Best Dive Sites: Top 15 Dives to Experience Before You Die
สืบเนื่องจากคำโปรยก่อนเข้าชมอัลบั้มจากทริปปาเลาของวิน “ทริปสุดประทับใจที่ปาเลา ก่อนตายต้องไปอีกครั้ง” link เรานึกถึงหัวข้อนี้เลยอ่ะ เป็นหัวข้อที่รวบรวมสถานที่ดำน้ำ 15 แหล่งสุดสวยของโลก ที่นักดำน้ำไม่ควรพลาดควรไปก่อนตาย เฮอ เฮอ เป็นคำเปรียบเปรยอ่ะนะไม่ต้องคิดมาก เราว่านักประดาน้ำส่วนใหญ่ก็คงอยากไปดำในแหล่งที่จัดว่าสวยสุดๆ ของโลกกันทั้งนั้น ไม่รู้ว่ารายนี้สนใจจะไปทั้ง 15 แหล่ง เหมือนกับที่ตั้งใจจะไปเยี่ยมชม Apple Store ทุกสาขาทั่วโลกไหมนะ ^___^
วินเนี้ยเริ่มดำน้ำมาตั้งแต่ปี 2008 ตอนนี้ก็ประมาณ 4 ปีแล้วถ้านับจำนวนไดร์ฟ เราว่าน่าจะเกิน 200 ไดรฟ์นะไม่รู้นับผิดหรือเปล่านะ แล้ว 15 แหล่งที่เขากล่าวถึงเนี้ยโห้ธาวินเก็บมาแล้ว 3 นะค้าไม่ธรรมดา เราว่ามีอีกหลายแหล่งนะที่วินมีโอกาสไป เราก็ต้องติดตามกันต่อไปพร้อมรวบรวมสถิติและเซฟภาพเก็บจัดหมวดหมู่อย่างดี ธาวินไม่จัดทริปใหญ่ไปแบบทั้ง 15 แหล่งทั่วโลกเลยล่ะแพ็คเกจนี้ ขายธาวินคนแรกเลย เฮอ เฮอ แหมไปดำน้ำเนี้ยถ้าไปไปกับก๊วนที่รู้ใจมันก็สนุกขึ้นเป็นทวีคูณใช่ไหม
และเป็นที่ภาคภูมิใจของคนไทยก็คือหนึ่งใน 15 แหล่งดำน้ำแนะนำมี “Richelieu Rock” เกาะตาชัย ประเทศไทย ติดเป็นแหล่งแนะนำด้าน “Best Whale Shark Dive” แหล่งชมฉลามวาฬ จำได้หรือเปล่าว่าวินไปมาแล้วกี่รอบวันนี้เรามีสถิติมาแปะให้ด้วย ไปบ่อยนะเลยล่ะ “สิมิลัน เกาะบอน ตาชัย ริเชริว” เรียกได้ว่าไปตั้งแต่เด็กจนโต ฮุ ฮุ แล้วก็มีภาพสวยๆ มาฝากตลอดด้วยนะเราทำลิงค์ไว้ให้ด้วยสำหรับแหล่งดำน้ำที่วินเปมาแล้วและเก็บภาพมาฝาก ว่าแล้วเรามาดูกันดีกว่า 15 แหล่งดำน้ำสวยๆ ของโลกมีที่ไหนกันบ้าง แล้วธาวินไปที่ไหนมาแล้วบ้าง
ปล. เราไม่แปลนะคือศัพท์เฉพาะเยอะผิดแน่นอนไม่ชำนาญเรื่องดำน้ำนี่นาเราว่าดูภาพสวยๆ กับเก็บเป็นความรู้รอบตัวไปละกันนะ
1.Best Cave/Cavern Dives – Cenotes of the Riviera Maya, Mexico
The freshwater-filled limestone sinkholes known as Cenotes situated in the state of Yucatán, Mexico lead to some of the most beautiful and intricate underwater caves and caverns in the World. The natural beauty of these cenotes and caves, with its crystal clear turquoise waters, sunlight reflecting stalactites and stalagmites are truly enigmatic works of art drawing divers the world over to explore its waters. With over 3000 Cenotes, 1400 of which have been studied and recorded it’s impossible to pick just one as the best. The Riviera Maya has the World’s three longest running underwater Cave Sytems – Ox Bel Ha (146.7Km.), Nohoch Nah Chich (61Km.) and Dos Ojos (57.7 Km.). Cenote Dos Ojos, Cenote Tajmahal and Gran Cenote are some of the notable cenotes here.
For more read: Cenotes: The Underwater Caves of The Riviera Maya, Mexico
2. Best Wreck Dive – SS Yongala, Ayr, Australia
Rated 6th on our list of the World’s Top 10 Wreck Dives, but possibly the most popular wreck dives of all times and highly rated by thousands of divers the world over is the SS Yongala at the Great Barrier. This enchanting Australian passenger ship lying within the Great Barrier Reef Park lay undercover for over half a century since it sank in a cyclone in 1911. Today home to giant groupers, schools of trevally, cobia, turtles and sweeping rays among plenty of others, the ship is only a 30minute journey from the shore. The incredible array of marine life that accompanies the wreck is unmatched. From eagle rays, tiger sharks, bull sharks, giant grouper, turtles to swarms of giant barracuda and schools of bait fish that covers more than the eye can see, the SS Yongala is a Wreck dive site teaming with more life than many a coral reef!
For more read: World’s Top 10 Wreck Dives
3. Best Wall Dive – Blue Corner Wall, Palau, Micronesia
Tawin’s Trip: Palau 13-21 April 2012, 17 drives with Scuba Jambooree, view photo link
Palau in Micronesia is diving hot spot and unarguably one of the best dive destinations in the World! The 200 islands of Palau are surrounded by breathtaking fringing coral reefs, crystal caves and WWII wrecks. Of all attractions on offer to diver’s delights though, the drop off’s and wall dives are in a class of their own. Recognized as one of the best wall dives in the world due to its concentration of marine life, the Blue Corner Wall at the northwest end of Ngemelis Island.This dive site features a shallow coral shelf that projects out into the ocean and has vertical walls on both sides. Not for the faint of heart, this is an advanced dive with sometimes very strong and unpredictable currents which brings in schools of fish and large pelagics to the top edges of the walls. The wall drops from 30 to 1000 feet (10 to 330 meters) or more and is covered with large variety of giant Gorgonian sea fans, hard corals and soft corals.The flat coral plateau on the top extended between the two walls and drops gently on the west to about 45 to 60 feet (15 to 20 meters). Covered in colonies of cabbage corals as well as many varieties of hard and soft corals make the wall a fantastic place for some underwater photography. But, it’s the large schools of fish that makes this site as famous as it is. Sharks, Wahoo, Tuna, Hawks Bill and Green turtles, Eagle Rays, Giant Groupers, and Barracuda, to name but a few species. Two resident Napoleon wrasses often accompany the divers throughout their dive. Diving here almost guarantees you great stories to tell friends and and marine encounters you’ll never forget!
4. Best Manta Ray Dive- Manta Ray Night Dive, Kailua Kona, Hawaii
Tawin’s Trip: Kailua Kona, Hawaii 24-29 March 2014, Dive with friends, view photo at Tawin’s IG link
The Kona Coast is one of the best places in the world to get up close and personal with manta rays. Often described as an experience of lifetime when one chances on one of these magnificent creatures, dive operators in Hawaii plate up this experience with night dive twist making it just spectacular. Divers are given underwater flashlights and are directed to point their beams towards the surface. The bright lights attract hordes of plankton which in turn bring the mantas as well as a ton of other fish to the vicinity. Much to the delight of divers and snorkelers even the manta rays often swoop, turn and even somersault towards the light where the plankton is plentiful displaying the surprising agility of this creature. More than 60 individual Mantas identified by spots on their underside, have been photographed, cataloged and named as regulars on the Manta Ray Night Dives.
5. Best Deep Dive – Lighthouse Reef Blue Hole, Belize
More for an adventure dive rather than for the reef or marine life, the Belize Blue Hole is a World famous deep dive site. The almost perfectly circular Blue Hole was created by what was a dry cave system in the Ice Age and is an amazing sight from an areal view as it’s over 1000ft (300 meters) in diameter and 450ft (135 meters) deep. The caves have stalactite formations where the reef is at 110 feet and you can often see hammerhead sharks lurking in the shadows. More a thrill for it’s inky blue depths and upward view of a passage to the sky, the Blue Hole is a hotspot for divers. When it comes to Blue Hole Diving, the Belize Hole is the most well known of the lot.
For more read: Blue Hole Diving and The Most Rewarding Dive Spots In The Caribbean
6. Best Drift Dive – Santa Rosa Wall, Cozumel, Mexico
Ranked no. 1 by PADI as a top dive destination and featuring on almost every divers must-dive destination list, the island of Cozumel off the Mayan Coast of Mexico is a feast for any divers eyes. Famous for its drift diving, Cozumel is a lazy diver’s paradise with currents that range from gentle 1/2 knots near some dive sites to fast, strong currents only for experienced and adventurous drift divers.The Wall at the Santa Rosa Reef begins at 50 feet and drops straight away into the deep blue. The Santa Rosa Wall is an expansive reef filled with huge coral mounds and covered with giant sea fans, beds of tunicates, immense sponges, huge overhangs of stony corals and impressive caves and tunnels. The massive richly colored sponges line the wall that drops off to infinity. Visibility here is stunning and with the current doing most of the work all you need to do is fall into the water and let the currents carry you away, past a Technicolor reef scene that boasts a rainbow array of sponges and scads of unique fish. Look in cracks and crevices for the whiskered Splendid Toadfish, found nowhere else on Earth.
For more read: Paradise Reefs: Diving in Cozumel, Mexico
7. Best Ice Dive – McMurdo Sound, Antarctica
Antarctica Scuba diving? Antarctica conjures up images of lots and lots of snow, ice, glaciers, penguins and very little to see, but one thing you would never imagine doing here is Scuba diving. Well, think again! In extreme temperatures that often drop below -40°C (-40°F), where no insects, plants nor major life exists here above the ground, people do the unthinkable and plunge into it’s icy waters! McMurdo Sound Antarctica is where divers break through the 1.3-3m (4-10ft) thick ice to enter the freezing cold waters, only to be rewarded by stunning visibility of about 300m (990 ft) and a rich marine life like no other anywhere else in the World.
For more read: Extreme Diving: Ice Diving in Antarctica
8. Best Night Dive – Maaya Thila, Maldives
The Maldives has no shortage of dive sites and always has a spot in the Top 10 dive destinations in the World. Maaya Thila off the Ari Atoll, is often singled out as the Number 1 site in the Maldives and at is rated one of the best spots in the World to experience at night. This one- of-a kind dive is most notable for its inspiring profusion of life including White Tip Reef Sharks, Turtles, Octopus,Moray Eels, Stone Fish, Cleaner Shrimps and the seldom seen Ghost Pipe Fish. The caves, overhangs and even a swim-throughs make the dive even more exciting with the vibrant colors of the soft coral coverage and the tubastrea coral. If you’re lucky you could even spot a guitar shark,a few hammerheads or spotted eagle rays.
9. Best Kelp Dive – San Clemente, Channel Islands, California
Sometimes called ‘the North American Galapagos’ or ‘the Fiji of America’, the Channel Islands made up of a chain of eight islands is one of the richest marine parks of the world. The southern most island of San Clemente absolute diver’s Mecca with it’s redwood- like Kelp forests teeming with sea lions, with the opportunity for divers to swim with them and observe the playful sea lions up close. Garibaldi in their bright colors contrasting against the kelp and Giant curious Sea Bass are common to these waters offering scuba divers a spectacular sight. Underwater photographers will have no dearth of subjects to snap away at in these clear waters.
For more read: Dive The Channel Islands California
10. Best Coral Reef Life Dives – Bunaken National Marine Park, Sulawesi, Indonesia
The diving possibilities around Sulawesi island are virtually limitless with 6,000 miles of coastline, however, the Bunaken National Marine Park off the north east tip of Sulawesi alone will keep most ardent divers happy. Often quoted among the world’s top ten dive destinations as the reef is in mint condition and houses almost everything there is in marine life. Pick any of group of interest – corals, fish, echinoderms or sponges – and the number of families, genera or species is bound to be astonishingly high here. The wall dives here are simply out of this world, you can’t help but notice the high concentration of schooling fish from drummers, fusiliers to brightly-colored anthias that you pass along the edge of the reef top and the clouds of pyramid butterflyfish and bannerfish underneath. The variety of reef fish is astounding: you could pick out over 20 species of butterflyfish alone if you so desired. The big fish too are not to be left out and one can encounter sharks , napoleon wrasses, bumphead parrotfish, giant trevally, jacks, batfish, giant barracuda and turtles out in the blue off the wall. Many inspirational underwater photos have been taken here, full of curious looking creatures. Dive here and you’ll be spoilt for the remainder of your diving life.
11. Best Big Fish Encounter Dives – Sipadan Island, Borneo, Malaysia
Tawin’s Trip: Sipadan-Mataking 23-28 September 2010, 10 drives with Scuba Jamboree view photo link
The tiny island of Sipadan which is a limestone pinnacle rising from 600 meters from the seabed in the Celebes Sea was described by the famous late French underwater explorer and diver Jacques-Yves Cousteau as “…an untouched piece of art.” A legendary dive destination, Sipadan is a magnet and bio-diversity hotspot of Southeast Asia drawing in big fish like barracudas, large schools of trevally, horse-eye jacks, reef sharks and bumphead parrotfish. It’s coral reefs housed in turquoise blue waters are also home to dozens of breeding hawksbill and green turtles that have become accustomed to divers making it a great spot to get up close and person with these gentle reptiles.Rated the 3rd best dive site in the world by ScubaTravel and most favored dive site in Sipadan is ‘Barracuda point’. While there are no guarantees the chances are you’ll find yourself in the center of a swirling vortex of…any guesses?…yes, Barracudas!! Apart from barracuda you’ll see species like the chevron barracuda and blacktail barracuda, huge schools of jacks, tuna, bannerfish, redtooth triggers and plenty of turtles as usual along with Grey reef sharks looking for a quick lunch.
For more read: Diving at Sipadan Island, Borneo – An Untouched Piece of Art
12. Best Shark Dive – Gansbaai, South Africa
For what nightmares are made of, there’s no where in the World like South Africa to encounter the so called ‘man-eater’ Great White. 12kms offshore from Gansbaai (160km from Cape Town), there are two islands Dyer Island and Geyser Rock where all the action takes place. The islands covered with seals and jackass penguins are like a ready to eat fast food meal for the sharks who patrol the shallow and narrow channel that runs between the two islands, as if they were at a McDonald’s drive-thru. Jump in a cage here an all that’ll separate you from the most feared shark in the sea is a few metal bars. It’s a front row seat to watch the dinning frenzy and maybe a closer encounter with a curious great white when it checks out your cage. You’re guaranteed you’re moneys worth and an experience of a lifetime.
For more read: Top 5 Shark Diving Destinations in the World
13. Best Whale Shark Dive – Richelieu Rock, Koh Tachai, Thailand
Tawin’s Trip: with Scuba Jamboree
3-8 April 2012 Similan-Richelieu, 15 Drives view photo link
30 Dec 2010- 4 Jan 2011 Similan-Richelieu, 15 Drives view photo link
10-14 Nov 2010 Similan-Richelieu, 15drives view photo link
24 Feb-1 Mar 2010 Similan-Richelieu, 15 Drives view photo link
9-14 Nov 2009 Similan, 15 Drives view photo link
14 km east of the Mu Koh Surin marine park is the dive site of Richelieu Rock in the famous stretch of Andaman Sea lying between the Similan and Surin Islands renowned as whale shark territory. Although there are many sites in Thailand for diving with whale sharks, Richelieu Rock is your best bet. The nutrient-rich water makes for excellent diving where plankton blooms attract many fish including the whale shark. Manta Rays too frequent the site.The huge central pinnacle of this dive site is surrounded by smaller jutting rocks every inch of which is covered in soft corals, anemones, barrel sponges and sea fans making it a picturesque setting for a whale shark encounter.
14. Best Shore Dives – Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles
Bonaire of the Dutch Antilles located in the southern Caribbean near Aruba is world renowned for its excellent scuba diving and is consistently rated among the best diving and locations in the world. The island itself is actually the peak of a submerged mountain, so deep sloping reefs surround most of the island. Just a walk down the beach and you can plunge into any one of the 86 spots and find spectacular coral within a few hundred yards. The Bonaire Marine Park protect the environment from the high water mark to a depth of 200 feet maintaining this reef’s integrity.
For more read:Bonaire – A Divers Paradise
15. Best Liveaboard Dives – Sharm El Sheik and Ras Mohammed, Red Sea, Egypt
Sharm El-Sheik on the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt is one of the most popular dive destinations of the Red Sea and has the best of what the Red Sea has to offer. With lush sandy beaches, tropical climate and exciting nightlife it’s a tourist destination with beautiful dive sites to explore. A couple of dive sites worth noting here are ‘the Light’ and ‘the Point’, where there are 130-foot drop-offs and multitudes of reef and pelagic fish. A 196 feet wall drop off into the depths just off shore, just south of Na’ama Bay called ‘The Tower’ is another popular site and is frequented by sea horses and ghost-pipe fish. All these plus the 20 dive sites within the Ras Mohammed National Park, including the famous Thistlegorm wreck, rated among the World’s Top 10 Wreck Dives are best visited by liveaboards of all price ranges operating here.
For more read: The Best Red Sea Dive Spots