We Got PADI Open Water Certified in Gili T!

This post may contain affiliate links. Read our Disclosure Policy here

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.

PADI Open Water Scuba Diving Gili Trawangan DSM Dive

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 clownfish, sea turtles, white-tipped reef sharks, black-tipped reef sharks, eels, stingrays, octopus, pufferfish, batfish, bannerfish, 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.

PADI Open Water Scuba Diving Gili Trawangan DSM Dive

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 divemaster 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 Scuba Diving Gili Trawangan DSM Dive

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 dive 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 factors 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.

PADI Open Water Scuba Diving Gili Trawangan DSM Dive

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 divemasters the next time we write about PADI.

PADI Open Water Scuba Diving Gili Trawangan

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:

  • Thailand
  • Philippines
  • Maldives
  • Turkey
  • Egypt

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?

More on Indonesia:

Did you like this story? Share it!


Looking to get started on your trip planning process? Let us help!

Travel Gear & Packing: Check out our packing lists and travel gear guide to ensure you're bringing the right items on your trip.

Book Your Flight: Ready to fly? Check out our tips for finding cheap flights.

Find A Car Rental:We use Discover Cars to compare car prices, find deals and book rentals.

Book Your Hotel: Compare prices and book with our recommended hotel search engine. You should also check out our tips for finding cheap accommodation.

Find Vacation Rentals: Search vacation rentals & apartments on VRBO for the best prices and options.

Protect Your Trip:Don’t forget your travel insurance! Protect your investment and yourself. Read Is Travel Insurance Worth It?

If you need more help planning your trip, be sure to check out our Step by Step Trip Planning Guide where we break down our process for getting the trip planning process right every single time.

About Lina Stock

Lina is an award-winning photographer and writer that has been exploring the world since 2001. She has traveled to 100 countries on all 7 continents. Member: SATW, NATJA, ATTA, ITWA

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. We are also a member of other affiliate programs. For more info please read our disclosure page

2 thoughts on “We Got PADI Open Water Certified in Gili T!”

  1. Hi Lina! We got our open water certified last February in the Philippine island of Malapascua. We paid a similar price than u paid (about 400$) and after that we dived in Gili Trawangan, Perhentian islands and Koh Tao. We liked all places but for us the best dive was in the Philippines! Amazing experience to be able to be underwater, swimming next to hundreds of tropical fishes!! 😀

    • Yea the diving was pretty good in the Philippines. We have the Perhentian Island on our list for some diving, also Koh Tao. If you want really great diving, head to Borneo!


Leave a Comment

Divergent Travelers- Adventure Travel Blog