All of our dive centres have their own procedures and systems, which they believe is the best way to keep diving guests happy and ensure smooth & easy activities from hotel pick up to drop off at the end of the trip. Some are very flexible, which is good if you’re the one who needs extra time or special treatment. But with too much flexibility delays and problems can occur. Can you imagine if you do everything that is asked of you, but the team are too flexible, and everyone else is late, wants to stop for shopping, or has other special requests? It wouldn’t be much fun, would it? Other dive centres are able to manage equipment sizes on the phone or online, or are happy for diving students to race through the theory chapters of a PADI diving course. Then there is the Nemo team, who have so many years’ experience of others’ failures, that they are our most organised and prepared Similan scuba diving centre. Due to the excellent organisation at Khao Lak Fun Divers Nemo 1 & Nemo 2 divers can be sure that everything will go according to plan, with no delays or changes of plan.
Pre-Trip Check In
Why do I have to visit the day before?
Nemo trips depart in the morning from Khao Lak, and time can’t be wasted. Divers checking in need time to fill in a little paperwork and fit the equipment. This can’t be rushed. Diving equipment manufacturers’ sizes vary from brand to brand. A Medium of one brand may be a Small or a Large of others. For safe & comfortable diving, it’s important to be wearing equipment that fits you well. This is also the time to make sure that the Nemo team know your hotel and give you the exact time for pick up in the morning. They can’t wait for late guests, because this isn’t fair for everyone else.
Where is the shop?
Khao Lak Fun Divers is located in Central Khao Lak, just north of Nang Thong Intersection. The office is located directly next to Bangkok Bank, which is 300-400m up the road from McDonald's on the same side.
Why can’t I pay my trip balance at the dive centre?
To confirm your trip, a payment needs to be made to block the cabin or space for you. While some dive centres take a deposit to confirm and then the balance in the office, this often causes confusion and wastes time. And when people want to pay with a card but don’t want to pay the added 3% or need to change their currency into THB it slows things down. If the payment is done online, you don’t have to carry money around, and your time in the office can be kept short checking equipment, signing forms, collecting your free t-shirt and agreeing to the pickup time. Booking online with a card or PayPal does not incur any booking fees.
Why aren’t they open all day?
The Nemo team are small, and they like it that way. A small team is easier to manage and make sure that everything is done correctly. They wake up very early in the morning to oversee the guest pickups from hotels around Khao Lak, and meet & greet guests at the pier. Then after some office work the shop is open from 10.00am (sometimes a little earlier). At midday they need to have an uninterrupted lunch, catch up on emails and invoicing, and prepare for the afternoon and evening. From 2.00pm until 4.00pm the office is open again for check-ins. Then the team go to the pier to meet the boat and ensure that everyone has had a good time and didn’t forget anything. The office re-opens at 5.00pm and stays open until 7.00pm or sometimes a little later.
Why can’t I come from Phuket on departure day?
Phuket is far away. The airport is at least an hour by private car and the beaches are 2 hours or more. Also, the pier that Nemo sails from is not as easy to find as some people think. Therefore, even if you have all your own equipment, and have paid in full, it’s a logistical nightmare, a long day, and lots of stress to try to leave Phuket in the very early morning to arrive at the pier for 7.30am. Staying in Khao Lak is necessary for Nemo trips.
Pre-Course Theory Learning
Why is it so important?
Although the Open Water Course involves more learning than most other PADI diving courses, all PADI scuba diving courses involve learning some theory. It’s important to understand the science and reasons why things happen, or are necessary or forbidden, when breathing compressed air at depth. Without this knowledge, scuba diving can be a dangerous activity. With the appropriate knowledge, it’s very safe and lots of fun
Can I do the theory online?
Yes, PADI have an online system that they call PADI eLearning. You need to register online with PADI and choose the correct dive centre for where you will continue the course. PADI charge a fee for online learning, but the Nemo team reduce the price of the course by a similar amount. It ends up costing a bit more by doing eLearning, but you can do it in the comfort of your home and then enjoy more of your holiday in Thailand doing the fun things.
Why can’t I learn as I dive?
While some dive centres allow diving students to dive and learn theory at the same time, Nemo will only do it properly. They are very safety conscious and they want you to understand the necessary information before you get in the water. Taking part in a scuba diving course is quite strenuous and there is a lot for your brain to absorb, and let’s not forget that breathing with your face underwater is not at all natural for humans. It’s important to understand the theory chapters (and pass a little knowledge test) before you start the practical side of the PADI diving course.
Necessary Languages on Board
English is the worldwide language, and all divers on Nemo need to understand safety briefings in English (or German) so that everyone knows what to do in every possible situation. You don’t need to be a fluent English speaker, but it’s important to understand what is being said to you and asked of you. Many of the team are German native speakers (from Switzerland), and all are fluent in English. Some other languages are spoken on Nemo by the staff.