Freediving off Koh Tao Thailand

Thailand has many beautiful islands, some of which are more accessible than others. Although the more popular islands, such as Phuket and Koh Samui, offer a vast range of accommodation choices, entertainment and activities, if you really do want to get away from it all, choose an island that is less well known, and you can guarantee it will be more relaxing.

One such island is Koh Tao in the Gulf of Thailand.

If Koh Tao does seem a little off the beaten track it’s because it’s a place where no one used to want to go. Political prisoners used to be sent to the island where they were sentenced to a form of open detention.

These days, the island is something of a magnet for divers, and most of the facilities here are geared towards catering for the diving community.

One of the reasons for Koh Toa’s popularity is that is has almost perfect conditions for diving; very few currents and some incredibly good dive sites.

One of the most popular activities if freediving, which means that you dive sans scuba gear or snorkels, but by simply holding your breath and seeing for how long you can stay underwater.

Freediving sounds dangerous, but it can be a lot safer than scuba diving as you are not breathing in compressed air, so there is no chance of getting the bends.

One of the best Freedive schools on the island is Apnea Total, which is the first freediving school in South East Asia. The instructors are all very experienced, and teaching ultra safe freediving techniques is a priority.

One of the major issues with freediving is learning how to control both your breathing and your state of mind. Learning to hold your breath is not as easy as you think, and there can be a tendency to panic once you stay under for a long time, which leads you to losing your technique.

At Apnea Total you are taught how to prepare for a freedive, it is not simply a case of ducking your head under the water and taking pot luck; and how to make the most of your experience.

Another technique is to learn how to use a large monofin, which resembles a mermaid’s tail, to help you glide through the water smoothly, to better observe the coral and marine life.

Whilst you do spend much time in the water, you also spend quite a lot of time out of it, in which case, you can rent a private hilltop villa from Casas Del Sol, where there are five luxurious self-contained villas perched atop a hill, giving you ample opportunity to relax whilst you search the coast for your next perfect dive spot.

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