Best Diving & Underwater Photography Locations in Southeast Asia

Asia has some of the best dive locations in the world for underwater photography, especially in the golden triangle, which connects bali, borneo, philippines, and the solomon islands.


I'd hike to highlight 4 land-based locations that offer everything I look for in a underwater photography destination - great diving, low cost, easy access from a major airport, and good dive guides.


Other locations may also offer great diving, but costs or travel time might be higher, the sites might be too crowded, or access is only by liveaboard.


Diving Anilao, Bunaken, Lembeh, and Bali:


Anilao diving and underwater photography - macro and nudibranch heaven!


Lembeh straits diving and underwater photography - muck diving capital of the world.


Bunaken diving and underwater photography - great wide-angle, walls, coral, and lots of fish


Bali diving and underwater photography - macro, big fish, walls, wrecks, coral - bali has it all


Sipadan - great diving with barracudas, bumpheads, jacks and turtles, with good muck nearby also.

Lots of big fish at Sipadan, but permits restrict diving at Sipadan island, and the diving there can be crowded.


Ambon - great muck sites with frogfish and rhinopias.

Ambon can just be a little harder to get to than other places, which is a draw for some people.


Raja Ampat diving - famous for healthy fish populations, beautiful reefs, mangrove swamps with clear water and corals

Best done by liveaboard, Raja is more difficult to get to, and more expensive - but offers excellent wide-angle opportunities.


Papua New Guinea diving - is known for great muck, nudibranchs, healthy reefs, and great fish diversity

PNG can be expensive to visit due to the local flights, but well worth it. 


Komodo Islands - best done by Liveaboard, Komodo islands offer a little of everything with some extra current thrown in for good measure.

Best dove May - Sept. The southern areas can get a little cold. Best dove with currents!



Have u tried The Camiguin

Have u tried The Camiguin Island de Norte? Northern part of the Philippines. There are wrecks there during WW2 but they cut it and sell it to junk shop at Apari. It's a haven for hump back whale and dolphins there. Corals are good to a nearby small island in Camiguin.

Yen of Thailand

I don't see any dive sites in

I don't see any dive sites in Thailand under this topic. I'm in Bangkok.

deep inside myself

The Similan islands has some

The Similan islands has some very clear water, and near Phuket are some great sites like shark point / anemone reef. I'll be adding some info to my dive destination guide soon. - Scott 

Scott Gietler Owner/Editor, Underwater Photography Guide & Bluewater Photo

Malapascua, The Philippines -

Malapascua, The Philippines - great for wide angle - Thresher Sharks, Mantas, white tips, Hammerheads,great coral-scapes and some great wrecks. Also great for macro, including pygmy seahorses.

I know there is a thresher

I know there is a thresher shark cleaning station at Monad Shoal, where you can do one dive early in the morning and have a chance of seeing one.


I think you have to be pretty lucky to get a good thresher shark or hammerhead shark photograph in Malapascua, is that correct? And are camera strobes  permitted at Monad Shoal?

Scott Gietler Owner/Editor, Underwater Photography Guide & Bluewater Photo