Koh Tao Scuba Diving Internship reviews

Meet our Interns & read about their experience on a Koh Tao Scuba Diving Internship

Crystal Dive – Divemaster Internship – Lydia Pender

Crystal Dive – Divemaster Internship – Lydia Pender
Name: Lydia Pender
Hometown: Kildare, Ireland
Age: 24
Internship: PADI Divemaster

What ‘Diving Lifestyle’ Internship Program Did You Complete?

I did the Divemaster internship program.

What where you doing before you joined Crystal Dive’s team to complete your scuba diving internship (Diving Lifestyle Program) on Koh Tao?

Before I came to Crystal I was working as an English teacher at an international private school in Muscat, Oman in the Middle East.

How long have you spent completing your scuba diving internship?

I spent about 4 weeks completing my divemaster; five if you count the week I spent getting my dives up to 40 (which you need before you can begin your divemaster training). I had a couple of visa runs to Koh Samui which were fun days off the island for shopping and the bungee jump there is pretty amazing too.


I also had to do a visa run to Burma which was horrific. I was on a big version of a long tail as a night boat in 5 foot swell. As I was sleeping water kept splashing in my face. I felt like the journey would never end.

What was your favourite part of the scuba diving Internship and why?

My favourite part of the diving internship was just simply diving. The volume of dives you get at Crystal is fantastic for your confidence in the water. You get to practice so much like navigationbuoyancy and how to put up an SMB (surface marker). For me it was a lot about self-improvement as I rocked up and didn’t really have a clue about much. The only way I learned and managed to claw my way to the level I am now is by just being in the water as much as humanly possible.

What was your least favourite part and why?

I don’t think I had a least favourite part of the DMT programme itself. I look at every unfortunate event as a lesson and as long as I don’t kill myself in the process it’s a lesson learned!

Who was your favourite Instructor and why?

At Crystal you get such a wide variety of instructors its difficult to hone in on just one. I ended up assisting Michiel the most which I really enjoyed because he has a very calm nature which really puts you at ease in the water. Manu is logistically very thorough and Vic is extremely efficient. I loved Tinas grace when performing the skills and Dirk Schmidt was really fun and enthusiastic. I liked all the Instructors for what each one bought to the table.


I think if I was to do my IDC that I’d like to combine as many of their positive qualities as I could into my courses.

As a qualified PADI Divemaster what are you future plans with regards to scuba?

I would like to use my Divemaster in some shape or form in the future. Next stop is Australia and I’ll probably make my way up the East coast so hopefully when I get to Cairns I should find somewhere on the barrier reef where I can utilise my new skills. Ideally id like to do something to do with conservation or research so I can couple my degree in Biological Anthropology with diving.

And What About Koh Tao?

Koh Tao is a lovely island with amazing locals the problem is you don’t get to see them that much! The tourist vibe is apparent from the moment you step off the ferry. I originally planned to home stay with a local thai family to learn how to cook and speak thai but that went out the window pretty quick!

Don’t underestimate you are on an island and it is isolated so medical care can be a real pain. Be prepared to travel to Koh Samui for treatment and medication.


The vibe is pure island life with a small expat community so you’ll get to know everyone pretty well pretty quickly. It’s easy going with lots of chilled bars and restaurants. The nights out are super fun and with so many tourists going through its easy to meet tons of new people and you don’t have to worry about making a fool of yourself with them because they’ll be gone in a day or two!! ?

The best thing about the island though is the family you have through Crystal; there’s always a shoulder to cry on or someone to laugh with. Everything is extremely tight knit so you’ll find you’re place pretty quickly. It’s a place you can settle into very quickly and have a blast getting to know the ropes.

And Your Favourite Restaurant On Koh Tao?

I’m actually a massive fan of street food which is difficult because Koh Tao doesn’t really have the street food markets you get in larger islands and on the main land. There was a fun fair up the street from the main roads in Mae Haad which had decent food stalls and there’s a couple of local places dotted around (you just have to learn where to look).

My favourite places were the Thai iced tea man at the top of the down road (just 20 baht for an amazing cup of deliciousness) and the noodle soup couple on the main road to Chalok (the tastiest soup you’ll ever have). There’s also a great street food stall where everything is 60 baht which quite a few of us DMTs frequent often enough.

How did you spend your non diving days on Koh Tao?

I bought a scooter third day I was here so on my days off I explored the island a bit. I headed to view points like Mango bay view point and the ‘I love Koh Tao‘ view point. I also checked out the snorkelling at Tanote bay and shark bay. The black tips were super cute! I also got out of Mae Haad a bit and went to Sairee and Chalok.


Freedom beach is lovely and I really enjoyed going bouldering at the local place on the sairee main road. I run and do Muai Thai as well so on my off days I did those to make sure i didnt get fat from all the street food!

Where Are You Heading Next?

Next stop for me is Australia. I’m doing a year working visa there if everything works out and then perhaps on to Fiji. Only time will tell where I end up.

One things for sure though, Ireland is waaaay too cold..!!

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