Burmese waters have opened recently to tourism, in 1997. With over 800 islands sprinkled throughout 12,000 square kilometers of crystaline waters, the possibilities are endless.
Myanmar Mergui Archipelago offers a unique combination of breathtaking islands, interesting topography, and little tourists. You'll have the best chances to spend a wonderful time! Consider extending your stay to explore Myanmar on land. From South to North, we have selected five experiences you can do after your liveaboard trip.
At the moment, divers can only explore the South part of Myanmar, with a liveaboard. Often with currents, the dive sites are suitable for advanced divers. The closest dive sites of Myanmar will offer you good macro.
All the liveaboards start on the Thai side, at Ranong city, located only a few kilometers away from the frontier with Myanmar. Liveaboards of Myanmar Mergui Archipelago (5 nights starting from ...) will also bring you to further away dive sites, where you'll get to see more pelagic life.
Western Rocky: a favorite of many divers, Western Rocky is a small island, at the heart of which you can swim through. The wide tunnel is lit by daylight all the way through.
Black Rock: Black Rock is accessible with a liveaboard leaving from Ranong in Thailand (5 nights starting from ...). With a wall dropping to over 100 meters depth (300 feet) and clear waters, the conditions are perfect to spot there pelagic life. Barracudas, tunas, rays and reef sharks are often spotted there.
Seafan forest: plenty of large seafans cover a pinnacle rising from 50 meters (165 feet) depth up to 8 meters (26 feet). You'll spot Leopard sharks and sometimes even whale sharks.
Shark cave: a great spot to see nurse sharks, sting rays, tons of crustaceans such as Durban dancing shrimp or mantis shrimp and moray eels, cowries and sea slugs.
Currently, the only way to dive in Mergui Archipelago is with a liveaboard, leaving from Ranong (UNN) in Thailand.
The shortest way to get there is to fly there from Bangkok domestic airport (DMK) with Air Asia or NOK Air. The flight is only one and a half hour.
Currents can be strong on some sites so have a surface marker buoy, and know how to use it. We also recommend you to have a Nautilus Lifeline, a GPS that would help boats locate you in case you got separated from the group.
We always recommend to have your own dive gear, well maintained, you'll be safer and more comfortable. Light and compact dive gear is particularly suited for travels.
Finally, remember to always use a reef-safe sunscreen.
Start with visiting the Shwedagon Pagoda at sunset (don't forget to cover knees and shoulders), the most famous landmark of the city. The sundown reflects on the golden pagoda and every angle brings a new perspective. After your visit, why not stop at one of Yangoon few roof-top bars and enjoy the end of the evening with views of the city. Atlas Rooftop Bar and Lounge has fantatsic views over the pagoda.
It's wise to spend at least 3 full days to explore Bagan area. Rent a bycicle and start early in the morning. Both sunrises and sunsets are spectacular, however there are far less touriss during sunrises. It provides a unique atmosphere of being privileged to witness such beauty. Start with setting up your alarm early, 5am, grab your bycicle (don't forget your torch) and ask the locals to show you which temple is the best to watch sunrise from. You will probably end up in a less tourist one with a better view.
Finish your trip with a few days relaxing at Inle Lake. During the day, see the unique technique of fishing of the locals, try to visit a local market and other small temples on the hills. If you can, try to sleep on the lake itself it has a unique chill atmosphere.