How to choose a dive center on Koh Tao? There are many different reasons for choosing your dive school. Koh Tao is full of dive schools and every dive school has its own identity and image. A big dive school doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good dive school for you. In this blog article, we talk about the information that is important to think about when choosing the right dive school for you.
Big dive school vs Small dive School
There are a few big schools with great reputations and many small schools with great reputations. Which one is for you? The big ones tend to teach with big groups, six customers to one instructor, sometimes more with two assistants. The smaller ones generally teach a max of four customers to one instructor. With the big groups, it will be more sociable and you’ll get meet new friends on your course but how much time will you get with your instructor on for your diving? Our groups are small so our instructors can spend more time with you if you have a problem or just want to go through things again or after the skills you have more time for a dive.
Price diving in Koh Tao, Thailand
The dive schools in Koh Tao have different levels of price and most will offer accommodation. Apart from the course why is there a price difference? You should ask about the standard of the accommodation, is it a dorm or private room, fan or AC? How many people are you sharing with? If the price is really cheap how and where are they saving the money? Most important is how big are the groups for the price.
Equipment Koh Tao diving
How is the equipment? Is it theirs or are they hiring equipment? Does it look in good condition? You don’t need to be an expert; you can see if it is old, worn or damaged & see the condition of the storage area as well.
Dive Agency Thailand
There are dozens of scuba diving agencies around the world that can certify people as scuba divers the two main ones on Koh Tao are SSI and Padi. Which one to choose? Al the agencies teach to the same worldwide rules and standards and they teach the same (about 95%) course, the main difference is how it is taught. Padi is generally more expensive as the certifications cost more money. In the end, you get the same qualification to dive to 18m, the courses are generally taught to the same schedule & number of days but PADI courses are around 2 hours longer due to the academics being taught differently.
Location diving Thailand
The main area for tourists is Sairee, it has the biggest beach on the island. Here you get lots of choice of dive shops but also shops, restaurants, and bars to go out and enjoy. It also faces west so you get to watch amazing sunsets. Next to it is Mae Head where the ferries arrive, quieter than Sairee but has a few dive shops, restaurants and bars. Further south is Chalok, a lot less choice here but if you’re looking to chill out this could be for you.
Reviews & Recommendations of previous divers
Word of mouth is a great way to find out from others who they dove with, not always practical though if you’re planning in advance so check out the reviews on Facebook, Google, and Tripadvisor but remember that people have good and bad days, staff as well as customers, so the odd negative review shouldn’t put you off. After all, no one is perfect 100% of the time.
Confined water training
On Koh Tao the dive shops do their confined dive in either in a pool or in the sea, this is where you practice the skills for the course in shallow water. What’s the difference to a new diver? A swimming pool offers convenience as you don’t have to go on a boat but you are often restricted on space and time as when it is busy you only get a set period to learn everything as others need to use the space and more importantly where are the fish? That’s why we prefer to make our confined on a beach in the sea; you get to do all skills next to a parrot fish or moon wrasse and get to make a shallow dive back to the boat to check out the marine life while using the skills you have learned.
How to choose a dive center on Koh Tao?
If you still got questions after reading this article about choosing the right dive school, we are happy to help you with that. Do you want to know more about Koh Tao scuba diving, please don’t hesitate and contact us.