Koh Tao or ‘Turtle Island’ is the most popular place in Thailand to learn to dive. Roctopus is a great dive centre, who concentrate on personal service, fantastic fun, safety and professionalism. They operate in small groups, have great equipment and an awesome dive team.
What to expect on a 3-Day Open Water Course
The 3-day Open Water Course is a fantastic course designed for beginners. The price includes all materials, equipment and a certification at the end! The more ‘in-water’ capability you have the easier you will take it on, but there is no previous experience required, you just need to know how to swim.
RAID’s personalised training approach accelerates the process of making you a serious diver in a way that is comfortable and enjoyable for you. After all, everyone learns at a different pace and has personal objectives for their diving. Under the guidance of a professional RAID Instructor, you will develop the knowledge and skills necessary to enjoy a lifetime of underwater exploration.
Pick up, meet the Team and get settled in! Be picked up from the pier and settled into your accommodation. Then at the end of the day (4 pm) meet at Roctopus Dive shop for an orientation, this will give you the chance to meet the Roctopus team, meet your instructor and other students in your group and get to know each other. We keep our groups to 4 max with our course groups to ensure your safety, personal instruction and enjoyment. Also, paperwork and schedule will be gone over and we’ll watch a few DVDs, which lasts about two hours.
DAY 1: Learning Essential Dive Skills
The first morning (starting at 8.30am) will be a classroom session to go over the diving theory and essential safety information before you take the plunge. We go over the equipment you will be using and how the equipment and our bodies react to going under pressure under water. Also, we go over any questions that you may have in order to get the little book work completed. Learning to dive is so much fun – but safety is our priority, so we make sure we prepare you for the afternoon for the first in water session.
The afternoon (from 11.30am – 4 pm, with lunch in-between) will then consist of our first in-water session. This is a chance to get in a pool or a very shallow dive site (depends on the weather) in the equipment to start slowly getting comfortable and learn the skills you need to become a diver. Don’t worry, everyone is nervous and have fears of the unknown for the first time, but with our friendly, experienced team and small groups, you will soon start to have an awesome time, once you get more comfortable.
DAY 2: Plunge into the Ocean!
We start off the day the same way as the first in the morning, to finish the last of the academic work and the final exam (from 8 am – 10 am). Don’t worry too much about the exam, it’s made for a 10-year old and your instructor will be sure that you have the knowledge to easily pass!
Then, the afternoon will include two open water dive sessions to practice basic skills learnt on the first day and start to do what diving is all about, swimming around checking out what the dive site has to offer with coral and fish life and having fun! This is where you will start to become a real diver and progress your diving ability and comfort in the water.
DAY 3: Let’s go morning diving!
You will head out on the morning boat (at 6.15am) visiting a few different dive sites that are now a bit deeper and further from the island and offer some great diving and some bigger marine life.
By this stage, you have progressed your diving skill and ability, so we get a lot of time swimming around these great sites you will get to see the amazing underwater life of the beautiful ‘Turtle Island’ or Koh Tao.
From colourful corals to man-made reefs, to incredible underwater pinnacles teeming with sea life such as beautiful coral, barracuda, mackerel, groupers, eels, stingrays, clown fish, angel fish, many more reef fish! If really lucky you might spot a turtle or the ultimate – a whale shark! One thing is for sure, you won’t be able to believe this brand new world you have discovered!
From this day forth – you are now qualified to dive up to 18 metres! Take your certificate with you throughout the rest of your travels in Southeast Asia and let the adventures begin… (Once you are certified, you can get fun dives with Roctopus for a special discounted price of 700 THB per dive.)
What’s included in the Price?
- All learning materials, including dive log book and course manual.
- Professional instruction.
- All dive equipment, dive computer hire and certificate.
- Taxi pick-up from pier upon arrival.
- Refreshments on the boat.
What’s not included in the Price?
- Accommodation is not included, but we can book for you.
- Transport to the island of Koh Tao.
- Travel Insurance – Get a quote here.
- Food (apart from refreshments on the boat).
- Other snacks, personal expenses.
- Dive video – If you’d like your dives filmed by our in-house professional videographer, we offer this service for an additional fee.
Accommodation Options in Koh Tao
This package does not include accommodation. We separate the costs so you just pay for the room you choose to have on top, this saves you money and any confusion about what is included. We are affiliated with a few places on Koh Tao that we can book for you. See options below… (Please ask us at the time of reserving which is your preferred option).
Option 1: Wind Beach Resort
Wind Beach Resort is located right on Sairee Beach, closely situated to all of Sairee’s shops, restaurants, cafes, bars etc. Only a short walk to everywhere, so it’s a great spot to stay, and of course, our dive shop is based there. The resort has many facilities: Victors Pool Bar, Wind Restaurant & BBQ, Rasta Bar, Massage, Mini Mart and Laundry Service. Prices do not include breakfast. A fan room costs 600 THB a night and 1,000 a night for A/C (these are older budget rooms, very basic with cold water). Also Superior A/C, Deluxe Luxury and Deluxe Garden for bigger budgets. Triple rooms are Fan 800 a night, or A/C 1,500 a night. Please note if we book you a room here, you must pay at least one night stay, even if you arrive and choose not to stay there for any reason.
Option 2: The Roctopus Hotel
The Roctopus Hotel is a brand new building located inland Sairee, 10 min walk from the beach and our dive shop. It’s tucked away in a secluded area, down a dirt road past a few Thai homes, no views. No communal areas, but shops and restaurants within 10 min walk. It’s very quiet, so you can get a good sleep before diving. Fan / Air Con options available with: Double bed, TV, Fridge, Hot water bathroom, free WIFI & a safe. Single Fan room (one person only) with shared bathroom/cold water, starts at 300 THB (but there is only one of these available, so depends on availability): Double Bed Fan Rooms, 600 THB a night, or 1,000 a night for Double Bed A/C Room (one or two persons sharing, no Twin bedrooms).
Option 3: Prik Thai Resort
Prik Thai Resort is a basic mid-range Thai resort on the beach, in the heart of Sairee, just 5 min walk to the beach from our dive shop. It has a variety of rooms and bungalows, both concrete and wooden, fan and A/C and also has more expensive beachfront rooms. Two swimming pools on site and is right in the middle of many restaurants, shops and beach bars. Fan Rooms for one person start at 400 THB a night (if booked far enough in advance), for two people are 600-700, and go up to 2,000 THB a night for beachfront A/C Double bedrooms. Triple Rooms are Fan 700-900 a night, or A/C 1,500 a night. Reception is open 9-5pm each day, so if you are arriving late or earlier than 9 am, we have to make special arrangements.
Option 4: Suksamran Villas
Suksamran Villas provides suites and studio apartments and is located in Sairee, a 10-minute walk from the beach and shops of Sairee. The location of Suksamran is in the nature of the island and away from the water, so you can have a bit more wildlife such as lizards around the villas, but it also means it is more peaceful. It has Double beds, Air Con, TV, Fridge, Hot water bathroom, free WIFI and a safe. Rooms are 1,000 THB a night.
Other than that, have a look at other nearby places such as Thalassa Hotel, Mint Hotel, Samatha B & B, Good Dream Hostel, Pranee Guesthouse, Pranee Amata, Sairee Sairee Guesthouse, CK Guesthouse, Lotus Resort. We recommend that you pick something in Sairee near to Roctopus Dive School, so you do not have to pay expensive taxis. There are also many Backpacker hostels now on the island with dorm beds, so if you are interested in these, you can book them direct yourselves on Booking.com.
Maria Lopez –
Awesome experience with Roctopus!
My husband chose them based on the good reviews he read online and we knew it was a great choice from the first minute!
They have a space at the pier from where they gave us a ride to the main store. Their facilities are fantastic, location in the island is good too and the staff are really nice, welcoming and helpful.
We certified for open water on the 4 days course. We had a group of four people with Desa as our instructor. She is very proffesional with plenty of years of experience, made us feel safe the whole time, perfectly explained everything and practiced the skills with us as many times as we needed.
After a day in the pool they took us to four dive sites. Although the first one was not impressive it was perfect to get comfortable under water. The other three were really beautiful! ?
They offer the possibility of getting a video of the last day’s dives for a very reasonable price and it’s played at a bar on the last night over some beers and mojitos with the staff.
Great experience overall and looking forward to diving again!
Ryland Hood –
Life changing diving experience – my girlfriend and I showed up wanting to do just the open water but loved it so much we went straight into the advanced course. Beks was a great instructor and it really showed that she cared. James was our DMT that led the advanced course and he did a fantastic job. He was very helpful, caring, and enthusiastic about diving. I hope to see James and Beks when we return to Koh Tao for some more fun diving… Still need to dive Sail Rock and see “the big guy”…. PS: They have the coolest shirts as well