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Anyone been to Burma banks region lately?

Discussion in 'Thailand' started by Mr. Blues, Feb 21, 2012.

  1. Mr. Blues

    Mr. Blues Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Santa Fe, NM (land of fools)
    126
    0
    16
    Thinking of doing a liveaboard to Andaman area in March to possibly include Burma Banks etc.
    Last time I was in Thailand was late 1990s, on the Genesis - viz was so so, currents, no whalesharks, but
    overall I had a good time. (I'm a photographer but it's not a major priority, and I like it all-big stuff, little stuff, vids, stills). Now more than a decade later I am wondering about the damage from the tsunami? fished out?
    LOTS more divers (which has to have an impact)? and supposedly Burma area is less frequented....BUT
    wondering if it is worth it with all the extra fees going to the government and who knows who, let alone
    dive conditions, currents, viz, dynamite fishing, quality of marine life, etc. I've read some earlier posts regarding this location,
    and it seems that the collective wisdom is that I'm not missing much by not diving the Myanmar area, and that Thai diving
    like most everywhere else, is not what it used to be.
    Any recent feedback on Thai/Burma liveaboards is welcomed. Thanks for all replies.
     
  2. paddydiver

    paddydiver Angel Fish

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Ireland
    16
    5
    3
    Diving is not what it was thats for sure, but thats a worldwide situation I would say and not just Thailand. As far as Tsunami damage goes it really won't be that noticable,however over fishing especially in the Similans is a problem.
    Here's what I can say about Burma having been Tourleader on liveaboards up there. GO FOR IT! You will see some dynamite damage, you may even encounter some dynamite fishing but overall the coral is in great shape, macro life is awesome and you will most likely not encounter any other diveboats during your trip. Most boats do not take in Burma banks as part of the iteniary but you're not really missing much as the only reason to go there was to see sharks and there is not too many of them anymore.
    Overall diving in Burma still feels like an adventure. Topside the scenary is wild and beautifull, underwater the dive sites still have an untouched feel about them and because it is a little more difficult to go there you will most likely find yourself with more experienced and like minded divers.
     
  3. Mr. Blues

    Mr. Blues Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Santa Fe, NM (land of fools)
    126
    0
    16
  4. mase

    mase Barracuda

    # of Dives:
    Location: Koh Tao, Thailand
    282
    6
    0
    Most companies prefer going to the Mergui archipelago rather then the Burma Banks. I did a trip 2 weeks ago. No sharks, mantas or whale sharks but an enjoyable trip nevertheless. Unlike the similans, you won't see another dive boat and you will see several species you won't find in Thailand. Is it worth the extra cost? A toss up.
     
  5. nikyyo

    nikyyo Barracuda

    203
    1
    18
    On my prior two dive trips to the similans, people who dived Burma were generally left unimpressed and kind of regretted that they went. Like Paddy diver mentioned, diving in general just isn't what it used to be. I personally noticed a decline in the span of my two dive trips to Thailand. On my first trip I loved Hin Dang and Hin Muang, on my second trip they weren't even diveable because of some kind of coral dive off. I'll never forget those purple soft corals at Hin Muang. I sincerely hope they've come back.
     
  6. Mr. Blues

    Mr. Blues Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Santa Fe, NM (land of fools)
    126
    0
    16
    Thank you...I appreciate it.
     
  7. world tour

    world tour Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: thailand
    7
    3
    0
    Went there in January, I dont know how it used to be but I found it still pretty amazing. In 5 day I saw a manta, nurse sharks, arlequin shrimps, ghost pipe fishes and so much more, a paradise for photographies! I went with the smiling seahorse, a brand new company based at the border town of Ranong, nice enthousiastic staff, comfortable boat, BBQ, kayak. I loved it, highly recommend them. I'd say, from what I read, burma is on the down side, like the rest of the diving spots in the planet so its really time to go while it last. Hot waters in thailand killed so much of the coral, its sad, because burma has colder water around the dive sites, coral is still in good shape there.
     
  8. MLKNYC

    MLKNYC Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: NYC
    2
    0
    0
    Hi Paddy Diver. I'm looking to put together a dive trip to tack on to a Burma tour for 4 days or so (resort or live aboard). Any recommends of safe and reliable dive companies? Better to go via Thailand or via Yangoon? Any ideas welcome!

    Thanks!
     
  9. Zippsy

    Zippsy Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: SIngapore
    1,817
    389
    83
    That's a unique perspective of the coral bleaching that happened in the area a few years ago. You reckon that Thailand's water was too warm so they sent it up to Burma and took back Burma's cooler water? Those sneaky Thais.
     
    Quero and limbo like this.
  10. Quero

    Quero Will be missed Rest in Peace

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Phuket, Thailand
    9,494
    2,243
    0
    What do they need the cooler water for in Burma anyway with their dynamite-fishing bombed out reefs? We may as well siphon it down to Thailand to nurse the regrowth of our shallow reefs, eh?

    Seriously, though, the best part of Burma diving is the frontier aspect of it--very few dive boats (but you really can hear the dynamite charges being detonated and you can see the results). I am hopeful that the new political opening up of Burma may also bring enough revenue to the country from divers that there will be a serious effort to stop the reef bombing. In the past, with so few divers up there, the monetary incentive to stop destructive fishing practices hasn't been convincing enough, I guess.
     

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