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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 one of the best 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 highest dive faculties on Koh Tao.

On my current dive journey to Koh Tao I spent a while visiting a few fashionable 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 lots of locations round Asia. Koh Tao is a superb place for dive coaching with wonderful circumstances and lots of dive faculties, hopefully this text will show you how to to decide on the dive faculty in Koh Tao greatest suited to you. With a critical habit to being within 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. For those who’re a scuba diver, get on the market and dive it! In case you’re not a diver, properly, take pleasure in your 29%’. I’ve promised lots of my open water college students ‘diving will change the best way you journey’. 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 gorgeous reefs and superb marine lifetime of Thailand create a number of the greatest dive websites on the earth. Thailand has two seas with very totally different circumstances and seasons.

  • Within the Gulf of Thailand the primary 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  may be dived all yr, however the most effective diving circumstances are from Might by means of September
  • Within the Andaman Sea the most effective diving is from October by way of April

Koh Tao within the Gulf of Thailand is likely one of the hottest locations on the planet to do your open water dive course for a very good cause and our decide in Thailand.

  • With greater than 50 dive faculties on the island there’s lots 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 best way to Koh Tao to dive.
  • It’s is an exquisite island with a relaxed way of life, I liked renting a scooter and driving across 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 observe there can be some principle, expertise and checks concerned. The course size is often three or Four days and include concept, confined periods within the pool or shallow water to show you the way to 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 a lot of the day, not a good way to spend Four of your 6 days on honeymoon. It’s a must 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 concerning the physics and physiology, it isn’t too difficult with 10 yr olds mastering the course work, your teacher will ensure you perceive the whole lot. You can too full the idea 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 perfect dive faculty in Koh Tao

1. Status

Go to a longtime dive resort with good critiques. TripAdvisor, Lonely Planet and Fb are nice locations to go and see what others skilled. See if you’ll find weblog posts. (good job discovering this one!)

2.The Vibe

You’ll spend a whole lot of your vacation/journey time at this dive middle, ensure you like the environment, the individuals and the situation.

three.Location

A lot of the dive faculties are situated in 2 primary 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 primary 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 liked 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 dimensions of the varsity. Ask ‘what number of college students per teacher?’ I’ve heard many individuals discuss with massive 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 time’ operations and lure college students with low costs. Go for a nicely 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 akin to lodging in 2018.

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

For so long as I keep in mind Koh Tao has been referred to 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 would do an Open water dive course for THB 7500 ($230). Regardless that the worth of an Open water course elevated considerably it’s nonetheless properly priced in comparison with different in style 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 all over 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 remaining

The 2 hottest diving coaching businesses all over 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 find out how to be a reliable diver by doing concept, confined periods (swimming pool or pool-like circumstances in shallow water) and open water dive coaching all  comply with the overall framework laid down by the World Leisure Scuba Diving Council.

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

  • Doing all of your course by way of any of those businesses can be accepted if you wish to dive world broad.
  • You’ll be able to 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 everywhere in the world.
  • PADI programs tends to be costlier than SSI (not on Koh Tao)

7. Amenities

  • Amenities are essential
  • The Pool – does the varsity 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 will not be all the time as calm as in a pool not providing the most effective circumstances to familiarize new college students with gear. This isn’t an excellent choice for college kids that aren’t very assured within the water.
  • The Classroom – you’ll spend a number of time right here watching coaching movies and in school 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 far more to search for, however model new or very nicely taken care of package from a good model similar to 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 identical place because the individuals you’re on track with. Simply go and take look if you need to remain on the provided lodging for a few days or should you can improve.

10. Setting

Is the varsity 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 idea on-line earlier than you arrive is nice in case you are on vacation with restricted time. The web concept 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 mistaken 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 around the globe and canopy may even be organised when you are touring. They concentrate on overlaying journey actions like diving. Be sure to take out the suitable 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, keen about diving that rubs off on you. It’s a medium sized middle with 15 instructors that was established in 2011. I beloved the vibe at Roctopus, the younger employees members are skilled and reside for diving, whether or not you need to study, or simply dive you’ll have a great time at Roctopus diving with this thrilling, protected crew. I met a few Roctopus college students they usually raved concerning 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  by way of 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 through the course relying on circumstances.

Amenities

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

Buddies of the Surroundings

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 a fantastic vibe, amenities and skilled staff. Within 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 on 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 grow 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 way of to Teacher and Employees Teacher programs.  ‘zero to hero’ type.
  • Internships provided to go out of your first dive to PADI teacher.
  • MSDT internships
  • They focus quite a bit 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 Setting

DJL are very concerned in conservation and recycling with a totally plastic free bar and restaurant. Drive challenge Conscious ‘Dive towards particles’, Massive 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 likely one of the most established dive facilities on Koh Tao. Crystal presents 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 30 days an ideal place for teacher coaching.

TripAdvisor – 94% Wonderful out of 499 evaluations

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 a minimum of one Teacher course per 30 days, excellent 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

Associates 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 type 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 evaluations

Sairee-Cottage-Diving

Location

Sairee Seashore

Programs provided

  • Presents all PADI programs Open Water programs by means of to Teacher
  • Many extras provided on their dive grasp program will higher equip you to turn out to be a great dive chief.
  • Need to work on a yacht? The  Dive grasp and Diving Teacher super-yacht coaching provides 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 in case you have 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.

Associates 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.

Huge Blue Diving

Established in 1981 Huge Blue is one among Koh Tao’s longest established Dive Facilities with 28 years expertise on the time of writing! The middle oozes professionalism and I beloved the amenities right here,  situated proper on the seashore with a bar and restaurant for the last word island vibe. Extremely rated for almost every little 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 Massive Blue.

TripAdvisor – 88% Wonderful out of 3311 evaluations

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  by way of SSI, however they provide the choice  to do your coaching by way 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 out there
  • They dive all websites in the course of 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 a terrific restaurant on sight which has an excellent mixture of Thai and western meals obtainable all day.

Buddies of the Setting

Massive Blue are very concerned in conservation and recycling. DMT’s train native youngsters the right way 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. Huge 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 widespread resort began in 1993 (25 years in the past). The dive middle is very large, claiming to be the most important PADI dive middle on the planet. When  confer with 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 best way. Being so massive 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 may 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 by way of 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 very least on Teacher course per thirty days, great spot for teacher coaching
  • MSDT internships
  • 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

Pals 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 via 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 via 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 one of many newer coaching amenities on our listing (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 on this listing due to the excessive proportion of glad shoppers I met and from evaluations, 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 within the ocean

Buddies of the Surroundings

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

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