top of page



The PADI Open Water Diver course is your first scuba diving certification and the most popular of all our Koh Tao diving courses. Every year, thousands of people learn to dive on Koh Tao, and we hope you will join their ranks and become a lifelong diver once you get your license. 

Whether you've tried scuba diving on a previous holiday and are eager for more, or just want to jump right in and go for it, we’ll teach you all the skills you need to dive safely with a dive buddy to a maximum depth of 18 meters. Here at FIFTY SIX DIVE, we believe in quality,  not quantity. That's why we limit our group sizes to 4 students per instructor on all of our Koh Tao diving trips and courses. 


Our highly qualified full-time instructors will ensure you have a fun-fuelled time and make happy scuba memories to last a lifetime while learning all of the core skills you need to continue diving. Koh Tao dive sites are perfectly suited to beginner courses thanks to our all-year-round diving season with easy learning conditions. 

Openwater Diver: About Us
Openwater Diver: Overview
Openwater Diver: Instagram


You’ll need to set aside 3-4 days to learn to dive on Koh Tao - although we recommend you plan for a little more, because many of our Open Water Diver students catch the diving bug and decide to stay on to complete their Advanced Open Water Diver course!


We include everything you need to get the most out of your time with us. When you learn to dive on Koh Tao with FIFTY SIX DIVE, there are no hidden costs. The course price includes:

  • FREE pick-up from the pier upon arrival to Koh Tao

  • A complete set of rental scuba equipment - including a dive computer.

  • PADI Open Water Diver manual

  • PADI Open Water Diver certification

  • Amazing dive shop location

  • Free WIFI at the dive centre

  • Complimentary tea, coffee, water and fresh pineapple on the boat

  • Academic development 

  • Shallow water skills practice

  • 4 ocean dives


Like most Koh Tao diving certifications, the Open Water Diver course comprises a mix of interactive classroom sessions, some shallow water skills practice, and some fantastic open water ocean dives. So you’ll get to explore vibrant coral reefs and see plenty of amazing marine life as you learn.

Knowledge Development


Theory sessions are taught using official PADI training materials combined with instructor-led classroom sessions at our Koh Tao dive centre in the heart of Sairee. Not used to being in a classroom? Don’t worry. We break the theory into two sections so you don't feel like you’re back at school! There’ll be quizzes and a final review to make sure everything is clear before you hit the water. And, of course, we’ll tell you all about the next exciting PADI diving courses you can take!

Swimming Pool Practice

You’ll take your first underwater breaths in water that’s not too deep to stand up in. The idea is to get you super comfortable in the safety of a swimming pool before we take you out into the open ocean to explore some incredible Koh Tao scuba sites at greater depth.  We specialise in small groups to ensure plenty of time and instructor attention in this part of the course. So if you feel nervous or want to repeat a few skills to build your confidence, that’s totally fine - we’ve got you! 

Open Water Dives

The 4 open ocean dives are spread over 2 days so you don’t get too tired. Our dive centre on Koh Tao is located right on the beachfront, so there’s no better view to kickstart your days of diving.

The first 2 dives are to a maximum depth of 12 metres (36ft). On the second 2 dives, you can go to 18 metres (60ft).  During each dive, your instructor will ask you to repeat skills from your pool session to make sure you’re good to dive safely in the open ocean as well as in the shallows.

Diving with Whaleshark


While weather conditions sometimes affect our schedule, here’s a typical example of what you can expect when you learn to dive on Koh Tao with FIFTY SIX DIVE:


Orientation starts at 4pm and lasts for a couple of hours. First, you’ll meet your instructor and fellow classmates and fill in some PADI paperwork. Then, you’ll watch the first training video to get a feel for what you'll be up to over the coming days, and have the chance to ask your instructor any questions.


Your first full day of diving on Koh Tao starts bright and early at 8am with a theory review. Your instructor will lead you through each knowledge development chapter and brief you on the basic principles of scuba diving. We make this part fun and worth the early morning!

In the afternoon, you’ll head to the swimming pool to take your first breaths underwater and start building your confidence with simple skills. By the end of the day, you’ll have mastered the basics and be ready for more.


In the morning, you’ll continue with dive theory and interactive quizzes to ensure you’re ready for your first 2 dives. There’s a final exam to complete too, but don't panic - it’s multiple choice, and your experienced instructor will make sure you’re well-prepared. 

In the afternoon, it’s time to go diving! Koh Tao island has many shallow sheltered bays, and we favour these for your first dives so you can always see the land close by and don’t feel like you’re out in the middle of nowhere. Your first 2 scuba dives will be to a maximum depth of 12 metres and allow plenty of time to build your comfort and confidence.


Congrats! You’ve already had your last sleep ever as a non-diver, and now it’s time to get certified! That means an early morning to head out on our boat at around 6.30am to complete dives 3 and 4, but we promise it will be worth it! 

You’ll go to a maximum depth of 18 metres on your final dives, so you’ll get the chance to explore a couple of deeper Koh Tao dive sites to make sure you’re ready to become a certified Open Water Diver.


The boat returns to land at lunchtime. All that’s left to do now is fill in your logbooks and complete your PADI paperwork. And that’s it! You’re now officially a diver for life! Most newly certified Open Water students stick around in the afternoon to celebrate in style by having a few drinks and watching the sun set over the ocean from our beachside sunset chillout garden



Open Water Diver prices start from 11,000THB.


Want to learn to dive on Koh Tao but need more information? Please get in touch if you have any questions.


  • Participants must be at least 10 years old

  • 10-14 year-olds receive a Junior Open Water Diver card

  • Before we can take you diving on Koh Tao as part of any PADI program, you’ll need to fill in a medical questionnaire. If you’re unsure about anything on the form, please contact us before booking.


Scuba diving on Koh Tao is safe, and accidents are infrequent. However, local laws require us to ensure all our divers have adequate insurance coverage. Some travel insurance policies don't cover scuba, while others do. Therefore, to ensure your safety and retain our excellent safety record, FIFTY SIX DIVE provides free scuba diving insurance for the duration of your Koh Tao scuba diving experience.

bottom of page