Still cannot get over how excited your friend who just came back from a fabulous diving vacation was?
If you always wanted to try scuba diving and explore the underwater world, but never really gave it a serious thought, it’s time that you do.
Scuba diving is perhaps the most calming and fascinating sport and can improve your breathing, increase your strength and flexibility, and lower your blood pressure, among other positives.
However, don’t just decide to dive anywhere – after all, you don’t want to see muddy waters and bits of garbage when you are underwater. Here are the best diving spots in Asia and centres where you can get a PADI certification. Book your dive and get ready to explore a new world!
1. Sipadan Island, Malaysia
Remember the whirlpool of fish you saw on National Geographic the other day and went, “Wow!” Witness that and a lot more at your dive at the only oceanic Malaysian island Sipadan.
Be mesmerised by the coral wall on an extinct undersea volcano that rises 600m from the continental shelf. With over 3,000 varieties of fish, unidentified ocean life, colourful coral and crystal clear waters, this dive is said to be one of the best not only in Asia but also in the world.
Chances are you will spot not one but dozens of cute turtles paddling their way through the calm waters. No wonder this diving site has won many awards. To preserve this natural wonder, only 120 people are allowed to dive here every day.
Best time to dive: April-December
How to reach: Once in Malaysia, take a flight to Tawau, followed by a road trip (around one hour) to Semporna. From Semporna, take a one-hour-long boat ride to Sipadan.
Which credit card to use: Your credit card can’t go diving with you but it can certainly take you there. Book your flights and accommodation online with the DBS Woman’s World MasterCard for 10x points on your spending.
2. Raja Ampat Islands, Indonesia
Raja Ampat, known for its untouched beauty, is an archipelago of over 1,500 small islands. The four main islands are Waigeo, Misool, Batanta, and Salawati. Considered ‘global epicenter of tropical marine bio-diversity’, Raja Ampat Islands are any diver’s dream come true. Warm temperatures, great underwater visibility, a massive variety of corals and of course, unending schools of colourful fish make it a popular Asian scuba diving spot. Look out for seahorses and Manta Rays that are the highlight of this diving site. This will surely be the most memorable dive of your life!
Best time to dive: All year long
How to reach: Take a flight to Sorong and hop on a liveaboard from there.