So. I'm looking to leave England's shores in about a month's time to go and do some sailing work. Before I get working, I wanted to see if I could learn to dive, preferably while volunteering to do some marine conservation, which something I'm really into. I had Thailand in mind, because a) I know the diving is amazing, b) I was particularly interested in turtle conservation, but not necessarily exclusively, c) I could tie it in with other things I've wanted to do (some muay thai, motorcycling around and generally being in Thailand).
Does anyone have any advice on the best (and cheapest! Despite my ambitious itinerary up there, I'm not wealthy) way to learn to dive? If you can consider the above factors, great, but advice outside this is very welcome as well. I had been looking at different companies from here, but I thought 'would it not be worth going to Thailand and sorting this out from there, instead of paying inflated prices here?' If anyone can answer that, I'd be grateful. And anything else really: I'm a novice diver, so I need all the help I can get, and TP has never let me down before.
Thanks guys, much love,
I'm not much of an expert on global prices (so perhaps someone else might be better qualified to advise you) but I did learn to dive in the summer.
I learned at "Bans" in Kao Toa, they weren't the cheapest on the island but had been recommended to me by a few different groups of people I met throughout my travels.
There is no real need to book to learn (there are plenty of people from the dive schools fighting for your business when you get off the boat) but I did call up 2 days before I arrived to warn them of my arrival and bagsy a good room.
for 7-8 night accomodation, open- and advanced open- water certs, all my dives (it was a dozen in total I think), equipment, and refreshments on the boat I ended up spending in the region of 14,000baht (about $400) I think... pretty good value!
I'm in Sydney at the moment and there are a lot of companies advertising open water courses for $150-200 "65% off"; which is fairly reasonable too I guess, this of course doesn't include a hotel room etc though.
I hope this is somewhere toward the information you were looking for...
Yes mate, thank you for this reply, that does answer a few questions. From that I can see that basically the cheapest way to learn to dive (If you're already somewhere like Thailand) is just to wait till you're there and do it ad hoc, which is what I expected. $400 for all of that sounds like a great deal!
That might well be the way I'll go about it. At least now I know the comparison for that, and going to learn whilst volunteering. If anyone has any volunteering insights, then awesome, but cheers Nick, appreciate it.