One of the best known dive resorts in Haad Yao is Haad Yao Divers. There are other dive shops on the beach such as Reefers Diving and Sail Rock Divers. These other shops also are highly recommended but this post will focus on Haad Yao Divers.
The dive school is located on the northern road to the beach, near Apache Bar and behind Silver Beach Bungalow. Haad Yao Divers is a 5 star PADI IDC Dive Resort. For those not familiar with the acronym ‘IDC’ it means ‘international dive center’. The dive shop has 5 stars from PADI and is officially an instructor development dive resort. That means that they offer course to take you from absolute beginner all the way to dive instructor for Open Water courses.
Haad Yao Divers was the first dive shop on the West coast of Koh Phangan. Since then this school with Western management has built up organically into a much bigger business. However, they have kept true to their roots – their dive groups are still small. They are also dedicated to environmental issues. They are a ‘Go Eco Operator’ and they also participate in the ‘Green Fins Thailand’ initiative set up to monitor the health of coral reefs in Thailand.
There are instructors who speak English, German, French and Spanish. If your English is not too good then this is perhaps the best scuba school to look at for foreign language instruction. However, it is always a good idea to check in advance that they have an instructor that speaks your mother tongue as dive instructors tend to move on after a season or two.
Trip Advisor rates Haad Yao Divers as the fifth best activity on the island. It has 43 reviews at the time of writing.
Prices for diving include free transfers, food on the boat and free equipment. Don’t be misled by the phrase ‘resort’ in their accreditation. They don’t throw in accommodation with their diving packages. This is more a Koh Tao idea where intense competition forces the big dive shops to offer the best value possible. However, in contrast to Koh Tao operators dive groups are very small – just 4 students to 1 instructor. Moreover, Koh Phangan is closer to the best dive sites such as Sail Rock so they tend to get there before all the big boats from Koh Tao.
So if you fancy doing something exciting while staying in Haad Yao we recommend checking out Haad Yao divers.