Top 10 Ship Wrecks You Must Visit in South-East Asia

For most divers like us, we already know that the ocean is surrounded by mystery, history and life. When the war broke out, the sea was both destroyed and was given form from the sunken ships, damaged aircrafts, war tanks and a lot more. And because of these important events in history, it gave way to another enchantment – the birth of ship wrecks. The wrecks became a source to preserve marine ecosystem, creating another image of the wrecks from a tool of destruction to preserving marine life.

While a ship wreck is a home for our friends underwater, it is another adventure for us scuba divers.

Divers from around the world would love the adventure of seeking wrecks that are deep within the ocean. And some of those amazing wrecks could be found in the South-East Asian countries.

The South-East Asia is very well known for its amazing ample resources being for they are surrounded by a huge part of the ocean. Not only that, deep within the depths of the ocean are wrecks known for its historical value during the war.

And in order to fully satisfy the curiosity of those adventure seeking divers, I’ve listed 10 must-see wrecks in South-East Asia.

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Diving in Indonesia

USAT Liberty – Bali, Indonesiausat shipwreck liberty

The Liberty ship wreck is a United States army ship that was built in the year 1918. Before it was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine in the year 1942, she participated in the World war I and II.  And now, she became a popular diving site in Indonesia after the volcanic eruption in 1963. Believe me, it is a must-see!

Duke of Sparta – Ambon, indonesia

The Duke of Sparta was just explored in the year 2009 even though it was in the late 1950s when it sank. At first, it was believed to be a Dutch vessel by the Maluku divers. And soon enough, it was discovered that she was launched in the year 1940, sold to an Italian company in the year 1951, bombed by Americans during Operation Haik in 1958 and finally in 1958 she sank in Ambon, Indonesia. What a history! And now, divers can enjoy diving to the depth of 15 meters (the shallowest part of the dive), with her bow resting in about 25 meters.

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Thailand

King Cruiser – Phuket, ThailandKing Cruiser Diving

The King Cruiser is a Japanese car ferry that sank in the year 1997. She was to transport passengers between Phi Phi and Phuket. And now, it became a popular diving site that has an average depth of 20 meters of it’s top and 32 meters for the bottom part of the wreck.

HTMS Ravi (LCT 762) – Ao nang krabi, Thailand

The HTMS Ravi (LCT 762) is a one of the class tank landing craft that was to be transferred from the US Navy to the Royal Thai navy after the World War II. She was first launched in the year 1994 and soon after began her serviced. She was assigned in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater Flotilla 27, Group 81 and participated in the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Luzon operation Lingayen Gulf landings in the year 1945. Once the war ended, the ship was transferred to the Royal Thai Navy once again and in 1948 was commissioned and got her named to be HTMS Ravi. And in the year 2013, the ship was decommissioned and soon became an artificial reef, with a vast of beautiful marine life for the divers to see!

Hardeep – Pattaya, Thailand

Hardeep (An Anglicization of Suthathip, or S.S. Suddhadib) is an indonesian freighter that sank down in the year 1942 when the anchored Royal Thai Navy was attacked by an army of B24 liberator bombers.

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Philippines

Dona Marilyn – Malapascua, Philippinesokikawa maru coron philippines

The Dona Marilyn was a Cebu-Manila passenger ferry that sank in the year 1988. The wreck is around 100m long, lying in its starboard side all in one piece. It gives of the spooky feel due to the long lost fishing nets being wraparound it. Until now, it remains unsalvaged and became an artificial reef for marine life.

Okikawa Maru – Coron, Philippines

The Okikawa Maru wreck has been confused to be the Taiei Maru when it sank. At first she was in Manila Bay when an air raids happened back in the year 1944, the ship survived with minimum damaged. She was then ordered to set sail to Coron and once she arrived, she anchored near conception. Soon after, the ship was bombarded by 10 dive bombers. When she was already lost, she did not sunk at once but when another U.S. airgroup appeared and strike, it sent Okikawa Maru to the bottom of the sea. What a sad story, but our friends underwater thank goodness for it!

USS New York – Subic Bay, Philippines

The USS New York was built in the year 1890’s and was later on used in both WWI and WWII and in the year 1941, she was scuttled by the US forces when Subic bay was taken over by the Japanese to prevent the latter from getting their hands on the ship. Now, she lies in 27m of on her port side. Her 17-inch cannon is still intact and is a home for beautiful marine life.

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Malaysiasagiri kuching malaysia

SS De Klerk (Australian Wreck) Labuan, Malaysia

The SS De Klerk has a lot of theories regarding how it sank. Some of the theories is that it was a cargo and passenger steamer built in Amsterdam in the late 1990’s, it was recently believed that it was sunk by the Australian Air force while the other theory is that, during the world war II, the dutch wreck the ship to be able to avoid the japanese gaining the ship and yet they did renaming it to be Imabari Maru. in the year 1949, the ship sank after it struck a mine. Now, it lies under 20-33 meters in the ocean. It is a great subject for underwater photography and also for divers to enjoy exploring its interior.

Sagiri – Kuching, Malaysia

In the year 1941, the imperial Japanese Navy, sailed towards Kuching in order to take control of Borneo. When the the Dutch received news of the invasion, a plan to intercept the Japanese was commenced. And once the battle between the two ended, 5 ships were known to have sunk and as of today, there are only three ships that are known the Katori Maru, Hiyoshi Maru and Sagiri. At first it served to be as battleship now, it serves to be an artificial reef for the pelagic fish species.

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Being able to know their historical values, it is quite a curiosity as to how it is now. So what are you waiting for? Let’s explore the amazing wrecks in the South-East Asian islands and rediscover its historical value for your own satisfaction. Maybe, in one of your dives, you’ll be able to discover something awesome about history, culture, and anything about human nature.

Where to dive next? Come with me.

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