The 10 Most Beautiful Coral Reefs in Asia

Measuring the ‘beauty’ of something is never an easy task and coral reefs are no different. Besides being the base of many marine ecosystems housing thousands of marine species, coral reefs are considered to be one of the greatest natural wonders beneath the ocean. They come in diverse shapes, colors and sizes that are simply amazing. So take a deep breath, strap on your goggles and let’s explore Asia’s coral reefs, as picked by Top 10 of Malaysia to be the most beautiful in the region.

Apo Reef (Philippines)
  1. Apo Reef (Philippines)
    Situated on the western waters of Occidental Mindoro, Apo Reef has the largest contiguous coral reef in the Philippines and the second largest in the world. It consists of diverse corals which are 34 square feet in kilometers, inhabited with many different fish species, marine mammals and invertebrates. Not only that, it also offers incredible marine life and seascape and is regarded as the best diving spot in Asia.

    Raja Ampat (Indonesia)
  2. Raja Ampat (Indonesia)
    The archipelago, nicknamed the ‘species factory’, was acknowledged by professionals as having the best marine biodiversity in the world. It is part of the Coral Triangle, which contains 75% of all known species of coral. The government of Indonesia has been actively making effort to protect Raja Ampat, as the islands have been facing an array of threats such as hunting of species, resulting in the damage of marine environment.

    Tubbataha Reefs (Philippines)
  3. Tubbataha Reefs (Philippines)
    The word ‘tubbataha’ translates to ‘a long reef exposed at a low tide’ in Sama-Bajau language. According to CNN Travel, Tubbataha Reefs, which is part of the national park, is considered to be one of the top diving sites in the world with stunning underwater landscape. Corals cover more than half of the area with many diverse marine lives including manta rays, lionfish, clownfish and more.

    South Ari Atoll (Maldives)
  4. South Ari Atoll (Maldives)
    Tourism plays a big part in contributing to the economy of Maldives. Maldives is a tropical paradise which contains about 3% of the world’s coral reefs. Under the clear waters of South Ari Atoll individuals can find plenty of soft corals along with anemones and vibrantly coloured fishes. The marine creatures like sharks and turtles are fully protected and due to that, the marine life has always sustained its glory.
  5. Wakatobi Islands (Indonesia)
    Wakatobi got its name from a blend of words from the names of a few islands off the coast of Sulawesi. The islands hosts a remarkable number of over 700 coral reef species out of the world’s 850. Divers are in for a treat as this spot will give them the opportunity to experience beautifully coloured corals almost 365 days a year due to Sulawesi’s all year-long perfect weather.
  6. Andaman Sea Reefs (India)
    The region which covers the Andaman Sea contains one of the most varied marine life biodiversity recorded in the world. The area outshines the other islands in the country as it contains an exceptional amount of intact corals and this has made it a popular tourist destination in South East Asia. Authorities are working hard to bring the island back to how they were before being damaged in the 2004 tsunami.

    Sipadan (Malaysia)
  7. Sipadan (Malaysia)
    Malaysia is known to be a top tourist destination and is home to many beautiful islands. Sipadan Island is a tiny island on the east coast of Sabah. The marine paradise has over 3,000 species of fish and hundreds of coral species, making it one of the top diving destinations in the world in various ranking lists. There aren’t many diving spots in the world where people can see barracudas, sharks, clownfish among others all at once but Sipadan Island is one of the few.
  8. Similan Islands (Thailand)
    Popular tourist destinations like Phuket and Krabi might come to mind when mentioning the islands of Thailand but Similan Islands is not one that is often spoken about. During peak seasons, the island welcomes about 1,000 visitors daily. It is an amazing experience to catch the evening sunset while indulging in scrumptious Thai food in a relaxed setting or snorkeling while enjoying the sights of vibrantly colored corals.

    Pom Pom Island (Malaysia)
  9. Pom Pom Island (Malaysia)
    No pollution and very little fishing sound like a dream for environmentalists. This is what people can expect when visiting the small island in East Malaysia consisting of impressive turquoise waters with stunning coral reefs. Getting there might be a bit of a hassle as it will require flying into Kota Kinabalu, then arranging ground transportation to the town and finally a ferry to the clean sandy island but it is well worth it.

    Phi Phi Islands (Thailand)
  10. Phi Phi Islands (Thailand)
    Phi Phi Islands has always been a topic of conversation among tourists not only because it has been in movies but because it is an excellent value-for-money holiday destination. The island differs from the other islands in Thailand. Its soft corals where marine life inhabits are healthy looking and the sights of beautiful creatures such as seahorses are exceptional.
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