How To Choose A Dive Centre Koh Tao

How To Choose A Dive Centre Koh Tao?

How to choose a dive centre Koh Tao
Beachfront location in Sairee

There are many different reasons how to choose a dive centre Koh Tao.  The island 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 article, we will 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 or eight customers to one instructor, sometimes more with 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 to meet new friends on your course.  But how much time will you get with your instructor 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.  After the skills, you have more time for a dive.

Scuba divers getting on to a Koh Tao taxi boat
Getting on to a taxi boat on the way to the main dive boat

Cost of diving in Koh Tao

The dive schools in Koh Tao have different levels of prices 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.

As well as courses we do fun dives around Koh Tao
A group of fun divers

Diving Equipment

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 and see the condition of the storage area as well.

Koh Tao Open Water Course
A group of divers on Koh Tao

Dive Agency

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?  All the agencies teach 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, that’s why we choose SSI.  In the end, you get the same qualification to dive to 18m, the courses are generally taught to the same schedule and number of days.  But PADI courses are around 4 hours longer due to the academics being taught differently.

Diving Locations

Other reasons on how to choose a dive centre Koh Tao. Location. The main area for tourists is Sairee; it has the biggest beach on the island.  Here you get lots of choices 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.

Diving in Tanote Bay Koh Tao
Tanote Bay Koh Tao

Reviews and Recommendations

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 but hopefully they will help you to know how to choose a dive centre

Confined Water Training

On Koh Tao the dive shops do their confined dive 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.  However, 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 parrotfish 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.

Koh Tao divers celebrating underwater
Open water skills completed

How To Choose A Dive Centre 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.

Another facto to think about when choosing a dive centre is location
Sunset on Koh Tao

How do I sign up for diving on Koh Tao?

Contact us 🙂 Easy.
Has this helped you to know how to choose a dive centre Koh Tao? If you are interested in Koh Tao diving contact us or you can find out more about the diving we offer by clicking on the links below or follow us on Facebook or Instagram

Want to know more about Koh Tao Diving Courses?

Try Scuba Diving
Open Water Course
Advanced Course
Fun Dives

A group of students learning to dive on Koh Tao
Students on dive 4 of their certification course

Want to know more before choosing a dive centre Koh Tao?

Find out more about SSI here: Dive SSI

What is the difference between Padi and SSI?

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