Diving in Asia

Travelling Information

Asia lies at the center of the world's richest marine biogeographical region! This Indo-Pacific region runs from the Red Sea to the West Coast of South America. Biologists studying species distribution have placed the very epicenter of this marine richness in an area called the "magic triangle". Forming the corners of this biological marvel are the tip of the Southern Philippines to the north, Bali to the east and Western New Guinea. This region alone encompasses the richest diversity of marine fauna on the planet. Over eighty genera of coral and perhaps twenty five hundred species of fish!

The coral reefs of Southeast Asia are said by conservationists to be the most important in the world, as they are among the most diverse and productive communities on the Earth. A rich marine ecosystem stretching over thousands of kilometers and crossing many countries makes this region the best on the planet for the scuba enthusiast.  For this reason, people consider Asia the dive center of the world: being in the right center of the vast majority of coral reefs of the planet, these countries are working for their underwater environment as well as their diving possibilities.

Some of the best dive places in Asia are Diving Maldives, Diving Myanmar, Diving Thailand, Diving Malaysia, Diving Indonesia, Diving Philipines and Diving Japan.

Commonly known as the "Pearls of the Indian Ocean" the Maldives lie on the equator southwest of Sri Lanka. An archipelago of 26 major atolls and 1,190 coral reef islands stretches over 800km from north to south and over 100km from east to west. Only 200 of these islands are inhabited and nearly a half of these have been developed as exclusive resorts.

Diving in the Maldives can only be described as simply spectacular, there are hundreds of dive sites scattered throughout the islands and plenty of good house reefs, many of which are considered world class. A lot of the diving is concentrated around diving North Male Atoll and diving North Ari Atoll, however there are many places further afield for the more adventurous divers.

Diving in Myanmar (former Burma) offers pristine and untouched dive sites and with over 800 islands covering some 12,000 square kilometres its islolation makes it one of the worlds true frontier diving destinations. The Burmese government have recently opened up the Mergui Archipelago to outside visitors and it is now rapidly becoming one of the premier places on the planet to go diving. With a rich and diverse marine ecosystem untouched by tourism and left in isolation for many years it can offer some amazing surprises. Sharks, mantas and big pelagics coupled with stunning visibility are all common here.

Diving in Thailand, a Kingdom that straddles two seas: the Gulf of Thailand merging into the South China Sea on one side and the Andaman on the other. The beauty of this geography is that diving is year round and while it may be wet season on one side, the diving will be fine on the other.

With everything from old WWII wrecks, extensive cave systems, drop offs and holes, hundreds of continental and oceanic islands and a diverse marine ecology Thailand truly offers some of the best diving in the world. A solid tourism infrastructure also means that many destinations within the Kingdom are geared up solely for divers, some resort spots have over 30 dive shops offering everything from day drips to liveaboards to mixed gas, technical diving and Instructor Development Courses. Some to mention: diving in Koh Tao is considered the mecca for learning to dive; diving in Pattaya offers some of the best wreck diving in Thailand; the best hub for reaching all Andaman dive sites is Phuket, and diving the Similans are a world class dive spot with probably the best visibility and marine life in the Kingdom.

Diving in Malaysia
has been the home for local divers for many years however only in the last 20 years or so, since the discovery of the diving paradise Sipadan island , off the east coast of Sabah, it has become a top Asian diving destination. Malaysia offers a vast array of scuba diving locations ranging from vertical walls to fringing coral atolls to wreck dives and even macro and muck diving.

East Malaysia comprises the Borneo states of Sarawak and Sabah. In recent years, it is this wonderful environment that is driving the Malaysian tourism industry. To the divers, it is the idyllic pearl-like drops of coral islands in the South China Sea off Sabah & Sarawak that are the great attractions. The diving at Sipadan, diving in Kapalai  and diving in Layang Layang conjure thoughts of swirling schools of barracuda and jacks to divers the world over.
However the Malay peninsular has plenty of its own underwater gems to explore including diving in Perhentian islands, diving in Redang  and diving in Tioman.

Indonesia sits on the western edge of the Pacific Rim, a seismically active area known as the "Ring of Fire." This volcanic volatility makes Indonesia a hotbed of biodiversity.

Diving in Indonesia consists of a 5 thousand kilometer long archipelago offering some of the most diverse coral reefs on the planet. There are over 15 thousand islands with a coastline stretching over 50 thousand kilometers all lying in tropical waters, a perfect environment for coral growth. The amount of coral reef the archipelago contains is far more than neighbor Australia's Great Barrier Reef. Diving in Indonesia offers over 3,000 fish species and 450 species of coral, steep walls, deep water trenches, underwater volcanic mountains, World War II wrecks, and an endless variety of macro life.

Situated in the Pacific Ocean, the Philippines is comprised of some 7,100 tropical islands. With coastline in seas from Japan, the South China Sea, the Indian Ocean and the Celebes Sea, diving in Philippines has some of the best dive places in Southeast Asia.

Diving in Japan may not be the first country that comes to mind when you think of scuba diving. But in fact, the country has over 2,000 dive spots. And with the Japanese archipelago ranging from the sub-tropical diving in Okinawa to the almost arctic cold of northern Hokkaido diving, there is sure to be something for every kind of diver. In particular, in addition to warm weather all year round and equally warm people, the southern island prefecture of Okinawa provides world-class scuba diving.

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