Scuba diving courses in Phuket

Diving in Phuket opens up another world

The southern Thai Andaman Sea around Phuket is one of the finest locations for diving in the world. The numerous dive sites here feature wonderful rock formations, reefs and coral as well as abundant and colourful marine species. All this is found in clear seas offering great visibility and with mean temperatures of 28°C.

With the advent of cheaper international airfares over the last decade or so Phuket has blossomed into a popular destination for diving and other extreme water sports enthusiasts. Phuket has responded to the influx of visitors by opening dive and dive instruction courses that are suitable for all levels of divers from novice through to advanced divemaster tuition.

Diving courses in Phuket are operated by professional dive shops where instructors have the requisite professional qualifications and local site expertise and weather condition experience. As well as English and Thai, dive course instructors also provide tuition in languages including German, French, Dutch, Swedish and Japanese. Checks with individual dive shops will give more details of their divemasters’ language capabilities.

Most Phuket dive schools are accredited by PADI (the Professional Association of Diving Instructors) and NAUI (National Association of Underwater Instructors) and can offer people who complete diving courses here certificates that are recognised all over the world.

One Phuket operator, Dive Asia based at Kata beach, has been designated as a five-star PADI Career Development Centre, one of only two in the whole of Southeast Asia. Taking a dive course with a PADI accredited centre can give peace of mind to students as they are able to rest assured that instructors are fully conversant with current safety and diving procedures.  

Students wishing to take diving courses in Phuket have a number of options which will suit divers of all levels. The list below details what is currently on offer for people wishing to take a course. The cost of the courses mostly includes diving equipment use, the boat trip, lunch and tuition by certified professionals. More on Phuket dive schools.

Diving Discovery Course

This course offers an introduction to diving and the only requirement for people wishing to take it is the ability to actually be able to swim and a reasonable level of fitness. This course is also suitable for those who have not been scuba-diving for a while and are a little rusty.

Get up close to feeding fish when Phuket diving

Instructors on the beginners’ courses teach basic diving and safety theory as well as equipment familiarisation before guiding learners on a controlled shallow dive, usually close to shore. Dive boats will then take the learners farther out to sea where they will dive a little deeper, on to a coral reef for example, again under the close supervision of their instructors.

Open Water Diver Course

The Open Water Course is the most popular diving course in the world and has been taken by millions of people. It is a typically a four-day course aimed at uncertified scuba-divers. The first half of the course schedule is devoted to classroom theory and shallow practice dives and the second to supervised dives at sites in the pristine waters of the Andaman.

People who pass this course are certified to go scuba-diving at any dive site in the world. Course fees include registration, an instruction manual, a PADI logbook and completion certificate, and a PADI T-shirt. More on Phuket dive courses.

Advanced Open Water Course

Advanced courses are suitable for proficient divers and offer a more ‘hands on’ experience with lots of diving and the bare minimum of classroom theory. The two-day course focuses on three different disciplines – deep-level dives, diving at night and underwater navigation. 

Optional parts of the advanced divers’ courses are training in areas that include drift and boat diving, and search and recovery. Course costs cover all training, equipment use and boat rental.

PADI First Response 

People wishing to enrol for the PADI rescue divers course need to first complete this one day course. It covers a variety of procedures for lifesaving at sea and how to administer mouth-to-mouth resuscitation (CPR).

PADI Rescue Divers Course

This three-day course is part classroom training and part in-water training and teaches students self rescue, problem analysis and prevention, and how to respond to and handle a diving crisis.

PADI Divemaster Course

This demanding course can last for up to four weeks and prepares experienced divers for the heady task of leading dive tours in a safe manner in all types of marine environments. Courses for divemasters are only for responsible individuals who are willing to undertake the well-being of others and impart knowledge of the marine environment.  

PADI Speciality Courses

Vary in length and are designed to train participants in a specific area which includes Search and Recovery, Underwater Naturalist and Underwater Photography. The latter is one of the more sought after courses and is sometimes offered as part of the live-aboard multi-day dive cruises on vessels such as Le Mahé and the Colona VI.

The multi-day cruises provide a perfect opportunity for combining an educational activity with diving at sites such as the Anemone Reef and Koh Dok Mai. The second of the two translates as Flower Island and is an apt name for a massive rock that rises sharply out of the sea and is covered with vegetation. The walls of it under the surface offer plentiful marine creatures. 

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