The BEST Scuba Diving in Asia!

I got my Open Water PADI certification a couple weeks ago in Koh Tao, Thailand, and am therefore obviously not that experienced, but I can't imagine a better place to go scuba diving in terms of atmosphere and warmth and fun and experience. New Way Divers was a dive shop I found through random google searches along the lines of 'scuba dive asia' and 'good scuba dive asia.' There are something like 50 scuba diving companies on Koh Tao alone, so I feel really lucky that I found New Way!

We had 7 people in the Open Water class, but with 2 instructors. I saw groups of 7 or 8 at the other schools, but they only had one instructor, and I think that made a huge difference. We would hang out and do a morning briefing on the boat as a big group, but break up into smaller groups under the water based on our air levels. Also, New Way had their own boats which made our lives way easier.

Prepping on the boat

That's me doing the James Bond entrance

Our group descending down the line

Everyone paused for a quick underwater sign language lecture

What a cool classroom!

Me taking my mask off, practicing basic skills

Rich and Yann were my instructors, and Chris the manager was really great as well. They were all so welcoming, and there were always people hanging around the dive shop drinking beers and chatting, so even though I was traveling alone, I never was really alone. New Way went out of their way to make me feel included.

Instructor Rich

Instructor Yann

With the Open Water certification, I can now go to 18 meters, but I think my boyfriend and I are going to do the advanced course in February somewhere in Asia together, so that we can dive to 30 meters. I fell in love with scuba diving the minute I started breathing underwater and I can't wait to dive right back in. Other than dance, I've never really had a physical activity where I feel totally comfortable. I could scuba dive all day every day (if it wasn't for the bends and whatnot), and never get bored with it.

I'm a little too comfortable under the water... hehe

Coming up after my last dive! Yay!

Being able to breathe underwater, and having the support of the wetsuit and fins, makes it feel like you really are hovering and flying above coral. Fish swim up and nibble on your lips (I know, weird right? It's awesome!), eels slither towards you and sound and light bounce in every direction. We got lucky enough on first day to bump into a whale shark (estimated to be around 6 meters long) that let us swim with it for awhile. Back at the dive shop, people complained that they had done hundreds of dives in Koh Tao and never got so lucky. It really was a special trip.

Thanks to Fat Fish for diving with us and filming us!
Here is a video of a whale shark in the area by a local film company

If you are backpacking around Asia and looking for a place to get your PADI certification, or just do some fun dives, go to New Way Diving in Koh Tao. For experience and friendliness and professionalism and small groups, it doesn't get any better. They hooked me up with an awesome beach bungalow with a patio and loads of new friends who I won't be forgetting anytime soon.

With my group after our last dive

Celebration after we graduated!


  1. This really inspires me to learn how to dive. Diving seems fun and exciting. But I guess it is for those individuals with brave hearts only, right?

  2. Diving is really really fun. I've been doing  Scuba Diving in Indonesia, one of the best diving spot in asia.

  3. I like your blog very much! It is found me so interesting and informative... Thanks very much for sharing this amazing information over here.

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  4. This is a great and amazing post about the scuba Diving and its facilities. Thanks for sharing this precious information.
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