Why we love it
The thrill of venturing away from the tourist crowds and deep into hundreds of relatively unexplored islands appeals to the adventurous spirit! Myanmar - also known as “Burma” - has been a long-time hermit kingdom and only recently permitted foreign charters to scuba dive their waters. Navigate the Mergui Archipelago and plunge into these magical clear waters with incredible macro life, swim-throughs, and tunnels. Spend your surface interval feeling like Robinson Crusoe on empty white-sand beaches.
Committed to the health of Myanmar’s waters, they work with local and international organizations to protect the area. In 2019, they have organized a cruise to remove ghosts nets with the founders of Myanmar Ocean Project and Ocean Quest Global. They adhere to Longitude 181’s International Charter for Responsible Diving.
Who is it for?
Adventurous divers who like a variety of terrain and challenging conditions (i.e. “strong currents”). Most sites are suitable for deep dives. Other activities include kayaking, island exploration, eating great food(!), and chilling-out in between dives!
Prices and Dates
In the more expensive trip, you’ll dive on a larger variety of sites as you go further north to Torres island, Princept, Tower Rock and The Sisters.
- 17 to 25 dives, according to the cruise chosen
- 5, 7 or 8 nights in a shared cabin, according to the trip chosen
- All meals (breakfast, lunch, afternoon bites, dinner), soft drinks, drinking water, coffee & tea
- Fresh fruit, yogurt, and snacks
- 12 liter aluminum cylinders, weights, and weight belt
- PADI Professional Dive Guide
- Towel & shower gel
- Shared sea kayak and hammocks
What’s not included?
- Limited-entry visa ( )
- Tourist “diving” permit ( to per person depending on trip length)
- Personal insurance
- Alcoholic drinks or cigarettes
- Diving equipment rental ( per day)
- Dive computer rental ( per day)
- Underwater camera rental ( per day)
- Nitrox ( per tank or per day)
- Transfers to and from Ranong (available upon request for a fee)
- Burmese waters only opened to outsiders in 1997 (there’s still lots to discover!)
- Over 800 islands sprinkled across 12,000 sq km of crystal-blue waters
- The small: frogfish, crabs - spider crabs, decorative crabs, sponge crabs, etc. -, seahorses, nudibranchs, and many types of shrimp, including harlequin and marble shrimp
- The large: barracudas, sting rays, turtles, manta rays, and nurse/reef sharks
- Season: the only time to go is November to May
- Currents: strong, changing currents
- Visibility: 5 to 35 m (16 to 115 ft)
- Water Temperature: 25° to 28°C (77° to 82°F)
- Depth: both deep and shallow dives
- Gorgeous landscapes made of caves, soft and hard coral, incredibly rich wildlife and exclusive dive sites
- Dive sites: Western Rocky, Sea fan forest, A secret spot, Mc Leod island, Volcano as known as Seahorse city, High Rock, Shark Cave, North twin, Black Rock, Torres Island - and also Torres island, Princept, Tower rock and The Sisters
- These last four spots depend on the dates of the cruise chosen, with additional cost as they are more remote
- Operation created in 2012
- PADI-certified team offering PADI course instruction from beginner(Open Water) to Divemaster (upon request!)
- Instruction is typically in French and English - ask us about other languages
- Maximum of 4 divers per dive guide
- Equipment Recommended: dive computer, surface marker buoy (SMB), and a whistle
- Insurance: Both dive and travel insurance are mandatory. We partnered with Dive Assure - and can quote you a plan that covers both!
- Nearest Hyperbaric Chamber: Phuket, Thailand
Visas, flights, and more!
Passport must be valid for at least 6 months from the date of arrival
As of August 2017, citizens of France, USA, Japan, Canada, UK, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Spain and many other countries do not need a visa for stay of less than 30 days
Remember, the boat leaves Thailand and returns again - “resetting” the clock on your Thai visa
Verify your entry requirements from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand
For Myanmar (Burma)
You have two options, depending on where you want to finish your trip:
Return to Thailand: In this case, the dive operator will handle your visa entry which is only valid for the Mergui Archipelago. They will handle the interaction with the Burmese immigration, but you’ll need to supply the following:
- in US dollar bills
- One recent passport-sized photo (no specific dimensions)
- The diving fee mentioned above also with US dollar bills
Remain in Myanmar: In this case, you’ll wave goodbye to crew and fellow divers in Kawthoung, the port-side city on the Burmese side before everyone to Ranong. You’ll still need to pay the diving fee, but instead of the Mergui-only visa mentioned above, you’ll apply for an eVisa beforehand which grants entry to visit other places in Burma.
- Get your eVisa from Myanmar Ministry of Labour, Immigration, and Population which costs and is processed within 3 working days
- Bring a printed copy the authorization letter that is emailed to you
NOTE: Be sure to bring clean, new, unmarked, unfolded, and undamaged US currency
How to get there
Ranong, Thailand is the lesser-visited port-side city where the boat leaves from.
- From Bangkok, book a flight with NOK AIR - typically two flights a day from low-cost Don Muang Airport (DMK) which is about an hour’s drive away from Bangkok’s main international airport.
- From Bangkok to Chumphon (~9 hours), followed by a three-hour bus ride to Ranong
- From Bangkok:
- Buses depart from the Southern Bus Terminal(Sai Tai Mai) for Ranong at various times per day (~10 hours)
- From Surat Thani:
- Minibuses leave hourly during the day (~4 hours)
- From Chumphon:
- Minibuses leave hourly during the day (~2.5 hours)
- From Phuket or Khao Lak:
- Buses leave every couple hours (~6 hours)
- From Bangkok:
Bring reef-safe sunscreen, a hat, mosquito repellent, a rash guard, and a sweater or light-weight jacket