New Heaven Dive was originally started in June 1995 by Kampanat NaSongkhla, or P’Kong, when he started diving from the beach in Chalok Bay with just 2 sets of dive equipment, 4 tanks, and a small longtail boat. With these humble beginnings, P’Kong looked to introduce visitors to the beauty of Koh Tao’s underwater world, and treated every customer as a dear friend, which they inevitably all became. P’Kong was not only an amazing dive instructor, he was an incredibly driven and passionate person who deeply touched the lives of everybody he encountered. He was passionate also about the island of Koh Tao, and ensuring that this paradise of the Gulf would remain that way for years to come. To some he was known as the ‘Koh Tao GreenPeace,” and there are many stories about him saving sea turtles from fisherman, chasing illegal fisherman from Shark Island, installing some of the first mooring lines, and other very progressive stances on being responsible for the marine resources around the place he loved.
'King’ Kong the Thinking Man, he was our inspiration and the first Eco warrior on the island.
In October of 1995, Devrim brought another 2 sets of equipment to double the size of the operation, and together they rented some land in Chalok and began construction of the first New Heaven Dive School. Later that year they also purchased what was at the time one of the largest dive boats on Koh Tao, King Kong 1. In a twist of fate and intoxication, the dive school was burned down just two months later by its first Dive Master Trainee during a party for Dev passing his instructor course. Only a minor set-back, the dive school was rebuilt and stayed for 2 years in Chalok Ban Kao before moving to Rocky Bay (now known has Haad Tien). In Rocky Bay, P’Kong and Dev began building a beautiful dive center on the beach, which served as the center point for family and friends to relax and enjoy the island paradise with few cares or worries. So many amazing people were a part of this era at New Heaven, who all gravitated around the unique, amazing, and magnetic personality of P’Kong. But, as unfortunately happens all too often, the candle which burns the brightest goes out the fastest. In 1998 P’Kong passed away, before seeing the final construction of the dive center.