From Myanmar to the Philippines and Thailand to Indonesia, there are many snorkelling destinations in South-East Asia. To say the least, you’ll have plenty to choose from: Indonesia and the Philippines alone have over 15 000 islands. As you can see, South-East Asia is an endless playground for lovers of the underwater world.
Pulau Perhentian, Terengganu, Malaysia
Terengganu’s well known for its crystal-clear waters, and the two islands that make up Pulau Perhentian are no exception. It’s a great place to spot sea turtles and small sharks (don’t worry, reef sharks won’t bite).
Nusa Penida, Bali, Indonesia
You’d need to scuba dive to see Nusa Penida’s main star – the ocean sunfish. But for an encounter that’s just as exhilarating, you can snorkel at the Manta Point site and spend hours swimming with schools of playful manta rays.
Palawan Islands, Philippines
A visit to Palawan Island offers divers the chance to encounter pygmy seahorses, dugongs and manta rays and if you’re a history buff, shipwrecks dating from World War 2 located in dive bases like El Nido, Puerto Princesa and Busuanga are sure to pique your curiosity.
Gili Islands, Lombok, Indonesia
In addition to party boats, yoga, and surfing, Gili Islands is a popular destination among snorkellers, thanks to its beautiful shallow reefs and its sea turtle population. Either rent masks or fins off the beach, or go on a snorkelling boat trip that will take you to three or four spots.
Green Island, Taitung, Taiwan
Besides cycling and hiking, Taiwan’s Green Island is great for both diving and snorkelling. The water visibility can go up to 20 metres, and you’ll likely see marine life such as moray eels, parrotfish, and sea snakes while exploring the island’s cool waters.
Koh Tang, Cambodia
If you’re afraid of the big fish, you won’t have to contend with them here as the place is home to an incredible variety of small fish you won’t find anywhere else in Asia. The top attraction is no doubt the Khmer Garden for its vast size and unrivalled coral life.
Phu Quoc, Kien Giang, Vietnam
Head over to Phu Quoc Island if you want a peaceful snorkelling experience without being disturb by other tourists. The island’s dive sites cater for a wide range of diving activities and here is where you’ll have the chance to encounter cuttlefish, bamboo sharks, blue-spotted rays and nudibranchs.
Hikkaduwa, Galle, Sri Lanka
The clear waters of Hikkaduwa – a small town situated about 17 kilometres North-West of Galle – are great for spotting tropical reef fish like angelfish and snappers. If you’re lucky, a green turtle might show up!
Mergui Archipelago, Myanmar
Without question, the Mergui Archipelago, which consists of some 800 islands, represents the best diving spot Myanmar has to offer. The largely desolate area contains huge boulders, caverns and tunnels that welcome snorkelers and divers into a world of sharks, manta rays and venomous red lionfish.
Donsol, Sorsogon, Philippines
TIME Magazine named Donsol the best wildlife encounter destination in Asia in the year 2014. You’ll spot lots and lots of whale sharks feeding on plankton near the water surface when you snorkel in Donsol
Sipadan Islands, Sabah, Malaysia
Winning top spot in Rodale’s Scuba Diving Magazine Gold List has propelled the Sipadan Island to diving fame with one of the main draws being a turtle tomb, an underwater limestone cave containing the remains of green sea turtles that were trapped and consequently drowned.
Cenderawasih Bay, West Papua, Indonesia
Snorkel with the whale sharks of Cenderawasih Bay! Sure, it’s not easy to get to this place, but ponder the fact that you’ll get to spend lots of time with these gentle giants, sans annoying crowds. Convinced yet?
Similan Islands, Phang-nga, Thailand
If you’d like to see Nemo in real life, head to Similan Islands, where the clown fish is a marine wildlife star. Aside from an incredible assortment of marine wildlife, this protected national park houses some of the most spectacular coral growths in the world, making this snorkelling spot an underwater playground for divers.
Pulau Kakaban, Derawan, Indonesia
If you want to experience snorkelling with millions of stingless jellyfish, Pulau Kakaban is the perfect island for you. It’s a bit of a trek to get to Jellyfish Lake from the main jetty, but when you get there, you’ll be greeted with crowd-free waters and majestic green hills towering over the lake.
Bunaken Islands, North Sulawesi, Indonesia
Bunaken Island is ranked as one of the best snorkelling destination in the world. In these crystal clear water, with visibility up to 40 metres is where you’ll see sharks, turtles, schools of barracudas and if you’re lucky – dolphins!
Snorkelling and diving is a great way to see some of the magnificent sights the ocean has to offer and Asia is no wilting wallflower in the arena of snorkelling. The continent is home to some of the most spectacular reefs where the showiest of displays can be viewed up close and personal.
So what are you waiting for? Grab your swimsuits and discover these underwater paradises! Download the mobile app www.nuflit.com/app to find locals at these destinations to help you during your South East Asian travels!
Below are some locals who can bring you around the countries that we have mentioned in our article. Tap the images below to find out more!BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS