With more than 800 islands in the Andaman Sea, diving in this mostly undiscovered area should be on the top of the wish list of any Scuba diver. Ngapali and Ngwe Saung, two beach destinations on the west coast of Myanmar (Bay of Bengal), offer good and easy scuba diving possibilities as well. Despite the undisputed potential of its over-2000 km tropical coastline, the scuba diving industry in Myanmar is still very much in its infancy. For decades the coastal waters were more or less prohibited for tourist divers, and a few operators from Thailand approached the ‘Burma Banks’ with 6 or 7-day live-aboard dive safaris from Phuket and Khao Lak.
Slow developments have been seen in Myanmar’s scuba diving offer, despite the rapidly growing interest in Myanmar as a beach and scuba diving destination. The most beautiful dive sites in the Southern Mergui Archipelago were first only reached through Thai dive safari operators based in Ranong, a border town. In total there are now only five reliable Myanmar scuba diving operators at the time of writing, offering trips to already known dive sites in the Southern Mergui Archipelago, and to dive sites in Ngwe Saung and Ngapali. With hardly any other diving group in sight, and with still many undiscovered dive sites around, diving in Myanmar is a true adventurous experience.