There are no islands here, the Burma Banks, located about 80 nautical miles west of Kawthaung, are a series of seamounts that rise up from over 300-meters to just below the surface. Depths average 15-22 meters on the flat areas on top, dropping off slowly on the edges. Some banks have a more dramatic drop off than others, but nowhere will you find a vertical wall. Diving here requires careful planning, as the currents are often strong and unpredictable. Guided drift dives are the norm, usually starting on the edge of the bank in 35-meters of water where divers stare out in the blue looking for large silvertip sharks. Commonly growing to just over two-meters in length, these sharks are full-bodied, fascinating animals easily identified by the white trailing edges on their pectoral fins and caudal, or tail fins. Normally quite curious, but not aggressive, these sharks will closely approach the diver making for incredible photo opportunities. The nurse sharks, black tips and gray reef sharks are usually found. If the sharks are not currently around, the dogtooth tuna, Spanish mackerel and jack fish that patrol the reef edges will delight you. The coral is in very good shape in many places, but this varies from year to year depending on storm activity and other environmental factors.