“Learning to dive or want to do something real to help marine life - then choose New Heaven”
We loved our time with the brilliant team at New Heaven. My husband and I went to Koh Tao to specifically volunteer on the marine conservation project that is headed up by Chad and Dev.
We were completely new to scuba diving, and as we are a bit older than the usual crew of newbies, we were a little anxious about learning and would we be of any use!
I'm delighted to say that our instructor Sandra was fantastic. There were only 3 of us on the OW and Advanced diver course, so we had almost 121 classroom tuition, and this was the same when we went out into the water to turn our theory and understanding into practical skills.
Sandra was a delight to learn with - really patient, hugely experienced yet down-to-earth, fun and friendly. When we struggled to understand any points, Sandra always found another way to explain and/or demonstrate them to ensure our understanding.
Everybody was really friendly and helpful, and the small family atmoshphere at New Heaven made us feel welcome, especially Tuk, Nick & Adnan. When my husband had a ear infection which meant we had to delay the start of our course, there was no problem with New Heaven, they were really accommodating and flexible.
I wouldn't hesitate to go back there to do fun dives. But it would be great to see more divers signing up for the marine conservation project, where New Heaven have pretty much led the way on Koh Tao to make all the talk about conservation work a reality. Even though we only had time to volunteer for 5 days, I would hope to go back next year to spend longer on the project to make a real difference. We were involved in reef surveys, buoy installations and collecting broken corals to implant on the coral nurseries for regeneration. Chad gave us a morning briefing each day to explain what we would be doing, and why we were carrying out this work - he was brilliant at explaining the fundamentals of marine and coral ecosystems in laymans terms so that we could understand how damage had occurred and what actions were being taken to combat it or prevent it happening again in the future.
Its such a shame that some of the larger dive schools on Koh Tao cannot make a committed effort to contribute to marine conservation in the same way as New Heaven.
For this reason alone I would recommend them a dive school that is not only aware of its impact on the local marine environment, but is actually doing something real and a daily basis to preserve it for the local community and visitors alike.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.