I Have been on both locations. Phi Phi is a bid more crowded, Lanta a more family Island. Lanta is bigger so depending on the shop/school you will get there more often the pool to start instead of the beach. Both are fun places to stay. Phi Phi is a true island and more isolated so all good incl most food needs to be shipped there so my experience it’s a bid more expensive. I would look more to the reputation of the school than the location.
Have fun with your training.
We have just don ours at ko Tao , 4 day course with free accomdation around £170 . The company's called big blue diving
I would not be so concerned about the place where to take the certificate but would certainly be concerned about the instructor I am trusting my life. We were a family of 4 taking our open water PADI certificate with Flip Flop Divers at Koh Lanta. We are going back in April and will dive again with this company. They are not just instructors, they are your closest family when under the surface. You can check all the great reviews on TripAdvisor. There are 132 reviews and Ady is a fantastic instructor and you will feel comfortable with him. Have a safe journey.
Koh Tao is also good. And I agree, the diving insitution, especially the instructor is definitely a huge factor.
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