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Snorkel with sharks-Burma Banks

Listed under Snorkelling in Burma.

  • Photo of Snorkel with sharks-Burma Banks
  • Photo of Snorkel with sharks-Burma Banks
  • Photo of Snorkel with sharks-Burma Banks
Photo of Snorkel with sharks-Burma Banks
Photo by flickr user Jasmic (away for a week)
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Without giving too much away and spoiling the excitement of discovering your own underwater wonderland I would recommend divers and snorkelers visit Burma for the Burma Banks area. The region is a raised reef plateau starting at depths of only 30 feet from the surface, so the reefs are buffeted by elements above the water level as well as below and sweep in a maze like formation to the sea floor. Currents here are strong and the coral growth is hardy and large, with huge sea fans, boulder corals and flatter plate corals the best survivors. But if you want to see large fish and sharks, then this open ocean environment is phenomenal. Nurse sharks, silver tips. black tips and tiger sharks patrol the area while barracuda, snapper and jacks cruise low to the reef. Depending on who you travel with some companies will host a feeding frenzy for photographers where they attract sharks with wire food baskets.

When I started snorkeling and diving in Thailand in the eighties you couldn’t get in to Burma to dive there, however we all hoped it would be as good as the snorkeling in western Thailand, which shares Burma’s stretch of ocean. During the nineties when it began to open up we found there were hundreds of different sized islands littering Burma’s coastline and offering a truly fantastic range of environments to explore, with the islands closer to the coast offering tropical interiors and shallow, but muddy waters and the rockier topped islands father out to sea hemmed in by deep water and corals at least as bountiful and brilliant as in Thailand. The pay off is the sharks, which if you’re a bit nervous would mean I would recommend Thailand, but if you appreciate their grace and to snorkel with a bit of an edge, then this will improve your experience. I’ve swam with nurse sharks, spinner sharks, reef sharks and mako sharks and in my experience and from what I’ve heard the sharks have been curious rather than aggressive.

If you’re looking for corals then the island region rather than the banks are the best place to snorkel, with beautiful pristine growths in clear waters surrounding several of the ocean side islands, but still expect to run into a shark to two.

Written by  Daniella May.

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