If you are ever traveling to Thailand you might consider going scuba diving. If you have never done any kind of diving before, this is the perfect place to get your PADI Open Water certification. Even if you’re not traveling to Thailand you should probably give scuba diving a try. About 71% of our planet is covered in water and you are missing out big time if you never discover the world below. There is nothing like your first breath under water. And if you travel solo, I HIGHLY recommend scuba diving because you can’t dive alone.
As I’ve written before in older posts, I booked my flight to Thailand a day before it departed, mostly because I was bored and had two weeks off work. I had no idea what I wanted to do there and it was only after I arrived that someone recommended to me to go scuba diving. Up to that point, I didn’t have any diving experience besides snorkeling which doesn’t really count.
I stayed at Back Home Backpackers in Bangkok. Sophie the lovely owner of the hostel recommended me the Buddha View Diving Resort on Koh Tao and also made the booking for me. So, after that I went to Koh Tao.
After an almost 10 hour long overnight journey from Bangkok to Koh Tao I arrived on the island and a driver from the resort picked me up and drove to Chalok Baan Kao Bay where Buddha View is located.
Buddha View offers many different courses but as it was my first time diving, I chose the Open Water diver course which is the first course if you want to get into diving. This will allow you to dive anywhere in the world with a buddy to depths of 18m.
Every day except the last one consists of theory and diving blocks. On the first day you’ll only dive in the pool to get to know all the equipment, signs etc. On the last day you will only be diving in the sea.
PADI Open Water Diver Course
So much more to learn…
Over the 4 days we did 4 dives in the sea which is required by PADI to get your certification. You will also get a scuba manual that you will have to study and take a quiz at the end. This sounds worse than it is and shouldn’t be a problem for most people. Buddha View also offers different languages for the manual, but English was just fine for me.
My diving group at Buddha View (yes, it was very bright)
Not only is diving in Thailand stunningly beautiful, it’s also a lot cheaper than in Europe for example. I paid 280 CHF ($283) for the course inculding all of the equipment, certification and a log book. Plus I also got 4 nights of accomodation for free. Obvisouly the (private) room I was staying in wasn’t very luxurious but if you travel on a budget, this is a great option.
I compared a few diving schools in my region and the cost for the Open Water Diver Course comes in at 700+ CHF ($707)! At some places you even need to bring some of the equipment yourself.
Turtles are among the many animas you find in the Gulf of Thailand
Getting my Open Water Diver certificate was a great idea. The course was fun and now I have a certificate which I can use to dive on the entire planet. I definitely want to keep diving and maybe also get an Advanced Open Water Diver certification.
If you have any diving experience, I would love to hear what your favorite diving site is!