Diving Koh Tao


Koh Tao is best known as an island to travel to for it’s diving. Many say it is the cheapest place in the world to work towards any level of certification, including professional levels. We went there not to get a certification, but simply to check out the diving and find out why Koh Tao is such a popular destination for divers.


We completed five dives each during our stay here. Two dives off the northwestern tip of the island, and three far south of the island. We enjoyed the caves, chimneys and swim throughs, but generally found the diving unable to compete with our experiences in other waters. Even our guide seemed bored with the show- more focused on putting down a few shots on the boat than getting in some quality time with the sea. A few schools of squid and barracuda made for some good memories. Some palm sized nudibranchs and foot long sea urchins put on a good show.


More impressive than anything- the crowds. On Koh Tao we saw more divers in the water than fish, more dive culture than any place we’ve been, and (as advertised) the cheapest certification prices yet. It is no wonder so many travel here to learn to dive- but we are unsure that the island deserves it’s reputation as a great diving destination. Koh Tao is a great place to hang out with a ton of other divers, but it seems to us that little of this actually has much to do with the ocean itself.


After a few weeks to think about it, we’ve realized that it was not the ocean that made for less than stellar diving. What was missing from our experience here was a lack of passion in the dive masters and staff. Would we dive here again? Certainly. But we would do more research in finding a dive shop that values the act of diving. In other places, this has never been a concern. Most who work in this industry do it because they adore it. Koh Tao, on the other hand, is a factory for the major scuba organizations to pump out more divers. This focus becomes plainly obvious the minute you drop underwater, but something easily overlooked when on land.



Comments are closed.