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Malapascua - Exotic Island vs. TSD vs. Evolution Diving

Discussion in 'Philippine Paradise Divers' started by yuhtnav, Jun 11, 2012.

  1. yuhtnav

    yuhtnav Registered

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Vietnam
    I've read so many reviews about these 3. All seem to be decent and I can't go wrong with any of them.

    But a professional diver today told me personally, and I quote here:
    "It is not only gold and glitter that counts, but you will need to chose what you are comfortable with. Exotic has several dive centers in the Philippines and almost exclusively compete on price. When I was there last, many of the divers left as they were complaining about bad tasting air and other stories on cutting corners reducing quality and safety. I don’t know this is still the case, and things have changed guess you will have to find out !" :confused:

    That sounds like a really serious allegation, which is especially important as there's no doctors, recompression chambers on the island. It's weird that I've not read any reviews online slightly indicating any of those before about Exotic.

    I however managed to find an article today about a PADI instructor from Oslo died during a technical fun dive while on holiday at Exotic. But it didn't seem Exotic was found responsible for his death.

    Anyway, exotic is really tempting as they offer really competitive rates, very flexible, and so far is the most accommodating to my needs. They don't even require me to make deposit!

    Between TSD and Evolution Diving, their offers are pretty much similar. TSD has a claim on the website that they've recently discover a new site to see thresher sharks with very high chance of seeing them. Since I chose to go to Malapascua over other places just because of the chance to see the thresher sharks there, TSD's claim really got my attention!

    Any inputs from those who've been, worked, lived there are all very much appreciated! :kiss2:

  2. matt_reed

    matt_reed Tech Instructor

    # of Dives:
    Location: The Land of Confusion [Philippines]
    Hi Van,

    I got your email and will be replying in detail tomorrow, just got back from diving a few great dives today. I hope you'll give me a few hours before deciding?

    I would like to clarify on the NEW dive site claims. There is no NEW dive site, and it certainly is not a secret. Monad shoal is where the sharks are and always have been. When Evolution started, we dove to the south of the main Manta Point/Shark Point(which are on Monad Shoal) as local agreements meant we could not do deep dives at certain times where everyone else is. Consequently we realised that the sharks are all over the shoal and have been continuing to explore the whole area.

    Anyone who's been to Monad shoal knows that you can see every other boat which is diving at Monad shoal, so it's easy to see if someone is diving somewhere different to normal. This year most dive shops have moved their main shark dives to the south due to increased success seeing sharks. TSD is certainly not the only one and in fact on most days EVERYONE is to the south now, and no one is diving the old area.

    So please don't be misled by claims of any secret or special sites - any diveshop on Malapascua can bring you to see thresher sharks - in the same sites as everyone else. Which other criteria you use to chose your diveshop is up to you.

    I'm sure Erica from exotic will give you all the gory details about the death, and let you know that they do not have multiple diveshops, just the one.

    Van, you drive a hard bargain, but I'm sure you're going to enjoy your trip here, I look forward to meeting you even if you choose someone else!

    Good luck finalising your trip.

    pubert, boljakool and yuhtnav like this.
  3. MrsBBC

    MrsBBC Marine Scientist

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: SW London, England
    Crapsticks Matt!

    So are all the other centres treading the hell out of the southern wall section too?
    Surely they do realise why fewer and fewer sharks are cleaning at 'shark point'.
    Are the no flash/no over the wall etc rules being enforced all over the shoal?

    yuhtnav and matt_reed like this.
  4. ocdiver1

    ocdiver1 Contributor

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: orange county, ca
    I've dove and stayed at Malapascua Exotic 4 times and would highly recommend them...your hearing of lax safety, bad tasting air is completely different from my experience with them, or of anyone else I've heard who has dove with them. I can't speak for Evolution as I haven't dove with them...my first visit to Malapascua went with Exotic and was happy enough that never had any reason to change
    yuhtnav likes this.
  5. matt_reed

    matt_reed Tech Instructor

    # of Dives:
    Location: The Land of Confusion [Philippines]
    People not seeming to put 2 and 2 together Nic. And there's actually still plenty of good action up north, especially Mantas right now.
    boljakool and yuhtnav like this.
  6. 1thumper

    1thumper Registered

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: China
    I've been to Malapascua diving with TSD three times, they are great and I can highly recommend them. Completely professional, good DM's and instructors, no worries about air or gear quality. Last trip was in May and the thresher action was unbelievable, multiple fish every dive.
    yuhtnav likes this.
  7. Centrals

    Centrals Barangay Pasaway

    # of Dives:
    Location: Hong Kong
    Exotic does NOT has any branch outside Malapascua.
    However, certain @#$ EX@#$%^& has.
  8. yuhtnav

    yuhtnav Registered

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Vietnam
    Hehe, I got so busted :blush: Somehow I didn’t expect to find you here. How naïve I was. But great that you’re here and have provided some very insightful explanation about Monad Shoal. Your explanation makes perfect sense.
    I don’t like TSD for having that misleading announcement on their website. But the way they phrase it is actually factually correct. Just PR techniques. But I will inspect carefully whatever they claim in the future.

    Are there still mantas in July???

    That’s Sea-explorer, isn’t it? :)
  9. chlorpheniramine

    chlorpheniramine Registered

    I dived with TSD in April. At Monad Shoal, we would always see a few other boats already there, in the same general area, but our boat did not go anywhere near them. Instead we jumped in quite a distance away, and saw many threshers and very few other divers. I don't know how true any claims of 'new' dive sites are, but the guide was very good at keeping us away from the crowds.

    However, aside from the threshers at Monad, I was not impressed with the rest of the dives.
    yuhtnav likes this.
  10. AlMitch

    AlMitch Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Singapore
    Which dives did you do that you were not impressed with and why? I'm heading there in August and have pretty high hopes for great diving.
    We are diving with TSD too and am glad to hear they keep you away from the crowds.

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