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November 22nd 2013

22 Nov 2013 Written by 

So much for quiet season
Big-Blue-Diving-ResortAs predicted a few days ago, we've been inundated by full moon revellers wishing to detox from all the boozing and do something productive with their holiday by learning to dive with us. Consequently, our instructors are busy teaching open water courses, and our divemasters are busy taking out already qualified divers to show them the best marine life Koh Tao has to offer. Likewise, the tech boys are hard at work teaching interns Aleksandra and Maksim TDI advanced nitrox and decompression procedures. Once they've finished they will be teaching our divemaster trainees their deep, wreck and nitrox specialities. On the virtual diving front, our g page is getting more popular, and we are fast approaching 6,000 likes on the Big Blue facebook page. Who's going to be number 6,000? Similarly, on trip advisor we have almost 1,000 overwhelmingly glowing reviews, not that we're boasting or anything!
Big Blue video is filming some amazing underwater shots on a daily basis and wowing our customers in the bar where they sit down to watch themselves on their open water course dives 3 and 4. Very wise decision deciding to start filming in-house; someone has an idea to film something or other and it'll probably done the next day, which is exactly the kind of creativity and flexibility we were aiming for. The retail shop grand opening is imminent, and there will soon be a load of staff walking around like Derek Zoolander showing off Big Blue's own clothing range. Lets just hope they still remember how to turn left, especially underwater. If you want the latest information on what is happening at Big Blue, have a look on the website and the blog, and like our facebook and G pages.

Survival guide to arriving on Koh Tao
mae-hadd-pierSo you just arrived in koh Tao and are about to step off the ferry, what the hell do you do and where do you go? Firstly, you can't help avoid all the touts that will be shouting at you to try and get you to come to their dive resort. Don't feel pressured, just walk on through and take your time to decide. Hopefully you will already have done your research and decided where you want to go anyway. If you're really clever you will have booked online also. If you do talk to a tout on the ferry or at the pier, be weary of very cheap prices for open water courses, there will either be hidden charges or just a pretty shoddy course. Also be weary of touts telling you bad things about other dive resorts other than their own. Any good dive school should be able to sell themselves without resorting to underhand tactics. A common myth is that if you go to a school that teaches SSI, any future PADI dive resort will refuse to take you diving with your SSI certification card. This is utter rubbish- your SSI card is as valid as your PADI card anywhere in the world.
Some dive schools offer free accommodation for people learning to dive, and that's their main selling point, but you have to consider the bigger picture. At Big Blue our focus is on teaching a good course and you enjoying your time with us. Do you want to save a few hundred baht every night, but be staying in a bungalow that's so close to all the parties that you can't sleep, or would you rather pay a little for a nicer room away from the action so you can relax? At the moment we have free dormitory accommodation for the days that you're diving, but we also have some great private rooms that are still reasonably priced. I would rather go to a reputable dive resort and pay something for accommodation than find myself in a horrible room right next door to a nightclub on the south end of Sairee beach. If in doubt, do your research and look on trip adviser!
If you're not diving then there will be plenty of taxis to take you to one of the many resorts on the Island, and you're on your own as to deciding what you want price-wise and how near the action you want to be. If you are diving then each dive school will have a taxi that will give you a free lift. Big Blue has a taxi waiting for each ferry that comes in, whether it's Seatran, Lomprayah or Songserm, so don't panic if you don't see it immediately, it will be there, just keep an eye out for the driver wearing a Big Blue t-shirt. You'll probably have seen the Big Blue tout on the ferry anyway so let them take you to the taxi. the pier is in Mae Hadd and Big Blue is in Sairee, which is a 5 minute taxi drive away. Then once you've checked in for the accommodation and diving you will be doing, you can finally relax!  

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