Asia is more known for there biodiversity than for cave diving, but some of the liveaboard destinations allow you to go scuba diving in underwater caves and caverns.
In the Andaman sea just South of Phi Phi, you have Koh Haa, Thai for five islands. Here you have two dive sites where you can explore caves on the part of the dives.
The Cathedral is on the more significant island and has two massive caves connected by a small swim-through. You can surface again advised in the left cave to retain your regulator as the air is not very well circulated.
Continuing the dive, you can explore the walls where numerous nudibranchs and shrimps are. If you want to push off the wall are hold for some support. Just be careful where you put your hand, as scorpionfish and lionfish are also common fish here.
The Chimney is the other cave you can dive at Ko haa. This cave you enter at the end of the dive as you enter the cave from 18 meters and go straight up to 5 meters Her; you can choose to go straight up and go further on the reef or to take a right where you end up in a cavern that opens up. In the cave and cavern, you will see numerous nudibranchs and shrimps. Often schools of glassfish will block your sight.
The Similan islands don’t have any caves to dive in. Still, the massive granite rock formations give you the feeling of cave diving that is great for the beginner recreational diving enthusiast. These fantastic swim-throughs have plenty of natural light.
The Mergui Archipelago in Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) has a couple of dive sites where cavern diving and cave diving can occur. Shark cave is one of the dive sites where you enter a large cavern that starts at 5 meters and drops down to 16 meters. The cavern gently narrows inside, forming a tunnel of 20 meters long. in the tunnel, you can encounter large Tawney nurse sharks and grey reef sharks. Good buoyancy control is essential as the cave is not very large.
Myanmar liveaboard itineraries also include the dive site Western Rocky where a large cavern starts at 5 meters and goes down to 25 meters. This cavern is the start of a 30-meter tunnel straight through the island. The passage is 7 meters high and has ambient light from both ends of the tunnel.
At the end of the cave, it splits into two exit passages that open up to a fringing reef. One of the routes is tiny and requires the removal of your scuba equipment to pass through.
Marine life in the cave is full of spiny lobsters, crabs, shrimps, and common lionfish. Walls and ceilings are complete with zigzag clams and several kinds of sponges.
Micronesia is known for its wreck diving, but Micronesia liveaboards offer cruises to the Chandelier cave for cave diving enthusiasts. Chandelier Cave is a system of five chambers connected by channels. Once, all the caves were just filled with air, but now 4 out of the five compartments are an engaging opportunity for scuba divers to explore. In all the chambers, you can surface where you can witness glittering stalactites that resemble chandeliers.
Coron in the Philipines has some great cave diving for beginners as well as for technical divers.
Paglugaban cave is a fantastic cave in northern Palawan. The entrance is a narrow gap just below the waterline where a tunnel brings you to a chamber where you can surface again. This is called the bat room, where a lot of bats fly around.
Continuing your dive, you will reach the cave’s permanent lines where crystal clear water awaits you with massive formations and white sand. As you are in complete darkness, a powerful torch is a must. In this cave, freshwater sits on top, while the saltwater at the lower part is where marine life such as shrimps, lobsters, and small fish are found.
The dangers of cave diving are clear at Paglaguban, as you can with a dolphin skeleton, and a tiny black cross with a maria statue is a reminder of 5 recreational divers who passed away in the ’80s.
The Cathedral cave starts a small opening in the seafloor that forms a tunnel. Thirty meters into the tunnel, you can find a submerged tree. This is the mark where you can accent into the chamber where you can see a large hole on top of the cave that brings in daylight.
After taking a breather on the surface, you can make decent again and explore the rest of the chamber. There is a smaller chamber connected, but this is only to dive for technical divers as the passage is only narrow and silk is easily kicked up, so without proper training, it would not be easy to find your way out again.
Colocoto Rocks, Philipines
Colocoto cave is a dive site for technical divers with proper cave diving training. This cave starts a small crack in the ocean floor that it is impossible to find if you don’t know. Entering the gave can only be done one at a time in a vertical position, and when in the cave itself, 3 to 4 people can enjoy the scenery at the time.
At the 30 to 40 range, beautiful formations make up the scene what indicates the cave used to be dry. The shaft goes all the way down to 60 meters, where it narrows down. The bottom consists out of rocks, so there is no risk of silting out.