Diving In Malaysia

The spectacular variety of
marine life is what keeps
divers coming back.

Featured Dive Destinations

Diving In Sipadan
Diving in Miri
Diving in Tioman
Diving in Labuan

Diving In Malaysia

Diving in Malaysia has been largely concentrated in the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia and the west coast of Sabah, in East Malaysia. With the discovery of Sipadan Island, off the east coast of Sabah, Malaysia became an international diving destination with throngs of divers flocking to the island from all over the world. There is something to offer divers of all experience levels.

In the east coast of Malaysia, the islands of Pulau Tioman, Pulau Perhentian, Pulau Redang, are well-known locally and regionally. Pulau Tenggol, Pulau Aur, Pulau Dayang, through the years of development, have become internationally known diving destinations in Malaysia too. The diversity of marine life and its rate of growth are prolific in this area.

Malaysia has two main seasons: the dry and the wet season. Due to the South-west Monsoon, Western Malaysia enjoys dry season between November and March, while the wet season happens between April and October. The East Coast, however, affected by the Northeast Monsoon, enjoys dry season between April and October, and the wet season from November to March.
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On Sabah’s eastern coast, Sipadan, is comfortable to dive all-year round. Layang Layang, is the best from April to September.

Most of Peninsular Malaysia is covered with tropical rainforests. This area has more than 8000 species of flowering plants, while the island of Borneo has more than 11 000. There are around 200 species of mammals, including the Asiatic Elephant, Sumatran Rhinoceros, Leopards and Clouded Leopards. More than 450 species of birds, 250 species of reptiles 15 000 species of insects can be found in Malaysia.

The climate is warm, tropical and humid all year round, except on high grounds. Temperatures are usually at 28 to 30 Degree Celsius in the day. Although the monsoon winds affect the climate, strong winds are uncommon and typhoons usually miss the country by several hundred kilometres. The East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia usually closes her gates to offshore tourism and fishing during the monsoon period.

By air: Peninsular Malaysia’s main gateway is Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), which serves international flights and acts as the transit gateway to other domestic destinations in Malaysia. It is also accessible easily by roads as long-distance express buses link major towns and cities in Malaysia, Singapore and some destinations in Thailand.

A certificate of vaccination against yellow fever is necessary for visitors coming from endemic zones. Vaccinations against Hepatitis-A, Tetanus, Typhoid and Polio are advised. Malaysia has modern medical facilities, but they are not in remote areas. It is recommended that you get medical insurance. Consult your local travel clinic or your doctor for more information and advice for the most up-to-date information on this issue. For travellers based and setting out from Singapore, you can contact Tan Tock Seng Traveller’s Clinic.
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Currency:  Malaysian Ringgit (RM), (MYR)
Language:  Bahasa Melayu
Capital: Kuala Lumpur
Electricity:  Three-Square UK Plug
Government: Federal Government of Malaysia
Timezone:  UTC +8
Calling Code:  +60
Network Providers: Celcom, Maxis, DiGi, UMobile, TuneTalk
National Airline: Malaysia Airlines

Diving in Malaysia has been largely concentrated in the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia and the west coast of Sabah, in East Malaysia. With the discovery of Sipadan Island, off the east coast of Sabah, Malaysia became an international diving destination with throngs of divers flocking to the island from all over the world. There is something to offer divers of all experience levels.

In the east coast of Malaysia, the islands of Pulau Tioman, Pulau Perhentian, Pulau Redang, are well-known locally and regionally. Pulau Tenggol, Pulau Aur, Pulau Dayang, through the years of development, have become internationally known diving destinations in Malaysia too. The diversity of marine life and its rate of growth are prolific in this area.

Malaysia has two main seasons: the dry and the wet season. Due to the South-west Monsoon, Western Malaysia enjoys dry season between November and March, while the wet season happens between April and October. The East Coast, however, affected by the Northeast Monsoon, enjoys dry season between April and October, and the wet season from November to March.
On Sabah’s eastern coast, Sipadan, is comfortable to dive all-year round. Layang Layang, is the best from April to September.

Most of Peninsular Malaysia is covered with tropical rainforests. This area has more than 8000 species of flowering plants, while the island of Borneo has more than 11 000. There are around 200 species of mammals, including the Asiatic Elephant, Sumatran Rhinoceros, Leopards and Clouded Leopards. More than 450 species of birds, 250 species of reptiles 15 000 species of insects can be found in Malaysia.

The climate is warm, tropical and humid all year round, except on high grounds. Temperatures are usually at 28 to 30 Degree Celsius in the day. Although the monsoon winds affect the climate, strong winds are uncommon and typhoons usually miss the country by several hundred kilometres. The East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia usually closes her gates to offshore tourism and fishing during the monsoon period.

By air: Peninsular Malaysia’s main gateway is Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), which serves international flights and acts as the transit gateway to other domestic destinations in Malaysia. It is also accessible easily by roads as long-distance express buses link major towns and cities in Malaysia, Singapore and some destinations in Thailand.

A certificate of vaccination against yellow fever is necessary for visitors coming from endemic zones. Vaccinations against Hepatitis-A, Tetanus, Typhoid and Polio are advised. Malaysia has modern medical facilities, but they are not in remote areas. It is recommended that you get medical insurance. Consult your local travel clinic or your doctor for more information and advice for the most up-to-date information on this issue. For travellers based and setting out from Singapore, you can contact Tan Tock Seng Traveller’s Clinic.

Diving Destinations in Malaysia

Diving In Sipadan

Islands in Malaysia are stunning. One of which is Sipadan Island which is covered with untouched rainforest. This 12-hectare island is the only oceanic island in Malaysia. It is located in the heart of Indo Pacific basin and off the east coast of Sabah.
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The main gateway to reach Sipadan is through Kota Kinabalu. Getting there is easy as it has an international airport directly flies to and from different South East Asian countries like Singapore, Hongkong, Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo, Seoul, Brunei and Philippines.

If you wish to dive any time you want, that’s possible in Sipadan. However, the best conditions to experience calmness are during April to December especially for the month of July and August.

The island is an attraction for divers who are seeking to witness green and Hawkbill turtles as well as the large school of Baracuda, Bumphead Parrotfish and big-eyed Trevally. The place is known for its diverse and rich marine inhabitants composed of more than 3000 species of fishes and hundred kinds of corals. Manta rays, Eagle rays, Whale Sharks and Scalloped Hammerhead Sharks can be observed while enjoying your dive. With these facts, Sipadan island was at the number one spot for the top diving destinations in the world by the Rodale’s Scuba Diving Magazine Gold.
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Diving in Miri

In the northeastern Sarawak Malaysia lies a coastal city covering an area of 997.43 square kilometers named Miri Island. Miri has its own domestic airport, Miri Airport, which serves as a hub to and from other nearby states in Malaysia. There are a couple of airlines offering inexpensive flights which can get you to Kuala Lumpur or even directly to Kuching, Kota Kinabalu and Johor Bahru.
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Miri is well-known because of its abundance of pristine patch reef. Marine life, mainly corals, is well-diversified and very accessible. Miri has a National Park that astonished every diver, whereas different kind of corals scattered around the diving site. Elephant’s Ear, Sponges, Bubble Corals, Giant Anemones, Dead Man’s Fingers, Anchor Corals and Gorgonian Fans which are in different sizes are the main attractions on the area. Miri is also surrounded by diving sites which will take only minutes to get in to. Divers can visit Eve’s Garden, Siwa Reef, Sunday Reef, Sri Gadong, Sea fan, Tukau Drop-off, Batu Belais, Grouper Patch and Atagu Maru Wreck.

Underwater photographers love to visit the island. Diving in Miri is also good for beginner divers. The best diving season here is from late March to November each year. There is good visibility ranging from ten to thirty meters. Water temperature normally starts at 27°C which rises up to 23°C at depth which is caused by the Northeast monsoon.
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Diving in Tioman

Dubbed as one of the World’s Most Beautiful Islands by TIME Magazine in the 1970s, Tioman Island still never ceased to amaze travellers with its alluring and scenic view over the decades. Tioman is located off the east coast of the Peninsular Malaysia. It offers an immense variety of great diving opportunities with more than 25 dive sites, Tioman is the best location to take diving courses with its clear water and numerous coral reefs.
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From the ferry rides that offers time to capture a lot of pictures while you are at it, to the panoramic pristine beaches that gets you that little warm sand between your toes, and finally to diving experience of clear blue waters teeming with marine life–you will find that Tioman is a great place to unwind and relax.

Tioman Island is one of the most famous islands in Malaysia that is known for its good water sport such as scuba diving, island diving and deep water diving. Diving in Tioman is certainly one of the activity tourists look forward to with its abundant marine life resources fascinating for macro underwater photography peppered with picturesque ornate and vivid coral reefs. Big school of fishes, turtles, rays and Reef Sharks are quite common. It is also possible to spot a Whale Shark. Various hard and soft corals are in good shape and the reef is shallow and accessible by all divers.

The best time to visit Tioman is from February to November. However, diving is at its peak visibility from March to May and from September to November. The conditions are usually very good with gentle water with 28 °C temperature all-year round.

Albeit its being remote, Tioman’s Island is surprisingly well connected both or by land and sea or by air transportation. You can travel from KL to Mersing on mainland Malaysia by bus or taxi which would take five to six hours. Ferries are available to ride throughout the day from Mersing to Tioman Island with fast, efficient, and comfortable operations.

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Diving in Layang Layang

Known for its breathtaking underwater scenery, Layang Layang is a small man-made island which is part of the disputed Spratly Islands archipelago. It is also regarded as the Swallow Reef. Divers come to choose Layang Layang for it provides extraordinary wall diving, awesome pelagic encounters and because of its crystal clear water with visibility ranging between 30 to 60 meters all year-round.
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Private charter airlines operate to and from Kota Kinabalu and Layang Layang every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday but flight schedules are subject to change any time.  With an equatorial climate, Layang Layang or Swallow Reef comes with fairly high humidity. To ensure diving only in its best condition, dive resorts open only in March to October.

Layang Layang undisputedly has one of the best reefs in Malaysia. Being a remote island makes it an unpopulated area. Your Layang Layang experience would be best fulfilled as you swim with schools of Scalloped Hammerhead Sharks, Jacks, Giant Trevally, Tuna, Trigger Fish, Bait Fish. And if you are lucky, you can spot Manta Rays, Thresher Sharks, Melon-headed Whales and Orcas. Layang Layang, above all, is also blessed with 13 coral reefs which rise 2000 meters from the ocean’s depth.

 

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Diving in Labuan

If you are in awe of Wrecks, Labuan is a must-see diving site for you. Deriving its name from the word ‘anchorage’, Labuan used to be a dwelling place for ships thus wreck diving is what it boasts today. Labuan comprises of one major island, Labuan itself, and six smaller ones namely Kuraman, Daat, Rasukan Besar, Rasukan Kecil, Papan, Mayat and Burung, all covering an area of 92 sq. km.
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If you have a heart for wreck diving, then Labuan is undoubtedly the place to be. The wrecks in the island are said to be among the best in South East Asia. If you want to navigate the thing of the past, you can experience it with the two World War II shipwrecks in Labuan. Another two from the four major wrecks in Labuan are the Cement Wreck and the Blue Water Wreck which will give you a prolific marine life experience.

A specialty course, Wreck Diving, is also offered here in case you want to add additional skills to your diving skills.

Warm seasons last from April to June; the end of April are the warmest days. Cold season ranges from January to February. The ships averagely lie 30-35 meters from the surface having a range of 6-20 meters visibility depending on the season. Flights from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia operate daily if you want to experience diving in Labuan.
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Diving in Aur

Situated offshore east coast of Mersing of Peninsular Malaysia is Aur Island or what is fondly called by the locals as Pulau Aur. Surrounded by warm crystal clear seas teaming with life, Aur Island instantly promises a gratifying island experience.
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Diving in Aur offers a variety of eye-mesmerizing views – for beginners or advanced alike. It takes about 3-4 hours boat ride from Mersing to get to Aur. However, the long travel time will surely pay off an idyllic experience of activities that awaits like scuba diving, snorkelling, hiking, sunbathing, and visiting the kampungs.

With overwhelming distance from the mainland Peninsula of Malaysia, this island possesses the clearest of waters and the most fussing dive sites. Diving is practical between March and November but is it at its best with calm waters during April to June. Traveling during the monsoon season from November to February is not advisable due to the strong winds.

The cunning and kaleidoscopic coral gardens underwater are simply compelling. Here’s your chance to look at more than 50 sharks in one dive. It is the sanctuary of marine life that commonly includes Barracudas, Whitetip Sharks, Rays, Napoleon Wrasse, Jacks, Trevally, Yellowback Fusiliers, Turtle, Angelfish, Titan Trigger Fish and Bumphead Parrotfish around the shallow reefs and above the deep trenches of these islands. Diving in Aur also covers exploration of wrecks within the recreational dive limits, which basically composed of World War II ruins. Bring along your camera for photo-worthy sceneries!
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Diving in Tenggol

Tenggol, a paradise to divers, is known for amazing diving possibilities. The island in the east coast of Malaysia is cited as the best diving site in the peninsula with more than 20 dive spots which draw everyone’s diving experience to be unforgettable.
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About one and a half hour drive from Kuala Terengganu, you will reach Kuala Dungun and from there you will need to take a ferry boat to Tenggol which is about one hour boat ride. Since the island is not serviced by public boat transport, boat services must have to be arranged with specific resorts.

Year-round diving is not a good idea in Tenggol since severe weather conditions are being experienced during the monsoon season, that is, between October and February. However, untouched coral gardens and different species of marine life are waiting you from March to October.

There are sites from Tenggol offering you some nice wrecks and amazing underwater formations. Divers can also enjoy the macro underwater world home to different kinds of creatures like Nudibranchs, Sea Turtles, Giant Double-headed Parrotfish, Yellow Fusilliers, Trevallies and many more. Sightings of large pelagics, whale sharks and manta rays can be experience during certain time but common are the Eagle Rays, Black-tipped Reef Sharks and Large Barracudas.

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Diving in Sembilan

Sembilan can be located nearby Pangkor Island Malaysia. It consists of nine islands namely Rumbia, Lalang, Saga, Buluh, Samak, Nipis, Agas, Miskin and Nyamuk. As long as you get to Kuala Lumpur, it will be easy for you to get to Sembilan, it is just a few rides of bus away from Lumut where you can take a boat to take you directly to the destination.
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Diving in Sembilan provides every divers an amazing coral reef experience. Fishes in different sizes and variety are scattered all around. The island is in abundance of Scorpion Fish, Puffer Fish and Seahorses. There are also a number of Barracudas and Parrot Fish in the area. Aside from being affordable, the diving site is photographer-friendly, and snorkeling in the island is in demand too. It is a place you should go if want a peaceful and relaxing diving experience, since accommodation and establishments are scarce in the area. White Rock and its steep wall and lighthouse is a must visit too.

This diving site is well-known because of its great visibility which ranges from 25-40 meters. Between February and April lies a constant weather condition. It is tropical in climate having a temperature range of 26-29°C. It calm seas make the island a paradise for peace lovers.
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Diving in Perhentian

Surrounded by turquoise blue sea, palm trees and white sand beaches, Perhentian island is one of the top diving destinations in Malaysia. The place is divided into its two main islands- Perhentian Besar and the smaller Perhentian Kecil. The two islands lie 20 kilometers away from the north east coast of Peninsular Malaysia.
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Diving is possible all year-round, although the island is frequented most from July to August. It is guaranteed that you can have a great diving experience from mid of March until the end of October, with visibility of 5 up to 30 meters. You can reach the place by boat from a small fishing town of Kuala Besut which is between Kotu Bharu, Kelantan and Kuala Terengganu.

With its tropical climate, beautifully warm water can be touched from early April to late October. Perhentian islands are also the home to many marine life species especially to the nesting Hawkbills and Green Turtles, Black Tip Reef Sharks and Bumphead Parrotfish. Excellent reefs and colorful corals are also present in the scene. There are also a few wreck dive sites in the place and the most popular is the Sugar Wreck.

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Diving in Redang

Considered as the paradise island, Redang lies in the east coast of the eninsular Malaysia. The place is known for its enchanted beauty and its developed coral gardens.
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Redang offers an awesome opportunities for snorkeling and diving with its best conditions which start in March. Turtles, coral reefs and marine fishes will make your visit complete. The divers will definitely be mesmerized by the Black Tip Reef Sharks, turtles, Cuttlefish, other school of fishes, Whale Sharks and Manta Rays while enjoying the dive. With its vast options of dive sites around, there are two that are well known to the world and are frequently visited – Tanjung Land and Tanjung Tokong

There is a simple way to travel Redang and it is by Berjaya Air. It offers direct flights to Redang from Subang Airport (Kuala Lumpur) and Changi Airport (Singapore). Visitors could also catch boats or ferry from Kuala Terrenganu to the island. There are two jetties available for you – Merang and Shahbandar.

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Diving in Lang Tengah

Get mesmerized as you dive with the unique waters of Lang Tengah Island in Malaysia. With its peaceful ambiance and calm water, it will make you listen to your heartbeat as you dive deeper. The island is located between two famous tropical island, Perhentian and Redang, at the northeast of the Malaysian Peninsula.
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The coral life in this island is great and it is blessed with numerous marine creatures. Rays and sharks can be seen in the area. The island is also rich in reptiles like Monitor Lizard. A great care is given to the island so that the marine life will not be disturbed especially the rare species of turtles. The hatching of their eggs is one of the reasons why foreigners visit the island. The reef of the island is frequented with a variety of fishes. As some travelers say, Lang Tengah is abundant with many “Nemos” because you can see a plentiful of clownfish habitually present in it.

The sea breeze is calm. The depth ranges from 5 to 30 meter. The water has 10 to 30-meter visibility. The island is best visited at the month March through September.

To get to Lang Tengah, take a flight to Kuala Lumpur, which Malaysian Airlines and AirAisa offer, and then a bus to Kuala Terengganu to get to Merang. And from Merang, a 30-minute travel is required via ferry.
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Diving in Bidong

If you ever get that strong impulse to discover islands that are not only abundant in marine life but also prolific in local historical events, then the unexploited and pristine Bidong the place to be. Bidong Islands can be sited off the northeast coast of Terengganu in Merang, Malaysia in the South China Sea. To get to the island by air or train, the travel must be taken initially through Terengganu. Then you can ride taxi, bus, or car according to your convenience from Merang, which afterwards will only take about 40 – 50 minutes by boat to Bidong.
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Diving in Bidon is rewarding because of the good visibility in the deep clear waters especially from March to September. The currents are only occasional providing opportunities of common encounters with Nudibranch, schooling Batfish, Trevallies, Barracuda, Black Tipped Reef Sharks, and haven to other reef life amidst dense and scattered coral formations. Wreck dives can also be done here.

The islands served as a camp for Vietnamese refugees from the late 70’s until 1999. However, all that’s left today are decaying and dilapidated remnants and other relics of historical importance. Bidong still grasps too many memories from those who lived and worked there and these has heightened interest for tours to the islands.

Bidong is probably the most unexplored island yet in Peninsular Malaysia because of its few visitors and unspoiled dive sites that are yet to be commercialized. Accommodations are scarce and rustic yet these islands promise an impeccable rare experience for the adventurous divers.
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Diving in Jarak

Jarak Island, though relatively small compared to other islands in Malaysia, offers an enticing abundance of marine life to divers. Jakar is one of the newest destination for scuba diving in the Peninsular Malaysia.
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Lies approximately 40 miles (64km) off the southern coast of Pulau Pangkor and in the middle of the Straits of Malacca is this islet called Pulau Jarak. Though barely 8 hectares only in size and 50m above sea level, this is nothing compared to the heightened biodiversity in its marine life sanctuary underneath. It only takes about 2 hours to get to Jarak Island through boat chartering in Lumut Jetty or from Pangkor Island.

The lure of this island beckons travellers to probe into the mysterious and astounding underwater haven. Diving season is at its most visited months during November until March. Pulau Jarak in Malay literally means “distant island” which makes way for its best water visibilities. Enchantment underwater is mainly composed by brightly coloured cup corals, football sized Pink-mouth Murex, purple Crown-of Thorns Starfish and many other sea creatures in a multitude of colours, shapes and sizes. Hard corals dominate the seascape with several large boulders carpeted with sponges. Parrotfish, Humphead Wrasse, King-size Lion Fish, Turtles and Giant Moral Eel are among the many fishes that can be seen here.

Unlike other islands in Malaysia, there are no beaches on Jarak. It is only covered by lush vegetation making it look like a green paradise in the middle of Strait of Malacca. The sloppy path that leads to the sandy sea bed is peppered with small patches of stony, encrusting and soft corals. The island’s boulder-strewn coastline makes it virtually inaccessible. Albeit lack of accommodations, anglers and divers kept coming back because it has been lesser known to many leaving Pulau Jarak’s pristine wonders mostly unexplored.
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