10 Scuba Diving Places in South East Asia: The Fascinating Underwater World
Scuba diving is a wonderful activity to do when you are looking for something exciting and new to try. There are many different places that offer scuba diving, but not all of them have the same quality. For this blog post, we will go in depth into 10 scuba diving locations in south east asia and what makes each one unique!
1. Phuket, Thailand
Phuket, Thailand is one of the most famous spots for scuba diving in southeast Asia. The clear water makes it easy to see everything that there is down below and the variety of sea life does not disappoint either! There are many different dive locations around Phuket such as Ko Phing Kan (the James Bond Island), Chalong Bay, Phi-Phi Islands, or Shark Point – all with their own unique features.
When you visit these underwater locations through a tour company like Scuba Do Diving Centre for example, they will provide you with an experienced instructor who will show you how to use your equipment properly before take off. Once on the boat headed out into the ocean from any pier at Phuket, you will be provided with tanks of air and weights for your scuba gear.
The boat ride can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour depending on the location where you are going diving. Once there, the instructor will help get into your suit and once suited up head down below! The rest is just stunning scenery waiting for you in a whole new world that cannot easily be seen above sea level.
Another popular place to go scuba diving in southeast Asia is Indonesia at Bunaken National Marine Park near Manado. Here it’s possible to see giant turtles, dolphins, or even Manta Rays! You won’t regret exploring this underwater natural spectacle after meeting so many unusual creatures while looking through the clear water.
2. Sipadan Island, Malaysia
Located at east of Sabah, Malaysia, and declared the best diving site in the world.
If you want to experience what it’s like to be a sea turtle or come face-to-face with an octopus then this is for you! Divers can also explore shipwrecks from World War II.
It offers walls that are up to 150 meters high and visibility of more than 30 meters in crystal clear water making it one of Asia’s most popular destinations. Sipadan is home to over 450 species including sharks, turtles, stingrays, barracudas as well as many other fish who will make your dive even better if they happen by chance across your path. There are plenty on excursions offered at this location too so feel free to explore the underwater world in whatever way you can.
It used to be one of the dangerous places to visit due to the kidnappings and terrorist activities but now it is one of the most popular places for diving in southeast Asia. The government has deployed a number of military personnel to protect the area as well.
3. Bali, Indonesia
- Nusa Penida – The reason why nusa penida is so popular is because it is home to many scuba diving destinations. The popular reefs are Benete, Kelingking Beach and Menjangan Island with their high population of sea turtles. There are plenty on excursions offered at this location too so feel free to explore the underwater world in whatever way you can. There’s a chance that our friendly local guide will take us out for some snorkelling or maybe even wake boarding as well if we’re lucky!
- The Blue Lagoon – This is my 2nd recommendation because it is the perfect place to go if you’re looking for something a little calmer. The visibility of this spot is also quite good so snorkelling or diving enthusiasts should not be disappointed!
- West Bali National Park – This is my favorite spot to explore in the whole of Indonesia! The main reason for this is because it’s full of rare marine life. For example, there are hawksbill turtles and maybe even a few green turtles too. This really makes it an area which will excite any budding underwater explorer!
- Tulamben – visit Sanur beach which is one of the most beautiful in all Bali. Why I like this diving area so much is because it’s not only famous for the sunken ship but also has some of the rarest and interesting fish that you’ll find anywhere in Indonesia. YOu can find macro nudibranchs and big fishes among others.
4. Malapascua Island, Cebu
This island offers an abundance of coral reefs and diverse sea life. You haven’t seen the world until you’ve been to Malapascua Island, Cebu. The waters are crystal-clear and full of marine life that will leave your mouth watering for more!
Malapascua Island is a destination for scuba divers, snorkelers and fisherman alike. One of the most popular spots includes diving off the pier while being surrounded by all sorts of brightly colored fish like clownfish to make your trip one you’ll never forget!
Malapascua Island offers an abundance of coral reefs and diverse sea life that makes it perfect for both underwater adventurers or beach bums looking to relax onshore. Not only does this island provide some amazing sights under water with its treasure sharks but also provides great opportunities in fishing as well from shoreline casting rods or deep sea trolling lures just offshore making every visit worth coming back again soon!
5. Similan Islands National Park, Thailand
One of the best places for underwater photography with its spectacular rock formations
The Similan Islands National Park in Thailand is one of the best places for underwater photography with its spectacular rock formations. The reefs are abundant and contain an array of colorful coral, fish species mixed among a diverse range of other sea life such as turtles, octopuses, sharks and even whales if you’re lucky! This place is paradise on earth; it’s well worth your time to visit this wondrous national park filled with natural wonders that will leave any traveler astonished or at least mesmerized by all that surrounds them.
6. Komodo National Park (Komodo Island)
Indonesia – home to the Komodo Dragon, the world’s largest living lizard and one of only two known species of monitor lizards
Diving in Komodo is such a unique experience because it allows you to swim and snorkel among the Komodo Dragons. They are in abundance here because they rely on seawater for drinking, as they have no other freshwater sources. The dragons can be seen sunbathing or grooming themselves where you may think that these creatures would chase away any intruders but fear not! During this time of day you will be able to observe these magnificent creatures from a close distance before they head back into the forest.
Komodo National Park is also home to many other endemic and unusual species such as deer, wild pigs, monkeys, water buffalos and bats. One of the most popular activities in this area are walking treks through some of Indonesia’s oldest rainforest.
7. Raja Ampat, Indonesia
In Indonesia, diving into Raja Ampat is a must. The island of Salawati has some incredible underwater treasures to show you and the reef off Sorong displays an amazing rainbow assortment of fish with vibrant colors that will blow your mind!
It is not the easiest place to visit in terms of transportation, but it is the most rewarding! It took us 2 full days to travel including the waiting time but it was worth it.
The diving in Raja Ampat is one of the best experiences you will ever have and I guarantee that if you visit, a lifelong dream will come true!
You can find all sorts of aquatic life here such as turtles, sharks, whale sharks (although they are not an endangered species anymore!), giant grouper. Also small things like nudibranchs, coral reefs, and anemones.
8. Tioman island, Malaysia
This is a little island in Malaysia. It’s really beautiful, and the water is so clear it makes you feel like you’re on vacation almost instantly! I love going there to swim or scuba dive because of how easy everything was when we were looking for dolphins one time. There are also some great places to take photos too which always make wonderful memories later on if you want them with your loved ones back at home.
It’s really beautiful, and the water is so clear it makes you feel like you’re on vacation almost instantly! I love going there to swim or scuba dive because of how easy everything was when we were looking for dolphins one time. There are also some sharks swimming around which can be scary but it’s also pretty cool to watch. There are also some great places for photos too so you could make memories with your loved ones back home. Check out the best dive centre in tioman.
9. Pulau Hantu, Singapore
The water was dark and murky. I could see the underwater plants waving in front of me, but it didn’t take long for my eyes to adjust from all that sunlight above ground so suddenly plunging into this darkness. As a newbie diver, I couldn’t help feeling intimidated by how vast everything looked under there; like an entire world with no end or beginning existed beneath these clear waters where you can only rely on your sense of direction as well as what little light filters through the surface layer down below!
I had always been passionate about scuba diving ever since I learned more about its importance back when we were still discussing ocean preservation projects at school – which is one reason why Pulau Hantu caught my eye during our vacation before covid. If you’re into macro diving, this is the best city to visit while you can enjoy diving at the same time.
Scuba diving is a fun sport for people of all ages. There are many Scuba Courses in Singapore that teach you to dive safely and enjoyably, as well as what type of gear suits your needs best! I’m not sure if I want my son or daughter to be the one who jumps into this watery abyss first but we’ll see how it goes…
10. Layang-Layang Malaysia
To be able to dive in Layang-Layang Malaysia is an experience that one should not miss. The water is crystal clear and the coral reefs are beautiful.
The feeling of diving into a different world, so close yet so far from what we know on land, can only described as surrealistic and magical at best because you feel like Alice tumbling down her rabbit hole until she exits through another opening which then leads back out onto dry ground again! Hammerhead sharks and manta rays are just two of the many marine animals to be found here.
There are also various levels – so whether you’re a beginner or an experienced diver, this is the place for you!
The Bottom Line
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about all the different scuba diving locations in South East Asia. You may have even found one that sounds perfect for your next trip! Whether it’s a new location or an old favorite, we recommend picking up some of our amazing Scuba Diving gear at Dive Right In before you head out on your adventure. We offer beautiful and functional equipment so no matter where you are going, you’ll be able to dive comfortably and safely with us by your side.