Underwater diving and learning SCUBA diving is on the agenda of many in Hua Hin, however most don’t really consider getting started until they travel much further south.
It’s true to say that water clarity off Hua Hin is not special because of the effects of sedimentary discharge from the Chao Phraya River entering the gulf then being carried by the currents south. There’s also a lack of coral reefs. However just a 40 minutes south of Hua Hin is the first real SUBA opportunity this side of Bangkok with PADI (Professional Association Of Diving Instructors) certified instruction and then the clear waters of Koh Talu (sometimes with 15 metres visibility) within easy reach.
This really is an opportunity to learn the skills of Scuba diving without a major journey away from Hua Hin or perhaps a few days holiday at one of the many accommodation options around Sam Roi Yod. Hua Hin Divers is situated at Dolphin Bay where Master Scuba Diver Trainer Steve Thompson has a purpose built pool for the initial instructions and then offers Discover Scuba Diving experiences (one day), Open Water Scuba Diver (4 days), Scuba Diver (2 days), Advanced (3 days) and Rescue. Courses are kept to small groups to ensure that each student is given plenty of time to both master skills and have an enjoyable dive experience without the usual rush at other areas of Thailand. There’s a 7.5 metre R.I.B. (rigid inflatable boat) with a 140 hp outboard on hand for open water expeditions with all the necessary safety gear. On our visit we met Johannes, a young German who had a few days to spare during a business trip to Bangkok.
He didn’t really want to travel to Pattaya or too far away from Bangkok, so after a phone call to Steve he opted for a trip to Pranburi where he was met by Steve. His first open water dive was scheduled for the day after our visit so he’s a happy man. Steve has something like 15 years’ experience as an instructor in the underwater world. He and his wife (she’s also a qualified instructor) have travelled the length and breadth of the Thailand coast and know the best of what is on offer. One of the bonuses of any course is to receive a ‘souvenir’ video, ‘Discover Scuba Diving Thailand’. This was filmed and produced by Steve via ‘Dive Club Thailand’ back in 2004 but remains as the definitive guide to dive sites around Thailand.
Steve’s a very relaxed operator with a flexible approach but he’s also a very professional and qualified instructor. When we arrived at Dolphin Bay he was explaining to his student a recommendation for a 24 hours interval after diving before his flight. That’s something I didn’t know! In the future there are plans to open shipwreck diving, around an hour’s trip in a fast boat into the gulf. H.T.M.S. Pattini, H.T.M.S. Phali, and H.T.M.S. Nongsarhai are three Royal Thai Navy battleships which were sunk as target ships during the 70’s and 80’s just waiting to be explored. The message is there’s no need to hesitate or travel too far to commence your adventures as a Scuba diver, it’s now available in our Region.
Where: Hua Hin Divers, Sam Roi Yod
Telephone: 089 088 3421
Video: ‘Discover Scuba Diving Thailand’;
order from www.diveclubthailand.com