Burma Diving News
If we get any news relating to diving in Myanmar – Burma such as trip reports, marine life sightings, new trips or liveaboards, anything at all – it will be right here.
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Scroll down to read all Dive The World’s current Burma dive news in chronological order.
Burma – Manta Ray Paradise
Andrea’s first impression of South Burma was one of awe; the stunning scenery of dozens of tiny limestone islands dotting the sea took her breath away. Burma has featured heavily in the news over the last few years due to its controversial govermnents, international embargoes and political prisoners, so it is hard to imagine that this war-torn country boasts such beautiful untouched seascapes.
Andrea’s manta ray research programme has dramatically increased the amount of knowledge that exists about these majestic creatures. The purpose of her Burma visit was to have a closer look at the manta rays that aggregate seasonally in this region.
From late January to early May giant mantas are frequent visitors to the offshore islands along this coast, from Thailand’s Similan Islands, to the archipelagos of Burma further north. These islands – over 800 of them and their associated reef systems, are home to an incredibly rich biodiversity.
On the expedition, there were sightings of many interesting marine creatures at the various dive sites but it was the tiny limestone island of Black Rock that most made an impression on Andrea.
She says; “What I found exceeded every expectation I could have imagined. Forests of fans and soft coral in every colour. Beds of anemones that covered boulders as far as the eyes could see. Schools of low-lying glassfish so dense, that as they hugged the reef they gave off the illusion of a moving carpet. The reefs were alive with crustaceans and tropical fish of every variety and colour.
Cuttlefish provided extravagant light shows in surface waters, as their skin attempted to camouflage them against the canvas of the reef. Game fish from kingfish to barracuda darted in and out of my frame of vision. It was a visual symphony and my senses reeled. Then as if on cue, the mantas arrived out of the blue……Giant mantas filled the water column from the 10 metre mark until they faded into the darkness at 50 metres … Black Rock now stands as one of my top 10 best dive sites of all time.”
Andrea encountered at least 11 individual mantas at Black Rock which indicates this is an important aggregation site for them seasonally. She also successfully satellite-tagged 2 of the mantas on this expedition which will provide valuable data on their migratory habits.
Unfortunately, Burma’s waters have suffered over the years from destructive fishing methods and the results of this are clearly evident in a few areas. However, protective methods are now in place to try to stop over-fishing. What is needed is greater awareness of the ecological importance of these sites and this can be achieved through sustainable dive tourism as it generates revenue for the area and highlights the need for greater marine protection.
So why not go and see for yourself? By taking a Burma Liveaboard holiday you are helping the authorities to recognise the value of thriving numbers of fish and marine creatures in a healthy environment. Your holiday can have a positive impact on the protection of the dive sites, and at the same time it will be a truly memorable and exhilarating experience!
For more on Burma’s underwater world see here: Burma Dive Sites
To enquire about Burma Trips or for more information Contact Dive The World right away on +66 (0)83 505 7794 or send us an email.
Ang Sang Su Kui Release is Positive News For Burma Diving
Burma could be coming in from the cold. Ang Sang Su Kui was released on 13th November 2010. Previously she was held under house arrest for 14 of the last 20 years. This is a positive step for democracy in the country. Wonderful to hear some good news from Myanmar!
Other good news is that more and more divers are returning with enthusiastic reports from their Burma diving trips. The diving season has begun well with mostly sunny days, 33°C temperatures and light winds. The dive sites are not overcrowded and still as pristine as ever. Divers are raving about healthy coral, 1m fans in many colours and creature sightings including leopard sharks and manta rays.
Burma Now Issues Genuine Visas on Arrival
Are you planning a holiday diving in Burma? The news is all good: Myanmar has now implemented a genuine “Visa on Arrival” system, which is available to all nationalities at a fee of US$ 30 for 28 days. Tourist visas have been available at Yangon and Mandalay international airports since 1 May 2010.
This new system is a great start to improving tourism service in the area. In addition, direct flights now operate between Hanoi and Yangon on Vietnam Airlines, Air Bagan is operating flights to Chiang Mai and the railway facilities for travellers to Bagan have been upgraded by Myanmar Railways.
Doesn’t that make Burma diving sound more appealing to you? Contact Dive The World right away to find about more about the liveaboards we offer in Burma.
Call us on +66 (0)83 505 7794 or you could send us an email.
Relief starts to get through to cyclone victims
As stocks of relief supplies reach the victims of the recent cyclone in Burma we are pleased to pass on to you the latest news courtesy of the Phuket Gazette: CAPE PANWA: Stocks of donated food and emergency-shelter supplies today finally began their journey from the Third Naval Command at Cape Panwa to help victims of Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar. Approximately 10 tonnes of supplies were loaded onto four container trucks heading for the Thai-Myanmar Border Fishery Co-ordination Center in Ranong province. From there, the supplies are expected to be distributed to the cyclone victims in Myanmar by Burmese officials. The Third Naval Command had been the main collection point for the many donations by local businesses, charities and individuals, although the Royal Thai Navy had been waiting for the stockpile to become large enough to warrant transporting the supplies to Myanmar in a single trip. As the trucks rolled out, US Navy sailors and Marines began disembarking from three US Navy ships – USS Pearl Harbor, USS Dubuque and USS Benfold – which pulled into the nearby Deep Sea Port about midday. While in Phuket for five days for “rest and recreation”, some of the sailors will lend a hand with some painting at the Phuket Special School in Pa Khlok. “The school has a vocational training building for tailoring and a bakery. This building is 10 x 30 meters with a roof height of 8 meters, and we plan to paint the entire building inside and out,” said Brad Kenny of the Rotary Club of Patong Beach. “A heavy task in two days, but the US Navy and Marines have around 90 volunteers signed up for the work and the Rotary Club of Patong Beach is organizing and prepping the site today and tomorrow,” he added. Mr Kenny went on to explain, “These ships are part of a US Navy amphibious assault group and with their landing capabilities also serve, and are highly trained for, humanitarian assistance during natural disasters. They are in the area to use their disaster-relief capabilities in the event the Myanmar government gives them access up the delta area after the recent cyclone. “They have on board up to four advanced hovercrafts that can travel up to 75 kilometers per hour with a range of 300 miles, and could delivery 60 tonnes of disaster-relief goods per sortie if allowed,” he said. (end of article) The Future As with all disasters it is hoped that relief comes to those in need and that they will quickly be able to return to some sort of normality. From the perspective of the diving industry and to respond to the questions we have been receiving, several liveaboards have reduced their number of trips to visit the remote Burmese waters for the 08/09 season. However there remain a number of scheduled departures beginning in November. See here for more info on Myanmar’s underwater sites: Burma Dive Sites For enquiries or bookings, please call Dive The World – +66 (0)83 505 7794 or you could send us an email
Burma – Does the political unrest affect the diving?
Recent events have put the Burmese political situation back at the top of the worldwide news agenda.
At the time of writing there have been several days of protest followed by a military crackdown that has seen protesting monks and citizens arrested and held in detention in the north of the country.
The international community and the UN have called for reconciliation between the pro-democracy movement and the military junta and we may yet see the fulfilment of the people’s struggle for a free and democratic government.
The question we have been asked is whether the liveaboard trips that run from Thailand into Burmese waters are being cancelled or otherwise adversely affected by recent events. The short answer is no.
It is business as usual for these operators whose guests see nothing of the unrest that we know is occuring in parts of the mainland of Burma.
Dive The World offers Myanmar diving only on liveaboards that are operated out of Thailand. We do not offer any land based tourist activities in Burma. Underwater the abundant and varied marine life goes about its fascinating business oblivious to the human drama being played out in distant parts of the same country.
While we join our voice to those who wish to see a peaceful and orderly progression from an oppressive military regime to a free and democratic society we must also be realistic and honest about the safety and concerns of our customers.
The liveaboard cruises are still operating and bringing customers to some wonderful dive sites of the Similan islands and beyond to the Mergui Archipelago and Burma Banks. Indeed there may be greater availability on these cruises since many will mistakenly conclude that the trips are in some way affected.
So if you are keen to board one of the excellent boats that offers diving in the remote waters of Burma then now may be a great time to do so.
For more on Burma’s underwater world see here: Burma Dive Sites
To enquire about Burma Trips or for more information just ask us:
send us an email, call our PADI 5 Star Dive Centre in Phuket – 083 505 7794, or chat with using our live support system in the right hand margin of our blog.