Survey a map of Asia and one particular fact is striking: the number of landlocked countries is vastly outnumbered by those with a coastline. For Remote Lands’ itineraries, this translates into the potential for almost any trip to include some beach time and the various attendant water sports. Moreover, examine almost any list of the world’s top scuba diving sites and you’ll find Asia as well or better represented than other top global spots.
Divers have ample options across the Indonesian archipelago. Standouts include the waters around Raja Ampat, which PADI calls “the world's most biodiverse underwater seascape,” with 537 coral species, 1,074 fish speciesand visibility that can approach 160 feet at times. Komodo National Park, meanwhile, is a marine reserve and UNESCO site, with more than 1,000 species of fish, 260 species of coral, 70 species of sponges, as well as dugongs, sharks, manta rays, dolphins, sea turtles and at least 14 species of whale. For surfing, the secret is out about Nihiwatu resort on remote Sumba Island – one of the best spots on the planet.
Off the coast of Tawau on Malaysian Borneo lies a beacon for serious divers from all over the world – the waters of Sipadan Island, considered by many to be the top diving spot in all of Asia and among the best on the planet. Once called “an untouched piece of art” by legendary maritime cinematographer Jacques Cousteau, the amazing turquoise waters here are home to spectacular reefs and a dizzying array of marine life, including dolphins, giant turtles, sharks and just about every tropical fish you can imagine.
Palawan Province is a smattering of 1,700 islands and islets, with distinctive topography – such as limestone karst cliffs – not found anywhere else in The Philippines. Besides kayaking around towering karst formations, swimming in freshwater lagoons and spelunking, there is also the superb Tubbataha Reef Marine Park, part of the Coral Triangle that UNESCO has called “a pristine coral reef with a spectacular 100-meter perpendicular wall, extensive lagoons and two coral islands." Wreck diving is also common in the area, especially in nearby Coron.
Thailand’s most immediate maritime draw might be Phang Nga Bay, whose sparkling blue waters and striking limestone karsts, buffered by Phuket to the west and Krabi to the east, offer superb and easily accessible diving and snorkeling. Venture a bit farther for the Similan Islands, the top diving and snorkeling spot in Thailand and world-renowned for their coral reefs and diversity of tropical fish. In addition to the copious underwater life, the nine islands, a national park, are home to rare species of flora and fauna, such as the Nicobar pigeon, flying lemur, and bottlenose dolphin.
This is just a selection of the Asia diving and watersports Remote Lands can incorporate into your Asia luxury holiday. Please contact us today for more information and to begin planning your trip.