Asia Dive Holidays: An Overview

As with so many things - regions are subject to the whims of fashion. While Africa remains a perennial favourite, the likes of Latin America are now appearing far more on the travel radar, and competing with the Far East for travellers' affections. However, when it comes to diving, there are few regions on Earth that can compare with the Far East making this a constant favourite for divers. As far as we are concerned the Far East (comprising South East Asia, China and Japan) is somewhere particularly special. For the most part it represents extremely good value for money (OK, maybe not Japan), is filled to the brim with spectacular land- and city-scapes, boasts heritage galore, food to die for and of course world-class diving. Finally, there's that great clincher - excellent service.

Neill, Louisa and Amy are here to help give you the inside track.

Why we think you’ll love it

  • The best diving on Earth in the Coral Triangle.
  • Incredible service at immaculate hotels.
  • Excellent liveaboards from which you can reach some of the more remote and pristine areas.

Our guide to holidays in Far East

So, where to start? There is just so much of interest for divers and non-divers alike in this wonderful region. Arguably the biggest draw is Indonesia which offers not only stunning and varied diving, but also some of the best hotels in the world and fascinating culture and adventure away from the diving.

The whole region conjures up visions of exotic scuba diving destinations and glamorous dive holidays, and the locations certainly live up to the dream. Away from Indonesia, there is Malaysia (including the wonderful diving to be found off the coat of Malaysian Borneo), the Philippines and Thailand; all must see dive hot spots where the days are long, packed with sunshine and the diving stands out for its unique ecology and beauty.

The marine life is endlessly varied with the smallest species hiding amid the lush corals right through to large pelagics that cruise the deep. Matched by the superior service surface side, these Far East destinations suit divers and non-divers alike. Quite simply, every detail has been taken care of to ensure that your trip exceeds your every expectation.


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Top picks for Far East

Indonesia

Indonesia

Far East

Home to some of the best diving on earth, incredible landscapes and world class hotels, Indonesia is one of our favourite countries. There are some 17,000 islands to choose from but we know the very best spots to head to.

Where to go

Philippines

Philippines

Far East

The Philippines has an incredible amount of variety in the form of WWII wrecks, pristine reefs, world-class muck diving and one of our favourites: the thresher shark.

Where to go

Picture of a surfer on palm tree

Maldives

Indian Ocean

The Maldives is a world-class diving destination, particularly if you like diving with big fish. Above the waves you find pure white sand, blue seas and world-class hotels. What's not to like?

Where to go

Bali

Bali

Indonesia

Bali and Lombok have great variety for divers including wreck diving, muck diving, mantas and even a chance to encounter the extraordinary mola mola.

Where to go

Picture of aerial view of Raja Ampat

Raja Ampat

Indonesia

Raja Ampat just happens to sit right on the bullseye of the Coral Triangle, which is the area of highest marine biodiversity on earth. With more species of fish and coral than anywhere else on our planet, the diving here is jaw-dropping.

Where to go

Picture of Anenome and clown fish Northern Sulawesi

Northern Sulawesi

Indonesia

North Sulawesi is home to some of the best macro life on earth as well as some of the most pristine walls in Asia!

Where to go

Picture of Beautiful Wakatobi reef

Wakatobi

Indonesia

With some of the most pristine reefs on earth, Wakatobi is paradise for those that love coral and the small stuff - particularly the pygmy seahorse!

Where to go

Picture of Komodo dragon

Komodo

Indonesia

Komodo is a stunning destination both above and below the waves. This national park has some of the very best diving on earth.

Where to go

Picture of Anthias Moyo Island

Moyo Island

Indonesia

Moyo Island is perfect for those that love wildlife and are looking for some off-the-beaten-track luxury.

Where to go

Picture of Mt Mayon Philippines

Bohol

Philippines

Excellent diving, 'chocolate hills' and amazing wildlife. What more could you ask for?

Where to go

Palawan

Palawan

Philippines

Just a short flight from Manila takes you to an extraordinarily beautiful group of islands with amazing resorts, diving and more!

Where to go

Picture of Philippines Malapascua Calanggaman Island

Malapascua

Philippines

A tiny island in the Visayas which is home to some extraordinary marine life, most notably thresher sharks!

Where to go

Picture of diving Tubbataha reef

Tubbataha Reef

Philippines

The jewel in the crown of Philippines diving.

Where to go

Photo of a baby Frogfish in Dauin

Dumaguete and Dauin

Philippines

Incredible muck diving, beautiful reefs and one of our favourite hotels, this region is an absolute gem.

Where to go

Picture of diving in Moalboal

Moalboal

Philippines

Home to a huge school are sardines, Moalboal has some fascinating marine life.

Where to go

Amankila

Amankila

East Bali

Choose from ocean suites, garden suites or pool suites with private pools; all are elevated to take advantage of the spectacular views of the sea and surrounding hills.

Where to stay

Sorido Bay

Sorido Bay

Raja Ampat

A two hour boat journey from the town of Sorong takes you to the remote Sorido Bay Resort, one of the pioneering resorts in this part of the world and the very best place from which to dive some of the world’s best dive sites.

Where to stay

Picture of Misool Eco Resort lagoon

Misool Eco Resort

Raja Ampat

Misool Eco Resort is in one of the most beautifully remote places we have ever been. The diving, and the place, are very special.

Where to stay

Picture of the Dewi Nusantara

Dewi Nusantara

Raja Ampat

Dewi Nusantara is one of a handful of great quality boats operating in the top diving locations in Indonesia. It doesn't get much better.

Where to stay

Picture of Arenui Liveaboard Raja Ampat

Arenui Liveaboard

Indonesia

Experience the ‘coral triangle’ - the highest marine biodiversity on earth - in boutique luxury on board a traditional Phinisi. The Arenui liveaboard cruises the waters of Indonesia providing the very best when it comes to diving and activities while sacrificing nothing in terms of luxury and comfort.

Where to stay

Picture of a komodo dragon

Amanikan Liveaboard

Indonesia

Combine a stay at Amanwana, with a Komodo Expedition. The Aman group are now offering this amazing adventure - from the incomparable and original Amanwana on Moyo Island to the dragon-infested islands of Komodo with their pristine reefs and sensational marine life staying on the Amanikan boat.

Where to stay

Picture of The Silolona

Silolona

Indonesia

If you want the ultimate in liveaboard luxury then look no further than Silolona. It really doesn’t get much better.

Where to stay

Picture of the Si Datu Bua

Si Datu Bua

Indonesia

The sister boat to Silolona has arrived, and it is every bit as impressive and luxurious. Defining ‘Dive in Style’, this sailing yacht will allow you to experience some of the best diving spots on earth from the extreme comfort of Si Datu Bua.

Where to stay

Picture of the Tiger Blue in full sail

Tiger Blue

Indonesia

The Tiger Blue liveaboard is an immaculate and newly built 34m traditional Phinisi. Being newly built she is one of the faster boats under power, an important consideration when you visit destinations like Raja Ampat where the distances from north to south are not inconsiderable. As well as Raja Ampat, this liveaboard boat operates in the Banda Islands and Komodo/Flores and is available for both private charter and set-date departures throughout the year.

Where to stay

Picture of sunset cocktails at Siladen Dive Resort

Siladen

Northern Sulawesi

Occupying a 24 hectare island the Siladen Dive Resort sits on a very good white sand beach, a real rarity in this part of Indonesia where the majority of the beaches are black.

Where to stay

Picture of diving at Lembeh Resort

Lembeh Resort

Northern Sulawesi

Lembeh Resort provides the perfect place from which to explore the incredibly diverse marine life found in the Lembeh Strait.

Where to stay

Picture of a villa at Wakatobi Dive Resort

Wakatobi Dive Resort

Wakatobi

The Wakatobi Dive Resort is something of an enigma, straddling the divide between luxury dive resort and boutique hotel. The atmosphere is incredibly relaxed, the local staff ever helpful, and given where you are it is an amazing achievement, the more so as it puts so much back into the local community. Without the hotel’s existence, it is frighteningly credible that the reefs would by now have been dynamited to extinction.

Where to stay

Picture of Diving the reef from the Pelagian

Pelagian Liveaboard

Wakatobi

The boutique-style Pelagian liveaboard offers an extremely comfortable way to explore Wakatobi and the surrounding waters and with a maximum of 10 guests onboard, a very personal experience.

Where to stay

Picture of diving from SY Asia

SY Asia

Raja Ampat

SY Asia is a magnificent, 100ft luxury charter yacht launched in January 2009. She is now available for charter throughout Southeast Asia.

Where to stay

The Ananyana Beach Resort

The Ananyana Beach Resort

Bohol

If you want total relaxation, whilst experiencing some very good diving, then the Ananyana Beach Resort & Spa is the perfect place for you.

Where to stay

Ariara Island

Ariara Island

Philippines

Escape to the ultimate 'off-the-beaten track' destination - Ariara Island Resort is a private island paradise, available for let and yours to share with whomsoever you choose.

Where to stay

Amanpulo

Amanpulo

Philippines

Amanpulo Resort is Pamalican Island. The name means ‘peaceful island’, and it’s easy to see why. Pamalican’s 250 pristine acres are totally tranquil, with nothing but the luxurious 40-room hideaway, verdant vegetation, exotic bird life and what must be one of the planet’s all-time greatest beaches, a seemingly endless stretch of the finest white powder sloping into clear turquoise waters.

Where to stay

Picture of El Nido Pangulasian Island Resort

El Nido Pangulasian Island Resort

Palawan

With over 2000ft of powdery white sand beach to explore, the private island retreat of Pangulasian Island Resort is an idyllic spot to unwind between dives, on Palawan's Bacuit Bay.

Where to stay

Picture of Philippine Siren

Philippine Siren

Tubbataha Reef

Part of the Siren fleet of luxury liveaboards, the Philippine Siren is one of the best options for diving the waters of the Philippines by liveaboard.

Where to stay

We really did have the most amazing time and i was very impressed with Original Travel, your attention to detail was spot on and all worked seamlessly. I especially liked the travel documents you sent, very bespoke.

Anthony

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