Best Time for Scuba Diving in MalaysiaMalaysia is open for divers all round the year. However, it is advisable to check the weather forecast before visiting the country, as some diving sites might be restricted during the wet months from November to March, depending on the rainfall.
10 Best Scuba Diving Locations in Malaysia
1. Sipadan Island
One of the only oceanic islands in the country, Sipadan is the epitome of marine richness and one of the most popular diving sites in Malaysia. Apart from serving as a reliable scuba dive spots, Sipadan Island enhances the diving experience because of the variety of sea creatures that breathe here. Some of the breeds include bumphead parrotfish, porcupine pufferfish, clown triggerfish, and unicornfish.
2. Mabul IslandMabul Island lies next to Sipadan and is equally famous for diving in Malaysia. It is known as the home of tiny marine creatures like frogfish, cuttlefish, blue-ringed octopus, mimic octopus and bobtail squids and gobes like spike-fin goby. Mabul has numerous options of accommodations for its visitor divers, which makes it quite accessible and popular.
3. Lankayan Island
Lankayan Island is one of the most scenic diving sites in Malaysia. Known for its splendid views, undersea wreck and whale sharks, Lankayan attracts tourists from all over the world. Apart from whales, it also encompasses other marine fauna like giant clams, claw anemonefishes, decorator and spider crabs, coral shrimps, nudibranchs, prawn gobies, seahorses, ghost pipefish, flying gurnards, parrotfishes, rays and guitarfish.
4. Layang-Layang Island
Layang-Layang is a relatively smaller island with shallow waters. Its speciality is that underwater life is preserved beautifully. The island has one main resort for accomodation and plenty of colourful birds hover around it. Layang-Layang includes bigger marine creatures like hammerhead sharks, pygmy seahorses, jack fish, barracuda and manta rays.
5. Redang Island
Redang is one of the largest and up market islands in the country. Known for its clear blue waters and white sandy beaches, Redang is one of the most popular sites for diving in Malaysia. The main reason tourists are attracted to Redang is that it offers multiple options for accommodations and is comparatively more reasonable than other islands. Redang is known for its coral preserves, such as dendronephthya soft corals, mushroom corals, reef fish and green turtles. Batfish, rabbitfish and white-eyed moray eels and loggerhead turtle are also found here.
6. Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine ParkTunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park is a group of 5 islands, named after Malaysia’s first prime minister. The park has a total of 25 diving sites and multiple resorts for accommodation. It is popular amongst diving beginners and gets very crowded on weekends. Therefore, it is suggested to pre-book the dive here. The site has plenty of corals, big fish and turtles.
7. Tenggol IslandTenggol Island has some of the most exotic views of the country. However, in terms of diving, it is safe only for experienced divers because the current here is quite strong. Tenggol has roughly 20 diving sites, some of which have well defined wrecks. A few lucky ones have spotted whale sharks here too. Amongst the common marine fauna are turtles, humphead parrotfish, batfish, leopard sharks and moray eels.
8. Lang Tengah IslandLang Tengah is a lesser known and smaller island compared to the other islands of Malaysia. Since it is less visited by tourists, the flora and fauna is well protected. The island has a few resorts for accommodation and some of the most idyllic diving sites in Malaysia. The site has coral reefs, several types of fish and turtles in abundance.
9. Tioman Island
Tioman is a large island offering multiple activities like diving, snorkelling, kayaking, etc. Undoubtedly, scuba diving is the most common one, specially wreck diving. The site has one of the widest ranges of marine creatures, such as corals, cuttlefish, angelfish, barracuda and turtles, moorish idols and trevally.
10. Perhentian IslandPerhentian Island has been voted as the best diving site in Malaysia. It is also the cheapest in terms of accommodation and diving training. Ideal for beginners, Perhentian is a diver’s paradise. Turtle conservation projects are undertaken here. It is home to blue-spotted stingrays, boxfish, angelfish and parrotfish, staghorn gardens, lettuce corals and table corals.
Cost for Diving in MalaysiaThe cost of an average diving session in Malaysia ranges between RM 80 - RM 130. The course costs about RM 200 - RM 300. Diving schools and coaches offer discounts during summer, i.e., March to May.
Why is Malaysia Ideal for Diving?
- Calm waters- Malaysia is blessed with vast expanses of serene waters, that aren't cursed with fury. This makes the country an ideal spot for diving.
- Rich marine life- Underwater life in Malaysia is a gift from nature. The variety of sea creatures never fails to mesmerize its visitors.
- Coral reefs- Malaysia has a wide range of protected coral reefs which attracts divers for a rich diving and observing experience.
- Underwater photography- Diving in Malaysia has excellent scope for underwater photography.
Diving Schools in Malaysia
The Malaysian diving sites are accompanied by diving schools which train and guide divers to have an enriched diving experience. Beginners can get professional training in these schools, learners receive guidance and advanced divers can get certified as instructors here.
1. Marine Monkees Dive Center
Offerings: Scuba Instruction from beginner to Assistant Instructor, Divemaster internships, Dive packages for certified divers
Location: Kampung Salang, Pulau Tioman, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
2. Dive Buddy
Offerings: PADI dive courses, swim lessons, equipment sales/services , dive tour/travel and ocean conservation related events.
Location: Pusat Akuatik Darul Ehsan, Shah Alam, Selangor.
3. Tioman Dive Centre
Offerings: PADI Bubblemaker, Scuba diving, Open water diving, PADI divemaster, rescue diver, e-learning courses in diving, reef check eco-diver.
Location: KG tekek, tioman island, Kampung Tekek, Pahang, Malaysia
4. Seamonkey Dive Centre
Location: Multiple centres including Petaling Jay, Merang, Pulau Redang, Terengganu, Kota Kinabalu and Semporna Sabah.
Offerings: recreational scuba divers as well as a complete academic experience to those who aims to be a scuba diving professional.
5. Sipadan Scuba Backpackers Lodge
Offerings: PADI Diving Courses, PADI GO PRO Instructor Development Programmes, Open Water Diver, Master Scuba Diver, Master Instructor, Snorkelling, accomodation.
Location: Lot B7-B8, Semporna Seafront Township, Semporna, Sabah, Malaysia
6. Sealantis Dive Centre
Offerings: Scuba diving, swimming
Location: Damansara - 1 Utama shopping complex, Bandar Utama, Pulau Tioman, Malaysia
Natural as well as manmade resources blend impeccably in Malaysia to make it a diving hotspot. With this iconic merging, there is no reason to miss diving in the clear blue waters of the island country.