Mergui Archipelago Overview
Diving in Burma / Myanmar is still very special as not many people have ever dived these dive sites. You could be one of the few people in the entire world that has dived here. There really is not much else to say about that is there?
- The more divers the less expensive the boat
- The higher end boats, have fewer divers and better quality rooms.
- The diving of course is the same whichever company you may choose.
- We have a huge selection of Liveaboards available
We are not affiliated to any other Dive shops or Liveaboard companies so we can and do take an impartial view.
Remember: Not all Dive Boats are the Same!
Talk To us, we know the business and we are here to guide you. We offer a more clinical first rate service, because we want you to come back. It is that simple.
It is possible to do courses on liveabaord to in particular the Advanced Diver Course
There are in excess of 800 Islands (roughly 36,000 square kilometres), some as large as Phuket, mostly uninhabited and unexplored, and in 1997 The Mergui Archipelago in the South of Myanmar (Burma) was opened up to Scuba Divers for the first time !
The local nomadic Moken people are known as Burmese Sea Gypsies.
Dive trips here can only be done by liveaboard boat and there are still only a handful of operators diving these sites so it is common not to see another diving boat on your whole trip !
Most boats leave from Phuket / Tab Lamu and in view of the distances involved quite often we may also take in the Similan / Surin Islands as part of the trip.
An entry fee is charged by the Myanmar authorities (at the time of writing, $200 USD) and you enter via Kawthuang (known to Thais as Ko Song, meaning
“second Island”) or by its colonial name of Victoria Point (it was under British rule from 1824 – 1948).
Your passports are held by the Myanmar authorities for the duration of the trip and returned to you when you exit Myanmar waters.
When exiting Myanmar your dive operator normally allows you to enter Kawthuang for a couple of hours whilst the boat is re-fueled and paperwork completed. Here you get a chance to pick up some souvenirs and Duty Free products.
Typical itineraries range from 4 days to 10 days and the distance between the top dive sites can be huge (sometimes more than 100 kilometres!).
However it is worth the trip. Whilst the marine life is similar to that of Thai waters there are many differences and the number of dive boats is very small compared to Thailand.
The coral and underwater terrain is is often quite rugged but you are normally rewarded with some big fish, namely Sharks, Rays and the Big Pelagics such as Manta Rays and Whale Sharks. Macro lovers can also expect to see a huge variety of Nudibranchs, Frog Fish, Harlequin Shrimps, Ornate ghost Pipe fish and Sea Horses to name but a few.
The diving here is tremendous but there are some environmental threats such as trawling and blast fishing with dynamite. This is now “officially” banned by the Myanmar authorities and the author has noted a marked improvement in recent years. However, on a multi day trip the chances are you will hear the odd blast. Even at the sites that are bombed regularly, soft corals, anemones and sea fans normally survive undamaged.
THIS IS NO LONGER A MAJOR ISSUE IN MYANMAR.
If you are looking for something different and have the time available (you really need at least a 7 day trip to get as far North as Black Rock or Little Torres Island make the trip, you will not be disappointed.