Some of the world’s most beautiful and uncharted diving spots can be found around the coast of Malaysia. Home to lots of local marine life, its pristine waters are filled with breathtaking reefs and remains of shipwrecks for scuba-diving enthusiasts of every ability to discover. Here are the six best sites for scuba diving in Malaysia.
1. Layang Layang Island
Not the typical tropical island you’d expect to find in Malaysia, Layang Layang, also known as Swallow Reef, comprises only one marine-based resort located on a sprawling sand bank. Offering some of the nation’s most pristine diving conditions, it is located in such a remote area that its underwater environment has been little affected by human beings. With a unique mix of coral reefs and spectacular sea life – think large schools of exotic fish – your subaquatic experience will be nothing short of amazing.
2. Perhentian Island
If you want to learn how to scuba-dive, this is the island for you. The diving conditions off Perhentian are splendid for beginners and, with many diving spots to explore, it is easy to see why the island is a favourite among locals and tourists alike. Expect to see an abundance of marine life, large and small, shallow reefs and clear waters when diving or snorkelling along the coastal line of Perhentian.
3. Tioman Island
With light currents and a bounty of sea life, Tioman offers more than just diving. Snorkelling and kayaking opportunities are available, and its picturesque beaches make the island one of the most sought-after in Malaysia. Although tricky to reach – it is accessible only via a chartered flight from Kuala Lumpur to Tioman – it is definitely worth a visit for those looking to escape the daily grind.
One of the earliest sites to be designated an official diving destination in Malaysia, Miri is also one of the country’s most popular. It features more than 30 locations, including five shipwreck dive spots. Some areas worth exploring include the Anemone Garden, Siwa Reef and Hawa Reef. With visibility ranging from 10m to 30m, diving is possible year round, but experts and locals consider March to September, when the weather is at its best, the ideal period to visit.
5. Lang Tengah Island
Located between the islands of Redang and Perhentian, Lang Tengah is a popular spot for scuba diving in Malaysia because it offers great diving opportunities for both experienced and novice divers. Home to a large array of marine life such as turtles, schools of fish and coral, it is best visited between April and September.
A popular dive spot for local and international diving enthusiasts, Santubong near Kuching is one of the best places to explore the remnants of Japan’s World War II vessels. The dramatic Hiyoshi Maru, Katori Maru and Sagiri shipwrecks play an important role in the marine ecosystem, acting as shelters and artificial habitats for a myriad of local marine life. Situated at just 21m to 26m below the water’s surface, they are also easily accessible to divers, making them an ideal starting point for relative beginners.
This article was originally published by Singapore Press Holdings.