Chatting with Alex Mitsch from 

What matters the most for you as a diver? Have you ever asked yourself the list of ‘must have’ from a diver operator and dive site?
Let me share with you my personal list:
·    -  Dive site: local fish that I haven’t seen before in previous dives, highlights that make the reef special or different from others, large species that I haven’t seen before or missed, protected or in need of protection.
       -  Dive operator: Concerned about the diving environment and do his best to benchmark green practices, efficient and friendly customer service, fun people to meet and truly passionate   about the ocean, run small boats (6 to 10 people).
My wish list is in fact a bit longer, but for the sake of keeping this post concise and interesting, these are the main ones.
Ban’s Diving resort in Koh Tao fulfilled all of the above, except from running small boats. Well, if you are the largest diving certification school in the World, you certainly can’t run small boats.
Bans certifies more than 14,000 divers a year. They have an extensive and comprehensive Dive Master program that requires one to pass their test program, beside the one required by PADI.
Nope, I didn’t manage to see whale sharks. I’ve missed them in Roatan (sightings are rare) and missed them again in Koh Tao (sightings aren’t so rare). But I had plenty of fun with grumpier Trigger Fish not so happy with the presence of my great photographer and cameraman, Aarny Patterson. I also had plenty of joy diving the Sattakut wreck with wonderful thermoclines, laying at 30 and more meters, just for Aarny and myself.
Koh Tao it’s an awesome island, Thais are friendly and fun to be with, as the rest of Ban’s diving resort staff. My room was up on the hills of Koh Tao, from where I had a majestic view of the ocean. It took me a great effort to come down by the sea the last time; I knew that meant living the island. Luckily, more adventures and dives waited for me in Phi Phi.  I just never felt again the energy and comfort of Koh Tao. Trigger fish on the Adaman Sea aren’t as grumpy as in the Gulf of Thailand, thus not as fun to dive with! 
Wanna check it out for yourself? Go to

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