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“Amazing dive trip, amazing service”

Blue Guru Dive Centre
Reviewed 21 January 2011

My husband, sister and brother in law and I all visited Golden Buddha Island recently and had a wonderful experience diving with Blue Guru.

We booked this entire portion of our trip in advance and things couldn't have gone more smoothly.

First, Chris was amazing at helping us organize while we were still in the US. He went above and beyond to answer all of my many questions re the accomodations, advanced diver certification, deep dives, etc. In addition, when we were trying to book a flight from Chiang Mai to Phuket on Air Asia and there was a glitch in their software that wouldn't allow us to book online, I asked Chris for his assistance and he actually paid for all four of our air fares in advance (by paying cash in person while he was in the Phuket airport) and let us repay him upon arrival. I don't think many dive companies would do that.

Once we arrived in Phuket, the transfer went smoothly as well. A driver was waiting to take us to Boon Piya. When the driver took a look at the four of us and each of our rather large suitcases, it was not a problem - - he just went and got an SUV and we left straight away. And the transfer from Boon Piya to the island was uneventful (in a good way) as well.

Once we arrived, Helen was so wonderful to us and made sure we were all informed re the diving schedule during our stay. We had two days of wonderful diving (4 dives total) to Ta Chai and to Richileu Rock. We were floored by not only the quality of the dives themselves, but the level of service surrounding everything. From the boat with the air conditioned compartment to the fact that the staff set up all of the gear for all dives, to the safety precautions, to the wonderful and wholesome lunches provided - - we were very impressed. We all felt that they were extremely committed to ensuring the clients had a wonderful experience and we really appreciated it.

Even when things didn't go perfectly, we could tell that they cared. For example, our local dive (the 3rd day of diving) kept getting postponed due to poor visibility. We finally did go out, with the hopes that things had improved, but in the end, the visibility was terrible. Not only did they refund our money for those local dives, they offered the option to go on a trek instead.

Thanks to Helen, Chris, Gannon, Marienne and Markus for a wonderful experience.

Boulder, Colorado

Thank Randotti
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (75)
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64 - 68 of 75 reviews

Reviewed 16 December 2010

We had a fantastic four days/nights at Golden Buddah (7-11 Dec 2010).

Our house was lovely, great view and little library, water, kettle & hob were nice touches. Bed wasn't a problem for us (as reported in other reviews).
We really like beach house/hut type holidays and have stayed in similar places in Thailand, India, Philippines etc
This is the best house and facilities we've stayed in of this type. Proper barefoot luxury. Where else in Thailand can you have a 10Km beach to yourselves?

We also did the Richleau dive trip with Blue Guru which was excellent. Good vis (30-40 mts mostly) and great fish life (giant octopus, cuttlefish, jacks, schooling reef fish (lots). We were not in whale shark season and the team were very honest about this (compared to some other operations on-line) and there is always a chance .. but we'll probably come back in season to dive with these guys again to try our luck then.

Owners: Close to the operation and very hands on
Staff: Guests ratio was very good, staff very helpful
Refreshments & Lunch: Good (thai lunch, soft and hot drinks)
Boat: Good size, felt safe and was clean

On our last day Chris helped us arrange a dive trip from Khao Lak to Koh Bon, he'd just driven us to Khao Lak and stayed around for an hour or so while he sorted out who was going, and who we could go with. This sort of service takes Blue Guru to the next level. Really really good customer care from Helen and Chris, they really do bend over backwards to ensure their clients have a great time. Perhaps a fraction more expensive than the Khao Lak operations with 25 divers on the boat and six to one guests:DM ratios - but you get what you pay for!!!

Thanks guys,
Nick and Nathalie

Thank Nick C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 August 2010

My girlfriend I stayed at Koh Phra Thong at the beginning of April. Helen at Blue Guru did a great job of organising a Surin Islands snorkelling trip for us and even though there were only two of us from the island on the trip she managed to get the speedboat from Khuraburi to come and pick us up from the beach at Golden Buddha resort.

The snorkelling in the Surin Islands was amazing. Our guide, a French girl called Marion is a marine biologist and not only helped us identify the corals and fishes but also was able to explain to us their function. This information enriched the wonderful spectacle.

In the afternoon we visited the Moken village on the Surin Islands. In this case Marion let the Thai guide talk and only assisted when we were unable to understand what was being said.

All in all it was a great day out and a holiday to remember

Thank roadtorouen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 April 2010

i spent 5 days (12-17 april 2010) at golden buddha beach resort. i had contacted blue guru shortly before my arrival, and helen provided me with all information about the planned snorkelling trips to koh surin and the possibility for local diving around koh phra thong. the one-day-trip to koh surin with 3 different sites for snorkelling was marvelous! the two local dives with marion and bo as dive guides at koh pling pinnacles were awesome. i was amazed how many creatures we could find (visibility of 1-5m): a variety of different nudibranchs, varicose wart slugs, boxer shrimps, indian cushion seastar, moorish idols, red-tailed butterflyfish, scorpionfish, blue-ringed angelfish, and a huge honeycomb moray eel! around the dives, everything perfectly well organized by myles. thank you, blue gurus! i have to come back sometime soon!

Thank nudibranch73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 18 March 2010

Blue Guru Dive Centre services now located to Golden Buddha Resort on Koh Prang Thong Island was big disappointment. We had booked and paid snorkeling trip to Surin a month prior to the travel as requested and informed Blue Guru on the dates staying on the island and prereffed days for snorkeling. Once we arrived to the island it seemed that there is no trip to Surin on the days we are staying. Once discussed again with Blue Guru they promised to organize a trip on our last day but the night before the trip we were informed that the speed boat was broken. We don't know whether this was true or not but suspected that they did not have enough customers and therefore lied to us. In the end, we did get our money back, but it is not good customer service to ask the customers to book and pay before hand and travel to an isolated destination where to find out that no trip takes place at all.
If you dream about Surin trip it is strongly recommended to take a trip from Koh Lanta or other places where there is more competition. If you just want to enjoy the quitness of nature and trip to Surin is not the thing you have waited for weeks, then Goldeb Buddha is place for you.

4  Thank OceanHelsinki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Knights-of-Ni, Owner at Blue Guru Dive Centre, responded to this reviewResponded 8 September 2010

We would like to apologise to the guests for the cancelled trip to Surin Islands. This was absolutely beyond our control. We hire a speedboat for this trip and we were informed the night before the trip that the speedboat was broken. The alternative speedboats were in use in this instance.

Once we have committed to a trip we NEVER cancel due to low numbers. Because of this we have run at a loss on several occasions because our commitment to customer service outweighs the financial loss.

Koh Phra Thong is an isolated location with limited numbers passing through. This is part of its charm as we have amazing exclusive beaches. It can also make running trips to the Surin Islands and Richelieu Rock a logistical feat. Nevertheless, we have been highly succesful with our trips this last season. We have had to reschedule dates on a couple of occasions and at the start of the season we made alternative arrangements for some divers visiting the island. But it is only these guests (from this review) who did not get their trip and for this we are sorry.

I think this client means Khao Lak as opposed to Koh Lanta as an embarkation point for Surin Islands trips. I am afraid to say that in both cases the client has been misadvised. There are no trips running to the Surin Islands either from Khao Lak or Koh Lanta. The main embarkation point is Khuraburi. There are departures from Khuraburi on a regular basis but occasionally during the season these are subject to cancellation either due to weather considerations or technical difficulties with boats.

Whilst a strong negative emotion can make a poor review sound more harsh than maybe is warranted, I do sympathise with any guest who does not feel they received the service they deserved. There are only two elements to this review to which I object and make me feel sad. They are

a) that we lied to the client

b) the insinuation in the statement 'in the end we got our money back.' This has the suggestion that it could have been otherwise. The actuality is that we did not provide a service and therefore the customer gets a full refund.

I hope that these people have better luck in their travels in the future and again I apologise for the disappointment of not being able to visit the sensational Surin Islands.


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