Family Beach Holidays

7 amazing resorts in Asia where kids can start PADI diving lessons

Last updated 23rd August 2023

When it comes to scuba diving lessons, Asia is a haven for marine life, bursting with vibrant coral reefs and packed with fascinating sites. Thanks to warm waters and great PADI schools, it’s also perfect for kids to learn the basics, and beyond. Now dive into some of the best family resorts with PADI diving instruction for children, and parents too, of course.

PADI basics before you decide where to go diving

The minimum age is 10 years old, although kids from age eight can try out with PADI Bubblemakers. Student divers younger than 15 years, earn PADI Junior Open Water Diver certification. They can then upgrade that to PADI Open Water Diver certification at the age of 15. Kids can also start learning online before their holiday with PADI eLearning, under 13s need parent or guardian permission to register for online courses.


Kids as young as 10 can start PADI diving lessons

Start diving lessons at Lotus Bungalows in East Bali

Bali is a year-round diving destination with consistently warm temperatures, whichever month you visit. One of Bali’s greatest charms is its wide range and variety of dive sites. One day, you can dive on a steel shipwreck, and the next you can swim over sand slopes, off vertical drop-offs, along deep coral-covered ridges, in roaring currents, with manta rays, sharks or small nudibranches in many colours. In short, there’s diving for everyone at every level.


Overwater fun at Lotus Bungalows, Bali

Under the shade of the coconut trees, on the edge of the water, Lotus Bungalows is an excellent stepping stone to discovering the treasures of East Bali. Situated away from the most touristic areas, it is a perfect hideaway for both divers and non-divers who are ready to seek out the cultural and underwater gems of The Island of The Gods.

Find out about PADI diving lessons at Lotus Bungalows


Diving in Thailand is a magical experience for kids

Learn to explore the underwater wonders of Koh Samui

Koh Samui and the surrounding islands have long enjoyed a reputation for having some of the  best dive spots, including Sail Rock, Angthong National Marine Park, Southwest Pinnacle, Chumphon Pinnacle, and Koh Tao. 


Anantara Rasananda, Thailand

Look out for schools of barracuda, big eye trevally, jacks and queenfish, yellow boxfish, moray eels, and even whale sharks. Black coral, barrel sponges, sea fans and a garden of soft coral sprinkled with sea anemones make Koh Samui a firm favourite, plus its calm, bright waters provide stable conditions throughout the year. Scuba diving courses can be arranged through a variety of resorts and centres in the area. At the Anantara resort you can enjoy a beachfront villa with glittering bay views and island luxury – and memorable dives just off the coast. 

Find out more about PADI diving lessons at Anantara Rasananda


PADI Bubblemaker courses begin at eight years old

Dive into reefs and round wrecks at Pulau Tioman

Located on the east coast of Malaysia and surrounded by numerous coral reefs is a popular scuba diving spot, Pulau Tioman, which has perfect crystal-clear, warm water and white sand beaches. You can visit nearly all-year-round but avoid the monsoon season from November to February when water currents get higher and stronger.


Berjaya Tioman Resort, Malaysia

The island features over 25 dive sites – swim in the shallow, calm waters of Pirate Reef, wander among the amazing granite and lush coral formations at Chebeh or explore the wrecks at KM Sipadan or Sawadee Wrecks. You can even head to Malang Rock (Coral Island), rich with an abundance of hard and soft corals (home to hawksbill turtles) to catch a glimpse of the occasional cuttlefish, lion fish, moray eels, black tip reef sharks, parrot fish, and blue spotted rays.

Find out more about PADI diving lessons at Berjaya Tioman Resort


PADI courses teach kids at their own pace

Family friendly Cebu island is a perfect scuba start for kids

Travellers to the Philippines are always wowed by the majestic Chocolate Hills, dense jungles to explore, pods of friendly dolphins and countless paradise islands.

Cebu is one of the country’s smaller islands, and particularly popular with families. As well as being perfect for water sports and relaxing on white sandy beaches, it’s the life beneath the surface that visitors adore. And from underwater caverns to freshwater cave diving to shallow shipwrecks, Cebu has an interesting range of dives. 


Plantation Bay Resort & Spa, Cebu Island

Plantation Bay’s dive centre features colourful reefs to explore, steep walls for drift diving, exciting caves and wrecks to discover, and virgin marine sanctuaries teeming with aquatic life. Whether you are an expert or novice diver, you can get to a suitable dive site within just five minutes of leaving your room.

Find out more about PADI diving lessons at Plantation Bay Resort & Spa


One-on-one PADI instruction quickly builds confidence

Give kids diving lessons with the best in the Maldives  

Clear Indian Ocean waters and astonishing coral reels, are just two reasons the Maldives is the dream diving destination for experienced divers, and beginners. It really is an island paradise – the perfect place to swing in a hammock in the shade of palm tree after a busy day of diving. There are plenty of desirable resorts and atolls to choose from – the region is famous for having one of the greatest diversity of marine life in the world. 


Coral reef snorkelling Vilamendhoo Island Resort, the Maldives

Vilamendhoo is the perfect location for manta ray and whale shark diving all year round, and offers some mind-blowing channel and thila (an underwater pinnacle) dives in South Ari Atoll. 

Find out more about PADI diving lessons at Vilamendhoo Island Resort


Group diving lessons are great fun for kids

Discover a world of underwater marvels in Redang Island

Located in Malaysia’s South China Sea, Redang sits in an archipelago comprising of nine islands: Lima; Paku Besar; Paku Kecil; Kerengga Besar; Kerengga Kecil; Ekor Tebu; Batu Ling; Pinang and the main island, Redang. So you’re well positioned to explore more than 30 dive locations, filled with both beautiful hard and soft corals.

Expect to see turtles and reef sharks which, despite their name, are harmless to humans.  You can also look forward to sightings of moray eels, angel fish, barracuda, napoleon, triggerfish, rainbow runner, puffer fish, giant stingray, cuttlefish, octopus, and nudibranch. 


The Taaras Beach & Spa Resort

Set between tropical rainforest and a flawless, white sand beach, The Taaras resort is all about barefoot luxury and contemporary design, woven through with warm, traditional Malaysian hospitality.

Find out more about PADI diving lessons at The Taaras


Resort pools are perfect for learning essential diving basics

Indulge in barefoot luxury at Murex Bangka Dive Resort

On a private white sand beach on Bangka Island in North Sulawesi is the Murex Bangka Resort, a barefoot, Robinson Crusoe-style experience perfect for families. Just steps away from the beach is an impressive reef, perfect for snorkelling or an easy dive.


Murex Bangka Dive Resort, Indonesia

At the resort, dive boats go out twice a day. On these trips you can expect to see white tip reef sharks, schooling snapper, and brightly coloured coral, as well as pygmy seahorses, ghost pipefish, blue ring octopus, cuttlefish, and frogfish.

Murex Bangka has all the kit you need for all ages, including dive and snorkelling gear. There’s also plenty to keep kids entertained when they’re not diving, including sea kayaks, beach games and a coral nursery project where they can plant their own coral. 

Find out more about PADI diving lessons at Murex Bangka Dive Resort

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