The quality of diving in the waters of Myanmar is truly World-class and spectacular. Most significantly of all, and of crucial global importance, its wonderful depths and the creatures and corals therein have not thus far suffered the scale of abuse and degradation so prevalent in most of the other top diving sites of the planet’s oceans, though with increasing development the danger persists, particularly from the unscrupulous dynamite fishing activities of Thai criminals from across the border.


The main focus of diving activity in Myanmar is around the stunningly beautiful and unspoilt islands of the Mergui Archipelago, a vast collection of 804 pristine and largely uninhabited islands, offering not only superb diving, but also some of the most fabulous undeveloped beaches and virgin forest found anywhere providing the awesome backdrop to your underwater adventures.


With the exception of the Myanmar Andaman Resort on Macleod Island, which has its own PADI facility, the only way to visit this sparkling archipelago is by liveaboard boat, available from Kawthaung and Dawei in southern Myanmar and also from several locations in Thailand, with options that include Myanmar only trips and combined Myanmar and Thailand trips which additionally include the best of Thailand’s dive sites at Richeleu Rock, the Surin and Similan Islands to the south. 


Diving activities in the Mergui Archipelago are best suited to intermediate and experienced divers, not least due to the deep nature of some dives and the pervasive presence of many shark species, which beginners might psychologically find hard to handle. Diving is restricted to the dry season between October and May, with optimum conditions peaking between December and April.

 

Water temperatures range from 26-30c. During the period from February to May, water visibility is somewhat reduced due to the very healthy plankton blooms, but is consequently the best time to see the iconic plankton feeders such as Whale Sharks and Manta Rays.


Other of the large fish species encountered here include Stingrays, Mobula Rays, Eagle Rays, Bull Sharks, Nurse Sharks, Leopard Sharks, Grey Reef Sharks, White-tip, Silver-tip and Black-tip Sharks. Other common encounters are Barracuda, Spotted Hawkfish, Blue-ringed Angelfish, Banded Sea Snakes, Moray Eels, Bignose Unicornfish, Glassfish, Squirelfish, Scorpionfish, Titan Triggerfish, Yellow Tigertail Seahorses, Pipe fish, clownfish and numerous others swimming over an array of seafloor life, including Cup Corals, Tiger-striped Anemones, Feather Stars, Gorgonian Sea Fans and Wire Corals, within which a host smaller marine life flourishes.


The best of the areas' numerous dive sites are at Black Rock, Shark Cave, Burma Banks, Heckford Bank, High Rock, Little Torres, Rocky Peaks, North and South Twin, High Rock, and Western Rocky.

 

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