The town of MARSA ALAM itself is undistinguished, consisting of a large army base, some government buildings and apartment blocks constructed for the expected influx of hotel staff to the area, grafted onto a fishing port where liveaboards now moor. The area around the town, however, has become a diving hub, and there are some excellent dive sites within striking distance. The best places to stay are outside Marsa Alam to the north and the south.