Spotlight on Mergui Archipelago diving
Mergui Archipelago diving is by liveaboard from Phuket, Khao Lak or Ranong. The three thousand or so islands that make up Burma’s Mergui Archipelago offer real frontier diving away from the crowds (fewer than 3,000 tourists visited the whole region in 2014).
Divers used to go to the Burma Banks to see big sharks, especially Oceanic Silvertips. We thought that those days were sadly gone but shark sightings rose in 2014 and the on going regulation of Thailand’s fishing fleet is good news for fish stocks. The main reason to go there is to be alone. You will probably be the only dive boat within hundreds of miles of ocean. The islands and beaches are deserted.
And the diving is really excellent (as long as you don’t go there expecting to see loads of sharks). The macro critters are up there with the best of Indonesian diving (Indonesian dive guides from Manado find the same stuff in the Mergui dive sites as they do at Lembeh Strait). If you are lucky while diving up at Black Rock you may get to see a squadron of mobula rays cruise by.
Myanmar is still not a completely open country to travel in and liveaboard diving is done under special license. An official Myanmar guide joins each liveaboard to check that boats only go where they should.
If you are interested in doing some Mergui archipelago diving please ask us or check out these Burma Liveaboards. The Myanmar/Burma diving season is from November to May, the best months are late January to April.
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