Open Water

Open Water Course – 18m Diving Certification

Get your Koh Tao Diving License allowing you to dive around the world to a depth of 18m…

The Open Water Course is the most recognized entry level Scuba Diving license in the world. We employ both PADI and SSI instructors, so are fortunate enough to offer courses by the largest 2 diving agencies in the world.

Due to the material delivery, the SSI course takes a minimum of 2.5 days, while the PADI course takes 3.5 days.

During this time you will cover scuba diving theory, conduct shallow water training and get at least 4 dives exploring the amazing marine life around Koh Tao.

Unlike many shops, all our Koh Tao Dive activities are offered in a maximum group size of 4:1 to assure each student receives ample attention, which allows more time for problem solving. It also results in more competent, confident divers while having great fun!

If smaller instruction is desired, please request on the email and we are happy to arrange!

Our Available Open water course Packages

Stingray Package




Barracuda Package



(save 700฿)​

Whaleshark Package



(save 950฿)


Accommodation is not included in our packages. However, we do assist all our customers whenever we can.

There are a few dorms we work with, that offer our customers a bunk in their AC rooms for 300 THB per night when Diving with us. Select Dorm when booking.

Alternatively, we work with Mama O’Chai, who offer fan Beach Bungalows for only 500 THB per night, or 1,500 THB for the duration of this course. Just select fan Beach Bungalow when completing the booking form.

We also work with a few places that offer our customer an Air Condtioned Room for only 1,000 THB per night. Select AC room on the form.

The Schedule

The New Way Open Water Diver Course is designed to be flexible, and we offer it as such. However, in our 20+ years of experience we have found the below to be the most suitable, and how we usually run it:

16:00 – 18:00 – Course Orientation

New Way Diving includes free collection from the pier upon arrival since Taxi’s here can be expensive. Simply let us know in an email which ferry company you’ll be arriving with, what time and where from, and we will send our taxi to collect you from the appropriate pier and bring you to us so we can say hello, and help you get to your accommodation.

We will then meet at the shop at 16:00 to complete the required paperwork, receive a course orientation, meet your instructor and watch the PADI Open Water Diver videos.

08:00 – 10:30 – Theory Session 1

On day 2 we meet at 08:00 to review the core information that was covered in the videos.

Your Instructor will inform you of the key course theory, including Scuba Diving Equipment and its safe operation, dive planning, emergency scenarios, the effects of pressure on a diver, scuba diving safe practices and more.

There will also be a short quiz session to see if this knowledge has been retained.

11:45 – 16:30 – Shallow Water Skills & Dive 1 (max 12m)

Unlike many of the Dive Schools on Koh Tao, New Way believe in doing as much training as possible in the environment in which we are preparing for. For that reason on the afternoon of Day 2 we head out to one of our 2 Diving Boats to conduct your first skill training session.

The boat will head to one of the many beautiful bays of Koh Tao, where we will prepare our equipment, enter the water, and swim to the beach. Once at the beach, and in water shallow enough to stand up in, your instructor will demonstrate a number of the basic scuba diving skills, and then have you repeat the skills. Since we are in the sea, you will already start to see the wonderful Koh Tao Marine Life that we are fortunate enough to see each day. And, if there is enough time and air once the skills have been completed, your instructor will take your for a brief dive to experience more of this. We will then return to the boat, where we can enjoy a some lovely sunshine, beautiful scenery, and refresh ourselves with complimentary Tea, Coffee, Biscuits and Fruit, as well as rehydrate ourselves with a plentiful supply of cold water.

 While we are relaxing on board, the captain will move the boat to our second diving location, where your instructor will enter the water with you after an informative briefing about the dive site, the environment, signals and safety procedures. You will then descend to a maximum of 12m depth and enjoy a stunning dive on one of Koh Tao’s many dive sites. There are no skills to perform on this dive, and the idea is simply to allow you to enjoy the sights and enjoy the weightless freedom that Scuba Diving offers.

08:00 – 11:00 – Theory Session 2

On day 2 we meet at 08:00 to review the remainder of the course theory, as well as complete a short multiple choice exam (don’t worry, the course is designed for 10 year olds!!) The instructor will also give a debriefing of the day prior, how the skills were performed, and what will take place this afternoon.

11:45 – 16:30 – Shallow Water Skills & Dive 1 (max 12m)

Very similar to the day previous, we shall head to a lovely bay around Koh Tao, and head into shallow water. This time the location for the skills will be deeper, in water too deep to stand up in, unless there are some shallow rehearsals to be repeated before. Once again your instructor will perform each skill in turn, and then have you repeat them. If there is enough time and air left, then this will again be followed by a short dive.

We will likewise then have a surface interval on the boat, which will be followed by an additional dive at a new location. During this dive your instructor will ask you to repeat certain skills that have been rehearsed over the previous 2 days to assure us that you remember how to do them.

06:00 – 10:30 – Dive 3 & 4 (max 18m)

During these final dives you can expect to see even more of Koh Tao’s Marine Life than on some of the previous dives. This is due to 3 main reasons – Firstly, your buoyancy and diving skills will have improved by now, which improves divers’ confidence, which makes divers more relaxed, which in turn means that you spend a lot more time looking around and enjoying what the environment has to offer.

Secondly, these deeper dive sites are often further from land, meaning that many fish congregate there for breeding and food purposes. This in turn attracts larger predators, such as Barracuda’s, Trevally and Big Groupers. Thirdly, New Way Dive First. We are often the first dive school at most of the Dive Sites around Koh Tao, which means that we often dive before the marine life has been scared away. With over 100 Dive Shops in operation, this makes a BIG difference. On this final day we head out to 2 of Koh Tao’s deeper, more challenging dive sites, such as Chumphon Pinnacles, Southwest Pinnacles, Shark Island, Green Rock, and usually Sail Rock.

What's Next

After becoming a certified Open Water Diver, there are 2 main routes to continue. Firstly, you may decide to Fun Dive with us. Our ex-student rate is 800 THB per dive! Otherwise, highly recommended, is the Advanced Open Water Course. This will give you 5 additional dives in 5 different focused topics, for example night diving and wreck diving. This will certify you to dive to a depth of 30m.