dearJulius.com

$hide=home

How to Choose a Dive Shop in Southeast Asia


By Greg Rodgers
Asia Travel Expert, about.com

Figuring out how to choose a dive shop in Southeast Asia is part knowing what to look for and part just listening to gut instincts.

In popular diving destinations such as Koh Tao in Thailand, the Perhentian Islands in Malaysia, and the Gili Islands in Indonesia, you’ll have an overwhelming number of shops from which to choose. Diving isn’t a particularly cheap hobby -- and it can be inherently dangerous if not done properly. Don’t cheat yourself: choose a dive shop that will give the best experience possible!

Check the Boat[post_ads_2]

The size and condition of a dive shop’s boat says a lot about the organization and how much diver turnover they experience.

If boats are kept at the harbor or elsewhere, you can still ask if “big boats” or “little boats” are used. Check around to get a consensus across many shops. Bigger boats are more stable (to help prevent sea sickness), offer more room for putting together equipment, and are usually much more social than smaller, noisier vessels such as the longtail boats used in Southeast Asia.

Some dive shops may switch to running only small boats to save money during the low season, while other new or makeshift operations may not even own a boat and need to charter a local taxi boat each time they have customers!

Peek at the Equipment

This one’s a no-brainer; if a dive shop can’t maintain their equipment properly, then they really don’t deserve your business. Don’t settle for a limited range of masks that don’t fit properly or leaky regulators that will lose half your air.

A glance around the place may be a good initial indication. Gear should be clean and organized, not thrown around in sandy disarray.

Hang Around the Dive Shop[post_ads_2]

Travelers are often welcome -- encouraged, even -- to linger around dive shop common areas. Some shops have integrated bars and screen videos from the latest dives. Local divemasters are usually a wealth of information about islands in Southeast Asia; most are friendly and willing to help you get settled, hoping in return that you book diving or snorkeling later.
Just the general atmosphere in a shop is often the first indication as to whether you should dive with an organization or move on. Is the place buzzing with activity? Are the staff friendly, energetic, and excited about their sport? Or are they worn down from too many consecutive dives, too hungover from last night’s party, or too overworked to answer your questions?

Divemasters do work long, exhausting days -- and they certainly don’t do so for the money. But all should still share one thing in common: an excitement and passion for diving! Asking a few questions about what was seen that week, if any whale sharks or mantas have made recent appearances, and general diving chit chat should have them smiling. Bring up their favorite subject and see if the mojo starts flowing.

Along with speaking to staff, with a little timing, you could catch some divers returning from a trip. Give them some time to get situated and update their log books, then ask if the experience was pleasant and whether or not they would recommend that particular dive shop.

Make Sure Communication Is Good

The divemaster in charge of your trip should have an excellent command of your native language. If English is your common language and theirs just barely passes the grade, you may not be able to understand important instructions related to your dive. A little shopping around will certainly turn up plenty of excellent English-speaking divemasters.

If you plan to take a course for the next level of certification, find a shop that offers the book and materials in your native language.

What About Extras?[post_ads_2]

Many dive operations in competitive areas such as Thailand’s Koh Tao will bundle your certification course and accommodation for a discount. Perks are sometimes included to sweeten the deal; ask about free breakfast, food vouchers, bar credit, happy hour drinks -- you could end up surprised at little extras thrown in to retain your business!

Certainly ask about discounts for future dives or diving bundles. You can score significant discounts for returning to the same shop for subsequent dives.

Don’t Always Believe the Wall of Fame

Dive operations prominently display their PADI and SSI certifications along with accolades from Tripadvisor and other sites. Even rogue shops that have had their “5 Star” statuses revoked still display the certificates, while some operations print their own fake certifications to frame. There are simply too many dive shops in the world to be policed by each certifying organization.

The only way to really be sure of a dive shop’s current standing is to research them with their parent organizations. For PADI schools, you can research individual instructors and divemasters by running their member number on PADI’s Pro Chek tool. Member numbers should be present on displayed certificates; asking a divemaster for their identification card is technically an option but probably won’t help you to make friends!

Use Online Reviews Cautiously[post_ads_2]

Although checking online reviews is logical -- and often recommended by others giving generic advice for how to choose a dive shop -- all review sites share one common flaw: they don’t always reveal the big picture.

Customers are far more likely to go leave a review after a bad experience or when they feel wronged in some way. Only a dedicated few -- and the friends of owners -- take the time to leave positive reviews after a great experience is over.

Check for reviews, but keep in mind that one disagreement with a divemaster may prompt someone to leave a negative review, meanwhile, dozens of happy customers didn’t bother because they were busy getting on with the rest of their trips.

COMMENTS



|Featured Content_$type=three$c=3$l=0$m=0$s=hide$rm=0


Made with in NYC
Name

Abu Dhabi,2,Adventure,32,Adventure Travel,642,Advice,73,Africa,26,Air Travel,150,Alabama,5,Alaska,21,Alberta,1,America,77,Amsterdam,2,Anguilla,3,Antarctica,7,Antigua,3,Argentina,15,Arizona,20,Arkansas,2,Armenia,1,Asia Travel,47,Athens,3,Austin,8,Australia,92,Austria,13,Azerbaijan,1,Bahamas,13,Bangladesh,8,Beach Travel,58,Belarus,1,Belgium,9,Belize,15,Bermuda,5,Bhutan,10,Blue Lagoon,2,Bolivia,3,Botswana,3,Brazil,38,Brunei,1,Budget Travel,97,California,110,Cambodia,4,Canada,81,Caribbean,45,Caribbean & Mexico,5,Chicago,7,Chile,7,China,21,Christmas Travel,14,Clothes,1,Coliseum,1,Colombia,18,Colorado,33,Columbia,3,Connecticut,4,Corporate Travel,2,Costa Rica,13,Country Travel,249,Croatia,15,Cruiser Travel,16,Cuba,18,Cultural Travel,66,Czech Republic,6,D.C.,2,Delaware,1,Denmark,12,Desert Travel,1,Dubai,15,East Africa,4,Easter Island,1,Easter Travel,1,Eco Travel,18,Ecuador,7,Egypt,4,Emirates,1,England,13,Estonia,2,Eswatini,1,Ethiopia,2,Europe,110,Fall Travel,43,Family Travel,128,Faroe Island,1,Father's Day Travel,1,Featured,22,Features,406,Festival Travel,25,Fiji,6,Finland,16,Florida,69,Food,8,Food and Drink,4,France,37,Free Travel,3,French,6,French Polynesia,5,Galapagos,3,Georgia,14,Germany,18,Ghana,2,Greece,37,Greenland,1,Guatemala,2,Halloween Travel,9,Hawaii,53,Hayden Panettiere,1,Hiking Travel,63,Holiday Travel,28,Holland,1,Honeymoon Travel,128,Hong Kong,13,Hotels,71,Hungary,3,Iceland,41,Idaho,5,Ideas,11,Illinois,13,Independence Day Travel,1,India,36,Indiana,5,Indonesia,13,Iraq,1,Ireland,36,Island,60,islands,2,Israel,9,Italy,57,Jamaica,8,Japan,45,Jordan,6,Kansas,6,Kentucky,2,Kenya,2,Korea,2,Kyrgyzstan,1,Latin America,3,Latvia,1,Lithuania,2,London,24,Louisiana,9,Lowa,4,Luxembourg,1,Luxury Travel,35,Maine,6,Malaysia,1,Maldives,15,Malta,2,Maryland,6,Massachusetts,9,Mauritius,6,Mexico,74,Miami,13,Michigan,5,Mississippi,2,Missouri,7,Moldova,1,Monaco,1,Montana,12,Morocco,20,Mother's Day Travel,1,Myanmar,9,Namibia,4,Nature,4,Nature Travel,103,Nepal,6,Netherlands,11,Nevada,24,Nevis,1,New England,5,New Jersey,2,New Mexico,6,New Year's Day Travel,6,New York,55,New York City,20,New Zealand,47,Newfoundland,1,Nicaragua,2,North America,11,North Carolina,6,North Dakota,1,North Ireland,1,Northern Ireland,1,Norway,20,Occasional Travel,9,Oceania,1,Ohio,6,Oman,5,Oregon,10,Pakistan,2,Panama,5,Paraguay,1,Paris,23,Pennsylvania,10,Peru,21,Phoenix,1,Photo Feature,1,Poland,3,Portugal,21,Prague,1,Puerto Rico,7,Qatar,6,Resort,11,Rhode Island,2,River Travel,2,Road Trips,49,Romania,4,Romantic Getaways,15,Rome,5,Russia,16,Saint Lucia,1,Saint Patrick's Day Travel,1,San Miguel de Allende,1,Scotland,10,Seasonal,56,Seasonal Travel,59,Sightseeing Tours,2,Singapore,18,Ski Resorts,10,Slovenia,6,Solo Travel,24,Solomon Islands,1,Somoa,1,Soth Africa,1,South Africa,14,South America,3,South Carolina,4,South Dakota,5,South Korea,3,South Pacific,2,Space Travel,14,Spain,33,Special,24,Special Features,315,Spring Travel,23,Sri Lanka,6,Student Travel,1,Summer Travel,53,Summer Vacation,8,Sweden,19,Swiss Alps,1,Switzerland,20,Tahiti,1,Taiwan,3,Tanzania,1,Tennessee,6,Texas,57,Thailand,31,Thanksgiving Travel,5,Things to Do,165,Tibet,2,Tips,119,Train Travel,23,Transportation,22,Travel,188,Travel Advice,64,Travel Apps,1,Travel Guide,40,Travel Tips,150,Tunisia,2,Turkey,10,Turkish,1,Tuscany,1,UAE,10,UK,40,Ukrine,1,Urban Travel,48,Uruguary,1,USA,632,Utah,13,Uzbekistan,1,Vacation Travel,247,Valentine's Day Travel,1,Vehicle Travel,2,Venezuela,1,Vermont,4,Victoria Falls,1,Vietnam,5,Virginia,5,Washington,15,Washington DC,20,Weddings Travel,4,West Indies,2,Wildlife Travel,13,Winter Travel,56,Wisconsin,5,Worldwide,155,Wyoming,3,xxx,1,Yemen,1,Zadar,2,Zambia,3,Zimbabwe,4,
ltr
item
Travel Magazine: How to Choose a Dive Shop in Southeast Asia
How to Choose a Dive Shop in Southeast Asia
https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-hmBKKWat5bI/WBwW70SyC_I/AAAAAAAAl3g/wMzTViBHNrEyrZ_ysvuHHZwD4fO7QH9egCLcB/s1600/dear.jpg
https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-hmBKKWat5bI/WBwW70SyC_I/AAAAAAAAl3g/wMzTViBHNrEyrZ_ysvuHHZwD4fO7QH9egCLcB/s72-c/dear.jpg
Travel Magazine
https://travel.dearjulius.com/2017/02/how-to-choose-dive-shop-in-southeast.html
https://travel.dearjulius.com/
https://travel.dearjulius.com/
https://travel.dearjulius.com/2017/02/how-to-choose-dive-shop-in-southeast.html
true
5866858605520326948
UTF-8
Loaded All Posts Not found any posts VIEW ALL Read More Reply Cancel reply Delete By Home PAGES POSTS View All RECOMMENDED FOR YOU LABEL ARCHIVE SEARCH ALL POSTS Not found any post match with your request Back Home Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat January February March April May June July August September October November December Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec just now 1 minute ago $$1$$ minutes ago 1 hour ago $$1$$ hours ago Yesterday $$1$$ days ago $$1$$ weeks ago more than 5 weeks ago Followers Follow THIS PREMIUM CONTENT IS LOCKED STEP 1: Share to a social network STEP 2: Click the link on your social network Copy All Code Select All Code All codes were copied to your clipboard Can not copy the codes / texts, please press [CTRL]+[C] (or CMD+C with Mac) to copy