Asia is famous for its huge variety of different dive sites. Many so-called Worldclass dive sites like Komodo, Raja Ampat, Sipadan or Anilao lie in this region. Each of these is famous for another type of diving.

The variety possible in Asia is limitless, almost any kind of diving is possible here with some of the best coral reefs of the world, a huge diversity of fish life, the most amazing macro life along with some wrecks and megafauna.

The most diverse region is the coral triangle in Southeast Asia where the South China Sea, the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean meet. This region holds the highest biodiversity in the world with 600 species of coral and 2000 species of fish. This makes it one of the best areas to dive in and thousands of divers travel there every year to enjoy the underwater world.

Asia is the largest and most populated continent covering 30% of the earth’s land area. While many of the countries are not very famous for the diving some others most definitely are.

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South East Asia

The whole area offers coral reefs, tropical fish and macro life while many amazing dive sites can be found in the Philippines, eastern Indonesia and Malaysia as well as Timor Leste partly because of the high biodiversity within the coral triangle.


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Brunei is not a very famous destination, possibly also due to the absence of booze, cigarettes and beaches. However, it actually does offer amazing wrecks and some nice reef diving.



The diving in the warm waters off Cambodia is fairly shallow (up to 15 meters) and provides a great opportunity for backpackers travelling through the country to learn how to dive without the crowds. A lot of the diving further off the coast has yet to be explored.


East Timor

Even though East Timor is a bit more expensive than its neighbour Indonesia it is definitely worth a visit. With only 3 dive shops in the whole country you won’t ever encounter other groups during your dives. The reefs are pristine and the macrolife diverse. Around the island Atauro big animal encounters are possible all year round and during the season many different species of whales can be seen migrating past this small country.



Indonesia is a huge country consisting of about 18’000 islands and it offers countless worldclass dive sites. The highest biodiversity of the world can be found in the reefs of Indonesia. It also offers some of the best muck diving in the world, the craziest currents in Komodo with almost guaranteed manta encounters as well as the most beautiful reefs. It is my personal favorite and I think it is not possible in a lifetime to visit all of its incredible underwater miracles. The most famous might be Komodo, Raja Ampat, Bali, Wakatobi, Lembeh, Bunaken and the Gili islands. Many dive sites are still to be discovered.



Sipadan, an island off the Malay part of Borneo, makes it into almost all of the top dive site lists. However, besides this marine reserve Malaysia has a lot more to offer around the islands of Mabul and off Semporna. From the main land the Perhentians and Tioman are famous mainly amongst weekend tourists from Singapore.



So far Myanmar’s underwater world can only be visited via liveaboards from Thailand. While the pristine reefs have been untouched by divers until only a decade ago fisheries have been active in the Andaman sea. Still visitors report of huge schools of fish, mantas, whale sharks and some reef sharks.



The waters around the over 7000 islands of the Philippines offer the highest variety of world-class diving besides Indonesia. The best destinations are possibly Malapascua with its thresher sharks, critter heaven Anilao, the best wrecks of Asia in Coron and big stuff in untouched Tubbataha.



Singapore is not too famous for its diving. However, it is an awesome place to find your new dive gear and all the amazing diving in Southeast Asia is only a short flight away.



Thailand is the most dived country in Southeast Asia. Also all of the open water certifications in the area are issued on the island Koh Tao. The best diving is found in the Similan islands which can be reached via short liveaboards. Due to the high numbers of visitors the dive sites can get a bit cramped.



Even though the coastline of Vietnam is massive, most of the diving is found in only a few areas, some of which have become marine reserves. On the dives it can be expected to see various tropical fish and nudibranchs. Vietnam is a great place to learn how to dive without the crowds or to sneak in some diving while traveling through this fascinating country.



Another must visit for all scuba divers is definitely the Maldives with the best colorful reefs surrounded by impressive amounts of small reef fish as well as mantas, whale sharks and reef sharks.



What else?


It is possible to dive an underwater ancient city as well as part of the Great Wall here.



Some nice reef diving can be found in the Andamans. Most of the other diving areas remain unspoilt and offer loads of chances to explore. Maybe there is a world-class dive site hidden somewhere.



From here it is possible to dive in the northernmost part of the red sea to enjoy colorful reefs and reef fish with incredibly good visibility. The Mediterranean is rocky with arches, caves and canyons as well as some wrecks.



Most famous for diving is Okinawa, Japan’s tropical island, where it is possible to encounter rare critters, tropical fish including some pelagics as well as some World War II wrecks.



From Jordan it is possible to dive in the north of the red sea with its colorful reefs, abundant fish life and incredible visibility without the crowds which can sometimes gather at the dive sites in Egypt.



Scuba diving is one of the main attractions of Oman with its long coast line in the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea. Common sights around the healthy coral reefs are schooling fish, turtles and whale sharks during the season.


The visibility in the area is not the best and besides some artificial reefs/wrecks there is not too much to see.


South Korea

The waters are fairly cold but because of that it is possible to dive in kelp forests which is quite unique in Asia. Besides that it is possible to see unique nudibranchs and special soft coral.


Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka offers many great wrecks as well as some nice reef dives and schooling fish. There is still a lot to discover around the massive coastline and divers keep finding new wrecks. The monsoon is during different seasons so it is always possible to find good weather on one side of the island or the other.



Sub-tropical Taiwan is not very famous for diving, although some reefs and typical reef fish pelagics can be observed. Seasonal schools of hammerheads can be encountered close to Green Island.



As in Qatar the visibility is not the best here and besides some wrecks not too much can be seen during dives due to the lack of coral.