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Choosing the Best Dive School in Koh Tao

Choosing the Best Dive School in Koh Tao

There are greater than 50 diving faculties in Koh Tao, How do you select the greatest dive middle in your Open water course? Right here we talk about how to decide on a coaching facility and evaluate a few of of the prime dive faculties on Koh Tao.

On my current dive journey to Koh Tao I spent a while visiting a few well-liked dive facilities, speaking to house owners and employees and taking a look at their dive gear and amenities. I’m a dive teacher myself and have labored and dived in many locations round Asia. Koh Tao is a superb place for dive coaching with wonderful circumstances and lots of dive faculties, hopefully this text will assist you to decide on the dive faculty in Koh Tao greatest suited to you. With a critical habit to being in the water my life modified the day I first put a diving masks on. For vacationers this quote places a pleasant justification for why journey addicts will love diving – ‘71% of planet earth is water. If you’re a scuba diver, get on the market and dive it! For those who’re not a diver, nicely, take pleasure in your 29%’. I’ve promised lots of my open water college students ‘diving will change the way you travel’. Seeing their pictures from unimaginable dive websites over the world on Instagram confirmed me I used to be proper.

Picture Credit score – PADI

Diving in Thailand

With about 350 named dive websites, nice visibility and heat water all yr spherical, the lovely reefs and superb marine lifetime of Thailand create a few of the greatest dive websites in the world. Thailand has two seas with very totally different circumstances and seasons.

  • In the Gulf of Thailand the principal islands to dive from is Koh Tao, Koh Phangan, Koh Samui and Koh Chang.
  • The Andaman sea dive websites are situated round Phi Phi islands, Koh Lanta, Koh Lipe, Krabi, Phuket and the Similan Island/Khao Lak space.
  • The Gulf of Thailand  could be dived all yr, however the greatest diving circumstances are from Might via September
  • In the Andaman Sea the greatest diving is from October via April

Koh Tao in the Gulf of Thailand is certainly one of the hottest locations in the world to do your open water dive course for an excellent purpose and our decide in Thailand.

  • With greater than 50 dive faculties on the island there’s a number of competitors and the programs are nicely priced with out sacrificing high quality of coaching.
  • There are an abundance of dive websites near the island and boats from close by islands drive all the option to Koh Tao to dive.
  • It’s is a wonderful island with a relaxed way of life, I liked renting a scooter and driving round the island visiting the unreal seashores, really paradise!

Koh Tao Diving Course – What’s the Course Like?

You’re in all probability on vacation, simply word there might be some concept, expertise and exams concerned. The course size is often three or Four days and include concept, confined periods in the pool or shallow water to show you how one can use the gear and your Four open water dives, the superior half. The open water course is enjoyable and exiting, however will hold you busy most of the day, not a good way to spend Four of your 6 days on honeymoon. You need to watch a few hours of movies, talk about it together with your teacher, do quizzes and cross an examination. Don’t fear an excessive amount of about the physics and physiology, it isn’t too difficult with 10 yr olds mastering the course work, your teacher will ensure you perceive every part. You can too full the principle earlier than you arrive on-line.

whale-shark koh taoThe location most divers hope for diving round Koh Tao – diving with a whale ahark.

Select the greatest dive faculty in Koh Tao

1. Status

Go to a longtime dive resort with good evaluations. TripAdvisor, Lonely Planet and Fb are nice locations to go and see what others skilled. See if yow will discover weblog posts. (good job discovering this one!)

2.The Vibe

You will spend loads of your vacation/journey time at this dive middle, be sure to like the environment, the individuals and the location.

three.Location

Most of the dive faculties are situated in 2 principal areas;  Mae haad and Sairee Seashore, situated solely 2km aside (15 min stroll). I stayed in each and most popular Sairee Seashore. Mae Haad is the most important city and ferry port the place you’ll arrive on Koh Tao. There are all kinds of outlets and eating places, it’s a little village with many  lodging choices. Sairee Seashore is the liveliest and most vibrant space on the island with many bars, eating places, golf equipment and dive outlets. I stayed in each and beloved the vibe on Sairee, it was busy however by no means too loopy or noisy.

Four. Measurement

There are faculties of all sizes on the island, I really feel class measurement is extra necessary than the measurement of the faculty. Ask ‘how many students per instructor?’ I’ve heard many individuals seek advice from huge faculties as factories churning out certifications. So what? If an enormous faculty has small group sizes, good gear and amenities and good instructors why wouldn’t it be impersonal or hurried? not my expertise in any respect. Watch out of actually small faculties, they’re typically ‘fly by night’ operations and lure college students with low costs. Go for a properly established faculty.

5. Open Water Dive Worth

All dive facilities in Koh Tao agreed to cost a minimal worth of 11 000 THB ($336) not together with extras reminiscent of lodging in 2018.

This minimal worth is for all certification businesses; PADI, SSI and so forth.

For so long as I keep in mind Koh Tao has been generally known as an affordable place for prime quality dive coaching. Diving right here in September 2018 there have been nonetheless many smaller/new dive faculties competing on worth and you might do an Open water dive course for THB 7500 ($230). Although the worth of an Open water course elevated considerably it’s nonetheless nicely priced in comparison with different common coaching places. There’s a vital worth distinction between PADI and SSI programs in most of those places.

clown fish thailand

Typical Open water dive course costs round the world:

  • Bali (Indonesia)                $275 – 395
  • Utila (Honduras)              $290 -370
  • Koh Tao (Thailand)          $360
  • Cozumel (Mexic0)            $375
  • Gili islands (Indonesia)   $400
  • Belize                                   $450
  • Bonair                                  $490

6. Coaching company – Select between PADI, SSI and the relaxation

The 2 hottest diving coaching businesses round the world are PADI (Skilled Affiliation of Dive Instructors) and SSI (Scuba Faculties Worldwide), with individuals typically referring to doing their open water course as ‘getting my Padi’. Well-known businesses are PADI, SSI, NAUI, RAID, CMAS, TDI or SDI. Each coaching company will train you the right way to be a reliable diver by doing principle, confined periods (swimming pool or pool-like circumstances in shallow water) and open water dive coaching all  comply with the basic framework laid down by the World Leisure Scuba Diving Council.

There are not any vital variations in the expertise and necessities by these businesses.

  • Doing all of your course by means of any of those businesses might be accepted if you wish to dive world broad.
  • You possibly can all the time cross-over between associations, e.g. do a SSI open water and a PADI superior.
  • In case you are contemplating working as a dive skilled I might advocate doing you divemaster/teacher coaching with PADI or SSI. As a PADI teacher I’ve been provided positions throughout the world.
  • PADI programs tends to be costlier than SSI (not on Koh Tao)

7. Amenities

  • Amenities are essential
  • The Pool – does the faculty have one? many smaller faculties dont have a pool and do confined water coaching in shallow water in line with requirements, in ‘swimming pool like’ circumstances. Tides, wind and swell circumstances usually are not all the time as calm as in a pool not providing the greatest circumstances to familiarize new college students with gear. This isn’t an excellent choice for college kids that aren’t very assured in the water.
  • The Classroom – you’ll spend a whole lot of time right here watching coaching movies and in class discussions, is it snug, meals and drinks out there shut by?

eight. Gear

Is the gear in good situation? As a brand new diver there’s not rather more to search for, however model new or very nicely taken care of package from a good model reminiscent of Mares, Scuba Professional or Aqualung is an effective signal.

9. Lodging

Some dive resorts personal their very own lodging or has a partnership with a facility. Free lodging clearly saves some huge cash and it’s good to remain in the similar place as the individuals you’re on track with. Simply go and take look if you need to remain at the provided lodging for a few days or for those who can improve.

10. Surroundings

Is the faculty environmentally acutely aware? I used to be very impressed with how environmentally pleasant the entire island is. 7 Eleven provides no plastic luggage, straws usually are not allowed on Koh Tao. All dive faculties that I went to in Koh Tao made a particular effort, starting from  garbage amassing dives to having it’s personal recycling plant!

11. On-line coaching

Finishing the concept on-line earlier than you arrive is nice in case you are on vacation with restricted time. The web principle is free with SSI faculties, that is superior for backpackers that don’t need to pay for an costly guide that they typically find yourself abandoning after the course.

Dive Insurance coverage

Considering of issues that may go improper an excessive amount of can put a damper in your journey, however there are apparent dangers. Many dive places are distant with minimal medical amenities. Accidents do occur, be ready. World Nomads journey insurance coverage covers vacationers from most nations round the world and canopy may even be organised while you’re touring. They specialize in masking journey actions like diving. Ensure you take out the applicable cowl. Get a on-line quote in seconds. Have your journey, your well being and your gear coated, learn the small print. World Nomads Diving Insurance coverage

DIVE centers koh tao

Roctopus Dive

Roctopus Dive in Koh Tao is a vibrant dive middle with pleasant employees, captivated with diving that rubs off on you. It’s a medium sized middle with 15 instructors that was established in 2011. I liked the vibe at Roctopus, the younger employees members are skilled and stay for diving, whether or not you need to study, or simply dive you’ll have an excellent time at Roctopus diving with this thrilling, protected crew. I met a few Roctopus college students they usually raved about the middle, most of them persevering with with a complicated course.

TripAdvisor – 94% Wonderful 2702 critiques

roctopus dive crew koh tao

Location

Sairee Seashore

About their Open water course

  • Roctopus is a RAID coaching middle primarily operating programs  via RAID, however the choice of SSI is obtainable they usually can accommodate you if you wish to do your coaching by means of PADI.
  • The Open water programs prices THB 11 100 ($338) Dec 2018.
  • Period of Open water course is Four days
  • Small courses, Four college students per teacher
  • They dive all websites throughout the course relying on circumstances.

Amenities

  • Roctopus has a specifically designed pool for confined coaching
  • Air conditioned class rooms

Pals of the Setting

Roctopus are very concerned in conservation and recycling,  they do the seashore clear ups, clear up dives and so on, that many dive facilities do however transcend this by providing conservation coaching with one, 5, and two-week marine conservation packages in addition to eight week Eco belief marine conservation internships and three month Eco dive grasp internships. Concerned with constructing and sustaining Koh Tao’s hottest synthetic reef.

Programs provided

  • Open water, Superior, Rescue Diver, Dive Grasp, Teacher and full vary of specialty coaching programs.
  • Roctopus Dive can give you an Open Water and Superior course by PADI, SSI and RAID, they qualify principally RAID divers.
  • Roctopus is a RAID teacher coaching middle and this can be a nice middle to work as a dive grasp trainee with an amazing vibe, amenities and skilled staff. In the Dive grasp Coaching Program  you take part in numerous classroom and in-water workshops. You additionally help skilled instructors throughout programs and also you get limitless dives throughout your Divemaster Coaching Program!

Davy Jones Locker (DJL)

Davy Jones Locker (DJL) Diving is a medium sized 5 Star PADI CDC Resort with 22 years of expertise at the time of writing! (established 1996). The employees is pleasant, useful, and professional. They do all ranges of coaching, however with 2 full time Platinum rated Course Administrators on employees this a superb place to be if you wish to turn out to be a PADI dive grasp or teacher.

TripAdvisor – 92% Wonderful out of 1093 critiques

davy-jones-locker-koh-tao-tech-dive-thailand

Location

Sairee Seashore

Programs provided

  • Open Water programs proper by means of to Teacher and Employees Teacher programs.  ‘zero to hero’ fashion.
  • Internships provided to go out of your first dive to PADI teacher.
  • MSDT internships
  • They focus lots on their dive grasp coaching program.
  • Supply PADI technical dive coaching
  • Number of Technical, Boat Dealing with and Underwater Videography programs.

About their Open water course

  • PADI Open Water Diver Course [4 days]
  • The Open water programs prices THB 11 000 ($335) Dec 2018.
  • Period: Four Days

Associates of the Surroundings

DJL are very concerned in conservation and recycling with a totally plastic free bar and restaurant. Drive undertaking Conscious ‘Dive against debris’, Huge ocean garbage collections. Lively member of ‘Save Koh Tao’ motion.  They participate in common seashore and reef clear ups.

Amenities

DJL has a swimming pool, bar & restaurant together with a variety of lodging for all diving clients.

Crystal Dive

With greater than 20 years expertise Crystal dive is one in every of the most established dive facilities on Koh Tao. Crystal gives a full vary of PADI programs, from Open water to teacher. This skilled dive middle with pleasant, useful employees situated proper on Mae Haad seashore can also be an excellent choice at no cost diving,  technical or eco coaching. With no less than one IDC per thirty days an amazing place for teacher coaching.

TripAdvisor – 94% Wonderful out of 499 critiques

crystaldive-koh-tao

Location

Mae Haad

Programs provided

  • All PADI diving programs from newbie to skilled degree
  • Full vary of PADI Specialty programs.
  • PADI Free diving programs, technical diving, Skilled degree Underwater Images and Underwater Video Programs
  • With Four course administrators on employees and operating no less than one Teacher course per 30 days, good spot for teacher coaching
  • All skilled programs Dive Grasp to PADI Employees teacher!
  • MSDT internship
  • Divemaster program good place to study all features of being a dive grasp.

About their Open water course

  • PADI Open Water Diver Course
  • The Open water programs prices THB 11 000 ($335) Dec 2018.
  • Period: Four Days
  • Medium group measurement with max 6 college students per teacher

Buddies of the Surroundings

  • Very concerned in Marine Conservation tasks, constructing and sustaining Koh Tao’s hottest synthetic reef serving to to protect the waters round Koh Tao.
  • Work environmental organisation Eco Koh Tao to guard the marine surroundings round Koh Tao.
  • Supply a variety of Marine conservation Eco diving programs and packages.

Amenities

Situated on Mae Haad seashore with quite a lot of lodging each Thai fashion bungalows and AC rooms with partnerships for extra higher class lodging. Good swimming pool and bar to relax after the day’s diving.

Sairee Seashore Cottage

Sairee Seashore Cottage is a medium measurement 5 star PADI diving faculty, they actually have lovely amenities and Sairee is a pleasant place for couples to do dive coaching. The employees is pleasant and the individuals I spoke to raved about their programs from open water via to teacher. Need to go skilled? take a look at their Dive grasp and Diving Teacher super-yacht coaching packages to land a job educating diving on a yacht!

TripAdvisor – 92% Wonderful out of 743 diving critiques

Sairee-Cottage-Diving

Location

Sairee Seashore

Programs provided

  • Provides all PADI programs Open Water programs via to Teacher
  • Many extras provided on their dive grasp program will higher equip you to develop into a superb dive chief.
  • Need to work on a yacht? The  Dive grasp and Diving Teacher super-yacht coaching presents distinctive coaching with their yachting companions in Phuket to launch you in the direction of this dream
  • Number of specialty programs.

About their Open water course

  • PADI Open Water Diver Course
  • The Open water programs prices THB 11 000 ($335) Dec 2018.
  • Period: three Days
  • Medium group measurement with max 6 college students per teacher

Amenities

Very good class rooms, lovely swimming pool bar, number of lodging for various budgets, from primary bungalows (which might be an ideal change when you’ve got been staying in dorms for months), to quite a lot of lovely rooms at good costs, take a look at the rooms on the pool.

Pals of the Setting

An Eco pleasant dive middle that’s massive on recycling. As a 100% AWARE companion centre they organise eco days regularly and donate to PADI ProjectAWARE with each certification.

Massive Blue Diving

Established in 1981 Massive Blue is certainly one of Koh Tao’s longest established Dive Facilities with 28 years expertise at the time of writing! The middle oozes professionalism and I liked the amenities right here,  situated proper on the seashore with a bar and restaurant for the final island vibe. Extremely rated for almost every thing you are able to do with a masks on scuba diving – open water to teacher, free diving or technical coaching. The employees was pleasant and useful and college students I spoke to liked Huge Blue.

TripAdvisor – 88% Wonderful out of 3311 critiques

Big Blue Diving Resort

Location

Sairee Seashore

Programs provided

Full vary of Scuba Diving Programs from Open Water to Scuba Teacher (SSI Diamond teacher coaching middle). Additionally specialists in Freediving, Technical Diving, Teacher Coaching & skilled Underwater Videography

About their Open water course

  • Huge Blue is a SSI Diamond teacher coaching middle primarily operating programs  via SSI, however they provide the choice  to do your coaching by means of BSAC (British Sub Aqua Membership) or PADI.
  • The Open water programs prices THB 11 000 ($335) Dec 2018.
  • Period of Open water course is Four days
  • Small to medium courses Four-6 college students per teacher
  • Lodging – THB 300 per night time for dormitory mattress throughout course, improve choice obtainable
  • They dive all websites throughout the course relying on circumstances.

Amenities

  • Step on to the seashore out of the dive middle.
  • Specifically designed pool for confined coaching
  • Air conditioned class rooms
  • Huge Blue have an amazing restaurant on sight which has an excellent mixture of Thai and western meals out there all day.

Associates of the Surroundings

Huge Blue are very concerned in conservation and recycling. DMT’s train native youngsters easy methods to snorkel and preserve the reefs. They helped to arrange the ‘Save Koh Tao‘ motion  to preserve pure assets.  They participate in common seashore and reef clear ups. Massive Blue has a prime 10 Inexperienced Fins score for his or her environmental strategy.

Bans Dive Resort

Owned and operated by an area household Ban’s is knowledgeable Dive middle and in style resort began in 1993 (25 years in the past). The dive middle is very large, claiming to be the largest PADI dive middle in the world. When  seek advice from a big dive resort as a manufacturing unit, Bans come to thoughts, in 2014 they handed the 150 000 college students licensed mark. I assumed this can be a fairly superior manufacturing unit! Superb amenities and as an enormous IDC middle qualifying 20 instructors each month, of which many need to keep, they will pic the cream of the crop for brand spanking new instructors and dive masters. Relating to conservation and Eco pleasant practices Bans undoubtedly leads the method. Being so huge is usually a double edged sword; superb assets and amenities, however by being an enormous resort and dive middle there are sure to be some issues as might be seen from critiques.

TripAdvisor – 71% Wonderful out of 2131  critiques

bans-dive-resort

Location

Sairee Seashore

Programs provided

  • All PADI programs Open Water programs proper via to Teacher and Employees Teacher programs.
  • Internships provided to go out of your first dive to PADI teacher.
  • With Four course administrators on employees and operating at the least on Teacher course per thirty days, excellent spot for teacher coaching
  • MSDT internships
  • Divemaster program good place to study all points of being a dive grasp.

About their Open water course

  • PADI Open Water Diver Course
  • The Open water programs prices THB 11 000 ($335) Dec 2018.
  • Period: Four Days
  • Medium group measurement with max 6 college students per teacher

Buddies of the Setting

The Eco pleasant aspect at Bans is actually superb with an enormous recycling middle doing recycling for a lot of different dive facilities and amenities on the island. Bans manufacture many natural merchandise by way of recycling that they promote over the island.

The resort makes use of solely their very own eco pleasant detergents to wash the rooms and develop lots of their very own fruit and greens for the Bans retaurants, utilizing natural pesticides.

Very concerned in ocean conservation by way of undertaking conscious

They hold their shoppers concerned with conservation by way of common snorkel ocean clear ups and supply free gear on clear up dives.

Amenities

The resort has Four superb swimming swimming pools, 2 eating places on the seashore and 250 rooms for lodging

Scuba Membership

The Scuba Membership is a small faculty and considered one of the newer coaching amenities on our record (since 2015). I stayed in a hostel affiliated to the Scuba Membership and met a few open water college students, they have been all very proud of the coaching and amenities. We included them in this listing due to the excessive proportion of glad shoppers I met and from critiques, need to help the little man?

TripAdvisor – 96% Wonderful out of 348 critiques

scuba club koh tao

Location

Mae Haad

Programs provided

Scuba Membership is an SSI faculty and supply programs Open Water to Rescue.

About their Open water course

  • SSI Open Water Diver Course
  • The Open water programs prices THB 11 000 ($335) Dec 2018.
  • Period: Four Days
  • Small group measurement with Four college students per teacher
  • No Pool, confined coaching is completed in shallow water in the ocean

Pals of the Surroundings

Manage and information ecologically targeted dives and seashore clear ups round the island.

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