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  1. #1
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    Divemaster courses

    Does anyone have recommendations for good divemaster courses? Any location in Thailand is fine.

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    Seems like most of the good dive sites are in the south. Apart from pattaya and rayong, any good dive sites reasonably near Bangkok?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ml708 View Post
    Seems like most of the good dive sites are in the south. Apart from pattaya and rayong, any good dive sites reasonably near Bangkok?
    Pattaya is the nearest dive site to BK.

    Diving there is pretty dreadful all in all. If you have the choice - head elsewhere for much better diving.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nidhogg View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ml708 View Post
    Seems like most of the good dive sites are in the south. Apart from pattaya and rayong, any good dive sites reasonably near Bangkok?
    Pattaya is the nearest dive site to BK.

    Diving there is pretty dreadful all in all. If you have the choice - head elsewhere for much better diving.
    Quite true. Hardly any corals to be found from my searches. Bali and the great barrier reef it is

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ml708 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by nidhogg View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ml708 View Post
    Seems like most of the good dive sites are in the south. Apart from pattaya and rayong, any good dive sites reasonably near Bangkok?
    Pattaya is the nearest dive site to BK.

    Diving there is pretty dreadful all in all. If you have the choice - head elsewhere for much better diving.
    Quite true. Hardly any corals to be found from my searches. Bali and the great barrier reef it is
    Koh Tao would be your cheapest option. You could head over to the Phillipines to somewhere like Malapascua or Balicasag where it is also quite cheap.
    You're fat,Ill fro you in the river

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by crocman View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ml708 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by nidhogg View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ml708 View Post
    Seems like most of the good dive sites are in the south. Apart from pattaya and rayong, any good dive sites reasonably near Bangkok?
    Pattaya is the nearest dive site to BK.

    Diving there is pretty dreadful all in all. If you have the choice - head elsewhere for much better diving.
    Quite true. Hardly any corals to be found from my searches. Bali and the great barrier reef it is
    Koh Tao would be your cheapest option. You could head over to the Phillipines to somewhere like Malapascua or Balicasag where it is also quite cheap.
    Terrific muck diving in Peurto Galera and around there. Or go with the hammerheads at Apo or the threshers at Malapascua as noted.

    Bali also has great diving Talumben esp, or go look for Sunfish.

    In some ways, Pattaya is a great place to really learn to dive, poor viz, challenging conditions, some decent wrecks, but for the sheer joy of diving...well, far, far down the list.

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    Many years ago, when I were but a lad (more than 20 years ago probably?), I did a DM course in Kata, Phucket. That's where the diveschool was, in one of the bigger hotels with a pool and diveshop, most dives were off Racha Yai and Noi - cheap and easy diving of decent quality. Plus, you can get boats to other really great sites very easily.

    How do I post these pictures???

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    I've had a dive on most of the sites Betty and they are all pretty nice but it costs a helluva lot more now than it did twenty years ago. Mores the pity.

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    Fair enough, Crocman. It has been literally 2o years since I did it and perhaps 16 or 17 years since I dived there - easy, good dives; I still have videos of diving there; must've done more than 30 dives in that little area.

    I took 6 months off from work, had money in the bank, looked all over the world and it was just about the cheapest and also really nice place I could find. Kata was so much fun, still small and friendly, back in those days and diving out of season (2 hours rain a day at most!) was soooo cheap. Those were the days.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ml708 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by nidhogg View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ml708 View Post
    Seems like most of the good dive sites are in the south. Apart from pattaya and rayong, any good dive sites reasonably near Bangkok?
    Pattaya is the nearest dive site to BK.

    Diving there is pretty dreadful all in all. If you have the choice - head elsewhere for much better diving.
    Quite true. Hardly any corals to be found from my searches. Bali and the great barrier reef it is
    Check out the reef off Belize - second only to OZ

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by nidhogg
    Pattaya is the nearest dive site to BK.

    Diving there is pretty dreadful all in all.
    Before moving to Pattaya 13 years ago I used to dive at least twice a week in Spain and Greece.
    I did one dive in the Pattaya shit infested water, saw hardly fukk all marine life, got a nasty all over body rash for a week and I've never bothered diving again .

    I bet the waters around Pattaya are much worse now.
    I would post pictures but life's too short.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bettyboo View Post
    Fair enough, Crocman. It has been literally 2o years since I did it and perhaps 16 or 17 years since I dived there - easy, good dives; I still have videos of diving there; must've done more than 30 dives in that little area.

    I took 6 months off from work, had money in the bank, looked all over the world and it was just about the cheapest and also really nice place I could find. Kata was so much fun, still small and friendly, back in those days and diving out of season (2 hours rain a day at most!) was soooo cheap. Those were the days.
    Jealous as Betty, condition of the sites would have been so much better back then.

    (Except the King Cruiser)

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    Back in those days, Croc I worked in International Business Development and had loads of money, so went on 2 diving holidays a year; usually 1 to the Red Sea and one to Phuket - and those dives above were nearly as good as the Red Sea dives. It was good diving back then, but I suspect that lack of care and industry management in Thailand, greed and price increases would have wrecked () the diving there by now.

    Slightly harder to get to, and there wasn't a Divemaster course available there when I went, but very cheap and excellent diving (short boat trip from the beach...) was at the Perhensian Islands just off Kota Bahru, North East Malaysia.







    I did my PADI open water there with a Danish hottie gf back in, errm, 1994 or so. Great diving. Then down to Tioman Island off Malaysia/Singapore which was also excellent diving. Then to the Barrier Reef, which was nowhere near as good for day trips although I'm sure the liveaboards are superb.







    Famous for turtles at Tioman Island, and I saw/dived with some (fast bastards!).

    The OP may want to check out options in those two places if Thailand has become expensive.

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    Beautiful pics Betty. The Perhentians are currently on our radar but they may have to wait until next year. Have just returned from Samui but couldn't dive as I've bunged my shoulder. Hoping to have it fixed by Xmas as we are heading to Hoi An and I wouldn't mind taking a look at the Cham Islands. Once I get the shoulder fixed I will do some dives round here before heading to 'Nam.

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    Sounds like a great pic thread, Croc!

    If you get the chance to go to the Perhentians then go; just Maldives style beach relaxation with diving thrown in - cheaper and lower spec, but still very nice indeedy.

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    Gotta get my arse into gear and post the pics from this latest trip. Still suffering from post hols blues.

    Tried greening but won't let me. One owed.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by crocman View Post
    Hoi An and I wouldn't mind taking a look at the Cham Islands. .

    Dived there a few years back. Pretty tepid. Some nice soft coral, but other marine life was scarce, scarce, scarce. Looks like they had fished the place down to bedrock.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by nidhogg View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by crocman View Post
    Hoi An and I wouldn't mind taking a look at the Cham Islands. .

    Dived there a few years back. Pretty tepid. Some nice soft coral, but other marine life was scarce, scarce, scarce. Looks like they had fished the place down to bedrock.
    Damn! That is sad to hear. I have seen videos of other dive sites in 'Nam with very little life about due to over fishing. Had heard that in Cham there had been a marine park created so was hoping for some reasonable diving.

    Guess I'll just have to wait and see.

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    Tioman is quite good. I did manage to see turtles there too. A pity that many dive sites in Malaysia are introducing a RM200 per day marine park fee iirc. Hopefully it is not in force by now.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bettyboo View Post

    If you get the chance to go to the Perhentians then go; just Maldives style beach relaxation with diving thrown in - cheaper and lower spec, but still very nice indeedy.

    The Perhentians is certainly a fantastic part of South East Asia.

    The water clarity is so much better than anything in Thailand bar the Similans on a very good day.

    Stunning area when the weather is on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by terry57
    The Perhentians is certainly a fantastic part of South East Asia.

    The water clarity is so much better than anything in Thailand bar the Similans on a very good day.

    Stunning area when the weather is on.
    Yeah, surprisingly nice, and it used to be very cheap. Have you been there, Terry? You used to be into diving, didn't you? Where do you reckon would be a good place for the OP to do a divemaster course?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ml708
    A pity that many dive sites in Malaysia are introducing a RM200 per day marine park fee iirc. Hopefully it is not in force by now.
    It's not fun when prices are pushed up, but if the cost is still reasonable and the money is used to actually benefit the marine park rather than line people's pockets then I'd support the concept - can't be too expensive though or people will go elsewhere.

  24. #24
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    If I wasn't shit scared of hammer head sharks..

    Layang-Layang Island





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    So I've finally decided that I'll do my DM and OWSI in Malaysia instead as I've been to previous courses run by the dive centre holding it. My understanding is that OWSIs get paid next to nothing too which is unfortunate. Anyone have recommendations on where to buy dive gear, good brands and so on? Been only renting gear so far.

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