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Snorklers -where else to go in Asia for off beach snorkeling

San Francisco, CA
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Snorklers -where else to go in Asia for off beach snorkeling

LOVED our Maldives vacation in December, and need to plan another vacation for August. I hear it's rainy season in Maldives then, so want to find somewhere else this time around, preferably w/o rain. I know many folks go to Maldives for the fantastic snorkeling right off the beach - any other suggestions in Asia to consider? I can't imagine anywhere else being as good. That being said, would love to hear from the snorkeling enthusiasts of other Asian sites with good off-the-beach snorkeling. Thanks!!!

Madrid, Spain
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1. Re: Snorklers -where else to go in Asia for off beach snorkeling

There are two places where I haven't been with great snorkelling and diving, though you usually go in excursions, but the wet seasons is may to september: Raja Ampat (Indonesia: very very long trip to reach there), and El Nido (Philippines)...

I wouldn't go to El Nido in August as the wet season isn't a wet season as in Maldives, there are typhoons: I would go back to Maldives, in fact, I am going back again in august this year, as I have always gone...

Edited: 06 June 2013, 05:23
San Francisco, CA
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2. Re: Snorklers -where else to go in Asia for off beach snorkeling

Have you been in August before? I read in a post that it was the middle of the wet season (August through Oct), and one person said it rained the entire week one August they were there. Thanks!

Karlsruhe, Germany
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3. Re: Snorklers -where else to go in Asia for off beach snorkeling

I went to El Nido last December. It was lovely but the snorkeling was not as good as the Maldives. Visibility was also poor. I believe visibility is a lot better in their rainy season. I've heard that Malaysian Borneo is very good e.g. Sipadan. I've been looking at Lankyan Resort. The weather there is meant to be good in August.

Rome, Italy
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4. Re: Snorklers -where else to go in Asia for off beach snorkeling

some islands of Borneo (Malaysia) are very good in August for snorkeling.

Melbourne, Australia
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5. Re: Snorklers -where else to go in Asia for off beach snorkeling

IMO forget Asia. Look at Great Barrier Reef or Palau, or South Pacific. Not been to reefs in Philippines but Asia generally does not have any the Maldives. If you want a different type of holiday can recommend heaps of places in Asia but not for reefs.

Best snorkelling for us apart from Maldives has been in Fiji.Still for a snorkelling holiday - Maldives is the best

Cumbria, United...
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6. Re: Snorklers -where else to go in Asia for off beach snorkeling

August is apparently one of the best times for diving/snorkelling Sipadan - turtle mating season.

Would love to go to the Misool Eco resort in Raja Ampat or Wakatobi in Indonesia.

How about Bali if you want to combine with more onshore activities or maybe the Red Sea (not Asia I know but in season with off beach snorkelling).

Somerset
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7. Re: Snorklers -where else to go in Asia for off beach snorkeling

Of course it is the rainy season throughout the tropics.

Borneo, Sabah at Kota Kinablu some great hotels. I stayed at the Tanjung Aru which was lovely and speedboats from there took 10mins to the islands with some lovely coral. Different to the Maldives but a lovely way to spend the day. I found Sipadan cloudy and dead tho I was told it was good.

The Great B Reef was amazing. A lot of things you don't get in the Maldives. Lady Elliot is one of the most economical islands and the best diving/snorkeling on the reef. A private island you are on the reef and can wade in to see the reef or snorkel further afield. As a nature reserve you get tropic birds nesting and turtles. It is also the quiet season in August as not so warm (about 21-25C) so good rates.

If you stop at Hervey Bay you get whale watching in August (right next to the boat) then a flight to Lady Elliot.

Amsterdam, The...
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8. Re: Snorklers -where else to go in Asia for off beach snorkeling

As your question is about (good) off beach snorkeling and within Asia, most of the previous suggestions do not fit.

Only location I can think of is Bunaken (Sulawesi).

Somerset
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9. Re: Snorklers -where else to go in Asia for off beach snorkeling

You're right janjans but Borneo is part Malaysia and is recorded as both Asia and Indonesia. Mainly Asia.

I thought Northern Australia was an easier hop from the OP's state and that island on the GBReef is the only place I've seen to rival the Maldives with the Red Sea coming a close second so it was worth mentioning.

Again it's not Asia but there are some fabulous spots around S America that would be within easier reach.

Edited: 06 June 2013, 18:53
Amsterdam, The...
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10. Re: Snorklers -where else to go in Asia for off beach snorkeling

@SueBonington: Completely true, but speedboat trips do not count as off beach snorkeling ;-)

The GB reef is indeed amazing, but you also need a boat to get there. Ningaloo reef (west side of Australia has some excellent off beach snorkelling).

Edited: 06 June 2013, 21:45