Diving in Myanmar: A Hidden Gem for Underwater Adventures

Diving in Myanmar is a well-kept secret among divers who want to experience the untouched beauty of the Andaman Sea. Myanmar has over 800 islands and hundreds of dive sites that offer a variety of underwater landscapes and wildlife. You can dive among colorful corals, swim through caves and tunnels, explore sunken ships and planes, and encounter rare species such as manta rays, whale sharks, dugongs and dolphins. Whether you are a beginner or an expert diver, you will find something to suit your taste and skill level in Myanmar. In this post, we will tell you everything you need to know about diving in Myanmar, including the best places, times, operators and tips.

As a present from mother Earth, Myanmar (Burma) is surrounded by some pristine beach, which now become an anticipated destination for whom are looking for a beach holiday with a lot of exciting water activities. Besides familiar beach activities such as boating, cruising, snorkeling,… nowadays, lots of visitors plan to come to Myanmar for diving. Since Myanmar's waters were closed off until 1997, which means that they are somehow unexplored and undiscovered by even some of the most seasoned divers. With gorgeous topography made of caves, soft and hard coral, incredibly rich wildlife and exclusive dive sites, diving in Myanmar could become one of your most amazing diving experiences ever.

So, if you are planning your trip to Burma for diving, here are some advises that could be useful. And why don’t you check out the Myanmar tours, which are organized by Travel Authentic Asia – an experienced travel agency that always try our best to give you the best travelling experiences.

The best way to go diving in Myanmar: live-aboard diving trips

In Myanmar, diving is almost entirely accessed by live-aboard boats.

Myanmar cruise boats depart from Ranong in Thailand or Kawthoung in Myanmar.

Safaris that depart from Ranong and explore only the southern sections or northern sections of the Mergui Archipelago require at least 5 nights cruising. Boat charters that travel up the Thai coast through the Similan Islands before crossing over into Burmese waters, take at least 7 nights. If you really want to feel like you are on a complete Burma liveaboard safari then we recommend you take a dedicated Myanmar cruise to discover the whole of the archipelago. These trips require a minimum of 10 days.

Where to go diving in Myanmar?

In Myanmar, there are to main diving areas: The Mergui Archipelago and the Burma Banks

The Mergui Archipelago is a paradise for soft coral and macro life, home to some of the best dive sites in Burma.

Myanmar, The Mergui Archipelago
The Mergui Archipelago

The Mergui Archipelago has become extremely popular over the last few years, attracted divers who wish to experience the diversity of its islands, and see a wide-array of marine life and corals. This diving paradise definitely offers some of the best experiences for every diver. Diving in Myanmar can provide an opportunity to admire some species that cannot be found anywhere else on the Earth.

If enormous limestone rocks and complex topography are your thing, head over to spots like Black Rock, a favorite Burma diving spot that is surrounded by steep banks; High Rock, a small island surrounded by a rocky reef; and Tower Rock, made up of robust walls decorated with corals and crustaceans.

If you are looking for a colourful diving spot, you could spend more time exploring the soft coral and vibrant colours of Mc Leod Islands; or head to Sea fan Forest where you could find a vast spectrum from giant sea fans at the bottom of the pinaccles to the pretty purple coral carpeting the top.

Marine life is present throughout the archipelago but the three islets that make up Shark Cave are full of colourful and exciting species such as harlequin, Mantis and tapestry shrimp,... Your eyes might be caught by some beautiful macro marine lifes like seahorses and ghost pipe fish. North Twin Island’s incredibly clear water will show you a giant art work underneath the sea. While on the opposite side, South Twin Island’s green grassy hills and large rock structures covered by underwater passages that you can dive straight through. Western Rocky is not only the most southernmost dive site in the country but also one of its most unique. If you like discovering the mystery of deep underwater passages, then you will love the one that goes through the center of the island, letting you dive literally into its very heart.

Source: Arnaud Scolan

What can you see when diving in Myanmar?

While diving in Myanmar, you could have a chance to follow a lot of underneath-the-sea residents in their journeys, such as lobsters, crabs (spider/sponge/porcelain), shrimp (squat/mantis/tapestry/durban...), pipe fish (ghost/cleaner/spotted), frog fish, scorpion fish (stone/lions/leaf) and seahorses. They are all hidding inside the beautiful coral reefs of Burma’s untouched seabed.

The best season for diving in Myanmar

From October to May seem to be the main Myanmar diving season and this is the only period of the year when the live-aboard safaris operate. At this time of year, the seas are calm, the sky is clear and even the most remote dive sites are accessible. For optimum diving conditions in the Mergui Archipelago we recommend you visiting between December and April.

Water temperatures do not vary hugely among the seasons from a generally cooler 26-27°C early in the season to a balmy 30°C at the end of the season. The visual range also tends to improve a little towards the later half of the season.

For safety and suitability

Some people might say “Don't go diving in Myanmar beacause there are sharks”. But the diving in Myanmar is such an amazing experience for diving lovers that worth trying. Of course, safety first! So, every time you set a plan to go diving in Myanmar or in anywhere else, bear in mind finding yourself an experienced, well-trained local dive guide and always follow their tutorial. Even if you are an experienced diver, never diving alone spontaneously.

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