The crystal clear waters of Ko Tao are perfect for diving

With over one-thousand miles of coastline, innumerable islands, bays and coves, Thailand has earned a well-deserved reputation as a beach-lover’s paradise. It comes as no surprise then that the scuba diving scene has also taken off, as many of those who have flocked to the beaches have also discovered the countless diving opportunities that lie nearby.

Dive sites can vary in quality and quantity across the country but the best of them can be found off the islands of Ko Tao and, to a lesser extent, Ko Phi Phi. The former has become an international diving mecca with almost everything on the small island catering to the diving community, which makes it an excellent choice for learning how to dive. The waters are crystal clear and smooth with hardly any currents. Dive schools abound offering courses geared towards everyone from absolute beginners to advanced experts. A PADI/SSI open water diving certificate (which allows you dive without the supervision of an instructor) can usually be had with a three to four-day course. Many of dive schools also offer on-site accommodation during your course.

Ko Tao Diving Schools

Below is just a small sample of the literally dozens of dive schools operating on Ko Tao. A Google search will undoubtedly introduce you to plenty of other options:

Master Divers – Located, right next to the ferry terminal at Mae Haad, this SSI dive school has a wide range of beginner, advanced, professional and techincal training courses available; good feedback from past participants.  More>>

Sairee Cottage Diving – This Irish/Thai owned operation offers free accommodation to its diving course participants. More>>

Coral Grand Divers and Resort – Based at a quieter location on Sairee Beach, this school offers daily PADI open-water diver courses and has comfortable, discounted accommodation for dive students; family friendly. More>>

Impian Dive Resort – This European-owned dive center offers dive courses in five different languages and limits its class sizes to 4 students, ensuring more individual instruction. One of the few dive centers that do not start courses or depart in the early morning. More>>

Big Blue Diving Resort – A long-established dive school that has won the PADI Environment Achievement Award for the past three years running. A wide range of courses and eco-internships are available; good reviews on Trip Advisor. More>>

New Heaven Dive School – A very eco-friendly school that has been involved in turtle conservation and reef restoration; also offers discounted accommodation and a range of yoga courses. More>>

Simple Life Divers – Another well-received school located on Sairee Beach; Western-owned and managed with dive internships and free accommodation packages available. More>>

Buddha View Dive Resort – A PADI 5-star dive training center with a variety of courses ranging from beginner to diver-training to divemaster.  Accommodation also available. More>>

Ko Phi Phi Diving Schools

Phi Phi Scuba Diving Center – Offers PADI and SSI Diving courses along with divemaster internships; limits class size to a maximum of three students per instructor. More>>

Moskito Diving – Don’t let the name put you off. This 5-star PADI training center has been in operation on Ko Phi Phi for years and offers a range of well-received beginner and advanced courses. More>>

PP Aquanauts Scuba – Offers eight different dive courses, ranging from a one-day introductory course to the multi-month divemaster qualification; good feedback from past participants on More>>

Phi Phi Barakuda Diving – A 5-star PADI Instructor Development Center with a good selection of advanced, diving instructor-training courses, in addition to beginner courses, on offer.  More>>

Diving Schools Elsewhere in Thailand

Similan Diving Safaris – A highly popular 5-star dive center in Khao Lak that offers PADI courses and diving trips to the beautiful Similan Islands. More>>

Sharkey Scuba – Located on Karon Beach on the resort island of Phuket, this dive center offers 20% discounts on dive courses if booked online; good reviews from past participants. More>>

Kamala Diving Center – Another well-received Phuket-based school that offers courses in introductory scuba diving and specialty courses wreck diving, navigation diving, Nitrox diving and more. More>>

Dive & Relax PADI Dive Resort –  Located on the island of Ko Lanta, this dive school offers a range of recommended diving courses. A 10% discount on the course and accommodation is offered to those who book online. More>>

CSI: Samui Dive School - No, you won’t be investigating crime here, but rather, the depths of the ocean under a number of knowledgeable dive instructors at this Ko Samui-based dive school. More>>

Discovery Dive Centre - A Ko Samui dive center offering a variety of dive courses for beginning, certified, and advanced divers; has been highly recommended. More>>


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