Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Discover Scuba Diving Similan Islands

Discover Scuba Diving Similan Islands

Discover Scuba Diving Similan Islands.

You don't need to be certified to dive to enjoy diving at the Similan Islands. You can do a days diving at the Similan Islands departing from Khao Lak A one day 2 dive day trip by speedboat from Khao Lak is 6,400 baht.

Discover Scuba Diving on a Similan liveaboard

Most Similan diving liveaboards don't provide Discover Scuba Diving onboard, you should be certified before joining the boat. Most snorkeling liveaboards do not have scuba cylinders or PADI Dive Instructors on board who can teach diving.

MV Oktavia is a dive and snorkeling liveaboard that runs 2 day 2 night liveaboard trips to the Similan Islands. With Oktavia you can join the boat as a snorkeler and if you fancy trying diving a PADI Instructors can take you on a dive for 1,500 baht. Any further dives are just 1,000 baht each. This is the perfect boat for diver and snorkeler couples or groups with mixed interests.

Phuket Discover Scuba Diving options:

These are our DSD options available from Phuket:

  • Beach Dive. 2,900 baht. 
  • Boat dives. Full day with 2 or 3 dives. Group Instruction. 4,900 baht.
  • Boat dives. Full day with 2 or 3 dives. Private 1 to 1 diving. 5,500 baht.
  • Half day swimming pool then 1 day boat with 2 dives. Group Instruction 5,900 baht.
  • Half day swimming pool then 1 day boat with 2 dives. Private 1 to 1 diving. 6,500 baht. 
  • Snorkeling day trip to Racha Yai with 1 dive. 4,100 baht

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Learn to dive in the Similan Islands

Learn to dive in the Similan Islands
Learning to dive
In previous posts I've talked about the availability of continuing education courses on Thailand liveaboards, both PADI and SSI courses but I noted that most boats do not offer dive certification courses on board. It is more common for people to first learn to dive and then join a liveaboard as a certified diver. However if you want to do the PADI Open Water certification on a liveaboard we do have some boats that can teach you. 

You can do the full PADI Open Water course in the Similan Islands or you can do your theory and pool training at your local dive centre first, then complete the open water dives at the Similan Islands (this is called an Open Water referral).

Usually an Open Water course consists of training in a swimming pool first. But as there is no swimming pool in the Similan Islands you will instead do confined water training in a shallow bay in "swimming pool like conditions." The beauty of this is you have more space to practice and you'll even see fish on your confined water sessions.

Liveaboards that offer the PADI Open Water course in the Similan Islands are:

You can do the PADI Open Water course on Oktavia for just 10,000 baht on one of their 4 day or 5 day trips.

Not sure if you want to do the full dive certification? You can join Oktavia as a snorkeler and do a Discover Scuba Dive for 1,500 baht. A Discover Scuba Dive (DSD) is not a certification course, it's just a fun experience under PADI instructor supervision. If you enjoy it you can go on and get certified. Or you can just do more DSD's at 1,000 baht each. 

If you want to learn to dive in the Similan Islands but don't fancy a liveaboard you can do the PADI Open Water course in Khao Lak with day trip diving to the Similans.

Need more info? Please ask us

Monday, 5 August 2013

SSI Dive Courses on Thailand Liveaboards

SSI Scuba Schools International
Following on from last week's post about PADI Dive Courses on liveaboards I should also mention that there are a few liveaboards teaching SSI (Scuba Schools International) courses on liveaboards too.

Fewer people will have heard of SSI than PADI and while PADI is still the most popular dive certification agency to train with SSI they seem to be on the way up. They have been popular in Phi Phi and Koh Tao for a while and we are getting more requests now in Phuket and in Khao Lak for SSI training. 

One reason for this will be price. SSI courses are basically the same as PADI courses in terms of standards (you can cross over from one to the other) but the SSI courses have cheaper materials and cheaper certification costs. So for example, liveaboards with SSI instructors can offer the Advanced PADI or the Advanced SSI course to their divers with the SSI course being 1,000 baht cheaper than the PADI course. Which one would you choose?

We know of three boats that can currently offer SSI courses on board. They are MV Giamani, MV Saimai and MV Hallelujah. Giamani and Saimai can teach courses in English, German, Spanish, French and Italian. It is essential to book these courses in advance as there are far fewer available SSI instructors than PADI instructors.