17 Jan 5 Facts About Learning to Scuba Dive in Koh Tao, Thailand
Thailand is a country recognised for its incredible natural beauty, on land as well as in the depths of the oceans that surround its’ islands. With active coral reefs, turtles, whale sharks and a variety of tropical fish, it is little wonder this Southeast Asian country attracts dive enthusiasts from around the world.
The small island of Koh Tao is one of Thailand’s best known diving destinations and travellers flock there throughout the year for the affordable diving courses, abundant dive sites and breathtaking scenery. If you have not discovered the underwater world through scuba diving, here are five reasons why you should visit Thailand and learn to dive on Koh Tao Island.
- One of the most Affordable Diving Destinations in the World
Yes you read that right, Koh Tao is one of the most inexpensive places in the world to become a certified scuba diver. In fact this small island is so popular when it comes to training as a diver, that it is second only to Cairns, Australia when it comes to the number of annual dive certifications issued here. What is inexpensive you may ask? For as little as 600 baht you can sign up for a Discover Scuba course and take the plunge into the beautiful waters fringing Turtle Island.
- You Are Spoilt For Choice
The island boasts over 50 dive shops and lack of choice is not something you will experience during your diving adventure on Koh Tao. With such fierce competition, you will have plenty of options and prices to consider when finding the perfect dive package for your scuba wants and needs. Plus, most shops offer discounts if you sign up for multiple courses, meaning you can save even more money and fast-track your way to becoming a Divemaster.
- PADI or SSI Qualifications
Whoever you opt to do your dive course with, it comes down to two things – SSI or PADI qualifications. Koh Tao’s dive shops offer beginner divers a chance to choose between these two scuba diving training systems and select the one that best suits their wallet and needs. The differences between the two schools are minimal, and both certifications are interchangeable and internationally recognised.
- Free Accommodation
Depending on the dive school you choose, you may be able to enjoy free accommodation as some of the dive shops on the island offer free board to divers during their courses, and discounted rates should they wish to stay on once they are qualified. Choosing a dive shop that provides this accommodation incentive is an excellent way to stretch your budget even further and spend more time in the water exploring a whole new world.
- An Abundance of Dive Sites
Diving off Koh Tao’s shoreline means you are never going to be bored or lacking in underwater discoveries. The island is home to a wealth of dive sites that teem with incredible fauna and flora to discover. Some of the most renowned dive sites you can expect to visit are:
– Chumphon – Explore the underwater world of Chumphon; a dive site typically visited during the open water course. The pinnacles are covered in beautiful sea anemone and surrounded by large schools of trevally, batfish and barracuda. If you are lucky, you might even spot whale sharks or scorpionfish.
– The Twins – The Twins is a beginner dive site just off the coast of Koh Nang Yuan, a small island just north-west of Koh Tao. This site is known for its rare saddleback clownfish that live in the anemone, which has been marked off with a ring of rocks by divers.
– Sail Rock
Sail Rock is a renowned dive site in the Gulf of Thailand, just two hours away from Koh Tao. Being further away from the island means it has become a haven for marine life. Enjoy large schools of fish with an abundance of colour and diversity. Depending on your dive school, you may even be able to finish your Open Water qualification here for an extra fee.
So what are you waiting for? Grab your flippers, wiggle into your wetsuit, turn on your GoPro and begin your lifelong underwater adventure in Koh Tao, Thailand.