or the islang?

Kindest Regards Emil Andersen

#1 EmilAndersen has been a member since 20/12/2009. Posts: 10

Posted by cybervlad on 24/1/2010 at 20:29

Hi Emil,
You can take any PADI courses almost everywhere on the coastline or islands in Thailand. Also almost every dive shop (except smallest one) offer you a range dive equipment to buy.
But if you ask for advice, I suggest you to head to Koh Tao island - "the diver's paradise". Big number of dive shops guaranteed you lowest prices and highest quality.

#2 cybervlad has been a member since 6/6/2007. Location: Thailand. Posts: 182
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Posted by christof on 25/1/2010 at 23:35

Koh Tao being the "diver's paradise" is a fiction. It is great place to party and has undoubtedly the cheapest Open Water courses. However, the visibility at this time of year is dubious and the sites are loaded with divers.

There are many other places in Thailand which offer much more pleasant diving conditions.

Depending on how far you go with your diving, you can get a good deal to purchase diving equipment. We generally offer our Divemaster trainees a significant discount on the purchase of a full set.

#3 christof has been a member since 23/7/2009. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 55
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Posted by EmilAndersen on 26/1/2010 at 01:25

okay. Thx for the answers.
Do you have to preorder the course? or is it able to book a day before?

#4 EmilAndersen has been a member since 20/12/2009. Posts: 10

Posted by swag on 26/1/2010 at 05:13

hi emil what time of year are you thinking of doing this. If in the next month I would recommend somewhere like Koh Lanta. I did some diving with Lanta divers a couple of times and found them to be very professional with good quality rental gear.

#5 swag has been a member since 28/3/2007. Location: Australia. Posts: 331
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Posted by mikethediver on 26/1/2010 at 05:47

"Do you guys know any good places to get it? the best island and the best school with the best teachers?"

Tall order! As said, the cheapest are on Koh Tao - but if there's sea and coast, there will be a dive shop! The thing is to meet your instructor, this may not (in fact most probably will not be) the guy in the shop that sells you the course! Ask to speak to person who will be instructing you - meet him and decide if you like him. Does he even speak your language to a degree that you are comfortable with? You are in a resort area; your instructor could be German, French, Thai, English whatever. PADI does try to enforce standards so you best bet is to go with your 'feeling' of your meeting with the instructor.

Other things to ask are the number of students on your course & where is the basic training done (this may be a swimming pool or the sea. (My opinion is a swimming pool offers a far better training environment, but a pool may not be available)) also where do you dive? (you must do 4 dives; some areas do 4 beach dives which is not really giving you the full training experience. Some areas 2 beach dives & 2 boat dives. Other areas 4 boat dives.

As regard equipment purchase. You do not know what is good or bad equipment as you are not a diver! Divers do not dive with 'goggles', but masks (Maybe just wording! I agree). Don't buy any equipment until you have spoken to your instructor, you 'may' get a great discount buying at the shop you are training with, and if you buy it at that shop and are unhappy with it, you might be able to arrange an alternative. Buying outside of your training shop this will certainly not happen.

Anyway, diving is great fun so do get trained and start blowing bubbles.

#6 mikethediver has been a member since 23/3/2008. Location: Thailand. Posts: 206
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Posted by EmilAndersen on 27/1/2010 at 01:33

Im planning on dooing the course in the early march.
Thx alot for the response.

Mikethediver: it seems like you know alot about the diving. Koh Tao is the cheepest. But where do you get the biggest diving experience?

How about the nightlife? is there any of that on the islands?

The last question i think im going to ask is do you need to book a time before arriving? or is it possible to do day to day bookings?

#7 EmilAndersen has been a member since 20/12/2009. Posts: 10

Posted by christof on 27/1/2010 at 19:58

In Koh Tao you will definitely not need to pre-book. My advice would be to turn up and look around.

You should be able to get a pretty good idea about a dive school by seeing how they treat you when you enter the shop. Then see if they are accommodating to your questions. As a newbie diver they should be willing to give you full information concerning course details and any concerns you may have. If they are patronising then give it a miss.

Finally, avoid any dive schools on Koh Tao who say that you are going to see Whale Sharks. They are quite rare and at this time of year they are over on our side. :-)

#8 christof has been a member since 23/7/2009. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 55
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Posted by EmilAndersen on 10/2/2010 at 01:29

On our side? What side is that? :P

From where do i have the biggest chance of seeing whale sharks?

#9 EmilAndersen has been a member since 20/12/2009. Posts: 10

Posted by christof on 12/2/2010 at 13:18

Andaman side....Richelieu Rock being the best site. Don't EXPECT to see them though it is still far more likely that you won't see a Whale Shark on any particular day.

#10 christof has been a member since 23/7/2009. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 55
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Posted by greenman42 on 3/3/2010 at 10:58

Actually Koh Tao is a great place to see whale sharks at this time of year. Four days out of five last week whalesharks were spotted, I was one of the lucky ones who got to swim with these enormous fish. This is just from one diveschool, Big Blue, I'm sure if I went to the other shops I would hear of whaleshark spottings daily.

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



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