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ISSUE 23 ARCHIVE - KOH LANTA

Chantelle Wyatt

This well organised and well presented little dive shop, Lanta Divers, is nestled in to the streets of Saladan on Koh Lanta and came highly recommended from fellow divers, so whilst visiting friends on the island I went to check them out.

I popped in to say hello and was immediately met by Julie, the center manager, who could not have been more welcoming and helpful. Explaining that I wanted to check out the local dive sites, she was eager to inform me on local dive spots, marine life and about their dive boats and training.

This five star PADI resort, located on the island since 1999, has a strong ethos about creating a dive school where service, personal touches and safety are met above and beyond expectation. They were awarded PADI's '5 Star rating' which only verifies their ongoing commitment towards quality and training, and during my interaction with Julie this really shone through.

Neal Hansley, a previous visitor, told me that he found the center "welcoming, relaxed but also professional. They went beyond what was necessary to ensure our enjoyment and I would recommend these guys and girls to anyone."

With a good feeling about my stay, I quickly planned a day trip with them and my bag was packed and ready to go for an early start the next day. My guide was excellent and nothing short of enthusiastic.

She transitioned me onto the boat from the shop with ease and I was completely clear about how the day was going to run. She briefed the dives, was friendly, informative and passionate about what we were going to see. I could see she loved being in the water and it only made me more excited to submerge.

On the sail out to the site, groups were being briefed around me and I quickly noticed that the passionate attitude that I had seen in my guide was nothing short of normal on this boat, all of the crew were keen to show us Koh Ha and the vibe on the boat was nothing short of electric and exciting.

One thing that really was evident on the dives was the environmental awareness that was demonstrated. Our guide flew over sandy spaces on the dive site, guiding us, but also collecting litter as she went, a small piece of plastic here, a bit of fishing line there. It was heartwarming to watch. The crew was also keen to tell me what conservation projects they were involved in, including 'Shark Guardian' education programmes, The Thailand eShark Project, Spot the Leopard Shark and The Whale Shark Project. Fantastic!

Meeting 'Narcosis Nick' on board was a total pleasure, Lanta Divers resident underwater photographer was capturing moments throughout the whole day and his images were beautiful. Taking real care in catching everyone throughout the day he had great attention to detail and was a really interesting character to be around. Explaining clearly where he would be on the dives and reminding people to smile, he had a buzz about him and was a very memorable personality.

The dives were wonderful and the trip exquisite, a center I would return to with no hesitation in the future and recommend to other divers. The school is exactly what it says on the tin and don't we all want that when heading out on trips and planning our dive adventures and exploration? A massive thumbs up for Lanta Divers!

Visit them on their website or on Facebook and see Trip Advisor for more reviews.

All photos taken by Narcosis Nick.

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