Underwater

Underwater

Anyone with a love of scuba diving is always looking for the next great dive, and Asia offers great dive sites by the dozen.  Most of the Asian dive destinations are found in Middle and South East Asia as here the water is of a pleasant temperature and the visibility beneath the waves is generally good.  When diving in Asia you will encounter coral reefs, a wide variety of marine life and plenty of sunken wrecks to explore.  Each underwater world is different and you will be truly amazed by the sights.

Burma

Far to the South of Burma (Myanmar) you will find an archipelago of over 800 individual islands or varying size nestled in the Andaman Sea, occasionally referred to by the locals as the Pashu Islands.  Offshore here you will find a wide range of coral reefs to dive.  This is all a relatively new site for diving and offers much that has yet to be revealed.  Diving was only allowed here in 1997 thanks to successful negotiations between dive companies in Phuket and the Burmese Government.

Due to the remote location of these islands the best way to dive here is on a live aboard cruise.  Under the water you will discover huge sea fans, boulders, wall dives and incredible drop offs.  The best time to visit is between December and April as this is when the dive conditions are at their best.  Try and visit between February and May if you can as this is when you will also be able to encounter majestic whale sharks and graceful manta rays.  The Andaman Sea is a great location for underwater photography too with the shark caves filled with reef, bull and nurse sharks.

Indonesia

Indonesia is a massive archipelago that offers divers some of the most diverse experiences on the planet, anything from the sedate and easy dives off of Bali to the extreme locations and conditions that can be found around the very far eastern islands of the archipelago.

·        Bali: The wreck of the USS Liberty can be reached via a shore dive that also includes reefs and walls.  The most spectacular dives here are off Bali’s offshore island, Nusa Penida.

·        Gili Islands: Home to a number of major dive centres you can encounter extreme currents off the islands with plenty of wall diving to be had.  The dives surrounding the Gilis are diverse and the marine life is immense.

·        Sumatra: Sumatra is great for divers of all levels of ability; the sea bed is littered with boulders, gentle sandy slopes and deep volcanic features with giant rocky pinnacles and amazing gardens of coloured corals.

·        Papua: Raja Ampat Archopelago on the Bird’s Head Peninsula is said to be the area with the most diverse bio system on the planet – out of the 800 known species of coral you will find over 550 of them in this region.  These sites are not on the tourist trail so are very much unspoilt and in amazing condition.  The sites can be accessed via a live aboard cruise or by staying in one of the nearby resorts of Sorido or Misool.

Malaysia

Malaysia offers access to at least 300 dive sites, spread across all of the east coast islands and off the Peninsula.

·         Perhentian Islands: There are plenty of sharks and sea turtles in these waters, plus competition from rival dive centres has led to the cost of diving being kept low.

·        Sipadan: (Malaysian Borneo): These sites offer divers a glimpse at an amazing amount of bio diversity.  Over 3000 different species of fish live on and around the reef and divers have the opportunity to dive a 600m wall amidst schools of barracuda, rays and hammerhead sharks.

·        Mantanani Islands: These are a small group of three islands that offer access to a number of Second World War naval wrecks as well as encounters with dugongs.

·        Sarawak: New dives sites are being opened here that offer new divers a chance to discover the area before many others.