We reviewed all of the trip advisor feedback submitted for dive companies on Koh Tao before choosing to talk to Impian. I dropped an email to them a couple of days before we arrived on Koh Tao and Robert (Rhemrev), the owner, responded promptly.
As soon as we arrived on Koh Tao we hopped off the ferry and walked the 2 minutes to the (now old) Impian office, they have a new shiny office so even better. We had no accommodation booked and Robert had offered to help sort this out on our arrival.
As soon as we arrived I knew we had made the right choice, Robert is real gent and is one of those people who you can strike a rapport with easily, he is relaxed, friendly and there is absolutely no sales pitch (plus he has been doing this for 13 years on Koh Tao). Robert talked us through the options for the course and was clear that we could go at our own pace, and that there was no pressure to commit to the full course or make a payment upfront. Robert always recommends a taster dive first, which is great as not everyone will take to diving and this was not an extra cost but part of cost for the PADI course, with the option to stop after the taster and walk away if you are not happy (at no cost). The teaching material and certification fees to PADI are included in the great price. At this point we couldn't wait to get started!
Robert walked with us to the accommodation we picked (one minute away near the pier) after talking through the options. We reviewed the room and got a great price, which was heavily discounted as we were completing the dive course with Impian.
Next day we met our instructor Latoya Havenaar. Impian do exactly as they advertise and teach in small groups of maximum 4 divers per dive leader (we had three which was great and very important). When on the boat it was not crowded at all unlike some of the other boats we saw from the more industrial scale outfits!
The practical sessions of the course covers training in shallow water (in great locations) and 4 open water training dives. All on different fascinating dive sites around Koh Tao.
During the course we had a few issues with insurance and so we were worried, but after discussing with Robert and adding ourselves to Laytoya’s instructor insurance it was all sorted. Not that we needed to as we always felt safe with Impian.
We all passed our course successfully in three days thank to Latoya, unfortunately we didn’t see the Whale Sharks! Jaap who was the third person in our group went on to complete his advanced PADI with Impian.
Impian are an experienced dive company that are just the right size to keep the personal touch and make sure you have a great time learning to dive in a small group. Would definitely recommend to friends, family and anyone else who would like to learn to dive.
After we had finished the course, Robert suggest we borrow flippers and snorkel (for free) to go and explore other parts of the island, top man.
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