The lat­est deals and sea­sonal trips pro­filed.

Action Asia - - CONTENTS -

THE RIAU AR­CHI­PEL­AGO OF INDONESIA sits in what has been for cen­turies, one of the busiest ship­ping chan­nels in the world. It’s no sur­prise there­fore that the Anam­bas Is­lands, about 280km north­east of Batam, are a divers’ par­adise with abun­dant wrecks be­ing grad­u­ally over­whelmed by ma­rine life. Three t imes a month, Dive Asia Now pro­vides week­end div­ing tours to “one of the best trop­i­cal is­lands in the re­gion” onboard the 24-m three-deck steel boat MV Nau­tica. The tours in­clude stops at Tioman Is­land, South Riau, Lingga Is­land and Ma­pur, but the real treat is two dives on the Igara off the east coast of Malaysia. Sunk in 1973, the Igara is be­lieved to be t he largest sin­gle ma­rine in­sur­ance loss in mar­itime his­tory, val­ued at over US$25M. The oil-fired steamship is now home to nurse sharks, colour­ful soft corals and sponges, schools of bar­racu­das, snap­pers, groupers and bat­fish. The site is rec­om­mended only for ad­vanced and ex­pe­ri­enced divers. Also not to be missed are the Udang Oil Rigs to the north­east of Anam­bas, where the struc­ture’s long pil­lars stretch down to 100m. Though strong, ir­reg­u­lar cur­rents are to be ex­pected, t he re­wards are large schools of jacks, gi­ant treval­lies, batf ish and em­peror an­gelfish. All the cab­ins are air-con­di­tioned, and sun deck sand mat­tress ar­eas are read­ily avail­able for loung­ing in-be­tween dives. Prices start from US$462 per per­son in­clud­ing a bed in a triple shar­ing su­pe­rior room onboard. Visit book.di­vey­our­ for more info.

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