A lot of us dream about travelling. The globetrotter in you must have at least once said that “only if travelling was free, I would never to do a job,” or pondered, “if your job was all about travelling, you wouldn’t have spent a long time in one place,” believe us, we have all been there. Especially, with the lockdown imposed in the last year due to the pandemic and the travel ban, all we could do was either go to new places by reading books, go on virtual tours (which is not even close to the real experience) or reminisce old vacations while going through the images from those trips.
When we exhausted our old images, we started looking at more travel destinations on social media to prepare a must-visit list for the time the world will be back to normal and travelling will be a reality again. However, while we were looking at exotic locations online, we came across the Instagram account of a couple who are travelling the way we have been wanting to for so long. The account travelwithsearats is operated by Rashmee and Anant and they have some of the most jealousy-inducing images and videos on their social media platforms. We thought that it would be a great idea to get in touch with these two and get a little help for our must-visit list featuring the places that are great for snorkelling in Asia and the fact that these spots will not burn a hole in our pocket is just cherry on top.
The Nest, Gili Meno, Indonesia
The famous underwater Nest is located off the coast of Gili Meno and has become quite a tourist spot. The main attraction here are the 48 life-size statues placed on the ocean floor in order to create an artificial reef. These stunning pieces have been created by Jason deCaires Taylor, who is a well-known underwater sculptor. The main idea behind it was to see corals grow along this artificial reef. Not just that, even the concrete used to make these sculptures is environment-friendly and what a sight to behold this place is. It should be visited by everyone at least once in their lifetime as words cannot do justice to the Nest.
The best time to visit Gili Meno is in the dry season which is between June to September.
Gili Trawangan, Indonesia
Just off the coast of this island, you can snorkel and swim with turtles. Yes, that is correct. To be honest, there are plenty of turtles within close proximity of the beach but spotting them among the corals can be quite hard. It’s best to hire a local guide to help locate them. You can also ask the guides to show you other exotic marine life creatures like the venomous Lion Fish.
The best time to visit Gili Trawangan is between June to September aka in the dry season.
Hon Mun Island, Nha Trang Vietnam
Nha Trang is called Miami of Asia and for all the right reasons. With lines of long towering sea-facing buildings and a very active nightlife, Hin Mun islands that are located 14 km off the coast of Nha Trang, are a must-visit spot when visiting Vietnam. They are famous for their rich marine life featuring colourful corals and pebbled beaches. The corals are beautiful and surprisingly not very bleached. The coral depth is a little deeper at around 20-30 feet but the vast expanse makes it sere.
The best time to visit Hon Mun Islands is between July to September.
Koh Tao, Thailand
Koh Tao is an island that has many world-class diving spots. Some of these are scuba diving sites, while others are snorkelling sites. Shark Bay to the south of the island is a snorkellers paradise as you can swim with the green sea turtles and Blacktip Reef Sharks. Snorkellers can swim right off the beach to swim with these magnificent creatures, and during certain times of the year, the bay is full of baby sharks as well.
Radhanagar Beach, Havelock, Andaman Islands, India
Radhanagar beach is an extremely popular tourist spot as it is one of the best beaches, in not just Andaman and Nicobar Islands, but the world. Most of the tourists visiting this place come here as a part tour groups and are concentrated at the far end of the beach. To get some peace and quiet and snorkel around some amazing corals, head to the other end of the beach towards Taj. The water is crystal clear and you can see many groups of fish swimming around it. At night, you can also see bioluminescent planktons in the water.
It’s a long beautiful walk on the powdered white sand and it is absolutely worth it.
How many of these places have you been to before?