I am a fair weather PADI DM and have seen my fair share of dive operators, some good, some not so.
Sea Bees redefines the good for me and for a number of reasons:
1. Selling: The least pushy representative in the local Khao Lak; Pascal. Couldn't be more accommodating, took a good 20 minutes to guide me through the best sites and the best options for my requested 3 days diving. No pressure techniques, just great customer service.
2. Charging: Sea Bees have a great setup, designed to get you the best package... AT THE END OF YOUR DIVING. no need to pre plan what you can do, take it easy, enjoy the diving, do as much as the better half will allow, and at the end of it all they will work out the best package to save your hard earned cash.
3. The boats: The catamaran is very impressive!!! Almost as fast as a local speedboat, takes 20 odd in complete comfort and is fantastically equipped. The smaller Runaway is charming! We had 9 on it for 2 wreck dives and it was a pleasure to dive off. Towels and water were always available, as was a free supply of fizzy drinks. As per nearly every dive boat I've been on, they served fried chicken at lunch, which was of course delicious. In addition the sweet sticky rice in banana leaves was worth the cost alone!!!!
4. Handling Equipment: I was told Sea Bees would happily manage my equipment. It was left in a crate, on board when I arrived in the morning and even cleaned in fresh water each night, very nice to not have to lug it about everywhere.
5. The People: The personelle are equally as professional as the company, respectful of the environment (as they should be), of the boat staff and ultimately of their guests.
6. The Diving: Conditions were tough on the first day, a bit of current and no Mantas :( Koh Bon was pretty busy too which probably didn't help, not our boat but the many liveaboards that turned up. The coral is pretty great to my surprise, especially on the wall at the site, so definitely worth while even without the magic carpets. Day 2 was on 2 wrecks, a small intimate group on Nitrox to extend the bottom time. Visibility was not super but added to the mystery, a tonne of fish and I even spotted a few Scorpion Fish (I am rubbish at spotting fauna).
7. Cost: Sea Bees are definitely not a cheap local dive company and in this case the old saying definitely comes to mind: "You get what you pay for". If you want cheap, go somewhere else. If you want value for money, with a responsible, hard working dive operator with great staff and great boats, that makes diving super easy and cares about your wellbeing and that of the environment you dive in; then my recommendation would be Sea Bees!
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