Mergui islands

Burma diving cruise for 6 days 5 nights

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Black Rock

Burma diving cruise for 7 days 6 nights

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Undiscovered Mergui Archipelago

Burma diving cruise for 8 days 7 nights

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The best dive sites in Myanmar

Burma top diving spots and dive sites in Mergui Archipelago

 

Burma being opened to tourism only since 1997, it is still a very novel destination for divers of this world. While less known than its neighboring country, Thailand, Burma has some of the best dive sites of the Andaman Sea.
What we love most about Burma Dive sites is that its the only diving destination of this quality where you can be alone on every dive site...
 
An undiscovered paradise in the Indian Ocean, the Mergui Archipelago is the home of 800 islands surrounded by immaculate reefs and pinnacles bustling with life. Along with the abundance of gorgeous scenery and impressive marine life, one of the reasons we love this area so much is its air of exclusivity. Particularly appealing for a photographer, our boat rarely crosses paths with another while we cruise the crystal clear seas, and being alone on the dive sites make it so you will never get an unwanted photobomber finning through your frame.
               
As your research has concluded, the best way to reach these coveted dive spots far from the clutches of civilization is on a liveaboard dive cruise with The Smiling Seahorse. Now that you’ve made the decision to embark on a magnificent adventure with us, you need to think about how to best prepare yourself.

Western Rocky

Western Rocky is one of Burma's most southern dive site and perhaps one of its most exciting in terms of the breath of diving on offer.
Western Rocky itself is a small island, sporting a dive passage right through its heart that just manages to be lit by daylight all the way through.
A guest appearance by a three-meter nurse shark is not uncommon and there are good chances of seeing other shark species including the famous whale shark, Bow mouth Guitar fish, harlequin shrimp, frog fish and seahorse, while the anemone-lined cavity is full of oversize lobsters and crabs.
​The four islets off shore are worth a dive on their own, their walls blanketed with clams and colorful sponges, and busy with big reef squid and chevron barracuda.

Type of Dive: wall dive, cave dive, coral garden
Depth: 5 - 35 meters
Visibility: 15 - 25 meters
Marine Life: +++
Difficulty: Intermediate 
Lens Recommendation: 
                Day: 
Wide-angle
                 Night: Macro 

All our Myanmar dive cruises pass by Western Rocky...
 

Black Rock

The islet of Black Rock is a small rock in the middle of Myanmar's ocean. It provides a steep wall drop to over 100 meters, characterized by rugged boulder formations and fine soft coral.
For an idea of its splendor Andrea Marshall, the Queen of Mantas, has said she had the best dive of her life at Black Rock and the conservation initiative Ray of Hope Expeditions has recorded 52 individual mantas over only 3 days of the yearly mating gathering in March. 
The south side of the rock features a 40m vertical wall where the north side’s gentle slope descends to 25m. This difference in topography affects water movement and allows you to choose from a more exposed dive in the current to the south, or to relax in the shelter of the north. 
A shallow section of tube corals is home to a bevy of miniature sea creatures, where sea urchins bask and busy crabs and shrimps clatter about their business.
Many consider Black Rock to be the finest dive spot in Burma. Its crystal clear waters offer 35-meter visibility, providing breath-taking views past the rock walls to the on-going procession of barracuda, tuna, mackerel, rays, reef sharks, whale sharks and eagle rays.

Type of Dive: wall dive, cave dive, coral garden
Depth: 5 - 35 meters
Visibility: 15 - 30 meters
Marine Life: +++ for Mantas
Difficulty: Intermediate / Advanced
Lens Recommendation: any lens for any dive.

 

Square Rock, Shark Cave and Submarine:​

Die-hard shark spotters will not be disappointed in Burma. Underwater caves provide plenty of opportunity to see nurse sharks basking among the crustaceans in the privacy of their sheltered homes. Shark Cave is the regular home to a group of nurse sharks up to four meters long sharing with Big blotched sting rays and whip rays. Take the time to look beyond the cave’s obvious attractions if you dare you will also see a floor covered in yellow sponges, a ceiling of marigold cup corals and a whole host of marine delights...
Don’t be fooled by tiny Square Rock, as this site is exceptionally rich in marine life. Likewise when you jump into the water at Submarine you will find yourself in a fish-nado. We are sure that you’ll agree that this is one of the fishiest places you’ve ever been. Shark Cave is a popular place to spot groups of nurse sharks up to 4m long as well as blotched sting rays and whip rays. 
Anywhere you are, be sure to stay alert as it is basically guaranteed to spot ghost pipefish and seahorses but you can also see harlequin shrimp, pineapple fish, marble rays, bamboo sharks and whale sharks.

Type of Dive: wall dive, cave dive, coral garden
Depth: 5 - 25 meters
Visibility: 15 - 30 meters
Marine Life: +++ for Macro, seahorses guaranteed
Difficulty: Intermediate / Advanced
Lens Recommendation: 
                  Day:  Macro lens
                  Night: Macro or wide-angle lens

Sea Fan Forest

The limestone formations proudly display their wonders between 50 and 8 m depth and are home to many creatures including giant frogfish, stone fish, seahorses, nudibranchs and more. There is also a lovely sandy area bordered by purple soft coral that is a popular spot to see leopard sharks. 
​Leopard sharks like to lay and on the other side by purple soft coral.
We have seen Whales sharks regularly on Sea Fan forest last season and in particular groups of adolescents (up to 4 at a time). One was particularly curious about us and our boat and kept circling around, which gave opportunity for great pictures. 

​Type of Dive: wall dive, cave dive, coral garden
Depth: 5 - 40 meters
Visibility: 10 - 30 meters
Marine Life: +++ for schools of fish 
Difficulty: Intermediate / Advanced
Lens Recommendation: ​any lens for any dive
 

North and South Twin:

North and South Twin are sister islands crafted by nature out of granite. This creates a fairly unique seascape as most of the Mergui Archipelago is rich in limestone. The sea has battered these rocks over time to carve out impressive boulder formations both above and below the surface. This creates beautiful swim throughs and thriving valleys full of soft corals and sea fans.    
Several miles off shore, North Twin is a Burma dive sites that offers a unique dive experience within the archipelago, typified by large granite boulders covered in gorgonian sea fans and soft corals. This is the place to spot schools of goat fish, bat fish and snapper in the shallow waters and a popular manta cleaning station at around 22 meters, giving way to yellow tail barracudas, big eye trevally, tuna and eagle rays appearing from the deep blue depths.

Type of Dive: wall dive, cave dive, coral garden
Depth: 5 - 30 meters
Visibility: 15 - 30 meters
Marine Life: +++ for pelagic
Difficulty: Intermediate / Advanced
Lens Recommendation: 
                 Day: wide-angle
                 Night: macro or super-macro lens 


The Burma Banks

 When you reach the Burma Banks there won't be another boat or piece of land as far as the eye can see. The fact that it's so far off and exposed does make it so currents are often much stronger here but this creates the perfect conditions for encounters with massive pelagic animals and schools of thousands of fish. 
The Burma Banks are a collection of underwater mountains with sloping sand dune-like sides covered with massive bummies and barrel sponges. 
Sitting roughly 100 nautical miles (180km) west of Kawthaung, The Burma banks are enormous.
The visibility is often close to 40m and being so exposed there are often strong currents making it a great spot to experience drift dives.
This is also quite a hot spot for nurse sharks and other rarer kinds of sharks and rays coming up from the depths. Beside the sharks the Burma banks are also home to beautiful tropical creatures such as the honeycomb moray eels, and the clown triggerfish which you curiously seldom encounter in the rest of Mergui Archipelago.

Type of Dive: wall dive, cave dive, coral garden
Depth: 20 - 35 metres
Visibility: 15 - 30 metres
Marine Life: +++ for sharks
Difficulty: Intermediate / Advanced
Lens Recommendation: Wide-angle ​
 

High Rock & other secret dive sites in Myanmar


​One of the closest dive site to Ranong, High Rock and neighboring sites hides treasures that will set the tone for the rest of the trip: caves, coral, sharks and a very special "Spanish Garden" where we find Spanish Dancers and rare crab species on most night dive.

 

 

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