If you want to have the best diving experience in Koh Phi Phi (or anywhere else), avoid those big diving centers such as Island Divers. They may look nice, friendly and safe, but I'm afraid they just want your money regardless of giving a good service. Actually these guys weren't nice, weren't friendly and what's worse, WEREN'T SAFE.
I stayed a few days in Koh Phi Phi last month, because I heard that there were a few good spots for diving in the Marine Park (I'm afraid I will never find out).
After having a look at the different centers (they all offer the same) I decided to dive with Island Divers because after a loooong talk they guaranteed that I was going to dive in a group of 4 people (max. 5, if necessary), all of them with my same diving certification/experience, and somewhere in the following spots: Bida Nok, Bida Nai, Lo Samah and Palong, depending on weather conditions.
NONE of these 3 things were true!!
We were a group of 6 people + Divemaster: 1 instructor, 3 Advance OW and 2 newly certified Open Waters that ran out of air while the rest had still 120bar.
But the worst thing was that in our same boat there were around 25 other people, most of them snorkelers and novel divers, that obviously couldn't do our same dive spot. When the boat stopped we were in the middle of Maya Bay, with more than 30 other boats around, people swimming, more boats going in and out of the bay… scary.
I asked my instructor (Mike) if this was a joke, and I told him that I wasn't going to dive in there. But he said that the other people were going to jump in the bay and we were going to swim until the corner and start diving from there, where we could go deep and see really nice stuff, maybe turtles and sharks… Whatever... We went around 8-10m deep and see nothing; we lost people from our group twice, because of bad visibility (what would you expect in a port?!). We had to go back to the surface, descend again.
So, again: THE WORST EXPERIENCE EVER.
After lunch we were running late (I forgot to say that after leaving Phi Phi in the morning we had to turn back and go to the pier because someone forgot to take some wetsuits, so maybe that was the reason), and Mike told us that we were going to dive in the same place. No need to tell you the rest.
It was a completely lost of time and money.
My deepest thanks to Island Divers
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