Best Diving in Burma

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The Mergi Archipelago of Burma (also called Myanmar) comprises over 800 islands and cover an area of 10,000 square miles, these pristine islands which had, until January 1997, been closed to all foreigners for well over fifty years.

The Marine Park is accessible via liveaboard from Khao Lak and Phuket.

This area is totally untouched by modern development, with a rich history of maritime trade, mysticism and piracy. The Mergui Archipelago today is as it was in days gone by, bar the piracy! Due to the archipelago’s virtual isolation, the islands and surrounding seas are alive with an amazing diversity of wildlife, flora and fauna.

Dive Map of the Mergui Archipelago

Mergui Archipelago Dive Map

Best Diving Destinations in Burma

Only a few dive operations from Phuket (Thailand) have a permit for liveaboard operation in Burmese waters. The waters around Black Rock, Western Rock and North and South Twins are known for their sharks and soft corals. This is true open ocean diving. Currents can be erratic and swells can be rough, making this area more suitable for advanced divers.

Dive Season

Scuba diving is between the months of October and May.

Dive Sites

The Burma Banks


Can be very strong currents

Series of elevated undersea plateaus. Sporadic coral coverage frequented by large reef fish and pelagics.

Resident sharks include silvertips and tawny nurse sharks.

Western Rocky

  • 5-40m
  • Weak to strong currents
  • Caves, tunnels and wall with pritine hard and soft corals.
  • Excellent marine life bio-diversity from small critters to whalesharks.

High Rock

  • 5-20m
  • Can be very strong currents
  • Soft and hard corals.
  • Low visibility
  • Many small macro critters such as pipefish, seahorses, nudibranchs, shells, crabs, shrimps

Three Islets – Bishops Fancy – Three Stooges)

  • 5-30m
  • Sheltered
  • Superb dive site with coral reefs, swimthroughs, walls and boulders.
  • Hard and soft corals.
  • Grey reef sharks and numerous small critters and invertebrates, perfect for underwater macrophotography.

North & South Twin Islands

  • 12-28m
  • Sheltered
  • Slopes of soft and hard corals.
  • Huge boulders.
  • A fovorite destination for nudis and tiny marine creatures.

Black Rock

  • 12-38m
  • Sheltered
  • Lonely rocky outcrop is attracting pelagics such as mantas and eagle rays.
  • Grey reef sharks, black-tip sharks and bull sharks, fusiliers and snappers swim around the steep slopes.
  • Many invertebrates.

When to Visit Burma

Best time do visit the area is between November and April till the beginning of May when the North-East monsoon sets in steadily which will bring clear days, sunshine and perfect diving conditions.

Dive Sites Reviews in Burma

Been diving here? Please share your experience using the comment section!

Liveaboard Reviews in Burma

Been diving here with a liveaboard? Please share your experience using the comment section!
Katie O'Brien April 27, 2020

Choosing the right liveaboard company to get the best experience you can out of your diving holiday can be a difficult task. If you’re looking to explore the east coast of the Indian Ocean your number one choice should be The Smiling Seahorse.

This family-run company is warm and welcoming and puts emphasis on even the smallest detail. The brand new MV Smiling Seahorse is a gorgeous and well thought out boat. The cabins are comfortable and clean with a range of styles from cozy suites with a view perfect for couples to more modest shared accommodation more suited to a group of friends taking a break from backpacking. The eating and kitchen area is spacious with a mix of seated benches and a comfy lounge area covered in pillows. The food selection is vast with many snacks available to you all day and night as well as gorgeous prepared local and western meals by the skilled kitchen staff. There is even a magical BBQ night with so much food you will soon slip into a happy deep sleep if the diving didn’t do that to you already.

The diving deck is configured to ensure that everyone has enough space and also has easy access to all of their instruments and equipment. There is also a beautiful electronics station filled with charging ports that would make even a group of photography buffs blush. Nitrox is blended onboard and there are many analyzers easily accessible to be on the ball ready for your dive.

Last but not least is the staff. They are the most lovely and helpful group of people. From the cooks and cleaners to the dive guides and cruise director extraordinaire, Franck Fogarolo you couldn’t ask for a better team to take care of you. No matter what your need, there will always be a smiling face at the ready to provide for you even to the point of placing your fins on your feet for you when you are preparing for entry. The guides are enthusiastic and knowledgeable and ready to adapt to any experience level and curiosity.

Whether you are looking to see some of the remote Thai Surin or Similan island or you are looking to be one of the few that has explored the Megui Archipelago, The Smiling Seahorse is sure to dazzle and amaze you as you eat, sleep, dive, repeat.


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