As the winter fades away and the wind gets warmer, it looks like the sea breeze is sending a secret invitation to get the swim suits and diving gears out and enjoy the oceanic beauty. Diving is an interesting hobby that people can enjoy not only the marvelous sea creatures and other marine ecology but the shipwrecks and other mysteries that the deep blue sea is hiding from the day light. Therefore if you are a fan of diving, this article gives you the ideal or the top ten diving sites in Asia.
Pulau Sipadan, Malaysia
This island is the Malaysia’s one and only oceanic island. However it has amazing tropical touch with crystal clear water. This is based on a volcanic cone which then lead to millions of living corals. Pulau Sipadan is blessed with a rich aquatic environments to many sea creatures resulting it is one of the top ten diving sites in Asia. There are hundreds of coral species and over 300o fish species identified in this area. The unique feature in Pupau Sipadan is the turtle tomb. It is an underwater cave built with limestones. It has many narrow tunnels and chambers which sometimes trap turtles. So this place is full of dead turtle shells. The green turtles are often seen in this area.
Unfortunately, this place is threaten with coral thieves and coral bleaching that occur as a result of increasing temperature.
Similan Islands, Thailand
Similan Islands in Thailand are definitely one of the top ten diving sites in Asia due to its sun kissed sparking waters and amazing huge dramatic boulders. This is an ideal place for diving as well as for a relaxing vacation. Manta rays, Whale sharks and Turtles are often seen in this area. However some of these areas are closed during the monsoon season.
This world class diving site has unfortunately fallen victim to illegal fishing.
Derawan Islands, East Kalimantan, Indonesia
Derawan Islands consist 4 inhabited islets and 2 uninhabited islets. This is one of the top ten diving sites in Asia due to its large and unique marine diversity. This ranges from Stingless jellyfish, Coconut crabs to large whales and Dolphines. This is a very famous spot for snorkeling as well. It is ideal as it is free from natural predators too.
However this place is threaten with excessive human activities such as outboard motor use.
Mergui Archipelago, Myanmar
This place is blessed with golden sandy beaches surrounded with a thick tropical tree line. It is comprised of around 800 islets and coral reefs. Bit isolated from rest of the world making it a nice site for exploratory divers. The natural beauty of Mergui Archipelago is highlighted with its massive boulders, tunnels, drop offs and caves. Manta rays, Red lionfish and sharks are often found in this area.
Luckily, this place is not damaged with sea bleaching, over development or high nutrient loading. However, blast fishing and trawling still damages this natural habitat.
Raja Ampat Islands, Indonesia
This site is privileged with the highest recorded diversity of marine species on the earth including 537 coral species and 1074 fish species. Sapphire blue water and high range of marine ecology makes it one of the top ten dive sites in Asia.
This area is highly resistant to sea bleaching but still threaten with over fishing, pollution and urbanization of coast line. However the Indonesian government and many other agencies have taken steps to minimize this damage without causing damage to coastal livelihood.
Andaman Islands, India
Andaman Islands are also blessed with sun kissed white sandy beaches of around 300 islands. This beauty magnifies with its mangroves and tropical rainforests. The diversity of marine life ranges from Elusive Ribboned sweetlip fish to sharks and rays make Andaman Islands a popular diving site in Asia.
Indian government has taken steps to minimize the damage that can cause to this natural beauty by banning commercial fishing around these islands.
Komodo Island, Indonesia
This is also one of the top ten diving sites in Asia. This island got its name due to the large population of Komodo dragon monitor lizards in here. It is also blessed with savannah, mangroves and also has rusty red volcanic hills. The colorful coral reefs around the coast line makes it an ideal place for dive. The marine diversity ranges from sunfish, fascinating pygmy seahorses to large rays and dolphins. This makes the place a more vibrant and most diverse dive spots in the world.
Unfortunately, dynamite fishing is causing much damage to this area but the local government has taken measures to this by introducing electric reefs to rebuild the coral system.
Tulamben, Bali, Indonesia
This can be known as Bali’s most famous dive spot as well as the one of the top ten dive sites in Asia. This place is dense with a vibrant collection of fish species as well as marvelous coral system including batfish, angelfish, Puffer fish and hawk fish. Not just that, this is a very good spot for exploratory divers as there is a wrecked Japanese torpedo that was sunk during the World War II.
However, high tourism rate causes damage to this place.
Kerama Islands, Okinawa, Japan
Kerama Islands comprise of 20 small and large islands which are surrounded by very rich and colorful coral reef system. Unbelievably transparent waters and this vibrant oceanic system makes this site one of the top ten diving sites in Asia. Different types of cuttlefish and humpback whales are often seen in this area.
Local community in this area take effort to protect this natural oceanic eco system while supporting the tourism industry.
Tubbataha reef national marine park, Philippines
This is declared as a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1993. This park provides home to many colorful coral reefs and well as many fish species. UN describe the place as “a pristine coral reef with a spectacular 100m perpendicular wall, extensive lagoons and two coral islands”.
Unfortunately, oil exploration efforts, shipping and marine pollution disrupts this oceanic system and as a result many species of aquatic animals as well as aquatic plants are endangered now. However, the government has named the buffer zones and has introduced anti- littering laws to prevent the damage.