H2O Scuba School
|H2O Scuba School||
H20 Scuba School (now called H2O Original) is the most successful scuba school in Thong Nai Pan. Its rivals are Tropical Divers and Dreamland Divers. The latter is attached to Dreamland Resort and seems happy to service a trickle of customers that are referred to them through.
H2O has been running since the early 2000s. It is headed up by the charismatic and highly qualified Lee who hails from the green valleys of Wales. Lee learnt his trade in Koh Tao and then made the decision to go it alone when he stumbled upon the beautiful beaches of Thong Nai Pan. Since its inception, H20 Scuba School has established itself as a dive shop that offers high quality tuition in small groups at competitive prices.
Lee is a qualified PADI dive instructor that has amassed an impressive amount of diving and teaching hours. His scuba school offers not only the standard PADI Open Water and Advanced Open Water courses but also Rescue Diver, Emergency First Response and the other courses necessary to progress from scuba novice to Dive Master.
Diving is a rewarding sport not only because you get the chance to experience the marine environment in all its glory but also because it can lead to gainful employment. Lee and his team of diver masters and instructors have taken lots of people through all the steps needed to allow their students to make the leap to teachers, and to make money. As is the nature of dive schools in Thailand, H20 Scuba School is always interested in hearing from dive masters and instructors looking for work. You can find H2O Scuba School’s email address in the side column.
H20 Scuba School has its main shop in the village in Thong Nai Pan Noi. There is usually someone at the desk from 10am to 5pm to field enquiries. They also have a small office on Thong Nai Pan Yai beach next to Central Cottage.
The school has an affiliation with Rasananda, Panviman and Santhiya. Guests staying at these resorts can make enquiries about fun dives and dive courses at the reception of their hotels.
One of the best things about H20 Scuba School is its excellent customer service. They are happy to pick up clients from their resort in the morning and then return them in the afternoon. All lessons are in small groups and all fun dives are similarly in groups of 4 or 5.
H20 Scuba School has the fastest speed boat in the bay. It does an impressive 24 knots an hour, compared to the other boats in the bay that do only 8. This means that the travel times to the best dive sites such as Sail Rock, Chumphon Pinnacles and Ang Thong National Park is kept to a minimum. Students with H20 Scuba School can beat the rush to these popular spots.
The school uses either Phuwadee’s pool or the sea when it is calm for its lessons in using scuba equipment. All academics sessions are held in a relaxed atmosphere on the beach. For those who don’t fancy book learning during their beach holiday it is possible to do the academics online at the PADI website. A small discount of 1,000 Thai Baht is offered to those who have completed their academics online.
Open Water courses last 3 days and cost 12,500 Thai Baht. Day 1 and 2 involve pool sessions and academics and the final day is when new students get to test their new skills at the best diving sites in the Gulf. It is also the day when the final written test is taken.
Advanced Open Water is a 2 day course. It is the next stage after Open Water and involves new experiences such as going down 30 meters and experiencing night diving. This course costs 11,000 Thai Baht. Rescue Diver is priced at 12,000 Thai Baht and Emergency First Response is 3,000 Thai Baht. To make it to Dive Master costs 25,000 Thai Baht. All courses include PADI certificate and manual, free transfers within the Thong Nai Pan bay area and free lunch on the boat. For a small fee transfers can be arranged from the neighboring beaches of Bottle Beach and Than Sadet.
For those with less time or some concerns about doing a 3 day course there is the option of a day Discover Scuba course that goes through the basics and allows students to do a proper (but shallower) dive on their first day. This costs between 3,200 Thai Baht and 4,300 Thai Baht depending on which dive site is visited. It is possible to take credits from a Discover Scuba course towards an Open Water Course.
H2O is also more than happy to take experienced divers out to the best sites in the area. They offer fun dives around Koh Phangan, and Koh Tao as well as to Sail Rock, Chumphon Pinnacles and Ang Thong National Park. They try to be flexible but much depends on time of year, wind movements and logistics.
For friends and family who don’t want to do a scuba course it is possible to join the scuba trips and do some snorkeling instead. Snorkeling trips range between 2,500 Thai Baht and 4,200 Thai Baht depending on the dive site. For a full list of prices click on the links to the left.
Although the Gulf of Thailand is not as rich in marine life as the Similan Islands on the Andaman Coast, its warm waters contain more than enough interest to capture the imagination of even the most experienced divers. The highlight of dive trips to Sail Rock is undoubtedly the spotting of a whale shark – the largest fish in the world. Other sea creatures to spot include reef sharks, barracuda, angle fish, trigger fish, sea turtles and stingrays. Sail Rock is the only 5 star rated dive site in the Gulf and includes a cool swim through a chimney. Visits to Ang Thong National Park are made interesting by the bizarre karst rock scenery and a large inland lake. In short, there is plenty of adventure to be had scuba diving in Koh Phangan. And the great thing for H2O Scuba School customers is that they can leave from the beach and return directly to the beach. This is unlike diver operators in Haad Yao and Haad Salad that have to take their customers by taxi to Chaloklum before they can get on a boat.
H20 Scuba School is a highly rated dive school. Diving with H2O is rated as the 14th best thing to do in Koh Phangan. The diving outfit has numerous positive reviews from satisfied customers. Being a small school they give a personalized service that focuses on the customers’ needs. Lee is also a fun guy that makes the process of learning to dive enjoyable. Immersing your senses in the waters of the Gulf is perhaps the best activity on offer for those who visit Thong Nai Pan.
Thong Nai Pan Yai
Thong Nai Pan Noi