Tag-Archive for » thailand diving «

Feb
21

For many people, just the mention of the word “scuba diving” arouses feelings of curiosity, trepidation, anticipation, fear, amazement, apprehension and excitement, to name just a few. I know you’ve heard the stories and watched the movies about all the things that can happen in the water – but let’s talk honestly – what you see on TV is significantly exaggerated from reality; in case you weren’t already aware. Here’s a fact – scuba diving is one of the safest recreational activities that humans can do – even safer than driving your car to work every day.

In the past, breathing underwater was something very few people in the world ever experienced due largely in part to the aura of danger that surrounded the activity; but with today’s modern recreational diving equipment nearly everyone can safely take the “plunge” into liquid space.

Koh Samui is one of the best (and safest) places in the world to begin your scuba diving adventure. The shallow ocean depths and warm, inviting waters offer ideal learning conditions for all beginners – aged 10 to 100. Certified courses are readily available to accommodate your holiday schedule, including private lessons to help maximize your safety, comfort level and enjoyment.

Slipping below the surface, you will experience the warm salty sea embrace your entire body as all terrestrial sounds change into the harmony of the sea. Submerged colors ceaselessly dance all around you, flickering as the sunlight dives through the waves rapidly losing its brilliance the deeper it penetrates.

As you begin to explore this wet new universe; gazing upon the beauty that lies just beneath the waves, you will feel the real world drifting away; leaving all your troubles and worries behind you. Before long you realize that you are surrounded by friendly tropical fish, casually moving in to get a better inspection of you, but always remaining just out of reach. A pair of Blue-Ringed Angel Fish silently welcome you to their world as they pass, turning slowly to reflect sunlight off their brilliant neon blue markings.

Soaring gracefully above the vivacious coral reefs, teeming with life, you may even find yourself feeling the world is suddenly closer to you than you than ever before. As you begin to discover more, what once seemed like random chaos becomes evident there is actually order and structure all around; The many schools of small reef fish that move as a single unit to try and distract predators; the cleaning station where different species of fish queue up to remove unwanted cargo, like parasites and dead scales; the protective anemone fish swimming tirelessly around its home chasing away would be intruders.

The experience of scuba diving for the first time in Thailand has changed many lives; opened new doors for people who never knew another world existed. It is not uncommon for people to quit their jobs and return to Thailand seeking to become professional scuba diving guides and instructors after only their first diving course. Looking for adventure and a career? What’s bubbling in your future?

Category: Diving in Thailand  Tags: ,  Comments off
Feb
20

You’ll find PADI is the most widely available certification with just a handful of shops offering NAUI and SSI certifications. There are dive shops all over Thailand, in places like Phuket, Khao Lak, Chumpon, Hua Hin, Koh Tao, Koh Samui, Koh Phangnan, Koh Chang, Koh Samet, Pattaya, Phi Phi, Krabi and more.

Some dive shops are tied to resorts while many are their own businesses. You can do your PADI Open Water paperwork in your home country before you arrive and do your checkout dives in Thailand, or do the whole course in Thailand. You also have the choice of doing your checkout dives by daytrip or from a liveaboard vessel.

Where you go to take your course depends on what your preferences are. Each location has its own attractions and if you plan to spend more time above the water than below it, you might want to choose your destination for its other offerings. Likewise, not all dive shops or instructors are of the same quality.

You’ll want to visit several dive shops where you are staying and meet the instructor that you would have if you did your Open Water course there. If English is not your native language, you may find a dive shop with an instructor speaking Dutch, French, Italian, etc. Dive shops in the more popular diving areas provide instruction and exams in several languages.

Equipment standards vary between shops as well. You’ll want to make sure that the equipment is not too old and that it has been well maintained and stored, as well as cleaned properly. For instance, regulators go in your mouth and they should be well cleaned between users. Additionally, most people urinate in their wetsuits and these should be cleaned after each dive. All equipment must be cleaned of salt water or the crystallization can damage it.

Poorly maintained regulator, BCDs and dive computers can malfunction and cause a serious accident that may even lead to your death. Likewise, a poorly trained dive instructor or one who does not take his or her job seriously can get you killed too.

One of the most popular places to take PADI courses in Thailand is Koh Tao, known for its cheap diving and abundance of dive shops, and within easy reach of Samui. You’ll have plenty of choices here and would be wise to take your time and visit as many shops as possible. Koh Tao is a good place to learn how to dive and to proceed through Advanced, Rescue Diver, Divemaster/Master Scuba Diver, and Instructor courses.

However, this island is not recommended for fun, recreational dives as the visibility and quality of the reefs is relatively poor. Koh Tao is most popular with young backpackers, although there are a few resorts for those who do not enjoy this scene. Phi Phi offers a similar scene on a smaller scale with better diving.

For quality diving, it’s best to go to Phuket or Khao Lak, where you have easy access to the Similan Islands. These nine islands are part of Phang Nga province and located within a marine national park. They are pristine and rich with wildlife above and below the water. The beaches here are some of the most beautiful in the world and the dive spots are some of the best in the world. Colourful reefs and boulder formations are a plus, with a variety of coral and marine life. Visibility is also good, varying from 30 to 50m.

The best way to see the Similans is by liveaboard, and most dive operators will allow you to do your Open Water dives from the boat if you’ve completed the paper and pool work ashore beforehand, usually with diving courses on Phuket. Note that in mind that the Similans are closed during the low season due to unfavourable boating and diving conditions. Additionally, sites have depths well past the recreational limit of 40m and some may have currents. It’s advisable that you take courses past Open Water to become a stronger diver and be permitted to dive to the limit.

There are diving courses on Samui as well, and plenty of dive operators offering all levels of diving courses on Phuket, even a few in Krabi. In fact you’ll find scuba courses in Pattaya, Koh Chang and other places, but with less choice of date flexibility.

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