Liveaboard Diving in Burma Banks

What To Expect On a Burma Banks Liveaboard

Myanmar liveaboards to Burma Banks offer the best drift dives that will stay with you for the rest of your life. Currents can change in direction 90 to 180 degrees very quickly and very fast. So you'll understand dive tours here can require careful dive planning. Most of the drift dives are guided starting on the edge of the bank where you’ll stare out into the blue looking for large silvertip sharks. Because of these currents dive cruises in Burma offer you the chance to see larger reef fish than in other areas of nearby Thailand, such as huge sweet lips and the occasional grouper.

Set sail on a Myanmar dive liveaboard approximately 180 kilometers (100 nautical miles) northwest of the Similan Islands to The Burma Banks: a series of large underwater flat-topped sea-mounts. The name derives from the fact that this 1,500 square kilometer area lies within the exclusive economic zone of Burma. The banks' surrounding water is over 350 meters deep and large areas rise to within the depth limits of recreational scuba diving. The banks offer some exciting, stimulating diving, but since this is true open-ocean diving, they certainly are not for everyone. The reason for traveling so far out to sea is for different types of environments not found in Thailand or in the Mergui Archipelago proper. You can imagine yourself making large drift dives over these mountain flats?

In the late 1980s and early 1990, The Burma Banks was first visited and the only place tourists were allowed because The Burma Banks actually lie in international waters (although the Myanmar Government claims economic rights). These mountains rise very gradually from the depths and are covered with hard coral growth and large patches of sand. The huge plate corals are in many areas fantastic. Some of these 'plates' could seat all the knights of the round table easily.

What You Can See

The most common type of shark you'll see on a liveaboard at these exciting dive sites are nurse sharks, grown over 3 meters in length. Imagine seeing nurse sharks freely swimming nose-to-tail over the top of the reef, having so little fear of divers they sometimes accidentally swim harmlessly (for both parties) into you.

And how about large silvertip sharks that when attracted by bait swim within range of your camera?. Reaching an impressive length of two to three meters, these sharks are full-bodied, serious predators. They are often compared to the Galapagos shark and easily identified by the white trailing edge on their pelvic, dorsal, and caudal fins.

Getting To Burma Banks

The best way to get to Burma Banks is on a Myanmar liveaboard dive trip. Since the Burma Banks are closer to Thailand than to any other city in Burma, the majority of the liveaboards wanting to visit this interesting place depart from Thailand, particularly from Ranong. However, there are also some liveaboards that depart from Phuket and Khao Lak. Liveaboards that depart from Ranong usually offer 5-night itineraries of cruising around Burma.

Bangkok Airways operate direct flight from Bangkok to Ranong, which has a port on the Thai side of the Myanmar border. This is the nearest departure port/location. You can take a taxi from Ranong Airport to the port of departure. Your starting point for your luxury liveaboard safari of a lifetime.

Yangon International Airport is the main hub for domestic flights. Local airlines include Air Bagan and Myanmar National Airlines. It's cheaper and easier to book domestic flights via agencies 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.

Burma Banks Diving Reviews

  • 8.9 Fabulous
  • 12 Verified Reviews
  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Matteo A
  • Italy Italy

Fantastic, clear water, marine life swarming everywhere a true paradise

Diving Burma Banks in December on the Smiling Seahorse

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Jonah N
  • Germany Germany

Visibility was great! Lots of Nurse sharks, Silvertip shark, Tiger shark, Giant Trevallies, Bigeye Jacks

Diving Burma Banks in December on the Smiling Seahorse