Dive Sites Around Myanmar (Burma)

Best time to dive in Myanmar:The best scuba diving season in Myanmar goes from October to May. That being said, this is a large time window and, especially for open ocean dive sites, bad weather and stormy seas can lead to dives being postponed. Thus, the safest and very best time to scuba dive in Myanmar is during the months of December, January, February, March and April.

  • December - mid-January: Visibility can be very good early in the season, as thermoclines and plankton blooms tend to be less common than later in the year. Water temperature is between 75 and 82oF (24 and 28oC).
  • February - mid-April: Plankton blooms can reduce visibility to 10-15m, however, this is the best time to spot whales sharks and manta rays. Water temperature may reach 86oF (30C).
  • The recommended Wetsuit:  Tech Shorts or 1mm to 3mm for these water temperatures within recreational diving depths.

Just in southern Myanmar has over 800 offshore islands that we know as the Mergui archipelago. Indeed, the group of island spreads on the southern coast of the country, as you can see on the map below. Plus, the Burma Banks, located further in the open ocean, are submerged mountains that are coming back to life after an episode of overfishing (this is written mid-2019). Moreover, it is said that new dive sites are being discovered every year as the area is explored.

There are a number resorts we work with. Those that do are on the luxury end, making the most of the area’s deserted beaches and uninhabited islands. 

The Myanmar Islands are ideal for Tech Diving!

The Mergui Archipelago:

Diving the Mergui Archipelago guarantees a colorful and vibrant experience. Indeed, most of this island chain has yet to be discovered, which means you will find both a variety and a certain density of marine life in the area. The limestone and granite rocks islands flow down the west coast of the Malay peninsula and offer a rugged underwater landscape. Overhangs, caves, and swim-throughs are everywhere, giving way to a lot of fun for the scuba divers. Moreover, if you’ve heard of “the best dive site of Myanmar“, then you know about Black Rock. Indeed, the site attracts an impressive array of species such as the manta, mobula and eagle rays, many sharks, pufferfishes, sea snakes, eels, and much-much more.

The Burma Banks:

The Burma Banks a collection of seamounts located some 180 km north west of the Similan Islands. The Banks are Myanmar’s gem, hidden under the water surface. Indeed, the seamounts that start at around 350 meters come up to reach recreational diving depth and up to about 15 meters below the surface. Surrounded by deep water, the banks have mostly bigger marine life, but there’s also plenty of fish circling around the corals. Also, it’s a rarely visited destination because it is remote and also because the dives being open ocean ones, have unpredictable conditions.

Black Rock:

This pinnacle is one of most spectacular dive sites in the Mergui archipelago with an excellent variety of reef life and abundance of large pelagics including Silvertips, Gray reef sharks, Blacktips, Bull sharks, Eagle and Manta rays. There are beautiful soft coral formations in the deeper areas.

Western Rocky:

Located 80 km off the coast of Myanmar, Western Rocky offers a sloping reef, great wall diving and several surrounding pinnacles. A tunnel leads right through the island, with lots of crayfish and usually some large sleeping nurse sharks. Western rocky is one of Burma’s best spots for shark sightings. Encounters with Whitetips, Gray reef sharks, Blacktips or even Bull sharks are fairly common.

In Through The Out Door:

One of the best sites anywhere in the Andaman Sea, also known as “3 Islets”. A channel in the main island at 14-18m takes you to a natural bowl where Gray Reef Sharks are usually found cruising. On the far side of the bowl a tunnel leads to the other side of the island and a beautiful hard coral reef.

High Rock:

A mix of steep drops and gentle reefs around a small island, known as High Rock. The depth is only 18 – 25m with plenty of soft coral and cup coral especially in the deeper parts. Seahorses are commonly found hanging on remnants of fishing nets, while other critters are also found hiding in the corals. The site is only about 35 miles from Kawthaung and is often dived on the last day of a trip.

North East Little Torres:

This small island is surrounded by deep water and boasts a healthy hard coral reef and a good chance to see larger pelagic fish such as schools of “devil” rays, a smaller cousin of the manta ray. At the West end of the island is a narrow rocky ridge which drops down into the depths and you may catch a glimpse of a shark or two. Follow the ridge towards the island and you come to the reef with a wide variety of species on display.

Three Islets:
Being closer inshore than the aforementioned sites, these three rocky outcrops don’t always have great visibility, but more than make up for it with their intriguing topography and wealth of unusual marine life. Offering great diving from bottom to surface and clustered within easy swimming distance of one another, these steep limestone pinnacles are honeycombed with nooks and crannies, providing shelter for a wide range of fish and critters. The main structure also features a unique canyon that funnels down to twin tunnels passing completely through the islet, a feature not to be missed.

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