Surrounded by warm tropical seas, Malaysia is a point of attraction for divers from around the world. Fans of diving with aspiration talk about its underwater beauties. Snow-white beaches and well-developed infrastructure are additional arguments to come to this amazing country.
Due to the tropical climate, the water temperature usually reaches + 27-28 ° C throughout the year. In places with strong currents, the water warms up to + 23-24 ° C. Water visibility depends on the season. The best months for diving on the west coast are from December till May, and on the east coast from March till October.
So, where to find the best diving spots in Malaysia?…
The island is situated next to Borneo. Sipadan is a part of the National Underwater Tunku Abdul Roman Park, which imposes some restrictions on the conditions of stay. Sipadan is a small piece of land occupying 12 hectares, so you need only half an hour to bypass it around. This paradise is famous for its steep limestone cliffs supporting the island. The sea depth reaches 600 m. The abundance of food and warm currents form ideal conditions for the reproduction of corals, as well as hundreds of species of fish and crustaceans.
This is another neighbor of Borneo, which is also a part of the National Reserve. It’s better to get to it from Kota Kinabalu. Lebuan has a very profitable strategic position. That is why in the past century it was the object of fierce sea battles. Many cruisers, frigates, destroyers didn’t return to their home port and now lie on the seabed at a depth of 8 – 35 meters. The remains of the ships have become a kind of museum that attracts divers from all over the world.
Payar is a group of 4 islands forming a marine park about 30 km from Langkawi. You’ll find there almost all kinds of corals known to science. They create amazing gardens and quaint colorful forests. Sometimes visibility is reduced because of the abundance of plankton, but this disadvantage is fully compensated for the abundance of its marine inhabitants. In this area there are several well-preserved sunken fishing trawlers, which are worth exploring. There are no hotels on the islands, so those who plan to stay on Payar should grab a tent.
Recognized as one of the most beautiful islands in Southeast Asia, Tioman holds a leading position in visiting both among locals and tourists. Tioman is a part of the Pahang reserve and situated about 60 km from the east coast. It offers more than 20 diving sites, so both beginners and experienced divers will enjoy it. The abundance of marine life and excellent visibility are the major features of the island. You can even swim with dolphins and whale sharks – they are absolutely safe for humans. By the way, coral gardens form an amazingly picturesque underwater landscape.
The island is situated on the north-eastern coast of Malaysia. It’s famous for the world’s largest coral formation in the form of a fungus. The height of the giant is about 20 meters, and the diameter of the ‘cap’ is about 300 meters. There’s also a real underwater mountain and antipode ‘Mini Mountain’ – a granite boulder covered with soft corals and tangles. Night diving is also available on Redang.
(photo by Sui Wong)
Tenggol is a tiny island located between Redang and Tioman. Its main attraction is almost vertical underwater cliff placed on the eastern part of the island. Coral formations reach the depth of 50 m. This diving site is more suitable for professionals than novices and amateurs.
Langkawi is a chain including over 99 small islands on the northwestern tip of the Malay Peninsula. It’s a tourist paradise with a unique nature – emerald mountains, mysterious caves and soft sandy beaches. The turquoise waters of the archipelago have become home to thousands of marine creatures, so diving there is very interesting and impressive.
Generally, Langkawi offers about 9 spots for divers and it’s recommended to check out at least half of them. Of course, it’s better to rent a car on Langkawi for easy getting around it.
Diving in Malaysia is a guaranteed exciting adventure for divers of any skill level. The waters of the South China Sea and Sulawesi are rich in plankton, so there are always lots of fishes. Add to this an excellent depth from 0 to 1000 m, good visibility (20-50 meters), high-quality and professional dive centers and it becomes clear why Malaysia is deservedly considered to be one of the best countries for diving.
So, don’t miss the opportunity to experience it, and diving in Malaysia will bring you a lot of pleasure…