Located in the Indo-Pacific Basin, Malaysia is a truly blessed country

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To visit, Sipadan is frequently at the top of the list

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Perhentian Dive Site

The islands of Pulau Perhentian Besar and Pulau Perhentian Kecil

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Scuba Diving in Malaysia


Located in the Indo-Pacific Basin, Malaysia is a truly blessed country. Imagine crystal clear waters surrounding beautiful islands with pure, white beaches. Picture coconut palms swaying in balmy, tropical breezes, all set against a backdrop of lush, green rainforest. And, especially important to divers, Malaysia's biodiversity is nothing short of stunning.Dive Thailand


Malaysia is a modern Asian country where English is widely spoken. Separated by the waters of the South China Sea, the country is divided into two regions. Positioned immediately north of the equator between Thailand and Singapore is Peninsular Malaysia and the country’s capital of Kuala Lumpur. Malaysian Borneo (or East Malaysia), which consists of the states of Sabah and Sarawak, is on the northern edges of Borneo, the world’s third largest island.


Around the hundreds of tropical islands, you’ll find an incredible choice of dive sites and undiscovered beaches. It’s not surprising that Malaysia is regarded one of the world's top dive destinations. Pick from an variety of underwater landscapes - including sloping reefs, pinnacles and coral gardens - for your deep, drift, wreck, cave and wall dives. Get ready to meet an amazing array of brilliant, exotic marine life beneath these pristine waters - some of which are rarely experienced anywhere else on earth. Some world renowned dive sites await you off of Borneo's Sipadan and Mabul Islands. Off of the Malay Peninsula, Perhentian, Redang and Tioman Islands all offer their own unique charm.


malaysia map diving


Malaysian Borneo


Famous for its wall diving and coral overhangs, Sipadan Island is Malaysia's only oceanic island. Rising 600 metres/2000 feet from the bottom of the Celebes Sea, this small island was formed by living corals growing on top of an extinct volcanic cone. Although small in size, it is big in biodiversity, with more than 3000 species of marine life.

Great Sipadan dive sites include Barracuda Point, Coral Garden, Hanging Gardens, Mid Reef, South Point, Turtle Patch and White Tip Avenue. Experienced cave divers can also pay a visit to the famous Turtle Tomb, a 200 metre/650 foot cave system. With many PADI Dive Resorts on the neighboring islands, you'll find all of your dive needs catered to.Sipidan Malaysia


In contrast to Sipadan's large pelagics, Mabul Island - which is just 15 minutes away by boat - is known for the peculiar, minute and exotic. Its reputation as one of the best macro diving sites in the world is built on its fairly regular sightings of critters like mandarinfish, Devil scorpionfish, ghost pipefish, stonefish, frogfish, crocodilefish, mantis shrimp, snake eels, seahorses and vivid nudibranchs.


About 20 minutes from Sipadan, Kapalai Island boasts a shallow reef that is easy to dive and quite spectacular. The more than 20 dives sites are home to the weird and wonderful cuttlefish, invisible frogfish and an incredible number of rare and strikingly colorful creatures that reside on the sandy bottom.


malaysia diving


Peninsular Malaysia



An ideal location for both novice divers and anyone continuing their dive education, the balmy and tropical Perhentian Islands are 21 kilometres/13 miles northeast of the Malaysian peninsula. Here you will find powdery, white sand beaches, crystal clear water and, of course, superb diving and snorkelling. Take your pick of towering pinnacles, unique shipwrecks and more than 20 fringing reefs. There are at least 20 different dive sites, including the giant pinnacle of Tokong Laut, aptly named Temple of the Sea, which buzzes with aquatic life and is home to a significant sea turtle nesting population.cuttlefish Malaysia


The Redang Archipelago is a spread of nine islands in the South China Sea. Off Redang Island, are numerous dive sites - including beach, shallow and deep dives - to suit all skill levels. There are beautiful hard and soft corals in what some consider the world’s most developed coral gardens, as well as sandy bottom sites offering quality muck dives. Redang has vast stretches of white beaches where sea turtles, along with thousands of tropical fish species, play in the shallow shoreline waters. Protected by the Palau Redang Marine Parks, the marine environment here is rich and healthy.


Tioman Island, 67 kilometres/41 miles off of the peninsula's east coast, is a relatively undiscovered, world class dive destination. With seemingly endless white sand beaches and waving palm trees, it’s a great place to learn to dive. Plus, the nearby deep water and many wrecks mean that technical divers won't be disappointed.Malaysia coral

Tioman and the surrounding smaller islands were formed by large granite boulders, which means many of the dive sites interesting underwater formations. The boulders are covered with a dense growth of both hard and soft corals, which provide the perfect habitat for an abundance of marine life. One highlight of Tioman is Tiger Reef, which is a submersed pinnacle with an average depth of 16 metres/52 feet. Here, you’ll marvel at the coral formations, crinoids, sea whips and sea fans. Due to the stronger currents, however, it is recommended only for advanced divers.


malaysia diving


Dive Summary of Malaysia Diving


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Featured Creatures


You'll encounter a wide variety of aquatic life at all the dive sites. You'll see turtles, turtles and even more turtles just about everywhere. You’ll also see various reef sharks, schooling barracuda and trevallies by the thousands. But that's not all. Majestic bumphead parrotfish, Napoleon wrasse, rainbow runners, emperors, groupers, batfish, mackerel, stingrays, boxfish, lionfish, garden eels and moray eels are all likely. Common sightings also include angelfish, butterfly fish, snapper, triggerfish, pufferfish, shrimp, nudibranchs and much, much more. A special treat for photographers and macro lovers are the blue-ringed octopus, mimic octopus, mandarinfish and seahorses. Whale sharks also occasionally visit the islands off the Malaysian peninsula, although you will be very lucky if you see one.


malaysia diving


Most Famous Dive Site


Barracuda Point, Sipadan Island


Barracuda Point is off of Sipadan Island's far northern tip and where the currents meet, the large species gather. And, it's impressive - there are thousands. You’ll dive with barracuda and see giant schools of jacks swirl above the expansive coral gardens. The current at Barracuda Point can be strong, making this a fast moving, high-voltage dive that is recommended for intermediate to advanced divers. You’ll also have the chance to experience a spine-tingling barracuda tornado. They're frequently so large that they blot out the sun - and make a great opportunity for underwater photographers. Turtle lovers will also be in their element as the large congregations here are at ease with divers and make ideal photographic subjects.


As a result of food brought in by the currents, it’s also a favorite hunting ground for hammerhead sharks, reef sharks, wrasse, tuna, batfish, groupers, bumphead parrotfish and frogfish. Plus you can expect up to 30 metre/100 foot visibility between April and December.bumphead parrotfish Malaysia

Sipadan Island is approximately 45 minutes by speedboat from the town of Semporna on Sabah’s mainland. To protect the marine habitat, accommodation is no longer available on Sipadan, but you can reach the island in just 15 - 20 minutes via speedboat from the neighboring islands of Mabul and Kapalai. Many liveaboards also visit Sipadan.


Topside Treasures in Malaysia


In cosmopolitan Kuala Lumpur, visit the famous 88-story Petronas Twin Towers, the world’s tallest twin tower skyscraper.Nudibranch Malaysia

Catch the thrilling Formula 1 Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang International Circuit in April.

Looking for a thrill? Choose one of Malaysia’s many theme parks.


Shop in style at some of the world’s most impressive malls or bargain with the merchants in a bustling outdoor night market

Try your hand at traditional dishes with a home cooking class.


Take a relaxing spa day.

In Borneo, visit Sabah’s state parks and climb the mysterious Mount Kinabalu.

Meet up in Kota Kinabalu at The Waterfront, which has a variety of restaurants, hotels, entertainment venues and shopping. It's ideal for Sabah souvenir hunters.

See Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary – the world’s largest – near the town of Sandakan


Fast Facts about Malaysia




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