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Learning to dive- best places in southern thailand

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

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

I've noticed the SDI course is marginally cheaper than PADI. what is the difference between the two? and which do people recommend?

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

Dude, you're making your trip complicated before its even started. Forget doing it online. In Ko Tao if the prices are still the same i told you in my first post, then you're paying $210 for the whole 5 day course. Doing the classes there is a nice way to meet your fellow divers and get to know people. Id be pretty sure that the dive schools would rather they have you in the classroom with the others anyway, so why bother doing it online.

Our schedule was roll into class at about 9.00am chat about what we would be doing in the afternoon, and how drunk we saw our diver master the night before. Then go over the course book of what we would be doing, then put it into practice in the afternoon session. much better than trying to remember something you did online 2 months ago!

Oh yeah and I told you there isnt any difference between PADI and SDI. PADI has been the only game in town for years and became a lumbering money machine. SDI came along and said "we can do this and for cheaper" and are.

[ Edit: Edited on 21-Feb-2010, at 14:14 by Dodger ]

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

Class and pool pretrip: Price for class and pool is about the same as you'll find in Koh Tao. You can read the text (450 pages) and watch the video (4 hours) at home vs. on your vacay. Online option: Combines the reading, video, and classwork so all you have to do is pool and ow dives. I've found that online/elearning students are much better prepared vs. the text and movie students. If you do it online, you have to do it through PADI's site. Class/online and pool at home maximizes dive time on your vacay.

Class and pool during your trip: Most places on Koh Tao will give you a good deal on lodging if you sign up for the open water cert course. Most places don't include cost of materials and cert fee ($100-150 USD) so don't forget to factor that in as well. This is not a cheap hobby. If you've got a lot of time and aren't in a hurry, then doing everything (class, pool, open waters) there might be a good option. You also get to maximize the time with an instructor, who usually has pretty good stories to tell.

There's nothing wrong with either option. It just depends on what your schedule looks like and choosing which one makes the most sense for you.

SDI is the recreational arm of TDI, which does technical dive training. Other major players besides PADI are SSI and NAUI. All have varying systems of education and training standards but cert cards from all of these are widely recognized. I teach PADI simply because that's what I started out under and crossing over to a different agency at the professional level is kind of an expensive hassle.

Hope this helps.

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

Quoting lizziebeth

Most places don't include cost of materials and cert fee ($100-150 USD) so don't forget to factor that in as well.

Yup thats the extra that PADI charges, although thats the highest Ive ever heard of. Places I saw teaching SDI loan you the book so no extra charges and the certification fee is included.

15. Posted by Bronco (Budding Member 35 posts) 6y signed up for the online PADI open water course. I'm thinking of doing the theory here and both the pool and open water dives in thailand, as it costs £275 just to do the pool dives in edinburgh. what can i expect to pay just for the pool and OW dives in Ko Tao?

Also i will be travelling through Nha Trang and Mui Ne in vietnam if anyone has recommends getting certified there instead?

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