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10

The answer is almost certainly Thailand, in particular Ko Tao, the PADI factory of the world. An end-to-end course that gets you the standard PADI Open Water license will set you back roughly 9800 baht (~$310 at time of writing); if you're happy with the far more limited PADI Scuba Diver course, you can complete that for 7000 baht (~$225) at this randomly ...


9

The PADI Dive Centre at Scapa Flow in Orkney is the coldest in the UK, and at a latitude of 59 degrees north it has to be a contender. It would certainly qualify as a cold water dive centre, and as a bonus you can see the German High Seas Fleet that was scuttled there on 21st June 1919. From their website, they have the following courses: Try a dive Open ...


8

On the Kona side of Big Island, a lot of companies offer daily a trip to snorkel or SCUBA-dive with manta rays at night. I guess you can also just swim there and join the party if you're unwilling to pay, but I don't think that's simple or safe to do, especially as this is a night activity. I did a dive there recently and it was absolutely amazing, easily ...


8

Safe, absolutely! Diving in Australia is some of the safest in the world. Sensible use of your time on holiday? Perhaps not... I'd suggest that you'd want to do the theory part at home before you go. That way the two days sat inside happen when you're not on holiday. When you get out there, do the open water parts of the qualification as part of your ...


8

See "standard warning" at end re the inadvisability of snorkelling alone. It depends on what you want to see and do, but a brief answer is "almost anywhere that you see sea-water. Auckland is not renowned for its water clarity, but it can still be fun (speaking from personal experience). You'd want to stay away from the sewage ponds at Mangere, and some ...


8

Being a scuba diver, the first time I saw the pictures from the Aquarium, a few month ago, I immediately started researching more details about how to dive there. Unfortunately, this is not possible. The guests can't go for a dive in the Aquadom, they can just take the elevator inside it. If you search online for pictures about the Hotel, you may happen to ...


7

I'm assuming you're talking about The Kyushu region (including okinawa and the islands) I recently returned from ishigaki (an island in the Kyushu region). We did snorkelling and scuba out there. Most dive schools will not take Non Japanese newbies. As we don't speak japanese we found an excellent english speaking dive school. If you're looking to go ...


7

I went with some friends in 2004, in April. From Hervey Bay we took a day trip across to Lady Elliot Island. They offer everything as a day trip, or you can stay on the island for longer if you wish. This included a flight in a small plane for the 40 minutes to the island, walking in reef shoes around the island and seeing the coral and shallow-water ...


7

It completely depends on what type of dive site are you after? Ship Wreck = Byron, Trench or gutter dives, Byron again. However if you after a good all round experience then Coffs would be the choice. In terms of price there will be little difference I'm afraid. In comparing the two sites there is not that much of a difference. If you were going in winter ...


7

I suggest the Perhentian Islands. It's off the east coast of west Malaysia (so not Borneo) and is relatively less frequented by tourists. Access is easy from the town of Kota Bharu - part of the Jungle Railway route - from where it takes 1.5 hours by taxi (or slightly longer by public bus) to reach Kuala Besut. A speedboat ride should cost about 60 MYR and ...


7

Tioman island would be a good place for diving. I went there last year. It's a beautiful little island about 50km off the east coast of peninsular Malaysia. You have to take a bus to Mersing, a port city in Johor state. From the port at Mersing you can take the ferry to Tioman. Bus ride from KL to Mersing is about 6 hours. I found the night bus more ...


6

According to this page (and this)there is a dive centre at Nusfjord on the Lofoten Islands of northern Norway - well above the Arctic Circle. I'm pretty sure a dry suit is compulsory there. EDIT: So I finally found a good-looking map of sea surface temperature and it turned up some surprising things. Kongsfjord (Norway) seems to be in around 8 degrees (C) ...


6

You could always hit Molokini, off the island of Maui, which is a heavily traffic'ed snorkeling spot - great for spotting coral reefs. Plus the guided tours ensure that you are informed about what you see. Summers around Maui are great for whale spotting - though I seriously doubt you will get to swim alongside them :) If this is your first time in Hawaii, ...


6

We recently took a trip to Hawaii and went to Hanauma Bay in Oahu. It was a lot of fun. What I liked was that it had several different sections to the bay. The farther you swim out, the more wildlife you will see. The water was rough when we went so we stayed in the area closest to the shore, but I still saw a turtle!


6

Had you try Tioman Island? It's located at Southern part of West Malaysia.


6

You have a couple of options for doing this: Tioman Island: Very popular and consistently busy due to its how easy it is to reach from Singapore. (And thus gets a lot of weekend visitors from there.) You'll need to take a bus to Mersing to catch the ferry to Tioman. It is, however, somewhat of a touristy destination. That may be a good thing or a bad thing ...


6

So I'm afraid all the best dive spots in Malaysia are out in Jan-Feb. As you've discovered, it's monsoon season on the east coast of the Peninsula, as well as at the famed dive spot of Sipadan in Sabah, Borneo. The weather is better on the west coast and in some bits of Sarawak, like Miri, but the diving is not that great any time of year. The good news is ...


6

The best information I was able to find the answer is: NO. Aquadom at Radisson in Berlin is managed by Sea Life Berlin which doesn't offer diving as one of the Things to Do in Aquadom.


5

Funnily enough, there's an answer on Google Answers by omniscientbeing-ga which seems ideal. I'll reword and adjust for here. The real trick is finding a place that is good for both diving and surfing. I could list a ton that are good for either or, but it's tough to come up with places that have surfable waves and good diving that meet your criteria. That ...


5

Pro tip: The Spanish word for to dive is bucear and the word for shark is tiburón. If you browse with Google Chrome it has built in support for Google Translate so you don't have to copy and paste URLs between windows or tabs. The Spanish newspaper El País had an article two years ago which is online called Diez sitios para bucear entre tiburones "Ten ...


5

Hope this is not going to come as a disappointment: Best Shark Diving Regions are Australia, South Africa, US, and Bahamas. There is a US operator of Shark Diving Tours, that has tours for Great White, Tiger, etc and has a pretty good FAQ at the bottom of that page that will answer safety and experience questions, Bahamas requires you to be a certified ...


5

There is significant tourism infrastructure in Cairns. This includes the international airport and a booking agency on every corner. There is good competition amongst operators. I do not think you will find better value for money in other locations up or down the coast. If you are looking to get away from the tourist areas, you could consider staying on ...


5

South West Rocks (and Arakoon) is indeed an amazing place - I was lucky enough to grow up near-by, and holidayed at "the rocks" at least once a year. The nearest major city to South West Rocks is Kempsey, which is on both the Sydney-Brisbane rail line, as well as on the main highway between those cities. There are 2 bus services that run multiple daily ...


5

There are several options in Thailand, but in general first of all this here: Diving in Thailand is - specially opposed to other locations in South East Asia such as Indonesia and the Philippines - not the best location to go to. Coral bleaching and overcrowding has severely deteriorated Thailand as a beach and dive location over the last 8 years, and even ...


5

I found a website comparing different biodegradable sunblockers. The quality/price range is quite significant, so it might be worth not grabbing the first thing on the shelf but rather going for a specific product. The one that the above website gave the best rating is available on Amazon for example.


4

You could try Silfa in Iceland. I haven't tried it myself but it is supposed to be pretty awesome.


4

Haven't been there myself, but drawing from Wikitravel's Ko Samui guide and my copy of LP: Thailand's Islands & Beaches (published July 2010), here's some information: Wikitravel: The usual panoply of watersports are available, including plenty of dive shops, but most diving is done either in the nearby Ang Thong Marine National Park or Ko Tao ...


4

All the good dive sites are close to Ko Tao but if you want to stay on Ko Samui you can easily book a day trip from Samui and they'll take you to the Ko Tao sites (more expensive than from Ko Tao). Sail Rock is considered the best dive site in the Gulf of Thailand. But talk to the guys on site to give you more advice.


4

There's absolutely no reason to bring your own, or even buy one. Every dive operation I've ever been on in Thailand and elsewhere in SE Asia has had a big box of weight belts, usually on the boat itself, which you're free to use. Most shops quote two prices for dives: "full kit rental" (ref, BCD, the works) or "tank and weights only". And since you have ...



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