I did my open water diving with Big Blue (my instructor was Neil) and it was amazing! There were 3... read more
I did my open water diving with Big Blue (my instructor was Neil) and it was amazing! There were 3... read more
I had heard various opinions before I went to find out myself... from "great place" to "mass... read more
Back in the spring, a friend recommended for me to learn to dive at Big Blue and if I could go back, I would in a heartbeat! Not only were the facilities fantastic and easy access to everything you needed on the island, but my favorite part by far was the instructor. Ant Silwood is the best! He made our open water course an absolute blast! And when I stuck around to do my advanced, it ended up being just the two of us and it was fantastic to get to have that kind of one one one training. While diving with Big Blue, I was even able to swim with a whale shark! I would absolutely recommend Ant and Big Blue to anyone wanting to learn to dive and to have a great time as well!MoreShow less
I did my open water diving with Big Blue (my instructor was Neil) and it was amazing! There were 3 of us in the group, and we had 2 instructors, great ratio. They made the theory part fun and quick, but made sure everyone understood.
The pool day was great. Neil did a fantastic job taking us through each of the skills and making sure we were proficient at it before moving on, even taking time on his lunch break to work on swimming with fins for whoever wanted/needed it. The boats were nice and big, didn’t feel cramped even with 2-3 other groups on board.
The dive sites were really nice, and when we went in for the first time, Neil was great and making sure we were all on the same page and comfortable.
Would definitely recommend Big Blue to whoever wants to get certified, the only thing I regret is not being on Koh Tao longer to do my Advanced course!
Hi Vanessa, thanks so much for the excellent review and congratulations on becoming our latest Open Water diver!
The importance of the training pool for our new divers is something that a lot of people don't really think about when searching for a dive centre in which to complete their diving licence. A lot of people think it'll be better to immediately go into the ocean to practice for the first time with all the new equipment, after all an extra day in the sea can only be beneficial...or is it?
From personal experience, being told to jump into the sea with equipment that you've never worn in your life can be a little off-putting. To then have to deal with possible underwater currents, visibility issues, swimmers, boats...well it's not the ideal way for a nervous diver to get to grips with the 20+ skills we must learn with all this equipment, i can tell you. The beauty of the training pool is that there's never current, poor visibility, or even the apprehension of having to throw yourself immediately into the sea - a simple step into a shallow pool is all you need, after which the instructor can ensure that you're comfortable and confident with all this new stuff BEFORE we get into the ocean!
We'll pass on your thanks to your instructors Vanessa, and thanks again for leaving the review.
I had heard various opinions before I went to find out myself... from "great place" to "mass education"! Yes, there were a lot of customers and a lot of courses, but I could not find anything bad about that. In fact, quite the opposite:
Thanks to a big staff group and big facilities as well as big and comfortable boats, they are well able to handle a large number of divers. So, for me it is rather a sign of a lot of experience.
I spent two weeks doing my instructor training course and had a good time:
fun and experienced staff, good facilities, nicely located on the beach with easy boat access, own training pool, tasty beach restaurant and bar... Strong recommendation!
And after all, Big Blue also offers e.g. Tech Diving, so something for all kinds of interests!
Hello Sebastian, and thank you for the latest 5 star review to wash up on our shores!
I've heard on more than a few occasions that Big Blue is 'too big', and to be honest it's mostly from people who've never actually been diving with us. On first glance it can appear that way, but with 4 boats all doing different types of diving (tech/freediving, fundiving, Japanese-only (!) and a dedicated beginner-only boat) it's usually only the resort that is busy, with the boats going out at around half their capacity if that. A few years ago it was a different story of course, but with tourist visitors to Koh Tao dropping quite a bit the island is starting to resemble what is was like 20 years ago in regards to how full it now is - i would certainly no longer regard it as 'a busy island', and we're really enjoying the relative peace and quiet here on Sairee Beach!
Luckily for us, as we have a resort with facilities that can handle a lot of divers at once (as you mentioned) we have now found ourselves with a lot of space in classrooms, the pool and on the boats! We know how fortunate we are to have such a great location on the cleanest and quietest part of North Sairee, and the sunsets alone are worth paying us a visit again and again.
So I hope we'll see you soon Sebastian! It's been a pleasure having you around the last few weeks, and good luck with your new career in scuba diving.
Thanks again for the review,
You're on a trip and you want to fulfill an experience. So yes you'll go to magical place "Big Blue" on the other side of the beach and not near the pier. On the reception u say hello with smile and ask for Sonia...This's the moment when your trip really begins (:
Hello Haim, and thanks for the review - I really love it, it's very poetic!
Sonia's a top dive instructor, and her students never fail to finish their diving with her full of the joys of life, love and scuba. She easily inspires her students to want to keep diving forever, and also places a lot of extra attention on how to become a safe, competent and independent diver - the sign of a great instructor.
I hope you'll pay us a visit again one day, we love the happy souls!
Thank you once more for the review,
Last year I done my open water and advanced adventurer course, I loved it so much I come back this year and done my dive masters course. The staff are amazing make you feel like family and are so knowledgeable and skilled. Absolutely amazing place. It is sad to leave but can't wait to come back.
Hello and thank you for the review!
There aren't many of our divers that leave us without having had a blast, and with plans to return again in the near future. Diving is very addictive anyway, but to do it at a place as remarkable as Big Blue (with staff so magnificent they positively sparkle!) almost guarantees that you'll be back for more...and more...and eventually like in your case leave us as a fully-fledged dive professional! As you said the atmosphere at the resort is like one big family, and as one of the medium sized dive centres on the island you can be sure there's always new friends to be made and people to hang around with after the dives that aren't just the people working there.
We'll see you again soon I hope, and congratulations on becoming our latest Divemaster.
The best diving school in Koh Tao
The best instructors, the best team to dive with!
My second time here and i will come again!
Hi, thanks so much for the kind remarks!
All of our instructors have been put through a very long and intense training program whilst turning professional here at Big Blue, after which they must then shadow a senior member of staff untill we can see that they're working to a higher standard that is expected by most dive centres in the world - 'The Big Blue Way', as we like to call it. We don't want just the bare minimum from them, and we expect every instructor to do what's required plus a whole lot more too - it's because of this fact that we enjoy such a stellar reputation for delivering high quality courses at low prices, every day of the year. The staff really make the course memorable for the student, and without the right team in place i'm sure we'd be just another run-of-the-mill dive centre here on Koh Tao...an awful thought!
I'm happy you enjoyed yourself with us, and look forward to seeing you again soon.
Thanks once more,
Great experience, we did our open water dive course from here. Friendly instructors and they teach you really well. Had an amazing experience, went for 4 dives in 2 days. We saw Whale Shark as well. marine life is just beautiful in Koh Tao.
Hi Rohini, thank you for the review and congratulations on successfully completing your Open Water licence with us!
To dive with a whaleshark is something that all scuba divers dream of, these endangered creatures are not commonly seen aorund the world but here on Koh Tao we're very lucky to have regular sightings. Seeing one during your Open Water course is spoiling you a bit however, so I hope you realise just how fortunate you were, and kudos to your instructor for a having you guys in the right place, at the right time.
Next time you'e in Thailand you should come and say 'hello', don't forget you get a nice discount on your future dives with us too!
Thanks again for the review, and keep on diving
I just got my open water certification here this past week, and wish so badly I had time to stay longer. The facilities and equipment were fantastic, located in a beautiful place, and every staff member was beyond friendly and helpful. Our instructor, SJ, was not only loads of fun, but also very good at teaching in understandable terms, and most importantly, took our diving training very seriously. I cannot recommend Big Blue highly enough.
Hello David, thanks for the review and well done for becoming an Open Water diver!
When choosing to dive here on Koh Tao, people are faced with 2 types of dive centre; those based on the streets of the small villages of Sairee, Mae Haad and Chalok, or those located right there on the beachfront. Now it does usually cost a little more to choose the ones with the beachfront location, and so it should - it's one hell of a bonus to be able to learn how to dive with the ocean seconds away, the noise of the waves breaking gently on the beach and the post-dive sunsets that are impossible to forget! We're thankful every single day that we get to enjoy such beauty, and it shows when looking through our thousands of reviews that our visitors are having the time of their lives too.
We'll pass on your remarks to SJ, he's always really happy to read them as it takes his mind of his 1km long nose for a brief moment.
I decided to leave France for 1 year or more travelling the world. I had come to Koh Tao 3 times in the past and had done all my diving education at Big Blue Diving.
Each of those times had been amazing, whether it was the courses with caring and patient instructors, or fun dives with dynamic and knowledgeable divemasters.
Knowing the high standards of the school, I decided to do my divemaster-in-training program. The mentors have been amazing and helped me reach the next level very quickly. In addition to the "clinics" and theory parts, the possibility to do unlimited free fun dives and to use the boats whenever you want was a huge bonus!
I also did some tech and eco courses that completed my experience. Nitrox, solo spec, shark ecology, unvisited divesites or unusual times help you enjoy the underwater world in the best conditions. What was supposed to be a two month step in my travels has become an unlimited stay on a paradise island.
Each time you see a whaleshark, it makes you want to protect the environment. Beach and divesite clean-ups are organized monthly at Big Blue. The dive center participates in artificial reefs projects, and monitoring of sharks and turtles population around the island.
Big blue is a big dive center with all the infrastructure you need, whether you dive for fun, want to become professional, care about the environment or want to do tech. Staff is highly experienced and friendly. The restaurant on the beach is amazing for its gorgeous sunsets and offers thai or western food. Big Blue simply changed my life for the best. Thank you everyone !
Hi Romain, thanks for reviewing your DMT (divemaster training) with the team here at Big Blue!
We're firm believers that the divemaster training we're providing our lucky divers is unrivalled here in Thailand. With 4 boats exploring over 20 dive sites on a daily basis the DMs are really learning every part of underwater Koh Tao rather than the handful the smaller dive centers are limited to (having only one boat means they always have to go to places suitable for the first time divers, which gets a bit dull after a few weeks). I know when i signed up for my DMT I chose Big Blue exactly because of that reason - i wanted to be the master of EVERY site. Of course the unlimited free diving for life helped sway me quite a bit, and the beachfront location, friendly staff, strict adherence to safety protocols...i could go on but you're already a believer!
It was a pleasure having you diving and learning together with us over the years Romain, and I wish you every success in your new diving career away from Koh Tao.
My first experience of both Big Blue and scuba diving came in April 2018 when I started my Open Water course with the wonderful Maria. And that’s where I caught the diving bug, after a day of informative learning in the pool and classroom we headed to the ocean where I completely fell in love with it! Maria was a great instructor and made us feel completely at ease (as do all the instructors I noticed). My sister and I decided to continue our diving by starting our Advanced Adventurer course as well, another great course which further improved our diving!
When we first arrived we heard stories from other dive masters and instructors of how they came to Koh Tao for 2/3 weeks and were still here years later, which says a lot about the spirit of this dive school and Koh Tao itself! Sure enough I couldn’t get enough of it either, after heading back home, I quit my job and flew back here in August to start my Dive Master Training. Learning from other instructors and dive masters with such a huge wealth of knowledge has been a privilege and an exponential learning curve!
I’ve even dipped my toe in to the vast pool of Tech Diving with the incredibly knowledgeable Andy who finally managed to teach me to back fin. Thanks Andy! My diving is starting to resemble less of a juvenile sweetlips now which is promising!
I honestly can not recommend Big Blue enough, to be a part of this close knit community (or even a family) has been one of the greatest decisions I ever made. Two and a half months and 150 dives later I’m still here and loving this place I currently call home!
Hi Katy, thanks a lot for the review.
A surprising amount of our new scuba-addicts have come directly from the hands of our German superstar instructor Maria, she obviously has a knack for inspiring her new divers to keep on diving - one hell of a characteristic to have for a diving instructor! We will reward her with what Germans love most, a large bucket filled with sausages (I believe).
Regarding the divemaster and technical dive training you did here with us all, i can honestly say that it was a breath of fresh air to have you around the place, you always had a smile on your face and obviously really love to dive, so you fit in very well with the rest of us scuba nerds. It was great to see you helping in our efforts to help clean and conserve the oceans on our various projects too - keep up the hard work!
Welcome to the wonderful world of divemastery (should be a word) Katy, and keep on smiling/diving
I’ve been diving with Big Blue aince 2012 when I first came to know the dive school. They have grown since then and I just finished my Divemaster course with them. I only have good things to say about this place and I would recommend it to anyone interested in diving and meeting great openminded people!
Some divers are worries about big Blue being a ”large” diveschool. However, they might not think about the possibilities it offers. 5he operations are well thought out: they have resources like many experienced divemasters and instructors, 2 large diveboats going out to daily changing divesites in the morning and the afternoon, tech diving and all the speciality programs, and courses starting every day.
They also have more divers than small shops which means you can go solo travelling and meet great new friends so easily. I met tons of awesome people during every stay and had a lot of fun on my Divemaster course. Their programs are well thought out and for example the divemaster course includes so much more than what SSI or Padi requires you to do, producing more wellrounded dive professionals.
Going to Koh Tao? Go to Big Blue and have the time of your life!
Hello Tuomas, thanks for taking the time to leave the review!
As i've said time and time again to anyone who'll listen, the number of boats that a dive centre is using is absolutely vital to getting the most our of your divemaster training. With most of our trainees doing at least 100 dives during their time training with us, it's obviously much better to have them spread over as many sites as possible, this way not only do you get to experience more but you're also getting to enhance your skills at dealing with a variety of different natural features underwater, and not just the 5 or 6 that the majority of dive schools here have to stick to for their beginner divers - as you know we've our beginners on a separate boat altogether!
I'm glad you spoke of the social aspect of Big Blue as well, i may be wrong but i'm pretty sure that it's nice to have fellow divers around you at the resort, people of the same level and experience as you too - it makes for great conversation, and as you said it's so easy to make friends here that i've no doubt last a lifetime.
We loved having you here Tuomas, and would very much like to see you again in the future for some more dives.