Website home>Destinations>Myanmar

Burma Liveaboard Diving

Dive the Mergui Archipelago

...Good for: Large animals, small animals, underwater photography, value-for-money and advanced divers...
...Not so good for: Wrecks, beginners, snorkelling and non-diving activities...

What sets Myanmar liveaboards apart is your peace and tranquillity from being far away from the hordes in an area where few other dive boats venture, and being able to enjoy remote pristine dive sites without the presence of other groups.

Ornate ghost pipefish are quite common throughout the Mergui Archipelago
View Video Gallery Bookmark and Share

Burma diving consists chiefly of sites peppering the 800 or so islands of the Mergui Archipelago where you can enjoy a variety of different underwater scenes: walls, caverns and tunnels, as well as huge pinnacles and boulders covered with soft corals and gorgonian sea fans.

If you wish to experience frontier diving, getting away from the crowds to remote pristine sites where a vast range of creatures, both large and small, are waiting for you to discover, then a Burma liveaboard safari is for you. For more detailed information on this exciting destination, visit our Myanmar diving website section.

The Myanmar Cruise Destinations

Southern Mergui, Burma Banks and Thailand

South Myanmar - Black Rock is one of the best dive sites for shark encounters. You can see whitetips, grey reef, and black-tip reef sharks, both here and at the Burma Banks, where you may also spot mighty potato groupers, large red snappers and powder blue surgeonfish. Shark Cave is best known for its resident and docile nurse sharks, but there is much more to this site than the name suggests. Banded sea kraits, cuttlefish and harlequin ghost pipefish head the list of smaller but no less exciting creatures regularly seen here.

The Southern Mergui Archipelago is known for dives with both an array of sharks and pelagic fish including eagle rays and whale sharks. But it's also known for a lot of the smaller stuff too, which hide in the crevices of the walls and overhangs that are typical of Myanmar's underwater topography.

Some of the other dive sites that you'll visit in the south are Rocky Peaks, Great Swinton, North and South Twin islands, Stewart and McCarthy islands, and Western Rocky.

Burma and Thailand Combination Cruises - Many trips which visit the Mergui Archipelago take in both the Similan Islands and the south of Burma. The 2 destinations complement each other superbly. The Similans are characterised by their underwater topography, which often features huge underwater boulders. A vast array of sea life can be seen on these trips, including frequent sightings of whale sharks at Richelieu Rock, manta rays at Koh Bon, leopard sharks and turtles. The dive sites in Myanmar are different in that they tend to feature wall diving, caverns, tunnels and drop-offs.

The Remote Northern Mergui Archipelago

At Tower Rock you can hang in front of huge towering walls and watch as several manta rays glide and perform their entrancing dance in front of a spellbound you. Little Torres Island is a good dive site for appreciating the vibrancy of the corals here where there are healthy specimens of table coral, mosaic coral and red whip coral to name a few. The corals are all surrounded by healthy reef life as well as leopard sharks and sting rays on the sea bed nearby.

In recent years macro enthusiasts have begun to sing the praises of this region and it is now a popular liveaboard diving destination for underwater photographers who come to study subjects such as the numerous frogfish and ribbon eels, as well as the huge numbers of crustaceans in Burmese waters including lobsters, crabs, shrimps and cowries.

Northern Burma has a much more pioneer feel to it than those trips which take in just the southern section of the Mergui Archipelago, with fewer boats going there and therefore much fewer scuba divers in the water.

Some of the dive sites that you'll visit in the north are Lampi Island, Salet Galet, Hayes Island, Nearchus & Chevalier Rock, Freak Island and West Canister. Please note: some extended liveaboard cruises visit both the north and south Mergui areas.

Return to the top of the page

Diving Season

October to May is the Myanmar liveaboard diving season with the best conditions in the Mergui Archipelago from December to April, when the seas are at their calmest and visibility highest. Sea temperatures vary from 26°C in October to 30°C by February.

February to May sees the greatest number of visits from whale sharks and manta rays.

Return to the top of the page

Where is Myanmar and How to Get There

Below you will find our maps of the Mergui Archipelago, Burma and the world. More information on: how to get to Myanmar.

Map of the Mergui Archipelago (click to enlarge in a new window) Map of Burma/Myanmar (click to enlarge in a new window) Map of the world (click to enlarge in a new window)

Return to the top of the page

Reef Summary

Depth: 5 - >40m
Visibility: 5 - 50m
Currents: Can be strong
Surface Conditions: Can be rough
Water temperature: 25 - 28°C
Experience level: Intermediate - advanced
Number of dive sites: >50
Recommended length of stay: 5 - 10 days

Return to the top of the page

Useful References

Return to the top of the page


Unit 702, 7/F Bangkok Bank Building,
No. 18 Bonham Strand West, Hong Kong
Tel.: +66 (0)83 505 7794
Fax: +66 (0)76 281166