Scuba Gear

Scuba Diving Mask

Scuba Diving MaskScuba Diving Mask – With so many scuba diving and snorkeling masks on the market, it is not an easy choice to make, when it comes to buying either or both of these much needed pieces of scuba equipment for seeing underwater.

A scuba diving mask works underwater: as long as you have a small air pocket between your eyes and the water – like that created by a mask – then you will be able to see underwater.

A mask will make things appear larger and and closer when below the surface, this needs to be taking into account while diving or snorkeling: this is called refraction.

The Scuba Diving Mask

When choosing a mask the most important thing to take into consideration is the comfort of it. When you have a mask that fits like a glove, then that’s the one you should buy. Whether snorkeling or Scuba Diving, the moment you enter the water you should not need to worry about the mask.

It should fit, be comfortable, if for any reason it is not comfortable, then it will spoil the moment. More dives have been spoilt by a bad fitting scuba diving mask than any other piece of equipment.

A scuba diving mask can and will make or break your dive. It is hard to enjoy a dive if your mask is constantly leaking or fogging – or both.

Buying a Diving Mask

When selecting a mask you must place it over your face. First making sure that your hair is not breaking the seal between your face and the silicone edges of the mask, most decent quality masks have a silicone skirt around the edges to keep out the water.

The softer the silicone the better the mask, also it will prove to be more expensive.

  1. Touch mask to face – Put the mask on gently the mask should not be in contact with any hair, we are looking for a good seal. Making sure that there are no gaps anywhere.
  2. Check seal – allow no gaps between the seal and your face. Gently breathe in through your nose and if the mask fits snuggly and you feel no air coming inside, then you have a seal.
  3. Now you have a vacuum and your mask is stuck to your face check that there is no pain anywhere like around the bridge of the nose or the forehead.
  4. As you exhale the mask should come away from your face.

Another important piece of the mask is the strap, which is usually made of plastic or silicone. These types can easily tangle up in the hair and can actually get caught and pulls the hair and can hurt. You can buy fabric mask straps which replace or fit neatly over the existing straps. These make for a much more comfortable fit

If you wear contact lenses or use glasses you may want to get similar lenses put inside the mask. Firstly though, I would recommend that you try the mask a few times first to make sure it is perfect for you. Lenses for a mask do not come cheap of course.

Try Before You Buy

During Thailand & Myanamr Liveaboard trips on board our MV Giamani we offer “Try Before You Buy” for scuba diving masks. We have a range of popular masks in different sizes and shapes.

Diving Mask maintenance

Now you have the mask you may notice that it fogs up very quickly. This is normal and easily rectified. The mask is covered in a fine layer of protective covering by the manufacturer to protect it in transit.

This protective covering needs removing, and one of the best ways to do this is to use abrasive toothpaste. Rub the toothpaste around the lenses for a few minutes on each of the lenses. Check it by blowing inside the mask, if it still fogs then repeat the first step again until there is no more fogging.

Mask do fog anyhow even old masks do. To stop this we tend to spit inside the mask before each dive. If you are not a “spitter” than you can buy some Defog solution from any dive shop, if you are not a spender then try baby shampoo, this works the same, and does not sting the eyes.

Always rinse the mask and dry it after every use, otherwise it will slowly corrode, keep the mask in a safe place and in its original box is the best place for it.

The mask is usually the first piece of scuba diving or snorkeling equipment people there are many colours to choose and different sizes. Once you have found ne that fits your face then you can narrow down which colour and so on.

Once you have the one you are happy with, try another one, smaller than yours and you will see the difference.

Look after your mask and it will serve you for many years.

Diving Myanmar

Shark Cave – Diving Myanmar

Myanmar Diving at Shark Cave -Nurse SharksShark Cave A.K.A Three Islets Burma is also known to be one of Myanmars best diving sites and is on all diving Itineraries of our MV Giamani.

Shark Cave lays approximately 30 kilometres North West of Stewart Island/Bo Wei, and is a small Island strutting out of the sea and with it comes 2 large rock pinnacles, all of these formations rise well above the sea level.

The island itself is in the middle of the two pinnacles, each of these are consider to be separate dive sites, so it is easy to spend the entire day diving here without seeing the same thing twice

The small island is in the middle with the rocks either side (running North West to south east and vice versa). Each can be considered a separate dive site and you can easily spend a full day diving here.

The pinnacle to the North West of the main site is at least 100 metres away and due to the potential strong currents (normally running North to South) it’s easier to do this as 1 separate dive.

The south eastern laying rock is nearest to the main Island and has a large submerged reef covered in hard corals and there are many granite boulders that are strewn around. Here the maximum depth is around 30 metres.

Some begin the dive at the main side of the island, starting on the southern end which is somewhere in the middle of the island. You can drop down here to about 25/30 metres down the side of the wall.

Check out the large granite boulders here all bundled together; here you can catch sleeping Nurse Sharks and maybe even some Stingrays relaxing on the sand.

Myanmar Diving at Shark Cave -The CanyonAlso, out on the sand you can find many different species of anemones with their guests (Nemo) Anemone fish and Eggshell Shrimp. Keep your eyes peeled for the large schools of Barracuda, Trevallies, Snappers and Fusiliers.

There is a natural split in the island rocks down at 18-20 metres, if you then follow it north into the small canyon and after approximately 25 metres there is a cave. The entrance is fairly small but once you are inside this is a large area.

Beware that there can be some strong currents ripping through the granite rocks here so be careful not to get cut on the rocks.

Inside the cave you can find Lobster, Crabs hiding in the rocks, Puffer Fish and others that like to lurk inside caves, including Nurse Sharks.

It is not fully dark as the natural light filters through from both ends of the cave, however we recommend taking a torch with you -as on any dive they always come in handy.

Even small caves like this are not for everyone, so if peering into black holes is not your thing, then just carry on swimming down the small canyon passing the cave. Keep your eyes open here for Black Tips Reef Sharks and if you are lucky Grey Reefs have been spitted here.

Other critters spotted here are ideal for macro hunters and included the usual and not-so-usual-suspects: Harlequin and Boxer Shrimps, Tiger Tail Sea Horses, Ornate Ghost Pipe fish and several different kinds of Frogfish and a smorgasbord of Nudibranch as well.

Marine Life

Titan Trigger fish

Titan Trigger Fish searching SandThe Titan Trigger fish is the largest member of the Trigger fish family; they can reach almost a meter in length. This fish is disc shaped and is packed with solid muscle. The Titan usually is seen during the day while diving in Thailand, feeding on sea urchins, hard Corals, crustaceans and tube worms. They get their name from the dorsal fin which it points up whenever it is threatened or when it is sleeping, it then locks itself in between the rocks and crevices for safety.

These strange behaving fish are seen on almost every reef dive in Thailand, they are quite easy to spot too. They feed by blowing water into the sand, removing old pieces of coral from the sand and chomping on it, looking for hidden worms. They are usually followed by a small group of other fish like wrasse and other smaller fish, who hope to take advantage of the titan’s feeding maneuvers.

The Titan Trigger Fish coloration is a dirty yellow body, rimmed by black around its relatively small fins. Its eyes can move around independently from one another, they actually look like they have veins in the eyes. They will feed stood on their heads while chomping at anything that they think will offer food.

They love nothing better to get their teeth into the long spiny sea urchins that litter the bottom of many dive site here in Thailand. If you have ever touched one of these sea urchins, you will know just how sharp their spines are, they are just like hypodermic needles. This does not bother the trigger in the slightest. And once they have chosen their target nothing will stop it from its goal, nothing.

Titan Trigger Fish, Cleaner Wrasse Normally they do not care too much about divers, unless you get too close to them when they are feeding, they will spin their eyes at you, either carry on chomping on the delicate reef or just swim away. They are a solitary fish, but on the odd occasion you may see a couple of them together. Possibly just before or after mating. If a smaller trigger fish comes into its territory it will vigorously chase it away.

As mentioned, Titan Trigger Fish tend not to be too bothered around divers unless, and this is a big unless, they are sat on their nest guarding their young, then its hammer-time. Titan Triggers will chase anything out of its area; absolutely anything. They have no fear when it comes to defending their area.

Their nests are built on the sandy bottom, usually made up of odd pieces of dead coral and small rocks. Once built, they sit directly over the nest and the territory above is their domain. Anything that comes near it will be attacked.

Many scuba divers do come a cropper with these crazy fish, the last thing on a divers mind is to rummage around a Titans’ nest, but the Titan does not see it that way. There domain is, if you like, an inverted cone stretching to the surface.

I have been attacked several times once or twice by two of these mad fish at the same time, they tend to nest close to each other, so be wary, stay behind the Divemaster and let him deal with them is my advice.

Titan trigger fish fertilize their eggs externally in their new nest, during their courtship, they will do a mating dance before copulation. Once the eggs have been laid and fertilized the female will guard the nest with her life, they normally spawned for a few days most months and once the small titans have hatched they will make a break for it towards the sanctity of the nearest reef. Here they will live of tiny zooplankton until they are large enough to chomp on the reef and abuse divers themselves.

Scuba Gear

Scuba Diving Watches

Scuba Diving Watches – Since the advent of the dive computer dive watches have slowly but surely ben disappearing from scuba divers wrists’.

Although many dive computers can also been used as a watch – mainly in digital format- very few divers wear the traditional timepiece any more.

Scuba Diving Watches Fashion

Scuba Diving Watches - Citizen Pro MasterHowever that said, the big watch companies operating globally report a massive increase in diver watch sales. One cannot help think that James Bond has something to do with this increase in demand for these beautiful and expensive scuba diving timepieces.

007 rolling of the back of a dinghy on a moonless Caribbean evening, somewhere just outside of the Bahamas; one last check of his ridiculous expensive, all singing all dancing, laser firing, chic grabbing watch, and he descends into the depths of the warm Atlantic Ocean in search of another naughty criminal.

Dive watches are trendy, not amongst the diving community though as they seem to prefer the all in one dive computer, which is another story entirely.

Dive Watches through the years

Diving is a relatively new sport. We still refer back to those early days, although it may mean as far back as the sixties or seventies, which is hardly a millennium ago. The way that divers could track their time under water was to pull out the crown of the watch before descending down; they would set the minute hand to 12, push the crown back in a kick off down to the depths in search of treasure.

The rotating bezel introduced a far superior timepiece for divers. The diver would (some still use this method -not many though) twist the bezel so the arrow or marker aligns with the minute hand of the watch. As the dive time elapses, the minute hand is read against the bezel to easily tell the diver his bottom time.

Along with the other gauges he would use to track his depth and air consumption, and as long as he knew his no-deco limit, he could quite successfully complete the dive unhindered and in relative safety. The bezel was made so that it could move in a clock wise and anti-clockwise direction. This was soon enough figured that this was causing some divers so get bent (decompression sickness).

During scuba diving activities it is quite easy to bang and bump into things, equipment can and will get scratched, wetsuit can get ripped and bezels can move about, thus resulting in an inaccurate time reading. Therefore it was not long before the bezel could only move in one direction, thus resulting in even safer diving techniques and practices.

Scuba Diving Watches are cool and there is no denying it, they are made even cooler by having a helium release valve added. Helium Release Valve it even sounds cool. Dive watches have come along since they were first introduced to the diving community, but who would need a helium release valve mechanism.

The answer in short is, Professional Technical divers do. When they are working at depths sometimes hundreds of metres deep, they don’t use normal air to breathe, it has to be mix with other gases and as helium is inert and not harmful to humans, it is used instead of nitrogen.

The helium molecules are very small indeed, when the diver’s starts to ascend, the helium bubbles that have gotten inside the watch from the exposure of helium inside the diving chamber expand, and will need to be released.

The helium will look for the easiest route out of the watch, and before the introduction of the release valve, the helium tended to blow the crystal (glass casing) off in order to escape. This of course was not safe for the ascending diver, the watch or anyone else around.

Fear not the dive watch is alive and well, and in fact thriving, albeit not in the diving world; computers rule there now. However Scuba Diving Watches are far cooler than any dive computer.

They have been around since Cousteau and Hans Hass went exploring wrecks and reefs back in the fifties, they are a legacy of a bygone era. When adventure and exploration of the seas was in its infancy, these men were pioneers of the dive industry we know today, and their watch was a symbol of their daring achievement’s underwater.

Diving Myanmar

Burma Banks – Diving Myanmar

The Burma Banks are a chain of enormous underwater flat-topped pinnacles rising from the deep depths and lie approximately 180 kilometers (100 nautical miles) northwest of the Similan Islands.

The waters around the Burma Banks are over 300 meters deep and these spectacular pinnacles rise to, luckily for us, depths suitable for recreational scuba diving Myanmar.

The banks offer some exhilarating and exciting diving; however they are not suited for all levels of diving and are not for everyone. It is recommended that those coming to dive these waters have some dive experience of deeper diving and experience with currents too.

MV Giamani’s Liveaboard Burma diving tours are usually longer than the Thailand Similan Island liveaboards (four days four nights), the trips out to the Banks are often in for 7 days and nights of diving, though you may find a company or two catering for 4-5 day trips.

Thailand liveaboards sailing out to the Burma Banks tend to leave from Ranong, on the Thailand – Burma border, here all visitors (Divers, Divemasters and staff non-Burmese) must check in and go through customs.

There is also a special visa one must acquire before any diving can start and all must pay the fees to the Burmese Government, the cost of this is around 250 US cash – please contact us for any of the latest charges.

Myanmar (Burma) is a very special country and will leave a lasting imprint of the natural splendor of both above and below the water. Unfortunately, in years gone by much damage has been done to the reefs here from dynamite fishing and some areas of reef are simply not worth diving.

Yet the diving here is still exceptional there is an abundance of pelagic fish passing through these wild and electrifying dive sites.

Those divers that love macro diving will be in their element here as it is excellent for spotting small and rare fish and there are other critters that are rarely ever seen further south in the Similan Islands.

If it sharks you seek then you have come to the right place; the most common type of shark is the nurse shark this particular shark is a night feeder that grows to over 3 meters in length- they are quite docile, however touching is really not recommended at all.

There are Silver Tips here too, sometimes mistaken for White Tips, they are much bigger and can be a little more territorial than the smaller cousins.

Silver Tips can grow to 2.5 meters in length and are easily identified by the white trailing edge on their fins these fish are serious predators.

Grey Reef Sharks are seen here too, these sharks are to be admired and can seem to be swimming quite erratically at times, they are territorial yet leave divers alone, and they tend not to come too close to divers.

Marine Life

Tiger Tail Sea Horse

The Tiger Tail Sea Horse is one of the most sort after creatures we have here in Thailand, especially on the boats that dive the Similan Islands and Phi Phi islands. They can be torturous to find, ask any dive guide. Rarely moving from their hangout, you see it’s the movement of the animal which makes it easier for us to find them.

The Tiger Tail are fantastic at camouflage, they have to be otherwise they would surely be eaten in seconds by the predators on the reef. Seahorses in general do have a certain similarity to the horse’s we find on land, the head being similar to a traditional horse but that is it.

The Tiger Tail usually has a yellow body and on its tail, which it uses to hold its self in place on the reef has the faint black stripes that have likened it to a tiger stripes. Again, that is the only similarity between the two animals.

Recently I saw, on a dive site called Koh Doc Mai, a darker than normal juvenile, it was about half the size of an adult, I was very pleased.

No longer than about 12 cm in length, it is classed as a fish; however they are quite unlike most fish, as it does lack scales. Its head is set an angle to its body. Its mouth is at the end of a relatively long snout which it uses with great effect at drawing its tiny food particles. Its diet is tiny fish, plankton and small shrimp and maybe even some little coral polyps.

They have several fins. The dorsal fin is used for swimming, they seem to just fly along when they move, they also have ear like pectoral fins, which they use to guide them and also for stabilisation. The young tiger tail also has, unlike other species of seahorse, a small caudal fin (tail fin) which it loses when it reaches maturity.

They are able to change their colouring and they can even grow another layer of skin filaments if it will help them blend in better with their background. They can also change colour quickly, depending of course on its mood. Rapid colour changes can happen when the seahorse is, for example, ready to mate.

As previously mentioned, the tiger tail is normally yellow in its body, but sometimes, it is quite possible to a find black one or even dark brown one too. The stripes which are on its tail, are not always visible and the actual colour of the animal can vary over time as it gets older.

These sea horses are typically found in pairs, they like to hang out in quiet areas of the coral reefs, liking either the hard of soft corals which they can hang on to. The seahorse is quite unique in the fact that the male carries the eggs after fertilisation in a pouch similar to a kangaroo pouch. It is possible for them to produce upwards of over 1500 young or more at any one time. The gestation period normally lasts about 4 weeks.

They are threatened due to the excessive abuse form the Asian market. The Chinese believe that they have a medicinal purpose, which has yet to be proved. Upwards of nearly twenty millions of these poor defence less creatures are sold each year. However, recent times have seen much tighter control over the sale of these wonderful peaceful creatures.

Scuba Gear

Dive Computers

Dive Computers take the stress out of scuba diving. Their ability to measure bottom time, adjusted bottom, depth and time, have helped scuba diving to become the safe sport it is today. Diving is one of the safest activities to undertake as a hobby, the safety features available to divers these days is amazing.

Buying Dive Computers

Aqualung Dive Computers - The i300 - Blue
Aqualung Dive Computer i300

Dive computers not only sound expensive and they can be very expensive, it all depends what you actually need the computer to do for you. If you are going to the bottom of the sea on a record breaking 300 metre dives, then I suggest you consider the market very careful indeed; maybe buying several computers of the highest grade.

Visit Colona Liveaboards Thailand – Dive Computer Online Shop

If however, you will be using your new dive computer for general scuba diving, in friendly environs. Such as the warm waters of Thailand no deeper than 30 metres or so, then you do not have to go and spend thousands upon thousands of your hard earned cash to feel safe.

There are nowadays some great deals out there for inexpensive scuba diving computers. I would recommend popping down to your local scuba diving equipment retailer and check out what is on offer. Most of the main scuba diving brands have a decent line in dive computers, so you will recognise their names.

Diving Comuters - Aqualung Dive Watches
Aqualung i450T

We add Colona Liveaboards Thailand are a big fan of Aqualung Scuba gear and they just recently presented their own product line of diving computers. Ranging from simple computers to high end tec computers.

Where to Wear your Computer

The wrist dive computer is very popular. There are several ways to wear a computer and on the wrist is possibly the diver’s favourite, but not every diver prefers this way. Wrist mounted computers look like large watches, almost like a dinner plate, they are a real give away to other divers that there is another diver in the area.

However, unlike dive watches, people tend not to buy a dive computer unless they are actual scuba divers, though some people will wear their dive computer as a watch in between dive trips. The choice between wrist mounted and having the computer mounted on your dive console is a personal choice.

Aqualung Diving Computers - The i300 in Console
Aqualung i300 in Console

Some dive computers give the diver a choice; the same model can either be worn on the wrist or on a console. Either way, when purchasing a dive computer it is best to make sure you can see all the information on the screen. This is not usually a problem, due to magnifying effects that scuba diving masks have during underwater activities.

Some dive computers, like I have said, are very similar to watches in their shape and size. On the market there are many shapes and sizes to choose from, some computers are rectangular in shape giving the diver maximum screen vision. One of our Favorites are the new Aqualung wrist computers.

One downside to having a watch like dive computer is that divers tend to wear them more often than not, even when they are not diving, any slight dampness can set the computer into ‘Dive Mode’ and this can waste your battery life quite quickly. Although if the idea is to impress your friends that you are a scuba diver, then what’s the harm; it’s your money

A console dive computer is attached to the SPG console normally, which is part of the scuba regulator. This style of computer is generally larger than the wrist mounted one, and is easily detachable. Dive computers typically come with a pressure gauge, unlike the wrist mounted option.

This style of wearing your computer means that you will possibly have the computer attached via a high pressure hose to your 1st stage. This type of computer is air integrated which means that precise air readings are given as well as all the other info by the computer.

Tec Diving Comuter - Aqualung
Aqualung i750T

These days scuba divers, particularly on Thailand liveaboard dive trips (the diver goes onboard a dive boat for several days even a week or more), will have noticed that nitrox has become very popular.

So I would definitely recommend that even if right now you are not Nitrox certified, that dive computer you buy make it a Nitrox compatible computer, forward thinking is what separates divers form the rest of the pack.

If money is no object and you do enough diving throughout the year to justify such an investment, then maybe have a look at the hose-less computer set. These computers use a transmitter from the 1st stage to the computer which transmits all the info to your main computer on the wrist or console, these are top of the range and cost a pretty penny, especially the ones made form titanium.


Tablamu Pier – Gateway to Similan Islands & Myanmar

Thap Lamu PierThap Lamu Port is the main doorway to the amazing Similan islands and/or Myanmar. It has a deep water pier and is the closet point of land to the Similan dive sites.

Taplamu, spelt several different ways, is also home of the Thai Navy’s 3rd fleet. And you can see several of their large frigates, and other military craft, just as you leave port.

Taplamu is about 80 minutes away from the Similan Islands by speedboat and if you are on a Thailand Liveaboard or Day Diving boat this journey will take approximately 3-4 hours depending on the cruising speed of the vessel of course.

There are diving day boats travelling to the Similans every day of the high season however, the Thailand liveaboards tend to leave at late afternoon or at night time, thus allowing you to wake after a night under the stars to the glorious sites that the Similans hold.

Taplamu Pier is about 5 km off from the main route which takes you from Phuket Island to Khao Lak, so getting there via bus is quite easy -it’s even easy as part of a tour.

The Similan Islands are surrounded by the Andaman Sea which is roughly 70 km due west of Khao Lak beach.

How to Get to Thap Lamu Pier

There are many daily budget air-conditioned and VIP bus services direct from Bangkok’s southern bus terminal; these drive straight into Khao Lak.

From Khao Lak to Tablamu is only a 10/15 minute trip to the pier by taxi.

Other possibilities from the capital are travelling down by bus to the small town of Phang Nga Town. From Phang Nga Town it’s only 35 minutes then by bus to the Tap Lamu Pier junction.

Coming from Phuket, it’s very easy to get to indeed, just hop on a bus from the Phuket Town bus terminal, destined for Khao Lak, and disembark at the Tap Lamu Pier junction, just ten minutes south of Khao Lak.

Phuket International Airport, is the nearest airport to Thap Lamu. It has direct flights from Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, and Bangkok as well as Europe and the UAE.

From Phuket International airport you can take a Taxi, which takes approximately 1 hour to Thap Lamu, or best to book an Airport Transfer Phuket online

Thap Lamu Pier is a bustling area with cars, trucks and minibuses so be careful, there are also many different boats and care must be taken getting in the boats from the pier.

There are several little shops to buy last minute items such as snacks, sun cream and small items of clothing. There are also some small restaurants and bathroom facilities to use.

Taplamu pier is an experience and the gateway to the most sensational scuba diving and snorkeling anywhere in the country guaranteeing you to have a ball of a time.

Map of Tablamu Pier

Thailand Liveaboards departing from Tablamu Pier

Diving Myanmar

Black Rock – Diving Myanmar

Black Rock, Diving MyanmarBlack Rock dive site is an 80 metre wide island, and is a favourite of many divers that come diving Myanmar (Burma) in the Mergui Archipelago.

Black Rock is situated in a northwest to southeast position, with sheer banks all around, and there is a wall on the west and south west sides. Be prepared to have the dive of your life and keep your eyes open for White tip, Silver tip, and Black tip sharks.

Black Rock stands about 100 miles North West of the Thai-Burmese border town of Kawthaung, which is just across the river from Ranong -Thailand side. Most Diving Myanmar Liveaboard safaris start and end in Thailand.

The Vis here can be anything from 5 metres to 40 metres plus, you really never know. And currents can be completely slack or very strong, and they tend to run from North West to South East (and vice Versa). It is also advisable that there can be some strong upward and downward currents.

Manta Rays in Myanmar
Manta Rays – Diving in Myanmar

At Black Rock you can have some very special close encounters with Manta Rays, also Eagle Rays do the occasional fly-by, and if you can see the bottom clear enough you may even make the huge Marble Rays and Sleeping Leopard sharks that use the sandy bottom for their bed.

On the South side you can find some large boulders, amongst these giant rocks you will see large areas covered in Brown Disc Anemones and there are lots of beautiful Purple coloured Corals too.

In this area, you may also bump into a two metre Giant Barracuda, he generally ignores divers, -presumably they don’t taste too good. You can see him relaxing near the bottom, but if you look very closely you may see him at a cleaning station being pampered by the cleaner wrasses.

There are soft corals which are more densely populated in the deeper southern area of the dive site, and this beautiful coloured area includes orange cup corals, bizarre feather stars, and huge gorgonia sea fans.

For the fans of macro life they should look out for the rare Spotted Hawkish which can be found hiding out in the sea fans. You can find Black Spotted Puffer fish, they are usually just chilling out on the ledges and not straying too far at all.

Moray eels including Zebra, Honeycombed and White Mouthed Morays can be seen, you may even bump into a Giant Moray or Two. Also Blue Ringed Angelfish swim down near the edges of the outlaying rocks. This is a good spot for seeing different kinds of reef sharks and maybe if you are really lucky even Bull sharks.

Another great place to explore is the wall, if the desire takes you, for hunting big-eye Trevally, Pompano and Coral Banded Sea Snakes. Rainbow Runners out hunting pass by in fast moving aggressive schools looking for any unfortunate lonesome fish.

Please do take note that currents can be strong, particularly on the deeper sides of the site. Moving beyond the shelter of the rocks on the island’s east and west tips can make it very hard to get back to the site again. However, if you stay close to the rocks this doesn’t have to be a difficult dive.

Best way for Diving Myanmar is by Liveaboard such as Colona Liveaboards MV Giamani.

Diving Myanmar

Western Rocky – Diving Myanmar

Western Rocky - Diving Myanmar
Western Rocky Islands, Myanmar

Western Rocky is one of the finest dive sites for all who go Diving Myanmar and the whole Andaman Sea, some even compare it to Richelieu Rock, the best Thai dive site, and such is its regard.

Western Rocky is situated approximately 500 m south of the main island. The starting depth for this dive site is a little deep at 12 metres. The dive site is made up of a large pinnacle that spawns several smaller finger-shaped reefs stretching down to over 40 metres.

Western Rocky offers you irresistible high-quality pinnacle, wall diving and reef diving and there is even a very exciting channel right through the centre of the island. Western Rocky has another 2 smaller islets to the east which can actually be reached from the main island or dived as a separately.

On top of the pinnacle there are many soft purple corals, it is quite a site to see. Slowly descending to the deeper parts of the reef you should search all the cracks and crevices of the rock formations, it teems with macro life, it’s great for the macro hunter.

There are several types of Moray Eel lurking in this area, such as Giant, Yellow Edged, White-eyed and if you are really lucky Honeycomb Moray Eel may make an appearance.

Also you can find some small lobsters and crabs nestled into the side of the rock, also Nudibranch can be found as well as Feather Stars, Harlequin Shrimp, Frog fish and sea horses are also in residence here, you just have to find them.

Ghost Pipe Fish found while Diving Myanmar at Western Rocky
Ornate Ghost Pipe Fish in Myanmar

There is a small group of Resident Black Tip Reef Sharks on guard here and you may even see White Tip Ref Sharks, however they will be further towards the bottom, so if the Vis is good you can see them. Also here is a favourite hangout of the rare Shovel-nose Ray or Guitar Shark -as it is also called.

Looking out into the deep wide blue, keep your eyes peeled for more action with a crack team of Barracudas appearing from the depths in search of lunch, also Trevallies, Tunas and other Jacks love to hunt in the currents, there is some great predatory action to get the heart pumping.

The south side of Western Rocky is a fantastic wall dive with huge giant Gorgonian Sea Fans, clambering Feather Stars and beautiful corals growing from the wall.

There are 4 smaller sea mounts rising to the east of the main site and are well worth a dive on their own, you can really spend all day here.

Other species that call Western Rocky home are Squid and Cuttlefish are very common here. There are several species of scorpion fish like the Raggy and Bearded scorpion fish are scattered over the reef waiting for a bite to eat, so be careful where you stick your fingers.

There are currents here and at times can be a little strong, however, that said, when conditions are favourable it is possible to swim the entire way around this site as there are several places to take refuge.

It’s a wonderful dive site and of course you never really know who or what will turn up, Whale sharks and Manta Rays have been known to make spontaneous appearances, so don’t forget your camera.