Discover a spectacular world under the sea. Pack your scuba gear for a visit to the best diving sites in Asia-Pacific – and don't forget your underwater camera.
1. Bikini Atoll (Marshall Islands)
Halfway between Hawaii and Australia lie the tiny Marshall Islands, home of the Bikini Atoll. It's a diver's delight where you will find a breath-taking assemblage of shipwrecks and a bomb crater on the ocean floor.
2. Bismarck Sea (Papua New Guinea)
Aquatic adventurers can behold an extraordinary diversity of aquatic wildlife, undersea formations and various shipwrecks. The country's dive capital, New Britain Island, isn't easy to travel to, but the limitless enjoyment it provides is worth the hassle.
3. Perpendicular Wall (Christmas Island, Australia)
"The Perp" is a coral-covered slope flanked by fine sand. The wealth of aquatic life is a treat for undersea explorers; however, a visit to The Perp is recommended only for more experienced divers.
4. USAT Liberty (Bali, Indonesia)
Near the small village of Tulamben lie the ruins of the Liberty, a World War II US Army transport ship, now a world-famous diving spot.
5. The Maldives
This ideal tropical haven offers an abundance of stunning dive sites from north to south. The astonishing turquoise-colored waters are home to rich marine life, including coral reefs, and several species of shark.
6. Middle Arch (Poor Knights Islands, New Zealand)
In this enchanting natural reserve are magnificent underwater gardens, where you might meet interesting wildlife like Lord Howe coral fish, scorpion fish, clown nudibranches, or the rare yellow-banded perch.
7. Similan Islands and Surin National Park (Andaman, Thailand)
The area abounds with subaquatic spectacles, like rolling coral reefs and rock formations. It's best known for dive spots such as Deep Six, Shark Fin Reef and Boulder City. Elephant Head Rock features maze-like swim-throughs, and you may just spot leopard sharks in the caves. Around Richelieu Rock, adventurous divers can witness a cornucopia of aquatic life, including gentle whale sharks.
8. Tiputa Pass (Rangiroa, Tuamotu Archipelago, Polynesia)
Polynesia is a veritable underwater playground with many beautiful dive sites. Among the most remarkable is Tiputa Pass, a narrow passage between Rangiroa Lagoon and the open sea.
9. Tubbataha Reef (Palawan, Philippines)
Palawan is an unspoiled ecological gem, a perfect retreat for divers and nature-lovers. Tubbataha's natural marine park is the hub of the world's marine biodiversity, which embraces over a thousand species of coral, fish, sharks, whales, turtles and other wildlife.
10. SS President Coolidge (Vanuatu)
Beneath the waters near Espiritu Santo there lies the wreckage of the SS President Coolidge, a military ship converted from a luxury liner, sunk in the Second World War. Divers can swim through the shallow waters to explore its maze of holds and decks. Much of the military equipment and original luxury liner fixtures remain intact, including cannons, jeeps and a mosaic fountain. It has now become a habitat for coral, moray eels, barracuda, lionfish and sea turtles.
11. Yonaguni Monument (Ryukyu Islands, Okinawa, Japan)
The Yonaguni Monument is a comparatively new diving area, discovered only in the 1980s. It's a vast rock formation with an intriguing appearance, composed of angular facets and perpendicular surfaces. Whether it is man-made or natural is a matter of debate.
12. Grand Central Station (Gizo, Solomon Islands)
The northwestern tip of Gizo offers an exciting dive experience with its strong currents. It hosts an immense aquatic population, including various species of fish, giant trevally and sharks.