The Andaman Sea is a gulf which lies in the southeast of the Bay of Bengal, south of Myanmar (Burma), west of Thailand, north-west of Malay Peninsula, north of Sumatra and east of the Andaman Islands, India, from which it takes its name; it is part of the Indian Ocean. With a large area of total 797.700 km square, average depth of 870 meters, maximum depth of 3.777 meters, roughly 1200 kilometres long (north-south) and 650 kilometres wide (east-west), the Andaman Sea is full of richness in marine creatures; even some rare species of plants and undersea lives are found here. Taking a Myanmar tour to the Myeik Archipelago, you will indulge in the wonderful sea life of colorful fishes, coral reefs and thousands of creatures.
Underwater lives found in Andaman Sea
Myanmar marine life in the Andaman Sea is the house of Whale Sharks. Myanmar’s Black Rock, North Twin and Klaus Reef are places that Manta Ray is found. Some popular species divers can come across are Gray reef sharks from Myanmar’s shark cave and juvenile silvertip reef sharks from the Burma Banks. Giant Anglerfish are disguised perfectly on the reef as a sponge. There are also about 20 black blotched stingrays spotted in Burma’s Black Rock. Western Rocky Island in Burma’s Mergui archipelago has aggressive big red octopuses. In the depths of the Mergui Archipelago, tile fish use their mouths to build enormous mounds of dead coral. When being threatened, the fish dive head first into the rubble. This species remains undescried by scientists and has been provisionally named Hoplolatilus hopei, or Hope’s tilefish.
Off the western shore of the Malay Peninsula in far southern Myanmar located The Mergui Archipelago (also Myeik Archipelago) which contains over 800 islands varying in size from very small to hundreds of square kilometres.
The locals here are sea-dwelling people who are an ethnic minority called the Moken, sometimes known as sea gypsies (although this term are actually used to name several groups in Southeast Asia). They follow a traditional way of life, which they have done for centuries, fishing and building boats. Unlike in dry season when people tend to live on their conventional boats, they live in land in the rainy season.
Due to the archipelago’s isolation, there is only one way for visitors to get access to some diving areas such as Big Bank, Rainbow Reef, or Silvertip Bank – by boat. One should notice that the best time for diving, in term of the weather and other conditions, exist from December to April as whale sharks and manta rays are used to visiting between February and May.