A trip to Maldives wouldn’t be complete without some fun dives. Since i’ve obtained and open water license, I might as well put it to good use. After all, the more dives you partake, the more experience one will gain. They say Maldives is where you get to see the big stuff. So, I went with some expectations although the only 2 dives i did was Boracay and Pulau Weh. We stayed in Club Med Kani and Euro-Divers was just a stone’s throw away.
“Euro-Divers maintain several dive centres in Maldives. From schools of rainbow coloured reef fishes, lion-fishes, barracudas, whale sharks, mantas, moray eels, lobsters in small caves to white tip sharks and grey reef sharks, everything is just there to be discovered by divers. – Euro-Divers Maldives.”
We made our way to the dive centre about 4pm on the day of arrival to Club Med Kani. Prior to my travels, I liaised directly with the dive manager and was informed to be present with our licence card and log books for review. We were scheduled for an orientation dive the next morning at 830 am and it was complimentary. This was to make sure our standards were on par and the dive instructors could select conservatively which dive sites would best suit our current experience.
First diving trip of the year 2017! I was really looking forward to this one as it was my second dive right after getting my Open Water license in December 2016. Just fun dives! Pulau Weh definitely made it to the ‘talk about list’ among the diving community. Honestly, i’ve not heard of this small island until it was suggested by my dive buddy. Being in South East Asia, I believe we are very blessed with amazing dive sites, which are all well within reach.
“You’re about to go in an unexpectable journey, become a Monster while living an incredible underwater adventure. Have a lot of fun, make new friends and learn how to dive or improve your skills. Glide over colorful reefs and meet plenty of wonderful marine life. – Monster Divers”
So, how did I ended up with Monster Divers? There were several dive centers in Pulau Weh and generally, being the review freak – I decided upon Monster Divers as they are rated number 1 on TripAdvisor. They were quick to reply to my emails and made the necessary pick up arrangements to the dive site. I stayed in Iboih Village, which was a 10 minutes bejak ride to Monster Divers located at Gapang Beach.
In December 2016, I made my way to Boracay Island in the Philippines. I have always love the sea and decided to take on the Open Water Diving (OWD) license with New Wave Divers. I did some research on which diving center to go for and New Wave Divers appealed most to me because of their prompt replies and excellent services. I liaised with Marge and Lynette via email. They were both very helpful and professional in answering all my enquiries. They were also rated number 1 on TripAdvisor and the reviews were great. My friends, who often go on diving trips used to tell me stories of how beautiful it is at the bottom of the ocean and I figured it is high time, I shall find that out myself.
“Sex – The first time you try, you get nervous.. But it’s still the best thing you’ve tried. The more you do it, the better it gets. As you do it with more people, you learn new techniques. With experience you can do it longer and deeper. If you enjoy sex, you’ll love diving!”
Savage! The display board caught my attention surely. Two weeks prior to my vacation, I signed up for the PADI e-learning online course and completed the OWD session. It took me about 6-10 hours in total to complete the course online, depending on how fast your internet speed is. The PADI e-learning course is valid for 1 year. It is fairly simple and i felt better to be adequately prepared theory wise beforehand. Everything went smoothly and it was very convenient – I paid the deposit via Paypal for the OWD course to New Wave Divers once i have completed the e-learning modules. The intention was to complete the whole course in two days. Well, of course you can opt to do the traditional method and only complete the theory upon arrival. However, i knew i wanted to see more of Boracay so two days for diving were sufficient.
Boracay, a small island in the Philippines is said to be the “Maldives of South East Asia”. Year after year, it has been listed as one of the top destinations for beaches around the world. I’ve been wanting to visit the Philippines for the longest time and without hesitation, i bought a return ticket to Boracay for six days.
Getting to Boracay Island was quite an effort from Penang, Malaysia. From Penang, I had to take a 1 hour domestic flight to Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA). Air Asia flies directly from KLIA to Kalibo Airport and time of travel is approximately 3.5 hours. Prior to my travels, I have made bookings in advance with Islandstar Express. Their representative was waiting for me at the arrival hall and took care of everything precisely. I was pretty impressed. Kalibo Airport is about 2 hours away from Caticlan jetty and to get to the port, I hopped onto a bus. There were 3 couples and myself on the bus. I took the front seat and had a nice little chat with the local bus driver. At the port, the journey to Boracay Island is about 20 minutes via a small ferry. We were greeted by a truck-like transport and dropped off at our respective accommodation. I was the last to get off at Station 2.