Dive Destinations in Asia
As an experienced dive instructor who has been diving and travelling around the world for many years I am sharing my personal opinion, photos and comparable information about dive destinations and dive centers. Compare dive sites to your own interest and experience level and explore some great snorkeling and surface interval adventures.
If you think Taiwan is an interesting country to visit, wait until you put your head underwater. With crystal clear waters, coral reefs that easily go down to 30 m / 100 ft and dramatic seascapes Green Island (Lyudao) is a must visit for freedivers and SCUBA divers in Taiwan.
How about stunning wall dives, weird creatures in the sand and mangrove diving in between? It is all possible when you go to North Sulawesi for your dive holiday! Tips for planning your trip and why you should choose Thalassa Dive Resorts Indonesia for your stay in Manado and Lembeh.
Have a look at photos from all kinds of nudibranchs and sea slugs you can spot while SCUBA diving around Anilao, The Philippines. The nudibranch capital of the world at its full glory! Learn the basics and identify nudibranchs you have seen in Anilao with this list and underwater photos.
Hairy crab, ghostpipefish, candy crab, pygmy seahorse, flamboyant cuttlefish, frog fish, whip coral shrimp, ribbon eels - if any of those stunning creatures is on your list - book your SCUBA dive trip to Anilao now! Find them in between all the nudibranchs as Anilao is the nudibranchs capital of the world!
Did you know Pattaya is the wreck diving destination of Thailand? Even if you do not like wreck diving, this is where you will find schools of fish and countless marine life species! Discover the wrecks of the Pattaya's near and far islands by day trip.
The island closest to Bangkok is Ko Si Chang or Koh Sichang. It's tropical, has coral reefs and still has an authentic Thai island vibe. Ocean lovers, SCUBA divers and snorkelers should not miss these 3 things to do on Ko Si Chang!
Ko Si Chang is the place to go if you want to squeeze in a day of local Thai vibes and SCUBA diving before you leave Thailand. Visit coral reefs in the making supported by the DMCR (Department of Marine and Coastal Resources), enjoy the anemone gardens and search for nudibranch at Hin Sampayu.
With easy access from Tokyo it is no surprise the famous Izu peninsula and Izu islands are a hot spot for SCUBA diving lovers. With a high marine diversity reachable by shore diving you can expect busy days. SCUBA Diving at Izu Oceanic Park, often mentioned as THE BEST of Izu, and how to avoid the crowds!
The ama 'women divers' have been around for 3000 to 5000 years. While skin diving (free diving) these women collect seafood and pearl oysters. You can experience this hoped-for UNESCO intangible cultural heritage at various places, pick your favourite or visit them all.
The scenic Fuji Five Lakes area holds breathtaking sceneries of Mount Fuji. Why conquer the mountain if you can explore it's depths?! Let's SCUBA Dive in one of the Fuji Five Lakes. From volcanic rock formations to a spooky dive area that looks like straight from a horror movie and if you like Japanese folklore, try to find Mossy - the lake monster of Lake Motosu.
Shikoku island is all about exploring nature. From stunning hidden valleys and seemingly endless mountain ranges to rugged Pacific coastlines with natural whirlpools. Time to see what's hidden beneath the waves.
Fukuoka is one of the major cities of Japan although it is not on the list of many tourists. It's more local and personal, just like SCUBA diving around here. Experience local culture, learn some Japanese and a bit of glamping!
Tropical Japan in the far South offers undiscovered paradise, stunning beach escapes and turquoise blue waters. Maybe you have heard of Okinawa as a popular dive and holiday destination, but there are countless more remote islands to discover above and below. Ishigaki 'Manta island' and it's coral reef reviewed by a pro.
The name crab farm might raise an eyebrow but in this case it does not represent farming crabs for eating. This is an ecology experience center where you can learn all about the local crabs in a beautiful facility build with love from recycled materials by a local Hwangto artist.
Do you think swimming pools are boring and only for training dives? Think again! Some swimming pools are deep enough to log as a real dive. In South Korea there is even a pool that goes down to 26 meters / 85 feet. Fun diving in the deepest swimming pool of Asia: K-26!
South Korea's East coast is the most popular dive area as it's only a few hours driving from Seoul. While on a mission to dive all the coasts of South Korea this SCUBA diving area turned out to be another mission impossible - even in high season. Finally I succeeded - but was it worth it?
The Haenyeo (women divers), some in their 80s, dive to collect seaweed, shellfish and other seafood in a unique way (Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO). You can still see some of these sea mermaids 'at work' and learn all about their history and culture in the Haenyeo museum on Jeju island. Continue reading for impressive facts and practical information.
South Korea's favourite holiday destination and one of the new 7 wonders of nature has a great adventure for you down below the surface. With possible strong currents, not the best visibility and some rock climbing involved - it is not for the faint-hearted - but a MUST DO experience in many ways!
If you are planning to SCUBA dive at Lembeh, Bunaken and/or Bangka you might be thinking of spending some time in Manado. Find out other things to do in Manado and North Sulawesi, the best bars & restaurants and where to stay on a budget.
If you are looking for a more quiet place on Bali with awesome diving, the North - East coast is your spot! Amed is a developing town with a beautiful long coast line with bays of black sand beaches any many great dive spots.
Are you a certified diver and planning a holiday to Bali? Plan a trip to Nusa Penida and dive with manta rays and mola molas! Nusa Penida is an island South-East of Bali. The most famous dive spots here are Manta Point and Crystal Bay.
The Liberty Wreck, or the USAT Liberty, is probably one of the most visited wrecks in the world. It is beautifully overgrown with marine life, easy accessible (shore dive) and laying at shallow depth! And... there is more in Tulamben...
SCUBA diving around Komodo in Indonesia is on many divers wish list as it is known for world class diving. Should you go on a liveaboard or do day-trips here? What are the best dive sites? Dive center recommendation and more!
If you like to look for macro (the small stuff) underwater - go treasure hunting in the black lava sand of Lembeh Strait in North Sulawesi, Indonesia! It is definitely world class muck diving here!
Where to start writing about one of the most beautiful places in the world? How to express the beauty and exclusivity of this paradise? It is incredible what you can see on a single dive, countless marine species, colorful fish and soft corals everywhere! WOW!
The best dive spot in Thailand is arguably Richelieu Rock which is accessible with a day trip. Explore what lies beneath at this incredible dive spot in the Surin National Park, just North of the Similan Islands in the Andaman Sea.
If you think Phi Phi is only about partying you are wrong. It is touristy and it can be packed with backpackers but nature is amazing, especially around Phi Phi Leh. Above and below you can find incredible rock formations with stunning cliffs that change in to an incredible seascape full of life.
Diving in the Andaman Sea is awesome! Koh Lipe is the Southernmost island of Thailand, offering over 20 different dive sites in the Tarutao National Marine Park and Butang archipelago. Rock formations with pelagic, impressive amounts of soft corals and macro, all is there for you to discover.
If you are looking for a great place to dive with a large diving community this is your island! Dive centers, dive guides and people doing various SCUBA diving courses and internships are all around. With a large variety of dive spots you can easily enjoy yourself for a holiday or stick around longer...
Sail Rock is a huge underwater pinnacle with only the tip sticking out of the water. With currents swirling around the rock that drops down to 40 meters you can expect an explosion of marine life. This is my favourite dive spot in the Gulf of Thailand!
Have you ever heard of Bamboo and Coral Catsharks? You can find them around Koh Rong and Koh Rong Samloem Island as well as some incredible nudibranch species. Cambodia offers a different kind of diving in the Gulf of Thailand!
Borneo has some of the worlds most amazing dive spots, filled with schools of fish, tiny colorful creaturs, sharks and so much more! One of those spots you have to see once in your life. Read about how to do it on a budget!
Laying in between the islands Langkawi and Penang on the North-Eastern side of the Malaysian peninsula you can find the Pulau Payar Marine Park. Soft corals, nudibranchs and many clown fish species around. The reef is amazing but the day trip was horrible in many ways.
The Philippines has an amazing number of SCUBA dive regions. If you are looking for a place close to Manila the town Puerto Galera is a great option. This lovely local village is all about SCUBA diving and the dive spots are incredible!
How about combining two bucket list creatures in one single day? At Malapascua you can dive with Thresher sharks around sunrise and Mandarin fish during sunset with another great reef dive in between!
SCUBA diving with countless Jack fish swirling around is like a National Geographic experience in real life. Often a huge group of Big eye Trevally (Caranx sexfasciatus) form a bait ball or tornado underwater at Balicasag island.
From the thrill of treasure hunting for tiny creatures in the sand and rubbish to excellent coral reef diving with tons of fish. Combine those different types of SCUBA dive in Dumaguete, in the Visayas province of The Philippines.
Amazing reefs, abundant marine life, dozens of dive sites and even shoals of sardines in the tropics! Explore the lovely dive town of Moalboal and SCUBA dive around Pescador Island.