Bordering New Guinea in far eastern Indonesia Raja Ampat is surely home to some of the finest diving found anywhere in Asia, scientists now widely regard this region to be the most bio diverse on the planet with species numbers dropping the further away you travel. There are a number of different ways to explore Raja Ampat with a handful of resorts and liveaboards to choose from. The northern territories run either side of the Dampier Strait, this channel of water feeds in nutrient rich waters and supports the abundance of life found here, the dive sites here home to masses of schooling pelagics like barracuda, jacks and large schools of batfish. As with much of Raja Ampat you can expect impressive reefs characterised by fans and colourful soft corals. Sorido Bay Resort is well placed among many of the best sites found in this area including manta sandy – a collection of coral bommies at depths of around 15m that regularly host mantas in substantial numbers, November is one of the bests month to visit for sightings. The Passage is also well worth the fuel surcharge required (it’s a full 3 tank day trip), this unique channel of water is mangrove lined and narrow in parts but beneath the surface you’ll find colourful gorgonian fans and magnificent soft corals encrusted on the limestone walls, when the current picks up you’ll drift through finishing at a cave system on the exit. Other impressive sites close to Sorido Bay include Cape Kri, Mikes Point and Arborek Jetty which you should ensure feature on your itinerary. Further south the pace of diving is generally a little slower, whilst you might not encounter the level of fish life found in the north the reef topography is arguably more impressive with sites like Magic Mountain found close to Misool Eco Resort being one of the most beautiful sites in the region. If you want to experience the best of both regions then a liveaboard is surely the best way to go, most vessels run 7-10 night safaris covering the best of the region north and south, Dewi Nusantara is a luxury class liveaboard which has been cruising these waters for many years.