I’ve had plenty of memorable travel experiences, but my first diving experience still exposed my mind and body to sensations I’ve never felt before. “It’s a whole new world down there,” my instructor used to say before our dives and I cannot agree more. With the ocean covering 71% of the Earth’s surface, there is much to explore and understand. For most of us though, diving is more of a hobby that allows us to get away from the pressures of life and escape to a different world. With diving becoming increasingly popular in the region, here’s our Top Dive Destinations in Southeast Asia.
1. Sipadan, Malaysia
Dive off an old oil rig at Sipadan. This is one of the dive sites around Southeast Asia that’s regularly featured as one of top ten places to dive in the world. There’s a limited amount of dive permits available each day so remember to plan properly!
2. Gili Islands, Indonesia
The Gili Islands is touted as the turtle capital of the World. It’s no surprise given the population of Green and Loggerhead Turtles there. There’s also a turtle sanctuary on the main beach where you can see baby turtles before they are released back to the ocean.
3. Raja Ampat Islands, Indonesia
The realm of the four kings at the Raja Ampat archipelago boasts one of the highest recorded marine diversity in the World. With up to 1,508 fish species, 537 coral species and 699 mollusk species recorded, there is lots to explore.
4. Similan Islands, Thailand
Probably the best diving area in Thailand, the crystal clear waters of Similan Islands are a paradise for divers. You can even spot mantas and whale sharks between the months of Febuary and May! Do note that the dive sites are closed from May to August though.
5. Kakaban, Indonesia
Although there are numerous dive sites around Kakaban, the highlight of the place has to be the jellyfish lake in the middle of the island. The unique conditions of the lake has created an environment where your can snorkel with stingless jellyfish around you . These is how these lovely jellyfishes look!
6. Layang Layang, Malaysia
Dive with schools of hammerhead sharks in the northwest of Sabah during their mating season in the months of April and May. There are also 13 coral reefs largely unspoilt by man to explore during the hammerhead shark off-season.
7. Komodo Island, Indonesia
Beyond the Komodo dragons, the island is named as one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature in 2011. The convergence of warmer and cooler waters in the region created an environment for an astonishing variety of marine life that ranges from colourful reef gardens, to whales and mantas.
8. Palawan, Philippines
Explore Japanese shipwrecks from WWII and get up close with the gentle Dugongs. There’s a large variety of other marine life like pigmy seahorses, angler fish, ghost pipe fish, mantas, whale sharks and green sea turtles as well.
Got other great diving sites in Southeast Asia to recommend? Drop a comment below. If you are looking for great diving sites outside of Asia, why not check out what Waikiki Scuba has to offer!
About The Guest Blogger
Hendric is a freelance designer and traveler who blogs at http://pohtecktoes.com. He enjoys capturing moments with his GoPro, loves the outdoors, dance, and everything potato. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter @pohtecktoes.