Skip Navigation

Learning to dive- best places in southern thailand

Travel Forums Asia Learning to dive- best places in southern thailand

Page
  • 1
  • 2

Last Post

1. Posted by Bronco (Budding Member 35 posts) 6y

Hi guys

can anyone recommend a good place to do a multiday PADI beginner dive course in thailand that's good value for money. I'm heading there in june. was thinking Ko Phi Phi or Ko Tao but if there's more options and better deals in phuket then i'll probably go there. what sort of money can i expect to pay?

Cheers

2. Posted by Dodger (Inactive 875 posts) 6y

Quoting Bronco

Hi guys

can anyone recommend a good place to do a multiday PADI beginner dive course in thailand that's good value for money. I'm heading there in june. was thinking Ko Phi Phi or Ko Tao but if there's more options and better deals in phuket then i'll probably go there. what sort of money can i expect to pay?

Cheers

Understand that my information is two years old from when i was there and did my open water. Kao Tao was the cheapest place and best island for a relaxing and more laid back stay. I did my open water with Scuba Junction and I think they charged 7000 bhart. They have nice little bungalows just off the beach that they rent really cheap if you are diving with them. The classes were small and friendly. The instruction was informative, but its clearly set up to get you your license regardless of whether you know what your doing or not. We were told at the beginning, "the will be a test, but dont worry everyone passes". But this seemed to be the same with all the dive places in Thailand. No one wants a reputation for being a school that is hard!

Bans is another dive school and they really drive them in like a cattle truck. Its big groups and big boats. But if you want a fun 20's group then this may appeal more to you. Cost was similar. In fact its all very competitive, so most of the dive schools will be about the same price. There is a difference between PADI and SSI, but all I could see is PADI is more expensive because they require you to buy their book as SSI you just borrow the book. I took SSI open water and then did my advanced in PADI, they are accepted by both. I did my advanced with a awesome group called Good time adventures. They are a small Aussie company and run a fast speed boat, so you can get out to the really good dive sites fast. All these companys are up on Sairee beach north of the village where the ferry drops you off. If you pre book with any of them they will pick you up when the ferry comes in.

Check for Monsoon seasons, but I think Kao Tao is good to go at that time of year.

3. Posted by Bronco (Budding Member 35 posts) 6y

Thanks Dodger. that is helpful.

I've only heard good things about Ko Tao so that was my preference. How many days was your Open water course?
Also do you know by any chance if there are multi day cooking courses on Ko Tao? the Mrs isn't very keen for diving so was trying to find a thai cooking course she could do at the same time as my dive course.

Cheers

4. Posted by Dodger (Inactive 875 posts) 6y

Quoting Bronco

Thanks Dodger. that is helpful.

I've only heard good things about Ko Tao so that was my preference. How many days was your Open water course?
Also do you know by any chance if there are multi day cooking courses on Ko Tao? the Mrs isn't very keen for diving so was trying to find a thai cooking course she could do at the same time as my dive course.

Cheers

humm I think it was 5 days.

As to the cooking. I can't say for sure, but Id be pretty certain there is a cooking class there somewhere. Thai's have learnt well the tourist business and if all fails, find a restaurant that you like the food at, walk into the kitchen and wave 1000bht around and someone will take you up on a few lessons!

5. Posted by lizziebeth (Budding Member 4 posts) 6y

I teach diving for a living and was on Koh Tao very briefly back in August. I would suggest trying to get the classroom and pool work out of the way with a dive shop in your home state/country and then finish your open water dives on Koh Tao. That way you don't have to sit in a classroom on your vacay and can get more "real" diving in. Also, be aware that after the Full Moon Parties on Koh Phangan it seems like every other tourist (somtimes 20k strong) decides that Koh Tao looks pretty appealing, so try and reserve ahead of time.

6. Posted by Bronco (Budding Member 35 posts) 6y

Thanks for the advice lizziebeth.

I imagine its probably a fair bit cheaper to do the classroom stuff in thailand than in the U.K and im not really short on time while i'm over there so think i'll probably just do the whole thing over there.

Cheers

7. Posted by m1shm4sh (Budding Member 6 posts) 6y

i was in koh tao a few months ago. loved it but didn't dive as the vis was bad the whole time we were there. I have heard that although it is pretty big Buddha View is very highly regarded.
On Koh tao choose wisely with the accommodation, we didn't like Sairee much as it was so popular that had become overpriced, we like Mae Haad town because there were good bars and restaurants, but we spent most time in Ao Chalok Baan which is down the bottom (where buddha view and a few of the other big operations are) it was really relaxed and had really nice beaches.
We stayed in Khao Lak for a while and did some diving there (on a live-aboard), really loved Khao lak as it wasn't too crowded and was very laid back. We dived with Wicked Dive and they were really good. Khao lak might be a good option, I doubt if the courses are as cheap as Koh tao but the diving is definitely better and I would suggest that your girlfriend might have more to do.

8. Posted by Clio12 (Budding Member 5 posts) 6y

I strongly recommend that you do the PADI course on-line. You can do all the bookwork and then in one weekend take the tests and do all your pool work. It will work out much cheaper to get it done that way and I found the interactive video very instructive, plus you have it to refresh whenever you want. Then all you need is your paperwork and you can certify with your open water in one day at the beach.

9. Posted by Bronco (Budding Member 35 posts) 6y

cheers for the advice guys.

since both Clio12 and lizziebeth are adamant its best to do it online i'll investigate that.

thanks for the help

10. Posted by Bronco (Budding Member 35 posts) 6y

I'm applying to do the theory part of the course online through www.PADI.com and it costs $120 US. is this the best place to get this done or are there cheaper sites? also how much can i expect to pay for only the practical part of the course in thailand?

cheers