Getting To The Liveaboard The MV Jazz Burma trip began with a 4 hour minivan transfer from Phuket Airport to the Thai border town of Ranong, from where the MV Jazz would depart. We arrived at a seafood restaurant near the pier just before sundown for some Thai food and beer while the boat arrived from its previous trip in the Similan Islands.

Diving In Myanmar The dive site Eagle’s Nest is a great introduction to Burma diving – the blasted limestone rock rises out of the ocean with nothing else around it, with birds of prey wheeling around. It’s quite desolate looking, but also quite beautiful – a real contrast to the Similan Islands. The water is greener and colder too – it hovered between 28 and a bum numbing 25 degrees. Once underwater, the limestone rocks appear purplish and are blocky and jagged, like huge great slabs leaning together.

Enter The Leopard Shark After spotting a couple of octopus skittering across the reef and a huge stingray lurking under a rock, along with the ever present moray eels lurking in the limestone cracks and clownfish on the carpets of anemones, we had an awesome to finale to the first dive – a close encounter with a leopard shark, which are usually very shy of divers, but this one decided to get up close and personal.

Sea Fans And Soft Corals For the first couple of days, we were not blessed with very good visibility, but it didn’t really matter – the soft coral that covers many of Burma’s sites is abundant and brightly coloured, and the size of the sea fans at some of the sites, like the obviously named Fan Forest Pinnacle, are just breathtaking. Many are more than a couple of metres wide and tall, bigger than a diver, and are all sorts of colours, from electric orange to delicate pink.

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  • Chris Mitchell

    My site, is a personal guide to scuba diving in South East Asia and Australia edited by me, Chris Mitchell, a…

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