Scuba in taiwan

Hi, it has been recommended that i take up swimming to ease my arthritus, but i find swimming the most boring thing in the world to force myself to do, not to mention painful, for me.

SCUBA however has interested me for a long long time. Has anyone learned to dive in Taiwan? Where is/isnt good to learn? I know of a few places in Taipei, but dont know anything about them.

I’d be interested in your experiences, diving in general, diving in Taiwan in particular, and with arthritus for that matter! :laughing:


I highly recommend Roland of
His website says it all.
I have a ton of friends who have been certified by him, as he is extremely patient and professional. He will do whatever you can to make your diving experience fun. He is passionate about the sport and will go out of his way to help you out. I will continue doing all of my certifications through him!

Remember two things:

Scuba diving can easily be a very low energy activity, which means that you’re not getting any of the exercise your doctor is recommending. How exactly will your arthritis benefit from drifting along looking at the fishies?

Sometimes things can go wrong and you find yourself having to swim hard. For this reason you have to pass a swimming test, and are expected to maintain a reasonable level of fitness - so you’ll still be doing the swimming!

Still, learning to dive is a great way to make yourself do the exercise. I’m sure you won’t regret it.

I learned to dive in Taiwan, am now a divemaster and have logged over 200 dives here. So I obviously love it! In fact I’m hooked.

The company I went through is Jeff’s Scuba in Kaohsiung. They dive in Kenting most weekends and are a 5 star PADI dive center. They are great, but probably not much good to you if you’re in the north, unless you want to fly down to Kenting for weekends! :wink:

Even if the diving you’re doing is not particularly strenuous, kicking with fins on can put a bit of stress on your ankles, knees and hips, especially if you’re not used to it. If you get caught in current, or have a long swim to an exit point, you’re going to feel it. But good fins make a world of difference.

You’ll need to do some research on the possibility that your condition could make you more vulnerable to DCS. Off-gassing nitrogen tends to pool in the joints during ascent, and this could mean trouble for someone with arthritis…I’m not saying you can’t do it, just remember to dive with a more conservative profile once you’ve been certified.

Oh, and get a physical from a doctor knowledgable in diving medicine.

Check these links for more information: … p?faqid=41

You could always take up snorkelling; it’s an easy alternative to diving and a good way to start. I introduced my Taiwanese gf to snorkelling when we went to Orchid Island just over a year ago. She loved it and has since learned to swim. Going snorkelling has helped to improve her confidence in the water and given her the incentive to continue learning to swim (she too finds the swim classes a little boring). Later this year, I’m hoping she’ll be right for underwater hockey!

Do you recommend any snorkelling spots in the nothern half of Taiwan? I am actually looking forward to getting in the water this year. It would be great to have some good places to go to.

Do you recommend any snorkelling spots in the nothern half of Taiwan? I am actually looking forward to getting in the water this year. It would be great to have some good places to go to.[/quote]

I’ve been diving on the Northeast Coast for almost 15 years, and know some decent spots for snorkeling.

An easy one that you can do while playing at the beach in Fulong. There is a shallow reef on the Southern end behind the harbor/temple. Have seen morays/octopus/lionfish etc…

Are you talking about just floating on the surface or actually descending down to 10 meters or so? If you have some decent freediving skills you can see almost anything the divers can. Floating on the surface will limit your choices to very shallow reefs due to reduced visibility.

It’s going to take the water a few months to warm up again. The current ocean temperature is something like 15C. Cold but clear. If you have a decent 5mm suit and hood and gloves then you could give it a shot. Calm days are hard to come by this time of year with the predominant winds out of the Northeast.

Make sure to carry a dive knife with you anywhere on the Northeast coast, even while snorkeling. Getting caught in a fishing net can ruin your entire day…

Getting back on topic, diving is a zero gravity environment, which if done with recognition of the limitations put on oneself due to a medical condition, might actually be good for the joints. Imagine a nice shallow drift dive, with minimum kicking and no weight placed on the affected arthritic areas.

Now local diving usually includes driving to the destination, hauling your own tanks, suiting up in the blinding heat, and then a long walk to your entry. That’s going to be the hardest part of the dive for someone with arthritis…Boat diving would fit your needs better.

And don’t worry about lack of exercise…You’ll lose up to a thousand calories per hour through heat loss alone. :wink:

There’s a great spot down near Yehliu. It’s an excellent day trip on a scooter, especially if you take the back road via Muzha Zoo (beautiful scenery). The road trip is about 1-1.5 hours each way.
Last time we went, we picked some juicy pomelloes from a tree on the side of the road, and ate them down at the beach after swimming! Just drive along the coastline until you see the roadside seafood restaurants… there are some rocky outcrops in that area.

[quote=“Bu Lai En”]My friend Justin (aka Fly) a South African is a PADI instructor. He can get you certified for 21500NT. This includes all equipment rental, costs of dives, a custom made wetsuit to keep, course book and other stuff. He freelances with the diving club Tropic.

You could also talk to him about diving with other foreginers, as he is organising more and more trips to places like Kending and Green Island. The more people involved, the cheaper it gets for everyone, so he’d be interested to hear from you. Next trip is to Kending next weekend.

Justin 0955 614 645[/quote]

I never got around to calling this guy, but plan to this year!

Hey guys, sorry for my late reply. And thanks for the great snorkeling suggestions. I will have to check those places once the water is a little warmer again. Did not get a wet suit yet. I am just at the beginning of my diving/snorkeling carrier.