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Mergui Archipelago Burma Liveaboard (17 dives, 6 days, 5 nights)

Not Rated
Duration

6 days, 5 nights

Tour Type

Specific Tour

Group Size

16 people

Languages

English

Overview

MERGUI ARCHIPELAGO, BURMA – MYANMAR

If you want the most unique diving experience on the planet, then Myanmar ( formerly known as Burma ) is the place for you. Its waters were closed off until 1997, which means that they are relatively unexplored and undiscovered by even some of the most seasoned divers. With gorgeous landscapes made of caves, soft and hard corals, incredibly rich wildlife, and exclusive dive sites, it is diving like you’ve never done it before.

Burma’s Mergui Archipelago offers over 800 islands sprinkled throughout 12,000 square kilometers of crystalline waters just begging to be discovered. Since Burmese waters were opened, only a few boats have begun to appear, yet the islands remain almost entirely uninhabited save for the odd Burmese sea gypsies. Most divers who go to Burma seek the mysterious waters of the Mergui Archipelago. This off-the-beaten-path diving destination is made mostly from limestone ( ensuring there are plenty of caves and tunnels) and a few granite pinnacles circled by a wide diversity of corals of beautiful colour.

CONDITIONS FOR DIVING

Water conditions are dependant on annual monsoons governing Myanmar’s climate. November to April is the North-East monsoon. Winds blow across Myanmar bringing cool, dry air from China. Offshore winds create favorable sea conditions.

May to October the climate is controlled by the South-West monsoon. Strong winds carrying hot, humid air from the Indian Ocean bring clouds, heavy rainfall, and make for unsafe sea conditions. Travel to the Mergui Archipelago is not recommended.

BEST TIME OF THE YEAR FOR DIVING

Optimum weather and sea conditions for visiting the Mergui Archipelago is between JAN and APR. Best time to encounter Giant Manta rays at Black Rock and westerly dive sites.

PRICE FOR LIVEABOARD 6 DAYS/5 NIGHTS ON MV SMILING SEAHORSE
  • Standard cabins with two shared bathroom: 45,000 THB (total 4 pax)
  • Deluxe cabins with own bathroom: 47,000 THB (total 8 pax)
  • Master cabins with own bathroom : 50,000 THB (total 4 pax)

Itinerary and Dive site could be flexible due the weather & current

Videos

Highlights

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Itinerary

Day 1

Meeting at dive center headquarters between 9:00 am and 12pm. 

​At 2pm we will head to the immigration office to get the necessary exit stamps from Thailand and then make our way to board the magnificent MV Smiling Seahorse. Upon crossing the border into Myanmar, immigration officers will board in Kawthaung and do the necessary border crossing screening. Once the paperwork is completed, we will head out to sea!

At sunset we will hold a ceremony to launch our voyage. Then it will be time for your first scrumptious meal before being rocked to sleep by the waves.​​

Day 2

KNOCK KNOCK, Dive briefing! Wake up to the friendly call of the ocean (and your eager dive guide) as we start the cruise with a day at South Twin Island. Sitting in the outskirts of the Mergui Archipelago, this dive site is quite scenic with consistent crystal visibility and a topography of huge granite boulders. We have even been lucky enough the start the voyage off in style with a guest appearance from a majestic manta ray. Macro lovers will also be treated to chances of ghost pipefish, seahorses and frogfish! We end the first day of diving with a night dive searching for pygmy squid, candy crabs, cowries and nudibranchs!

Day 3

We will explore 3 dive sites around Shark Cave. Things to see in this area include Ghost Pipefish, Harlequin Shrimps, Frogfish, Seahorse and gorgeous coral everywhere. And if you’re extra lucky you may even catch a glimpse of a Manta Ray, Eagle Ray, Whale Shark, Grey Reef Shark, Nurse Shark and big blotched Stingray. Between dives 2 and 3, we invite you to get some sand between your toes on your surface interval on the pristine beach of the nearby island.

For night dive, we will give you the option to dive your favourite of the 3 sites you saw on Shark cave’s dives. Keep an eye out for a plethora of crustaceans and other macro life. We often see the undulating Spanish dancer nudibranch here. 

Day 4

On this day we will reach our furthest point in the Mergui Archipelago at North Twin. It should be an exciting day as this dive site will offer the best visibility of the trip and the best chance to see large pelagic marine creatures like manta rays, eagle rays, whale sharks, grey reef sharks, nurse sharks and zebra sharks. Coral lovers will be in awe of the massive sea fans here as well. ​ ​

Day 5

On this fifth day of the cruise we will visit the neighbourhood of  Western Rocky. The first dive will be at the nearby Seafan Forest which is carpeted in massive colourful sea fans (surprise!) and lush purple soft corals. This magical site has graced us with up to 4 whale sharks at once, so depending on our luck we can choose to stay here or move to the center of the Western rocky region. The main island has a glorious swim through full of lobsters that passes from one side of the island to the other. The sandy bottom surrounding it gives rise to a collection of islets and secret pinnacles that are home to a multitude of macro critters as well as vibrant coral and several types of sharks including the rare Bowmouth guitarfish.

Day 6

The last dive goes into a volcano where a group of Black Tip Sharks likes to hang around. It is also a site rich in macro life where the question is not if you will see a seahorse, the question is how many? Up to 10 per dive if you have good eyes as well as rare species such as shaded Batfish, Comet Long Fins or Pineapple Fish.   

After the last dive we will head back toward Kawthoung where there will be opportunity to explore the market or enjoy the hospitality with a beer in the local pub. Once we got our passports back from the Burmese authorities, we will sail back to Thailand where we get a new visa stamp  (30 days or 15 days depending on your country of origin).

Included/Excluded

  • 17 Dives during the Trip (6Days/5Nights)
  • Full accommodation and board (Breakfast, Lunch, afternoon bites, Dinner)
  • Air-con
  • All soft drinks, drinking water, filter coffee & tea
  • Fresh fruits, yoghurt & snacks
  • 12 Liter Alum. Cylinders, Weights & Weight Belt
  • Professional Dive Guide
  • Towel, shower gel
  • Sea kayak and hammock
  • You will have to apply for an E-visa for Myanmar, cost: 50$, port of entry: Kawthaung
  • https://evisa.moip.gov.mm/Home/PortofEntry
  • Burmese entry and diving Fees: 180 USD / Person
  • PERSONAL INSURANCE compulsory
  • Alcoholic drinks and cigarettes
  • Equipment rental 600 THB/day
  • Computer (300 THB/day) or camera (400 THB/day) rental
  • PADI Continuing Education Courses
  • Nitrox (250 THB/tank or 3 600 THB/trip )
  • Transfers to and from Ranong (on demand)

Durations

6 days

Tour's Location

FAQs

How do I get to your location? Is transfer included in the price?

Transfer is not included in the price.

  • GLOW Elixir resort – 400 THB (5 mins. drive)
  • Loh Pared Bay area (Santhiya Resort & Spa, Blue Bay resort, Yao Yai Resort, Heimat Garden) – 700 THB roundtrip (20 mins. drive)
  • North of Koh Yao Yai (Koh Yao Yai Village, Hillside resort, Betterview Resort, Thiwson bungalow – 800 THB roundtrip (35 mins. drive)

Price of the transfer is always roundtrip and is per car. We split the costs, if there are more guests from the same area. Please send us resort name and your room number to arrange the transfer and pick up.

We recommend renting a motorbike to come to our office (250 THB/day). There is very little traffic on Koh Yao Yai and motorbike is also great way to explore the island.

Do I need an Open Water Diver (OWD) certification?

Yes, OWD certificate is required for all our diving trips with the exception of our SCUBA diving courses.

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