Thursday, January 23, 2014

7 Underwater Paradise Picks You Can Find in Southeast Asia

Summer is just a few months away! If you’re willing to make short-term sacrifices for your long-term goals—like going on trips every year—you’re sure to have enough money put by for your travel plans.


For glorious tourist spots, Southeast Asia is an ideal place to spend your vacation in. Take a tour of breathtaking places. Go on an underwater exploration and be astonished with spectacular sights—swim close to the fish that you could practically count their fins or admire the vivid colors of underwater plants!

Don’t know where you to head off first? Here are 7 underwater paradise top picks you’ll find in Southeast Asia. Bop over to one or all of these places if you ever find yourself in these parts of the world:

Tasi Tolu East Timor

Tasi Tolu in East Timor got its name from three fresh water lakes from the beach just below the nearby foothills. It’s located only 15-20 minutes away from the centre of Dili. Because of these three bodies of water, lakes tend to bring flood in the nearby roads and villages during the rainy season. It was for this reason that the government commissioned a project designed to build a drainage channel to allow the overflow to run off into the sea.

This diving site is rich with plenty of different types of marine life. If you dive or go snorkeling in the waters of Tosi Tolu, you’ll find yourself swimming alongside seahorses, spiny tigers, and tozeuma shrimps—among other fascinating sea creatures.

Raja Ampat Islands

In the Indonesian language, Raja Ampat means “Four Kings.” The name comes from four main islands (amongst many islets) that mark the sea. The islands are located in the eastern region of Indonesia. The islands of Raja Ampat are located near the equator—that’s why you can easily feel the humidity in the air and experience rainfall showers. According to a world record, Raja Ampat has the highest count of biodiversity with 374 different species. You’ll see oceanic and reef manta, hard and soft corals, school of fishes, sharks, and other marine species when you dive into its clear blue waters. Enjoy walking around the beach and explore other signs of wildlife living in the islands.

Pulau Sipadan, Malaysia

Sipadan is located in Celebes Sea, off the east coast of Sabah, Eastern Malaysia. Rising 600 metres (2,000 ft.) from the seabed, the island is filled with living corals that give divers a unique look at a colourful and picturesque slice of underwater life.

This rainforest-covered tropical island is one of the richest marine habitats in the world. There are more than 3,000 species of fish and hundreds of coral species in Sipadan, which is why it has been rated by many dive journals as one of the top destinations for diving junkies in the world.

Tubbataha Reef, Philippines

The Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park—also known as Bahurang Tubbataha—is located in the middle of Sulu Sea, specifically in Palawan province. This is a protected area in the Philippines. There are two huge atolls (North and South) in the reef that serve as marine and bird sanctuaries.

The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), an agency of the United Nations that promotes education and communication and the arts, declared the Tubbataha Reefs National Park as a World Heritage Site. This is largely because of the exceedingly high number of different marine species sighted within the atoll reefs.

Similan Islands, Thailand

Simian Islands was placed by National Geographic as “one of the top ten destinations to visit in the world.” Go on an adventure. Appreciate the beauty of the island’s pristine waters. There are fun activities you can do such as sightseeing, snorkelling around four of the nine islands, or just spend your mornings taking a dive and enjoying all the underwater action.

This group of islands is located in the Andaman Sea. It’s part of Phang Nga Province in Southern Thailand. The forestry department went on a one-year exploration, which resulted in the establishment of the National Park in 1982. The nine island are Ko Bayu, Ko Bon, Ko Huyong Ko Similan, Ko Payu, Ko Miang, Ko Payan, and Ko Payang. After the recent expansion, there are now two more remote islands added to the park—Ko Bon and Ko Tachai.

Komodo Island, Indonesia

Komodo Island is home to the world's most pristine reefs. Many travel websites and forums claim that the island is one of the "best diving spots in the world."

Though the place poses some danger for divers and swimmers because of strong currents in some areas, there are professional divers who assist travellers to ensure their safety, along with providing scuba diving tours and assistance in the island as well. Diving into the deep waters of Komodo Island lets you see different marine species such as manta rays, sharkcritters, pelagics, frog fish pigmy seahorses, whale sharks, dugongs, hawksbill turtles, along with eighteen types of cetaceans, and macro fishes. There are also colourful reefs, seamounts and pinnacles, black and white sand slops, and more aquatic creatures just waiting for you to capture them in that picture-perfect moment.

Nha Trang, Vietnam

Nha Trang is considered to be a prime location for scuba diving in Vietnam. There are different dive shops with guides whoc can teach and accompany you. There are small yet colourful reef fishes you’ll see swarming around in Nha Trang’s waters. You’ll also find hard and soft corals. Due to a large quantity of Fairy Basslets and Damsel fishes, it is difficult to see the corals at times. One of the famous diving sites here is Whale Island. Though the island holds the name ‘whale’, sharks, rays, big pelagics—along with similar types of this marine creature—are rarely seen in the area.

So, are you excited to take a trip to one or all names on the list? Ask your travel agent about these places or search online. Make sure to get travel insurance coverage while you’re at it. Many things happen on the road so it’s best to be prepared.

If you do get a travel insurance plan though, check first if diving activities are part of its coverage. If not, then at least you know and you can adjust your expectations or travel plans to reflect that.

About the Author:

This article is contributed by MoneyMax, Philippines leading comparison website. This portal helps individuals in saving money by comparing credit cards, personal loans, insurance and broadband plans.

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