Yes, you read that right. You are looking at PADI ‘s newest open water divers. We’re both pretty proud of this, as you remember our first time was on the Great Barrier Reef. I faced my fears and fell in love with the sport of scuba diving, now I am a certified open water diver.
We hadn’t planned to get certified during our travels in Indonesia, it was something that we just fell into, something that just seemed right at the time. So we went for it and we are so glad we did.
What is diving like in Gili Trawangan?
There is one word for diving on Gili T, awesome. Think 20-25 meters (that’s roughly 65-80 feet) of clear water visibility. We spent 4 days diving and the conditions were the same every single day. You can’t get much better conditions for diving, especially when you top that off with a multitude of dive sites that are all covered in bright coral and bursting with marine life.
Being on Gili T, you have access to all the dive sites around that island, Gili Meno and Gili Air. If you filled a week with diving, you would be hard pressed to hit all the dive sites on offer here. All the dive shops do a nice job of rotating the sites so you can see all that the sea has to offer here.
Be prepared to see amazing things under the water, including clown fish, sea turtles, white tipped reef sharks, black tipped reef sharks, eels, stingrays, octopus, puffer fish, bat fish, banner fish, porcupine fish, a variety of eels and the list goes on. Most of the coral is healthy around the islands, so it is a real treat to dive most of these dive sites.
Choosing a Dive Shop
There is no shortage of dive shops in Gili Trawangan and if you walk down Main Street you will see what I mean. Basically every 4th building, or so, is a dive shop. You have the absolute pick of the crowd when it comes to your diving desires and needs.
Most of them are PADI certified shops and offer courses from open water certification to dive master and everything in between. There are many onsite pools for a proper classroom experience as well. It comes down to asking around and picking a shop that you feel is right for you.
We happened to be walking down the street, thinking (only thinking) about diving during our stay when we wandered past the DSM Dive shop. There was a tall, curly, longhaired guy standing out talking to people and we just happened to strike up a conversation with him. We liked his vibe and knew that getting certified at DSM Dive was the right choice for us.
PADI Open Water Program & Cost
The courses that are offered through the dive shops are recognized by PADI, this means you are getting standardized training for scuba diving. Dive shops throughout the World recognize all certifications issued through PADI. We participated in the PADI Open Water Certification course, which is the entry-level program.
Our course consisted of a variety of skills tests that we performed in an enclosed environment (pool) and in open water, several quizzes about the technicalities, rules and safety of diving, a course on setting up and taking apart equipment, skills tests and training dives up to 18 meters.
After our last dive, we completed a PADI final examination to be sure that we understood everything about our training. Studying for the quizzes and exams was time consuming, but we were serious about learning everything and passing the tests so we put some extra effort into the program. Voila, we are now certified divers.
Cost seems to be one of the biggest factor is how people choose their dive shops and where they will get certified. This is something you don’t have to worry about on Gili Trawangan. All the dive shops operate on a price fixing schedule, meaning they are all the same. You can walk up and down the strip and every dive shop will quote you the same price.
This is nice as it allows you to pick a dive shop based on factors other than price. The current fixed price for getting your PADI open water certification on Gili Trawangan is $395 per person. This price is a great deal for getting certified considering we were both able to get certified for less than it would have cost one of us to get certified in Australia.
Our Overall Experience
Working with DSM Dive to get certified was a breeze. We had an incredibly awesome dive instructor that was easy to relate to. He genuinely cared about our experience and made it his priority to ensure we learned things correctly and had a positive experience.
At the time, one of our friends from the states was visiting and she had never even snorkeled, let alone been scuba diving. She decided to get her PADI with us and our instructor handled her challenges with professionalism. He gave us all the confidence and skills we needed to become relaxed divers.
We are so incredibly excited to be certified and are looking forward to diving during our travels at the top dive sites on this planet. Who knows, you may be looking at some dive masters the next time we write about PADI.
Places We Plan to Dive Next
We are currently in Malaysia, seeking out some possible dive locations along our route. Other locations on the list include, but of course are not limited to:
That’s the thing about diving, you never quite know where you’ll end up in the water but we are sure looking forward to the adventure.
Are you PADI Open Water certified?
Where did you get certified and what was the cost?
Other posts on getting in the water on our travels: