Best sites to go diving in Southeast Asia
With so many hidden gems, Southeast Asia is becoming more and more popular among divers all over the world seeing that this place is blessed with so many natural and magnificent sites for diving. Based on visibility, diversity of marine life, corals and possibility of seeing rare species, following are 8 of the best places to dive in Southeast Asia. If you are looking for a place to go diving in Southeast Asia, this is the post for you!
Derawan Islands, East Kalimantan, Indonesia
Indonesia consists of over 13,400 islands with 25% of the world’s fish species of 15% of its coral, this country is one of the must-go destinations for any passionate divers.
The Derawan Islands are situated in East Kalimantan province. Besides being the biggest nesting site for green turtles, these islands are also home to many turtles, dolphins, manta rays, and even whales, etc. Coming here, you can have chance to see stingless jellyfish too. Amongst all, Maratua, Nabucco and Sangalaki are the most popular diving spots in this area. Sometimes, it’s quite expensive to get to Derawan , so don’t just come for one or two days. Derawan also offers several resorts so that you can stay there to enjoy the view for the whole week.
Raja Ampat Islands, Indonesia
Situated off the tip of Bird’s Head Peninsula, Raja Ampat comprises four main islands and over 1,500 small islets. This is the reason why sometimes it’s called the Four Kings. This is such an ultimate diving destination with over 537 different kinds of coral and 1074 species of fish. This number is the highest recorded diversity of fish and coral on earth. The water life here is simply breath-taking. Apart from scuba diving, snorkeling is also suitable to explore the areas which are close to the shore. If you are lucky, you may have chance to see local dolphins, most of them are friendly. Therefore, we cannot forget to name Raja Ampat as an ideal place to go diving in Southeast Asia.
Tulamben, Bali, Indonesia
Tulamben is the most famous diving sites in Bali. This is a small village situated in the northeast coast of Bali, the world’s richest marine biogeographic zone: Indo-Pacific. The popular Tulamen Bay dive sites include the USAT Liberty Wreck, the Coral Garden and the Drop-Off/ Wall dive. Going diving here may give you the opportunity to meet quite a lot internationally recognized underwater photographers and writers.
Komodo National Park, Indonesia
“Diving in Komodo is all about action”, it’s such a wonderful experience to see fish chasing fish. Komodo offers divers with shark action, dolphins, manta rays, turtles, schooling fish and big pelagic. Besides this, when visiting Komodo, tourists can also join activities to see Komodo dragons, the largest member of monitor lizard family on earth.
Pulau Sipadan, Malaysia
Located on the far east coast of Malaysia, Pulau Sipadan is the only oceanic island in Malaysia and home to millions of reef fish, sharks, sea turtles and barracudas, etc. This island used to be rated as one of the top dive sites in the world. The turtle tomb with a lot of tunnels and chambers containing the remains of the green sea turtles is another unique feature of this island. With dive sites close to the shore and with a plenty of accommodation on nearby Mabul Island, Pulau Sipadan is such an amazing destination for anyone who favors diving from a resort.
Similan Islands, Thailand
The Similan Islands is a group of islands located in the Andaman Sea, southern Thailand. These islands are globally famous for their scuba diving spots and pristine beaches. The islands became a protected National Park of Thailand in 1982 and they are closed from mid-May to mid-October every year because of weather conditions making it dangerous to visit.
Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park, Philippines
Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park covers the area of 130, 028 ha, home to some of the most stunningly beautiful coral reefs in the world. The variety of marine life in this park ranges from whales, dolphins, sharks, turtles to Napoleon wrasse, ect. The reef ecosystems support over 350 species of coral and almost 500 species of fish. Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park is also designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Those are the reasons why if you want to go diving in Southeast Asia, you cannot miss Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park.
Mergui Archipelago, Myanmar
Mergui Archipelago located in southernmost part of Myanmar comprises 800 islands with so many huge boulders, tunnels, caverns and drop-offs. The virtual isolation creates an amazing diversity of flora and fauna around the island, making such a beautiful underwater scenes and marine life. Despite serious environmental problems threatening the reefs, this is still one of the must in Southeast Asia for divers.
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