Diving Round Mergui Archipelago: New diving site
If you want the most unique Burma diving experience in the planet, then Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) is the place for you. Its waters were closed off until 1997, which means that they are relatively unexplored and undiscovered by even some of the most seasoned divers. With gorgeous landscapes made of caves, soft and hard coral, incredibly rich wildlife and exclusive dive sites, it is diving like you’ve never done it before. Burma’s Mergui Archipelago offers over 800 islands sprinkled throughout 12,000 square kilometres of crystalline waters just begging to be discovered. Since Burmese waters were opened, only a few boats have begun to appear, yet the islands remain almost entirely uninhabited save for the odd Burmese sea gypsys. Most divers who go to Burma seek the mysterious waters of the Mergui Archipelago. This off-the-beaten-path diving destination is made mostly from limestone (ensuring there are plenty of caves and tunnels) and a few granite pinnacles circled by a wide diversity of corals of beautiful color.
Diving Burma gives you the possibility to run into species like manta rays, barracudas, frogfish, crabs of all types (spider crabs, decorative crab, sponge crab…) seahorses, and all types of shrimps (harlequin being my favorite, I also love marble shrimp and . Different kinds of sharks also populate the area, and often swim along divers. The reefs in the area are also quite impressive, not only because of their sheer beauty, but also because of their size- some reefs can be as large as a small house!
The best time of the year to do some Myanmar(Burma) diving is between November and May, May till November is the rainy season and can present rough seas.
The best way to divie in Burma: Liveaboard Dive Safaris
In Myanmar(Burma), diving is almost entirely accessed by live-aboard boats, which offer the most effective means of exploring the outer reaches of the Mergui Archipelago.Myanmar cruise boats depart from Ranong in Thailand and Kawthoung in Myanmar, being at the border is the only departure point allowing cruises exclusively in Burma.
Ranong itself is home to various natural attractions. It is blessed with hot springs and unspoiled mangrove forests and gorgeous little islands. It makes a great base for a few days of relaxing and exploring before joining your liveaboard to Burma.
The Smiling Seahorse is specialized about diving holidays in Burma. Because we dive in Burma all the time, our instructors are the most knowledgeable about the area and where the good spots are.
We offer very special cruises to go diving in Myanmar(Burma).
Where to go diving in Burma?
There are two main diving areas in Myanmar(Burma): The Mergui Archipelago and the Burma Banks.
The Mergui Archipelago: that’s where we go
The Mergui Archipelago has become extremely popular over the last few years, attracting divers who wish to experience the diversity of its islands, and see a wide-array of marine life and corals. This Burma diving paradise definitely offers something for every kind of diver, and provides an opportunity to catch a glimpse of species that cannot be found anywhere else on Earth.
If giant limestone rocks and barren landscapes are your thing, head over to points like Black Rock, a favorite diving spot that is surrounded by steep banks; High Rock, a small island surrounded by a rocky reef; and Tower Rock, made up of giant walls decorated with corals and crustaceans.
If color is what you’re looking for then spend some time exploring the soft corals and vibrant colors of Mc Leod Islands; or head to Seafan forest to witness the beautiful purple corals at the top and giant seafans at the bottom.
Marine life is present throughout the archipelago but the three islets that make up Shark Cave are swarming with colorful and exciting species, including several different kinds of shrimps the coolest, in my opinion being harlequin shrimps, Mantis shrimp and tapestry shrimps, but also seahorses and ghost pipe fish. North Twin Island’s incredibly clear water also makes largest wildlife sighting easier and more astonishing with regular sighting of eagle rays and mantas rays there next to big schools of barracudas.
On the opposite side, South Twin Island’s green grassy hills and large rock structures hide underneath long 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 are a lover of heading deep within the mystery of underwater passages, then you will love the one that goes through the center of the island, letting you dive literally into its very heart.