Liveaboard Diving in Myanmar

With a rich and diverse marine ecosystem untouched by tourism, divers aboard a Myanmar liveaboard will feel a great sense of privilege to witness the awesome sights of a region that has largely been unexplored.

Myanmar liveaboards are not yet well known, but this could change over the coming years as divers discover what this untouched area has to offer. Located in Southeast Asia bordered by Thailand, India, Bangladesh, China and Laos, Myanmar (also named Burma) is populated by 51 million people and it's 1930km (1200m) uninterrupted coastline stretching along the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea is starting to emerge new diving sites. Myanmar's capital city is Naypyidaw and its largest city is Yangon (Rangoon).

With its history of previously being closed to foreigners, you can imagine what this alluring country now has to offer! This region has been preserved. Which means stunning nature and an incredible underwater world. Myanmar liveaboard trips help to continue opening up this amazing area to the outside world and more travellers are venturing here. Some amazing dive adventures can be found here, having just opened to the greater public, this is a conserved mystical area of the world.

Myanmar is undergoing a rapid transition, don't wait too long to visit this still authentic country, not overwhelmed yet by Western civilization. Guarantee a fantastic and comprehensive visit to a diverse and fascinating region. The remote southern part of Burma is home to some beautiful white-sand beaches: The Mergui Archipelago. The area receives very few visitors, and the islands are largely inaccessible unless you take to the seas and explore the area by liveaboard. You'll cruise hundreds of unexplored islands and dive undisturbed at uncrowded sites, completely opposite to the tourist masses of neighboring Thailand. Many trips to the Mergui Archipelago take in both the Similan Islands and the south of Burma. Liveaboards visit the Burma Banks and some of the archipelago's top dive sites, such as Black Rock and Shark Cave. The dive sites in Myanmar tend to feature wall diving, caves, tunnels, and drop-offs.

Dive cruises run for between 4 to 7 nights in duration. The distances involved in these expeditions can make these trips more expensive than those in Thailand. Some of the sites are quite deep, and the region is remote. Scuba divers are expected to be relatively experienced.

Dive Sites & Areas of Myanmar

With more than 50 dive sites, Myanmar diving is great value for money. Currents can be strong, and surface conditions can be rough, allowing the intermediate-advanced diver to encounter large and small animals. It's also great for (practicing some) underwater photography. The depth of the dive sites is 5-40+ meters with a visibility of 5-50 meters and a water temperature of 25-28C.

Burma Banks is a series of large underwater flat-topped sea-mounts, rising gradually from the depths, covered with hard coral growth and large patches of sand. The huge plate corals are in many areas fantastic, but the reason to dive here is for different types of environments not found in Thailand or the Mergui Archipelago proper.

Black Rock is many divers' favorite spot in the Mergui Archipelago. An 80-meter-wide islet stands in a northwest-to-southeast position with steep banks all around. And a wall on its west and southwest sides will have your heart pounding from spectacular passes of whitetips, silvertips, and black-tip sharks.

Western Rocky offers some of the best cavern and wall diving imaginable. Western Rocky is about 60 meters wide with 2 smaller islets to the east. Dive cruises in Myanmar offer spectacular diving here.

When To Go

Myanmar has a tropical climate, and the liveaboard diving season is October to May, with the best conditions in the Mergui Archipelago from December to April when the seas are at their calmest and visibility highest. Sea temperatures vary from 26C in October to 30C in February. February to May sees the greatest number of visits from whale sharks, and for manta rays is, February to May a good time to go diving.

Tips For Travellers

Myanmar is more conservative than nearby countries. Many still wear traditional dress - the longyi for men, the htamein for women, both sarong-like garments. You rarely see anyone expose their knees or shoulders, and you will make everyone more comfortable if you adjust.

Though people are more open than in the past when discussing politics, some guardedness remains; don't talk politics.

Money is handed over and received with the right hand, while the left hand loosely supports the right arm.

Tipping is not part of local culture and is not expected.

Never use your feet to point at a person or thing.

A smile goes a long way, as does knowing a few words in Burmese.

We recommend you consider insurance to cover health, diving, and travel activities, including trip cancellation.

ATMs that accept international cards have started appearing throughout Myanmar. You can find ATMs even in relatively remote destinations. KBZ and CB Bank have the most reliable ATMs - they accept both Visa and Mastercard and charge a fee of 5000 kyat (around US$4) per transaction. It's now also possible to receive international cash transfers via Western Union.

Myanmar is trying to encourage locals and visitors to use the local currency - kyat - rather than US dollars, which was the preferred currency until 2012. As of the end of November 2015, only banks and official moneychangers can change dollars. It's worth bringing some US dollars with you, preferably in smaller notes, as they can be useful if you're stranded without access to an ATM. Make sure your US bills are immaculate and printed no earlier than 2006, or you may be unable to exchange them. It's also easy to change the Thai baht in Yangon and Mandalay.

Buying a SIM card in Yangon and Mandalay is easy and cheap. Online access has improved, and the internet is spreading to more remote locations. Power outages and tightly squeezed bandwidth are good excuses to go diving instead of making use of the internet a frustrating exercise.

Check your government's advice on conflicts before traveling, and ask about the situation once you are in Myanmar.

Myanmar has only 1 national time zone: +6.5 hrs GMT, or +11.5 hrs EST.

Electricity is 230 volts AC at 50 cycles. Several plugs and sockets are in use, so bring your plug adapter kits. There are frequent blackouts and power variations, especially during the rainy season. The Burma liveaboards normally have flat or round 2-pin electrical sockets.

How To Get There & Ports Of Departure

Thailand is usually your starting point for your liveaboard trip to Myanmar, departing from Ranong.

Bangkok Airways operate direct flight from Bangkok to Ranong, on the Thai side of the Myanmar border. Then you can take a taxi from Ranong Airport to the port of departure.

Yangon International Airport is the main hub for domestic flights. Local airlines include Air Bagan and Myanmar National Airlines. Booking domestic flights via agencies is cheaper and easier once you are in Myanmar. There are no international car-rental agencies; most travel agencies in Yangon, Mandalay, and Bagan - as well as guesthouses and hotels elsewhere - can arrange cars and drivers.


Myanmar is no longer the cheap destination it once was; adjust your budget accordingly. In particular, prices for basic accommodation have risen dramatically but generally offer better value than Western prices.

Liveaboard prices range from 120-200 euros per person/night. Excluding National Park Fees: THB 1600 per diver, Government fees Myanmar: between USD 170 and 250, dive gear rental, Nitrox, Alcoholic drinks, and cigarettes. The minimum certification level is Open Water Diver, with no minimum dives recommended.

You don't need to apply for a tourist visa beforehand when visiting Burma on a liveaboard safari from Thailand. Please note: obtaining an entry permit to visit Mergui (which includes a 30-day visa) takes at least 10-14 days.

You should contact a local embassy for details

Myanmar Diving Reviews

  • 8.3 Very good
  • 24 Verified Reviews
  • 8.4 Very good
  • lee K
  • United States United States

Nice variety of marine life accompanied by interesting people and knowledgeable crew and owners also made the trip very nice. Looking forward to coming back to dive with them again

Diving Myanmar in March on the Smiling Seahorse

  • 8.0 Very good
  • Christoffer Frederik Bang J
  • Denmark Denmark

Unfortunately the visibility was very low. But there was plenty of corals and small fish and general sea life!

Diving Myanmar in January on the Dolphin Queen

  • 8.4 Very good
  • France France

Globally enjoyed a lot

Diving Myanmar in February on the Bavaria

  • 5.6 Review score
  • ERIC B
  • France France

trés riches, beaucoup de pécheurs et de filets partout sur les sites. du coup suivant très riche ou pauvres suivant . visibilité très variable .

Diving Myanmar in February on the The Phinisi

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Petra D
  • Germany Germany

Perfect. Very nice sites, especially burma banks and south twin.

Diving Myanmar in February on the The Phinisi

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • brice L
  • France France

Great! Incredible underwater topography, rich sea life, beautiful corals, but on that week not a very good visibility underwater.

Diving Myanmar in December on the Smiling Seahorse

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • sharon S
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

More than acceptable

Diving Myanmar in January on the Bavaria

  • 8.4 Very good
  • marie alix P
  • Switzerland Switzerland

Expect some current and bad visibility from time to time yet the coral is beautiful and there's plenty of life to see.

Diving Myanmar in January on the Bavaria

  • 7.6 Good
  • Huseyin A
  • Turkey Turkey

Myanmar diving is no better than diving in Andaman Sea of Thailand. 10 day was a bit too long. 6 days would be fine

Diving Myanmar in January on the The Phinisi

  • 7.6 Good
  • Martin M
  • Denmark Denmark

Not what I had hoped for, but still no regrets! Would definetly do the trip again with the same boat if the water clears up!

Diving Myanmar in February on the Bavaria

  • 6.4 Review score
  • Poul V
  • Denmark Denmark

Beautiful dive sites - very similat too the dive sites around Andaman Islands. Unfortunately, very poor visibility totaly ruins experience.

Diving Myanmar in February on the Bavaria

  • 7.2 Good
  • Louise L
  • Canada Canada

Bad, not recommended for other guests

Diving Myanmar in February on the Bavaria

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Matteo A
  • Italy Italy

The immigration procedures are a bit cumbersome but there is no way , at this time, to avoid the paperwork needed.

Diving Myanmar in December on the Smiling Seahorse

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Jonah N
  • Germany Germany

The Smiling Seahorse trip is definitely to recommend!

Diving Myanmar in December on the Smiling Seahorse