6 Spots to Scuba Dive in Asia

Looking for dive spots in Asia for a quick dive trip? Our diving experts have compiled a list of top spots to do so. Read on!

Near or far, popular or adventurous, there are plenty of scuba diving spots in Asia for you to choose from depending on your expectation and budget.

What's more, this list only includes spots that are under 5 hours (one way) to reach by plane.

Read on to plan your next dive trip!

6 Top Spots to Go Scuba Diving in Asia

1. Malaysia, Langkawi - Pulau Payar Marine Park

The best period to enjoy Langkawi Island is during the dry season which stretches from November to April.

Pulau Payar Marine Park is a famous spot which is easily accessible from Langkawi Island. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced diver, you can enjoy diving here.

This is also a great diving location for family trips where you can experience snorkeling as well.

Other than an enjoyable dive, you can also bring a good memory back home with the numerous colourful fishes and corals.

If you are lucky, cod and snappers are generally cruising in shallow water. And if you dive deeper into the deep blue sea, you might see schools of barracudas.


2. Philippines, Bohol

Another of our personal favourites! Right in the middle of the Visayas, the splendid Bohol island offers a great variety of dives.

Even though you can dive around Bohol during the whole year, the best period is from December to April.

If you are an underwater macro photography lover, Panglao Island is the place where you can spot beautiful frogfish and ghost pipefish.

Soft and hard corals are also quite impressive around Panglao! You will find many sea stars and sea snakes amongst the school of fish.

Some tips if you are a fish lover - surgeonfish, snappers, groupers and some rare white-tip sharks gather near the drop-offs. And the shallow coral gardens are very suitable for snorkelers.

The Marine Sanctuary of Balicasag island is 45min away from Bohol by boat. You can opt for a 1-day trip there. 

The dives around Balicasag are usually for more experienced divers as it is composed of wall dives and strong currents. 

This is a pelagic creature paradise. Schools of mackerels, barracudas and jackfish are commonly found there. 

Corals, sponges and gorgonians are aplenty in the shallow area.

The 2-hour boat trip that separates Bohol from Calibao island is really worth it! From December to June, schools of hammerhead sharks are cruising around the area. 

So, what are you waiting for? Grab your equipment and head there this holiday!


3. Philippines, Malapascua

Malapascua is a popular diving location that's well-known worldwide. It is said to be the place to observe the fantastic thresher sharks. 

To do so, it is recommended to wake up at 4am to dive near Gato Island at 5am. This deep dive (30m) will create unforgettable memories. 

Gato Island will give you the opportunity to meet white tip sharks, nurse sharks and if you’re lucky enough, bamboo sharks.

Malapascua is also the place where big meets the small. The sharpest eyes will be able to spot some frogfish, blue ring octopus, ghost pipefish, seahorses and flamboyant cuttlefish. 

So, be sure to look out for all these beautiful underwater creatures! The best time to visit Malapascua is from December to April.


4. Thailand, Similan Islands

The best way to discover the beauty of the Similan Islands is to embark on a liveaboard (living on a boat). There will be many options available depending on your budget.

It is best to visit Similan Islands from November to April, when visibility is at its best. 

This trip will satisfy all kinds of divers!

Large creature enthusiasts will be delighted by blacktip, whitetip and leopard sharks.

The more fortunate divers would encounter some manta rays and whale sharks.

Nudibranchs will be one of the best models for underwater photographers.

The abundant fauna and the plentiful corals provide a beautiful habitat for the smallest species.


5. Maldives

Maldives is a popular dive spot that's great for visiting from Dec - March. 

This archipelago of the Indian Ocean sits at a comfortable water temperature of over 28 °C, and is a gathering place for manta rays and whale sharks. 

You'll be able to experience these manta rays while diving and snorkeling – chills guaranteed! The underwater species available heree will delight all ocean lovers. 

The islands also offer magnificent beaches, on which you can disembark. 

Long reserved only for experienced divers, many cruises offer various options to better suit different levels of divers and also more family-friendly diving/snorkeling trips these days.

In addition to underwater discoveries, cruise operators will also offer an evening under the stars, with a typical meal near a campfire on a deserted beach.


6. Indonesia, Raja Ampat

Discovering Raja-Ampat islands on a liveaboard between November and March should be one on your bucket list! 

Beyond these dreamy landscapes, you will be amazed by the diversity of terrestrial and marine scenery and wonderful colour contrasts.

Raja-Ampat has one of the richest marine biodiversity in the world. 

Among hundreds of corals, molluscs and juvenile fish you can also observe:
- Wobbegong & Epaulette sharks
- Pygmy Seahorses
- Nudibranchs
- Bumphead Parrotfish


What are you waiting for?

Book your tickets, get your equipment ready and go diving!

6 Top Spots to Go Scuba Diving in Asia

Written By: Olee Sasithon

Watersports Digital Sports Leader, Decathlon Singapore

Discover a whole new world underwater!