The 5 Best Dive Schools in Koh Samui, Thailand

Explore the Gulf in style in Koh Samui
Explore the Gulf in style in Koh Samui | © The Life Aquatic
Photo of Leslie Finlay
21 May 2018

The neighbour island of Koh Tao may provide some of the cheapest scuba diving in the world, but if you’re after the hard-to-find combination of efficiency, customisation, small groups, and the best customer service around, these dive operators on Koh Samui will not disappoint.

Silent Divers

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Dive with the best marine life the Gulf has to offer away from the big groups | © Silent Divers

A well-established and professionally run outfit, Silent Divers regularly hits up the best sites in the Gulf of Thailand and fashions its schedules to try and avoid the masses of other dive boats during busy hours. The staff is accommodating and flexible, helping to facilitate trips on short notice and with as much customisation as possible. That’s all on top of providing breakfast, a much-raved-about lunch, drinks, hotel transfers, extremely low or even 1-1 ratios between number of students to instructors, free Nitrox tanks for certified divers, and efficiently run days off their speedboat to ensure you maximize your time spent on Samui – a combination rare among even the best shops in the region.

Samui Dive Tribe

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Explore the depths of the Gulf with ease off Samui Dive Tribe's top-of-the-line speedboat | © Samui Dive Tribe

This skilled crew operates out of a beautiful resort, conveniently located near some of Bophut’s best restaurants and right where the dive boats depart, helping maximize the shop’s already well-executed efficiency. Outgoing and friendly, Samui Dive Tribe has a deeply entrenched social vibe that embraces all of its customers right into the family, and management is extremely flexible and adept in accommodating groups of varying levels. It also scores points for in-house conservation activities aimed at protecting the local marine life.

The Life Aquatic

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The Life Aquatic offers daily two-dive trips to the most exciting sites around, as well as a range of customisable options | © The Life Aquatic

This fast-growing outfit prides itself on helping you build your dream marine adventure, offering daily two-dive trips, VIP snorkeling sessions, private charters, and a full range of SSI scuba and snorkeling courses. Staff members are knowledgeable and friendly, with a rarely seen priority on customer satisfaction over factory-like profit turnover. Its small and well-organized operation also means the team is flexible, always trying to schedule and find the best locations to dive in any given conditions.

Scuba Birds

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Enjoy high-level training with the fun and international team at Scuba Birds | © Scuba Birds

A widely represented international school, Scuba Birds has a more low-key vibe with an awesome social atmosphere. Easy booking, no-nonsense efficiency, and great customer service are all highlights when diving through Scuba Birds, and the relaxed operation ensures you can keep your holiday mentality with you throughout your dive trip.

Discovery Dive Centre

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Dive into the gorgeous underwater world around Koh Samui | Dive into the gorgeous underwater world around Koh Samui

A long-term staple to Koh Samui, Discovery Dive Centre is known for maintaining a highly experienced, multilingual staff and crew who are experts at running an efficient, professional operation. The centre’s speedboats make transfers to the best sites in the Gulf a breeze, making it a great option for certified divers and beginners-in-training alike.