Learning to Dive in Thailand

To have the right to dive you need to get a diving license first. The process is fast, fun and not at all that expensive in Thailand.

All you need is around 10 000 baht (250 euros) and four days at hand, although if in a hurry the course can be rushed through even in three or even two days (not that recommended though). With that you get PADI Open Water Diver license in Ko Tao, Thailand’s cheapest and most popular place to learn to dive.


Lion fish and fan corals in the waters of Ko Phi Phi.

PADI What?

PADI is the most popular scuba diving certificate in the world and you will do fine with that. It is valid all over the world.

PADI Open Water Diver license allows you to dive to the depth of 18 meters. Once you do the next license level, PADI Advanced Open Water Diver, you can go down to 30 meters.

Where to Go For The License?

Thailand’s – and perhaps the entire world’s – most popular place to do the diving license is Ko Tao on the Gulf of Siam. The small island, surrounded by coral reefs, has more than 50 diving schools, and the prices have been trampled down.

Another popular place to do scuba diving courses is Ko Phi Phi on the Andaman Sea.

If you are planning to study diving even further – to become a licensed dive master or an instructor – prepare to use a lot more time from several weeks to months.

Good alternatives for the small islands to do your extended studies will be Phuket and Pattaya, which have much more things to do than just lounging on the beach.

Dive schools are not restricted just to abovementioned places of course; you can learn to dive pretty much in almost any beach destination in Thailand. Most of them have at least a couple of dive shops. The only exceptions are Hua Hin and Cha-Am, which don’t have any dive sites nearby.

Back to School? Not

Okay, to get the license, you need to attend lessons in a classroom, read the manuals and even pass a written exam, but don’t worry, doing the scuba diving license doesn’t feel like going back to school. It is all done in a great holiday mood, and you will meet great new people during the classes. And basically everybody passes the exams – your teachers will let you try as many times as needed.

But please take the lessons seriously – it is all for your own safety. Diving is easy and pretty straightforward skill, but you need to understand the basics to enjoy it and to be safe underwater.


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