Diving feels like visiting another planet. The creatures, plants, terrain, and giant monsters seem so terribly alien at first, and then, slowly, lazing weightless in magical blue, if feels like home. With endless coastlines and tens of thousands of islands, there is nowhere like Asia to see the watery parts of the world.
Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, and the Philippines fall within the Coral Triangle, where the South China Sea meets the Pacific and Indian Oceans, a junction of inimitable biodiversity. Here divers have access to a truly staggering array of sea life, with nearly 4,000 species of tropical fish and over 590 varieties of coral amid the polychromatic hues of the reefs.
In Thailand and Cambodia – to accompany with the pristine, white-sand beaches – divers can chase dugongs off Koh Rong and perhaps even spot a whale shark off Koh Phangan. To this day, much of the Mergui Archipelago of Myanmar remains untouched, one of the few remaining coral rich areas waiting to be explored.
Even inland divers can hit the cold waters of Siberia’s Lake Baikal or hunt for the Great Wall of China under the Panjiakou Reservoir. Cold or warm, deep or shallow, wreck or turtles – there is no end to the options for intrepid divers in Asia; just look for blue on the map and make the leap.