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Big Blue Diving, Koh Tao

Big Blue Diving, Koh Tao
17/18 Moo 1
Koh Tao Suratthani
84280
Thailand
Tel: 0819205698
Review Summary

4.68 / 5

based on 843 reviews - 95% of reviewers would recommend Big Blue Diving, Koh Tao to a friend




About Big Blue Diving, Koh Tao

With 2 beachfront Resorts, Restaurants & Bars located in the heart of Sairee Beach & 5 purpose built Dive Vessels we offer over 17 different Divesites daily around Koh Tao. We teach all PADI SSI & BSAC Courses from beginner to Instructor & offer varying different grades of accommodation from Free Lodgings in our Air Conditioned Dorms to private luxurious Bunglaows on the beach. We are the largest SSI Instructor Training Facility in Asia as well as the only BSAC Center of Excellence on Koh Tao & all our Instructors are able to teach PADI Courses. We also have a Tech Diving Center offerring Caves wrecks & Tech Diving, a Free Diving Department with International Record Holders & AIDA Judges on staff & our own in HOuse Marine Biologist heading up our Eco arm offering Eco Internships.


Languages

English, German, French, Swedish, Norwegian, Spanish, Italian, Danish, Dutch, Japanese & Thai.


Affiliations

BSAC, PADI, SDI, SSI, TDI


Services

Guided dive tours, Boat diving, Shore diving, Liveaboard boat tours, Dive training, Equipment rental, Equipment repair, In house equipment sales, Online equipment sales, Dive insurance, Diver certifications, Free Diving, Tech Diving


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Locations

Big Blue Diving, Koh Tao

17/18 Moo 1

Koh Tao Suratthani

84280

Thailand

Contact Big Blue Diving, Koh Tao

Big Blue Diving, Koh Tao
17/18 Moo 1
Koh Tao Suratthani
84280
Thailand


Big Blue Diving, Koh Tao
Tel: 0819205698





Currently viewing:    Newest first    
Reviews with:    1 stars    

from Barcelona

written on Dec 21, 2015 in Rayong, Thailand

Added Dec 21, 2015

1/5 stars

stay away from this school

I had a really bad experience with this school. My english level is far from being perfect but is not bad at all. I lived and worked around europe and never had a problem with it. The teacher I had was from england and had a REALLY strong accent, sometimes really hard to understand, more even when he was using plenty of slang all the time. He never made the slightest efort on making himself a little more understable, and not only that, he got angry if I didn't understand him the first time. But this was not the worst part. On our freaking first dive, the very first dive in my life with all that comes along with that, doubts, fears, etc before doing it he asked me to follow some steps to make the buoyancy test, so we were already on the water with all the equipment. I made something wrong, not in the order he expected and started shouting at me really angry 'what are you doing? what the hell are you doing? did I ask you to do that?' making me to feel really bad and stressed, just before going on my very first dive. Its funny because in the book they gave us to study it says really clear to absolute never do something like that, apart from the common sense of course.
ps. in their page they say that you get a free t-shirt with their courses but when I asked for mine they said that they dont do it anymore

Pau Desumvila del Burgo would not recommend Big Blue Diving, Koh Tao    |    Was this review helpful? yes

About Pau Desumvila del Burgo

Gender : Male
Age : 20-29
Diving for : less than one year
Dives done : 1-20

written on Aug 29, 2014 South Africa

Added Aug 29, 2014

1/5 stars

Not good

May be good for people who need to do their courses, but not for fun divers! Messy transport to boat and divemasters whose air consumption was poor! Bedbugs in the dorm bed! Cheap is not always the best way!

0 people found this review helpful

Andrea Ferri would not recommend Big Blue Diving, Koh Tao    |    Was this review helpful? yes

About Andrea Ferri

Gender : Male

written on Jun 21, 2014 in Roslindale, United States

Added Jun 22, 2014

1/5 stars

Unprofessional

We had to end our class early because my buddy had trouble with the swim test. Yes, that was on us, and we were happy to pay for the small amount of instruction we had received up to that point. But instead of helping us wrap things up well, Big Blue demanded additional money from us, beyond what is explicitly and clearly written in their posted refund policy, and would not return our passports until we gave them more money. Really disappointing and unprofessional behavior.

4 people found this review helpful

Daniel G would not recommend Big Blue Diving, Koh Tao    |    Was this review helpful? yes

About Daniel G

Age : 20-29
Diving Level : Novice / Learner

from Langley

written on May 17, 2014 Canada

Added May 18, 2014

1/5 stars

Rude and scam!

My friend and I stayed at bug blue for 5 days. We were told our room was 600 baht. Was a room up top with no air conditioning, but we stayed because we figured 600 baht between 2 people was pretty cheap. We were told that the amount of dives we did would get us half off our room for the equivalent amount of days. One morning I woke up very congested and had to go and cancel my dive. For the next 3 days we tried to book dives, and they were either full because a lot of staff wanted to go or the morning dives were too advanced it did not get switched up at all. So when we decided it was time to leave we were pretty shocked when what we had to pay was more than double what it should have been. They charged us both for the full dive that we could not go on. Not even a fee or anything just 2 full dives, we were not made aware of that. And they charged us 600 baht each for the room instead of 600 for the room in total. You can stay anywhere in koh Tao for under 800 baht with air conditioning so this was pretty shocking. The workers were very rude, condescending and judgemental. Not once did we feel welcome there or that we weren't being talked about. Extremely disappointed, to the point we were so annoyed we had to leave koh Tao, made us have a very jaded view to a beautiful island.

1 person found this review helpful

A S would not recommend Big Blue Diving, Koh Tao    |    Was this review helpful? yes

About A S

Age : 20-29
Diving Level : Hobby diver
"I seek adventure and the unknown"

from Chumphon

written on May 13, 2014 in Bangkok, Thailand

Added May 13, 2014

1/5 stars

Incompetent staff

Did the hours in the classroom. Got 100% on the test. Did the day in the pool. Did my first dive. Second dive we went down to 12meters and i was asked to fill my mask which i did. The instructor asked me to do this twice, upon the second time i freaked out! Unfortunately so much so that i took my mask off and my Regulator out and decided i was going up to the surface. Obviously taking the regulator out was ridiculous but i was in a state of panic and clearly wasnt thinking straight. i just knew i wanted to go up. The instructor took me up to the surface and after checking i was ok asked me to go and sit on the boat whilst she finished with everybody else. (I must state that things were all great up until this point. I was happy with the way she dealt with it - I have no complaints so far). As soon as i came up to the surface i was fine, i had swallowed alot of water but after sitting on the boat for 15minutes i was fine. When the instructor came back onto the boat she didnt initially say anything to me. Maybe around 5minutes later she came to me and gave me the option of going back into the water one-on-one to complete the final skills. She wanted me to go down to 5meters and half fill my mask twice, Fully flood my mask twice and take off my mask entirely twice. The other divers did not need to do this but i understood that i needed to show the instructor i was competent in order for her to sign me off.



I told her that i was nervous to go back into the water so soon so when we got in could i just try to fill and clear my mask slightly under the surface. (If i could do it successfully on the surface it would right things in my mind and it would reassure me that it would be fine to do it deeper) She had told me this was ok. When we got into the water 5minutes later and we were left alone as the boat had gone back to the shore with all of the other divers, this was no longer the case. She told me that there was no time to waste and we needed to go down to 5meters now and complete all 6 of the mask filling skills PLUS the some other skills the other divers had also completed earlier. I told her i wasnt comfortable going straight down and i just wanted to try filling my mask just ONCE just under the surface to reassure myself. She told me i looked scared and that if that was the case then i wouldnt be able to do it. She also said that 'its just water'. And that it was going to be dark soon so we have to go down NOW. I told her again i wanted a few minutes to try the half filling my mask skill on the surface before we went down. At this she told me there was no time, and she wouldnt take me out tomorrow (with everybody else) because it was her birthday and she wanted to enjoy the dive, and that she wouldnt take me out the following day as she was planning on being hungover so if i was still here on Monday she 'guessed' that she could try and take me out then. At this i said that i could stay a few extras days if it meant i could complete the diving course however i asked whether my partner who was also in her group with me could complete his also on Monday with me and she had said YES.



At that point we both swam back to the shore, and after clearing away and cleaning the equipment she decided that in fact she wouldnt let my boyfriend come with us on monday and that he would have to complete his tomorrow (Saturday) otherwise he wouldnt be able to complete it at all. She told me to get my partner to confirm that he would be diving the following day with her, as she would be sat at the bar for a while. Upon hearing this i was very upset, i still had alot of water i had swallowed earlier inside me. i was upset that she hadnt been more sympathetic/patient and professional towards me. I went back to the room and explained everything to my partner (whilst in tears due to the way she spoke to me) He immediately went to speak with her, he asked if he could speak with her privately (as she was sat at a table surrounded by other divers and instructors drinking beer) She had said 'no, im too tired, just talk to me here'. He told her that he wasnt comfortable completing the diving without me and that he wanted to join me on Monday like she had promised. She said no, she wasnt going to do that as it would take longer on Monday and she TOLD him that he would be doing it tomorrow. He had tried to explain to her three times that he wasnt ok with this arrangement and she had dismissed him completely in front of everybody.



After that we immediately checked out of Big Blue and checked into another hotel. The following day we collected out passports from reception and neither of us completed our diving.



Overall i was disgusting by her professionalism and her attitude. What i havent mentioned is that the day we had in the swimming pool she had also upset another diver who dropped out of her course and joined another instructor. He English was good but he found it hard to listen to her as she used alot of slang and jokes. She was unbelievable rude to him and actually shouted at him in the pool 'OOOOH GOD (his name) YOU NEED TO WORK ON YOUR LISTENING' . After half of the day in the pool he decided to leave and as soon as he left she had said 'Oh thank god hes gone, is anyone really that fucking thick??' I am not at all surprised that he was upset or that he dropped out of her group.



Unfortunately, both me and my partner live in Chumphon. The expats in Chumphon had already warned me not to go with Big Blue as it has a reputation, however we are young and we thought that diving with Big Blue would be fun (as my sister had dived with you a few years previously) and were very excited about completing our diving open water so that we could go diving on a weekly basis. We bought our own masks in the Big Blue shop and we were very serious about this becoming a regular hobby. However, due to one incompetent insensitive instructor we are 9000BHT out of pocket and two very upset customers who certainly wont be recommending you to passing tourists in Chumphon.

4 people found this review helpful

Hayley S would not recommend Big Blue Diving, Koh Tao    |    Was this review helpful? yes

About Hayley S

Gender : Female
Age : 20-29
Diving Level : Novice / Learner
"I seek adventure and the unknown"

written on Mar 17, 2014 Cambodia

Added Mar 17, 2014

1/5 stars

Put me off diving for life

I had some trouble in the first session in the swimming pool, the instructor was not concerned about this and still made me go in the sea. I struggled again and instead of being helped I was told to get back on the boat and I couldn't complete the course. The onstructors were so rude, didn't even bother explain what I had done wrong or how to improve. Completely knocked my confidence. Plus the accommodation was the worst we have stayed in SE Asia. There are plenty better schools on Koh Tao who will care about their students and aren't as the instructor quoted 'a people factory' only after your money.

Stacey M would not recommend Big Blue Diving, Koh Tao    |    Was this review helpful? yes

Response from Big Blue Diving, Koh Tao Mar 18, 2014

Hi Stacey, My name is Jim & I am the Manger & Owner of Big Blue & therefore take a lot of pride & responsibility in the way my shop is run. Reading your review has very much distressed me & I would like to chase it up with the Instructor. The way you were treated is most definitely not the way we want our students to be feeling. I would very much like to take action on the Instructor Instructors who were involved in your training so would appreciate it if you could tell me who I need to address to ensure this behaviour from my employees does not happen again.
I very much appreciate the time you have taken to point out the failings in my business & hope that you can help me just a little further by letting me know who to talk with.
Yours, very disappointed, Jim Donaldson

About Stacey M

Gender : Female
Age : 20-29
Diving Level : Novice / Learner

written on Mar 05, 2014 Sweden

Added Mar 05, 2014

1/5 stars

Nice people but oseri ö sa s ä security

K ö r ä lasso å med alternativa luftk llan ö rjarkurserna p å b å s for nyb de dom och utrustning ä r ö vrig frayed.

0 people found this review helpful

Tina A would recommend Big Blue Diving, Koh Tao    |    Was this review helpful? yes


from Switzerland

written on Oct 16, 2013 in Full, Switzerland

Added Oct 17, 2013

1/5 stars

Worst Accomodation ever

Diving was quite ok. Good equipment, friendly instructors and very well organized.

The Accomodation where I lived in was horrible. No AC and it smelled like shit all night long. It felt as if I sleep in a toilet.

Besides that fact the room is very small and the mosquitos are killing you in the night.

All in all the diving is cool, big blue diving as an accomodation shit.



Cheers

Roger G would not recommend Big Blue Diving, Koh Tao    |    Was this review helpful? yes

Response from Big Blue Diving, Koh Tao Oct 18, 2013

Hey Roger, Glad you enjoyed the diving but sorry to read you had such a low opinion of our accommodation. Did you let anyone in reception know you were unhappy with your room? Would you mind letting me know which room you stayed in.
Like I said Roger sorry you didnt enjoy your stay with us but glad you enjoyed the diving.
Yours,
Jim Donaldson, General Manager

About Roger G

Gender : Male
Age : 30-39
Diving Level : Hobby diver
"I seek adventure and the unknown"

written on Oct 16, 2013 in Rishon Le Zion, Israel

Added Oct 16, 2013

1/5 stars

Disappointing experience

We did a discover scuba diving dive with Big Blue Diving.

The only reason we chose this company was that it was recommended by trip advisor.

Excluding Natalie, staff had a condescending attitude towards beginners and snorkeling enthusiasts. Opening lecture only contributed to raising anxiety levels.

The worst aspect was that we were taken out even though sea conditions were extremely bad. It is not too much to expect them to tell you there is a storm right now, so maybe you should consider waiting a few days for your first dive ever.

The training part was NOT done in a swimming pool as with other places, but instead we were forced to swim 0.5km of high sea waters from the ship to the shore to do our basic training in shallow, sand filled water, so much so that we could not see our instructor while she explained what to do. For this reason my girlfriend panicked and would not complete the training or the dive.

The only professional person on board is Natalie. She is a good instructor and a nice person but unfortunately, that fact did no prevent us from having a horrible first time experience.

I would never recommend anyone to do a discover scuba diving dive with Big Blue. Wasted money.

Boaz would not recommend Big Blue Diving, Koh Tao    |    Was this review helpful? yes

Response from Big Blue Diving, Koh Tao Oct 18, 2013

Hi Boaz, Sorry you didnt enjoy your diving with us. Not sure its entirely our fault as we cant control the weather & what you booked was a dive in the sea not a dive in the pool. Does sound like you went out on a not so nice day weather wise which obviously didnt help & accounts for the lack of visibility in the shallow beach water but am still glad that you thought Natalie was a good Instructor. Yours, Jim Donaldson, General Manager

About Boaz

Age : 20-29
Diving Level : Novice / Learner
"I enjoy diving as part of a luxury holiday"

written on Oct 07, 2013 in Stockholm, Sweden

Added Oct 07, 2013

1/5 stars

I will not go there again

I am disapointed. Three years ago me and my boyfriend visited Koh Tao and Big Blue. IT was a friendly atmosphere, style and pricing. Now had not only the prices got up a little bit too high for their standard both concerning the rooms and in the restaurant, but mostely has the friendly stress free and relaxed feel gone out the window. The bungalows are almost falling apart and the costumer service is not flexible or personal as before. Such a shame. I recommend Thalasso nearby for a better standard and especially for their more friendly staf. Not Big Blue.

1 person found this review helpful

Sofie H would not recommend Big Blue Diving, Koh Tao    |    Was this review helpful? yes

Response from Big Blue Diving, Koh Tao Oct 08, 2013

Hi Sofie,
Very sorry to read your review on your stay with us here in Koh Tao. I was hoping you would spare me another minute of your time & explain a little more regarding the lack of freindliness & stress that you experienced. There is nothing I hate more than unfriendly customer service & if this is what you have experienced I would really like to put a stop to it.
AS for pricing, I'm not 100% sure but am fairly certain our prices are still the same as they were 3 years ago. We even have more accommodation to offer at lower prices than 3 years ago. Not sure thats the same for the restaurant tho so you are probably right there. But regardless I would really appreciate some further feedback on the lack of courtesy & customer service you experienced with us if you could spare me the time.
Much appreciated & sorry once again that you didnt enjoy your time with us.
By the way you haven't mentioned the diving. How was that for you?
Yours,
Jim Donaldson, General Manager/Partner

About Sofie H

Age : 20-29
Diving Level : Frequent diver

written on Sep 06, 2013 Czech Republic

Added Sep 06, 2013

1/5 stars

The quantity is not in line with the quality you used to offer on the past.

Adam J would not recommend Big Blue Diving, Koh Tao    |    Was this review helpful? yes

Response from Big Blue Diving, Koh Tao Sep 06, 2013

Really appreciate you taking the time to write in and express your view on your time spent diving with us though very disappointed to see such a low rating. Also really disappointed as it appears you have been diving with us before so as a return customer should definitely have been given the red carpet treatment.
I am actually one of the Owners of Big Blue & am also the General Manager in Koh Tao so I would very much appreciate the time you take to write to me personally with a little more detail as to why you were so disappointed in your visit with us. Your feedback is gold to me so do hope you can squeeze me in.
jim@bigbluediving.com. I really look forward to your reply & once again am very sorry to read of your dissappointment in our service.
Yours,
Jim Donaldson

About Adam J

Age : 60+
Diving Level : Frequent diver
"I seek adventure and the unknown"

from London

written on Sep 06, 2013 in London, United Kingdom

Added Sep 06, 2013

1/5 stars

Completely over run

The dive centre itself is professionally run with great staff but the setup altogether is just too busy when under water. There seems not to be communication with other dive centres in the area and each dive site has 8-10 groups diving at any time.



I've dived all over the world over the last ten years and have never seem so many divers underwater at the same time.



Big blue was recommended by a friend who did her training there because she didn't know any better. But if you are an experienced diver you will be very disappointed. I felt I was being shipped in and out on a conveyor belt for commercial purposes.



Not pleasant for diving.



Sorry



Stu

Stuart C would not recommend Big Blue Diving, Koh Tao    |    Was this review helpful? yes

Response from Big Blue Diving, Koh Tao Sep 06, 2013

Hi Stu,
Many thanks for taking the time to write in & express your opinions of your stay with us in Koh Tao but very disappointed to see how you didn't enjoy your diving at Koh Taos Divesites. I totally understand your point though. Unfortunately, Koh Tao has just become so unbelievably popular over recent years & it seems every month there is another dive shop opening up & another one folding! The place has just gotten so worryingly busy. & of course the divers wish to dive at the dive sites that are recommended in the guide books. We do try & offer different dive options for our certified divers with Full Day Trips to Sail Rock, Angthong Marine Park & Chumphon Marine park (the only shop on Koh Tao to do so) but unfortunately when its peak season its just busy everywhere.
If you do come back to Koh Tao for diving ever again I do highly recommend avoiding July & August as they are almost twice as busy as any other time of the year. February through to April is my recommendation as its Whale Shark season ( well not really season but we do seem to get more sightings during those months) & I also highly recommend the Chumphon Marine Park Full Day trip.
Meanwhile your feedback has urged me to call a meeting with my DM's who organise Dive sites choices & demand they come up with a little more originality ( like diving the popular divesites at different times to rush hour ) and a little more originality - maybe a late afternoon departure for Dive 1 & a night dive for dive 2.
We'll work something out.
Appreciate you taking the time again Stu.
All the best
Jim Donaldson
General Manager/ Partner
Big Blue Diving
Koh Tao.
Thailand.

About Stuart C

Gender : Male
Age : 30-39
Diving Level : Frequent diver
"For me the dive IS the experience"