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The best diving beaches in Myanmar
The Andaman Sean has more than 800 isles, so dive in this mostly unexplored area should be at the top of every diver's wish lists. Both Ngapali and Ngwe Saung, two beaches on the western shore of Myanmar (Bay of Bengal), also provide good and simple dive sites.
In spite of the undeniable untapped potentials of its 2000 km long exotic coast, the Myanmar based recreational marine life is still in its early stages. More or less banned to touristic diver for many years, and some Thailand owners came close to the "Burma Banks" with 6 or 7 day liveaboards from Phuket and Khao Lak.
Despite the fast increasing interest in Myanmar as a seaside and dipping place the range of dives in Myanmar has slowly developed. At first, the most attractive divesites in the southern Mergui Archipelago were only accessible by Thailand liveaboard companies in Ranong, a frontier city. There are currently only five dependable Myanmar bases left that provide excursions to well-known locations in the southern Mergui Archipelago and Ngwe Saung and Ngapali.
As there is hardly any other group within view and there are still many unexplored places to go scuba, Myanmar is a real adventure. For the best scuba in the area, the Mergui Archipelago offers a 6 or 7 day liveaboard from Kawthaung, the Thai-Burmese frontier city.
Well-known diving spots like Black Rock, Little Torres Islands, High Rock, Shark Cave provide views of wonderful coral, gorgonian fans and solid unbroken seaweed. Besides the wealth of bat fish, dog-toothed tunas and huge barracuda, these places are particularly well known for encountering the bigger types of pelagics, such as mantas, leopard shark, lime shark, nurse shark and greatness.
Advanced dives are necessary as many divesites can have strong current, sometimes down when going deep. The Myanmar Andaman Liveaboard Resort on Mecleod Island in the Mergui Archipelago is another good choice for good dives. A PADI base offering various liveaboard dives package and course options.
The best dive time: between December and April. A Myanmar Scuba in the Mergui Archipelago: Ngwe Saung has more and more dive resorts along the sandy beaches, offering recreational scuba dive excursions. The Ngwe Saung Coast is 1.5-hour drive from two flat, simple and enchanting dive sites.
However, more diving spots are currently being explored. Usually North Rock (Bird Island) is first done in a quiet current diving along the east side of the islands. There are similar diving spots on the South Isle, with wonderful garden corals, many bannerfishes, butterflyfish, boxfishes, scorpionfishes, lionfish and triggerfishes as well as eel and seamen.
Farther westwards from these islets there are some interesting but rather uncharted battlements that provide deep sea depths with a higher likelihood of seeing larger coves. The best dive time: between November and April. The Myanmar Scuba in Ngwe Saung: The Ngapali dive site is located around some of the island and coves with places that are far from being fully researched.
Dives similar to those in Ngwe Saung with reef garden and the characteristic underwater world are aplenty. Aside from some of the more seasoned liveaboard sites in the Mergui Archipelago, the liveaboard industries are new to Myanmar. Sometimes the levels of professionality and equipment may be lower than internationally recognized diver standards.
Nevertheless, Burma's dive companies are quick to learn and try to meet the highest possible global standard. Safer and more conservation dive is advisable when you dive in Myanmar. Myanmar's health care and infrastructure is inferior. Dive incidents should therefore be absolutely prevented. Eco-consciousness is a major challange in Myanmar.