PRISTINE beaches, warm waters and a thriving marine life not only makes for a beautiful tropical paradise vacation, it also sets Malaysia as one of the top diving destinations for many aficionados.
Local tropical islands welcome both seasoned and budding divers with some of the most breathtaking and rewarding world-class diving experiences.
From muck-diving to wreck-diving, our local waters offer stunning diving experiences with popular sites gathering locals and globetrotters alike.
There is also an array of training opportunities offered right on the island, but one of the largest and well-received professional bodies that certifies the majority of recreational divers is the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI).
Here are four top diving sites you can check out in Malaysia.
Pulau Sipadan, Sabah
A world-renowned destination with stunning diving spots, Sipadan Island has many dive points to venture into with some of the more “hot areas” in this extraordinary marine protected area, including Barracuda Point, South Point, Turtle Cave and Hanging Gardens.
Often making the list of top diving destinations globally, Barracuda Point is especially known for its large school of barracudas forming what has been dubbed the “barracuda tornado” – a spectacular sight amid clear blue waters and a great opportunity for underwater photography.
These diving points are closely monitored by Sabah Parks management, where divers are only allowed limited access in the form of permits per day to preserve the ecosystem.
Recently increased to 176 permits a day from previously 120, diving activity is now restricted to only three dives per diver.
Moreover, Sipadan will be closed from all sea activities every December for the foreseeable future to further preserve its marine life.
Pulau Redang, Terengganu
Famous for its crystal clear waters and white sandy beaches, Redang Island offers amazing dive conditions for shallow-, deep- and muck-diving to boot.
Some of the more notable dive sites include Pulau Lima North, Tunnel Point and Tanjung Tokong with the best times to plan a dive from March and October to avoid the monsoon season.
It boasts a healthy marine life with an abundance of fish and colourful reefs, home to turtles and blacktip reef sharks among others.
More recently a 24-second video went viral as a boat crew member was shown diving and carrying a turtle almost to the water surface in Redang Island.
Be sure to not hold or disturb marine life as the State Tourism, Culture and Digital Technology Committee chairman Ariffin Deraman has shared that holding a turtle was an offence under Section 27 of the Fisheries Act 1985.
Pulau Perhentian, Terengganu
With calm waters to navigate through, Perhentian Island is perfect for new enthusiasts to dip their toes in diving waters.
In months not affected by the monsoon season (September to March) divers get to see an array of marine life, like the blue corals, blacktip reef sharks, barracudas and even whale sharks.
Consisting of an array of islands, which include two main islands Pulau Perhentian Besar and Pulau Perhentian Kecil, there are an abundance of dive sites for enthusiasts to choose from.
Dive to your heart's content – following PADI’s restrictions on how many dives you should do a day – divers get to pick what they are in the mood for that day, choose between plunging pass the pristine coral gardens, diving around the pinnacles and being mesmerised by the wrecks.
Pulau Tioman, Pahang
This island has a long standing history of being stunning as it was named one of the most beautiful places to visit in the world by Times magazine in the 1970s.
Also known as Coral Island, it is acclaimed for its geological wonder and ecological paradise with extensive coral reefs as well as tropical fishes.
Divers are in for a treat as Tioman Island is home to many wreck-diving sites as well as eerie and surreal night-diving adventures, where they can expect ethereal night-time marine creatures teeming around them.
Eager to begin your diving excursion? The island has hosted an annual premier scuba diving event “Start In Tioman (SIT)”.
This event attracts seasoned dive enthusiasts looking for further certification such as night-, technical– or shipwreck-diving, as well as for newbies who plan to obtain their scuba diving certification.
Eager to be a diver yourself? Join the Jom Dive 2.0 campaign from now till Sept 26, 2022 for RM400 off on every purchase of scuba diving packages worth Rm1,000 and above. This campaign is brought to you by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (Mptac), Tourism Malaysia and Malaysia Scuba Diving Association. For more information, visit www.xtvt.com.my.