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Chilling on the sea bed :D

An Amazing Scuba Diving Experience at the Phi Phi Islands

Indulging in safe adventurous activities has always been my jam. Every time I give myself an adrenaline rush, I also make sure that I am prepared for it. I had been wanting to scuba dive since a few years. I was looking for places around the world which offered a safe and beautiful diving experience. This made me narrow down my first dive at the magnificent Phi Phi islands in Thailand. This post is about my scuba diving experience at the Phi Phi Islands.

On the way to Phi Phi Ley

Mental preparation

On one hand I was excited to expose myself to scuba diving but on the other I was scared about all the unfortunate incidents that have occurred to scuba divers across the world. When I was a child, I used to watch Steve Irwin’s shows. I learnt that he died due to a Stingray’s deadly sting. Though all this fed negativity about diving in me, I was still determined to conquer the fear of going underwater.

I mentally prepared myself by reading a lot about scuba diving and the life underwater.  I told myself that I will be in safe hands and that I will want to dive again after exploring a whole new dimension of the world that is less explored.


Finalising on the dive shop

We enquired about Scuba Diving at various places in Phi Phi. There were 2 batches for diving in most of the places – 7 to 11 AM and 1 to 5 PM. We had finalised on diving with PKT Diving, the dive shop close to the Tonsai pier. Since this was our first scuba diving experience, we were going to be accompanied by our diving instructor. Our dive was going to be for 12 meters (39.4 feet) at the max. We paid 3600 THB per person and 2500 THB for hiring a scuba diving photographer (we were a group of 4). We had also selected the fins that fit us and dive masks that suited our eye power (if any).

Streets in Koh Phi Phi

The Dive Day Morning

I felt the nervousness pinching me when I woke up. We reached the dive shop and saw that we were waiting for the group to assemble. We gave our attendance for the day. The dive was in the marine national park, and we had to pay fee for diving in that area. We carried a small bag with a bottle of water, towel and our mobile phones while getting onto the boat.

We were given general instructions on how to inhale using the oxygen cylinder, the gauge to check the level of oxygen, hand signals, things to do when water enters into the masks and how to release pressure. While this was going on, our dive instructor introduced himself to us as P’oh. He told us that he has 20 years of experience in scuba diving and that Thai sharks are very nice like Thai people :D. He instilled confidence into me. After meeting him my fear regarding the dive dropped down to zero.

The Dive

Finally, it was time to jump into the Andaman sea of Thailand near Phi Phi Ley. The turquoise waters didn’t look as intimidating as before, after meeting my dive instructor. I saw many people snorkelling around the same area. When it was time, we were asked to wear our dive suits, oxygen cylinders which weighed around 20 kg and goggles. The boat had stopped for the divers to jump into the water. My excitement level reached the roof. P’oh was going to instruct my husband and me. He held my hand and said 3, 2, 1…We jumped into the deep blue sea!!!


First Impression under water

We were given a 5-minute brief on how to breathe under water by P’oh. While we were floating, we looked into the water and trained ourselves how to breathe with our mouth. Whenever we put our head in, I saw varied marine life and schools of beautifully coloured fishes. There was absolute silence inside the sea. I thought I got the hang of it and informed P’oh that I’m ready to go in.

After 5 minutes of going in, my grip on the mouthpiece loosened and water got inside my mouth. I started panicking and showed hand signals to P’oh to take me up to the surface. My heart started beating fast and I was tasting the saltiness of the sea. P’oh took both of us up to the surface and asked me to calm down. After 2-3 minutes of calming down I again mustered the courage to go in. I made sure that I bite the mouthpiece so well that this panicky situation doesn’t occur again and I did it.

The Marine Life

I saw vivid coral reefs which were breathing, schools of colourful fishes, there were fishes moving in and out of the corals, sea snakes, tiny seahorses and puffer fishes within 10 minutes of getting into the water. There was absolute silence and every breath under water counted. The seabed had a lot of the poky sea urchins. I made sure that I wasn’t touching anything as we were instructed just before the dive.


Our first dive lasted for 50 minutes, and I fell in love with it. We also spotted 4 baby sharks during our dive. I considered myself blessed with an experience of a lifetime.

We slowly came up to the surface of the water and relaxed while P’oh called for the boat. I realised I also loved to float in the sea with the waves that patted me for doing a good job in my first dive 😉

The second dive

As soon as we got into the boat, I started realising the weight of the oxygen cylinder. I removed it and had my breakfast. In 15 minutes of getting into the boat, it was already time for the 2nd dive. This time I was super enthusiastic about diving into the water as I already knew the to-dos once I am in.

P’oh told us that there is a place in the second dive with just an empty seabed and we will click pictures there. He took us to that spot as we jumped in. We posed for a lot of pictures, and I felt grateful for deciding to hire a photographer.

We spotted a huge sea turtle. I was amazed by the size of it, and it felt like the turtle was  itself posing for the picture. We enjoyed the view of it before we moved into the portion of the sea which had coral reefs. Beautiful fishes like angelfish, clownfish and butterfly fishes were playing hide and seek in and out of the corals. I also remember spotting yellow box fishes, shrimps, eels, and lobsters.


I felt slightly uncomfortable after being in the water for 48 minutes in our 2nd dive. I showed hand signals to our instructor P’oh to take us up to the surface. As we went up to the boat I felt giddy and threw up. I slept the whole way back to the hotel from Phi Phi Ley to Phi Phi Don. I thanked our instructor for being the best and got down from the boat. Scuba diving at Phi Phi islands was an experience of a lifetime.

Ocean calling

I felt blessed for being able to experience a portion of the earth which has a lot more to explore. My first scuba dive turned out to be so wonderful and this has sown a seed in my mind to dive in various places of the world and enjoy the beauty of God’s creation. 

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With our dive instructor P’oh after the dive

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Aarthy Chinnaiya

Hola, you travel-prying soul! Welcome to my blog and thanks for stopping by! My name is Aarthy Chinnaiya, exploring new places, food and people gets me excited. I focus on budget travel and exploring places to the fullest in limited number of days (being a Software Engineer I don't get much leaves you see :P). Follow me for a constant dose of my travel stories, experiences, tips and much more.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Notorious guy :)

    The blog is so well written, i could get each and every feeling and experience of scuba diving while going through this blog 🙂

  2. Rathiya

    Enjoyed the read, Aarthy!
    Great job detailing your underwater experience.

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