The Mergui Archipelago and Burma Banks

The Mergui Archipelago is located in the southernmost part of Myanmar (Burma) and comprises of 800 paradise like islands.

Burma Banks lies roughly 130 km due west of Kuawthaung in open ocean and are enormous, flat topped sea mounts, rising to about 10 meters below the surface, before plunging back down into the surrounding 300 metre deep waters.

The Archipelago

Just north of the Surin Islands, an imaginary line divides Thai waters from Myanmar’s Mergui Archipelago. This vast area covers approximately 36,000 sq km (14,000 sq miles).

Diving here is still much in its youth, as the entire region has been off-limits to outsiders since the late 1940s. The archipelago was opened for tourism in 1997, yet much of the area remains unexplored.

The islands are similar to the Similan Islands , with rugged limestone and granite topography.

One obvious difference, aside from the sheer number of islands, is that during the safari trips it’s rare to see other divers. The sense of an exploratory adventure is always present.

Dense bush and rainforest cover most islands while vast stretches of mangroves and mile-long white-sand beaches are interspersed with rocky headlands, tidal creeks and a few freshwater rivers.

The only human inhabitants in the area are Moken or Salone Sea gypsies. They live on boats during dry season and remain on land during rainy season. They still practice the same fishing and boat building techniques used for generations.

Under The Surface

With a diversity of coral and marine species that even tops the Similan and Surin Islands there is almost limitless possibilities on how and where to dive here.

The Dive Sites here are considered to be world class. Reefs, drop-offs, sea mounts, caves and tunnels, which sometimes cut right trough island with exits on both sides. Fish life is abundant.

Some of the dive sites can have some stronger currents and negative entry might be the best and safest way to descent on these sites. Therefore we do not recommend anyone that’s fresh out of their Open Water course to join on these trips.

For the inexperienced divers our 3 or 4 Day and Night liveaboard is a much better option.

If you do have a few dives under your belt, Burma will offer amazing dive sites which sometimes can be a bit challenging but in the end very rewarding.

Scuba diving in the Mergui Archipelago and the Burma Banks is and adventurous experience with dive sites that will stay in your memory for life.