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Where to get the cheapest open water diving certification.

I heard about Honduras $ 200 for a Padi.
12 years ago, April 7th 2009 No: 1 Msg: #68551  
Where to get the cheapest dive certification in the world?
My girlfriend and I are going around the world in feb. 2010 and wondering where to get a "Padi"
We are crossing S.A. Asia, Ocaenia, South/Central America and hopefully North America.

Thanks in advance,
Roel Reply to this

12 years ago, April 7th 2009 No: 2 Msg: #68557  
Two options, either Belize/Honduras, or Thailand/Malaysia/Philippines/Indonesia.....the choice depends on your itinery...but don't forget, it's not the PADI which is going to cost you much...it's every single dive once you catch the virus.

I love it...next dive in less than 3 weeks....and preparing a fun diving summer...all over...

If you have specific questions, let me know...it's actually depend also where you are from to make sure you start your itinery with some diving...if you are from UK, you may want to start by South East Asia.

Have fun!

Peter Reply to this

12 years ago, April 7th 2009 No: 3 Msg: #68560  
thanks for the quick answer!
We're from the netherlands and will most likely start off in S.E. Asia, we have done some amazing snorkeling in Sipadan, Borneo.
The "route" we have in mind is Tokyo, Philippines, Borneo and/or Malaysia part, then into Indonesia and not to miss Papua New Guinea, by that time I'll hope we allready got our Padi to go down the surface somewhere in micronesia.
From there to the great Barrier reef in Australia.

So you say it's the dive spot that is the big money? Rather than the padi ?hmm...
Thx again.

Reply to this

12 years ago, April 7th 2009 No: 4 Msg: #68565  
Hello! My husband is a PADI Instructor and he can teach you and your girlfriend the Open Water Course. He is offering it for Php 12,000.00 only ($250 approximately). Please visit our official website . By the time you guys are visiting the Philippines, our dive shop has opened already.

Thank you and have fun.
Reply to this

12 years ago, April 7th 2009 No: 5 Msg: #68567  

What I mean is once you are PADI, it each dive that is going to cost you...sadly, it's not a cheap sport. I'm at something like 220 dives the last 5 years...

Ok, try to get your PADI somewhere in Philippines, and soon after your Advanced PADI to go down to 30 meters.

If you are in Philippines between March and June, try to get on a liveaboard to Tubbataha, I've got a blog on it.

So if you've done Sipadan, not sure you want to get back there...it's on my short list...actually it's in a few weeks...in Indonesia, all depend of the seasons, you have Sulawesi or between June to October, Komodo and Flores...PNG...we all dream to go there indeed....won't be for me in 2009...but maybe in 2010! If you have time, and some cash, there is a dream route...start in Port Moresby...fly to Port Villa in Solomon Islands, from there on to Fiji...and if in August in the region, the humpback whales in Tonga...down to the GBR...if you do get there...and I haven't done it yet, you only want to do a liveaboard on the Outer Reef, everything else seems to be average...

Have fun!

Peter Reply to this

12 years ago, April 7th 2009 No: 6 Msg: #68580  
B Posts: 57
The cheapest place in the world for diving that I've ever seen is Nha Trang, Vietnam. A two dive package is only $38 USD there and an Open Water is $155. Everyone says they know the cheapest place in the world and they're usually wrong. So I don't want to say Nha Trang IS the cheapest place, but I challenge anyone to find somewhere that beats it. Reply to this

12 years ago, April 8th 2009 No: 7 Msg: #68615  
Hi Justin,

You are indeed correct I think.....but on the other site, there is nearly nothing to see in Nha Trang. Not a bad place to party, specially at the Sailing Club, but for diving...well....the vietnamese did already eat all the fishes that were there...sadly... Reply to this

12 years ago, April 8th 2009 No: 8 Msg: #68741  
B Posts: 57
True, there's not much to Nha Trang, but it is on the way to or out of Saigon. And you're right, they fished the hell out of that water. I guess you get what you pay for 😊 Reply to this

12 years ago, April 17th 2009 No: 9 Msg: #69997  
N Posts: 10
I'm just getting my PADI OW certification now in Southern California, I paid $400 for the course, $150 for the option to complete 3 of my dives out in the ocean instead of all shore dives, $530 for the equipment - I bought rather good stuff (Atomic SV2 snorkel, Atomic split fins, Seadive Eagle eye SL anti-fog mask, Excel hard sole booties, Pinnacle Kevlar/Merimo gloves, Stahlsac dive bag, PADI dive log). I still need to get a wetsuit (around $350) and a dive computer ($350).

Total startup cost = $1,780

Welcome to diving! Definitely not cheap! Reply to this

12 years ago, April 18th 2009 No: 10 Msg: #70027  
Hi Jason,

Wow...you spend so much and not even dive much...not sure that everybody want to go on the same way...

In respect to equipement, what is VERY important is safety...but for those on a tigher budget...you can get a 3mm shorty for less than 100usd, my dive computer cost around 140usd.

If you buy equipement, you want to go by "stages" with your diving experience
1. mask
2. snorkel, fins, booties...and computer as they are often very expensive to rent
3. wet suit...this depend where you dive...if you only dive in warm water...a shorty is cheap...my 7mm cost me around 240usd...not cheap!
4...and after that...you have the BDC and Reg...you can find a good mix for less than 750usd.
5...ok, you want also later on to be able to take good pics...there I've seen everything...starting for a basic camera/housing from 350usd to...the sky the limit.

Diving is not cheap, but there are options...I've got more than 220 dives the last 5 years...and still don't blow huge money on equipement. Top equipement doesn't make you a better diver. It reminds me of a past experience. I used to be a golf teacher...and sometimes you see people showing up with top brand new equipement...they cannot even hit a shot! With diving it's the same thing...wait to see how much you like it...and than it's like every addiction...you live with your own budget!

Happy diving...where do you plan to dive next Jason? For me it's a liveaboard in a few days...in the tropics... Reply to this

12 years ago, April 19th 2009 No: 11 Msg: #70106  
N Posts: 10
Hi Leslie, i'm going to be diving in one of the Channel Islands (Catalina) off the coast here in Laguna Beach. This is next weekend, I am pretty excited...however I have been told viz is about 25 ft in these areas so to not get so excited. I heard in places like Palau viz can be in excess of 200ft, man that must be something! Reply to this

12 years ago, April 19th 2009 No: 12 Msg: #70115  
Hi Jason,

But Catalina is supposed to be great for kelpt diving...so enjoy.

Was in Palau in May 2008...for my second visit.

For me it's 1. Galapagos 2.Palau 3. Tubattaha in Philippines....I've got blog entries on all of them...and few more dive places if you are looking for ideas.

Could change as I'm diving all over this summer... Reply to this

10 years ago, December 28th 2010 No: 13 Msg: #125444  
N Posts: 1
Justin we are in Nha Trang now looking to do cheap open water padi. What company did you get it for $155 Thats a great price Reply to this

10 years ago, December 30th 2010 No: 14 Msg: #125578  
B Posts: 897
Hey Roel

Good on you for giving yourself the opportunity to see whats down there in the 'other world'. Ive been lucky enough to have dived PNG through Komodo, Indo, Sipidan, Thailand, Similans, Vietnam (not so good) Cambodia and Aus. Still got a lot of places to dive, almost got to Truk but got caught in a typhoon, but one day, oh and the galapagos and mexicos undersea rivers...but Pierre has very valid points. Diving is expensive. Travel diving is really expensive. Especially in the premier destinations like PNG and Sipidan. Theres a good reason for this - your life and safety are at stake. So much can go wrong, we all hope it doesnt, but youve listed some places with pretty intense currents and isolated places like komodo and PNG so start your diving in thailand. See if you like it. Not just after one dive, but after 10 or 20. Make sure you both like it and dive well together - I cant dive with my partner lol he annoys me.
Not trying to discourage you or sound like a grinch but the places you are mentioning diving are going to cost you a lot. Even if you are lucky enough to live somewhere HOT and can go for a dive every day, you still need to pay for air. Its a hobby that never stops demanding more equipment and maintenance is a huge issue.
If your doing a big trip you wont want to be lugging all your dive equipment around anyway so would be better off hiring it other than in remote places like PNG and Komodo where there are few hire places.

Make sure you do your PADI certification with someone who has good reviews. Its your safety out there and not all operations keep everything 100% clean. I dont always know that the cheapest price is the best for your diving career to start out with. Maybe you will get lucky - all the best and blow big bubbles :D
Reply to this

10 years ago, December 31st 2010 No: 15 Msg: #125608  
Yes, perhaps rather than the cheapest, you should be looking for the safest and the one with the best reviews. Vietnam doesn't have the world's best health and safety. I'm sure you've tried to cross the road or seen a building site with workers in flip flops and caps on.

Rainbow Divers have a good reputation here in Ho Chi Minh.
Reply to this

10 years ago, December 31st 2010 No: 16 Msg: #125614  
I can confirm what Chris and Kate are writting, Rainbow Divers have the best reputation in the country, with few dive centers.

There is one more reason why the diving is cheap, there is not much anymore to see...put it simply, they have already eaten all the fishes! Reply to this

10 years ago, January 1st 2011 No: 17 Msg: #125677  

There is one more reason why the diving is cheap, there is not much anymore to see...

This is so true, we saw very little animal life there, but some nice soft corals. That was it though. It was also cold, my wife had to wear 2 wet suits, and we both came up with blue lips! 😊 Reply to this

10 years ago, January 14th 2011 No: 18 Msg: #126616  
B Posts: 57
Sorry, I guess I should have mentioned that the diving in Vietnam is pretty crappy. But I still recommend it as a cheap Open Water option, because you're not going to spend the whole four days free diving and seeing much anyway. I got my Open Water in Lake Malawi which has even less life than the sea at Nha Trang.

And yes, Vietnam does have questionable safety practices throughout the country. But if you look around, you can find reputable, 5 star PADI places. Reply to this

10 years ago, January 15th 2011 No: 19 Msg: #126635  
Justin hasa point...but keep it only for doing the Padi than, 4 days is a max...don't think a 10 days diving trip to Nha Trang, you'll end up seriously bored! Reply to this

10 years ago, January 19th 2011 No: 20 Msg: #126840  
B Posts: 897
Actually doing some "spherical" thinking here, Nha Trang might be a good place to do your very basic open water because of the lack of fish. You will be less distracted by awesome fish and corals because there are none left (and yes, I would use Rainbow Divers - ive dived with them) and pay attention to your instructor. If you still plan to go to PNG look at at least $15000 per person, it cannot be done on the cheap. You will need to be on a liveaboard or at Madang or Tufi or Wallindi Plantation dive resorts. The reason I mentioned thinking very carefully about diving in PNG is not because it is the most awesome diving but because there are no hyperbaric chambers so if you need to be evacuated out it will be to Australia and unless you are with DAN (I would recommend all divers join DAN) you are going to be slugged around $40,000 AUD to be evacuated to a hyperbaric chamber. Maybe do your open water in Nha Trang and while your there do two night dives, peak boyancy and another specialty course - ie equipment, limitied vis or first response or if possible Deep Diver. With OW you cannot dive below max 20m. Just had a look and most of my dives in PNG were 25 - 42m and with just an OW and little experience at 42m you will likely get nitrogen narcosis. Komodo has wierd currents so you will need experience with drift dives and again, a lot of dives I did there were below 30m, extra safety gear like sausages are mandatory and be very careful who you dive with if you get there. One of my diving days at Komodo was spent looking for a diver who got caught in a current and was experienced enough to keep his cool and inflate his BCD and Sausage but still spent 6 hours in the water baking like a chicken before another boat in the area found him.

AND.....(I know I sound like a killjoy but its about keeping you alive)...EXPERIENCE!! I did a dive yesterday (I have over 1000 logged dives plus probably another 300+ unlogged) and was diving here in Perth West Aus yesterday and found things had rapidly changed from the time we got in the water - one, a big swell came up and two, the beaches were closed due to multiple large sharks being tracked by the choppers flying over us. I was sitting at a decom stop wondering why there were helicopters everywhere.

Also consider the effect diving has on your body physiologically - its HARD on your body. Pressure makes you tired and you have to exert yourself a lot more than you do swimming or snorkelling particularly on deeper dives. I always schedule my dive trips as max 4 days of 3 x dives a day then a couple of days off before scheduling more dives for this reason. Ive done 15 days of 3 dives per day and its exhausting. Allow yourself a few days inbetween dive days to recover. When your tired to begin with your chance of making mistakes increases exponentially.
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