Scuba Diving in Malaysia

Diving in Malaysia

There are two main areas of concentration when it comes to diving in Malaysia mainly the west coast of Sabah in West Malaysia and the east coast of the Malaysia Peninsular.

Along the east coast of Malaysia peninsular, islands such as Pulau Dayang, Pulau Aur, and Pulau Tenggol are internationally known diving destinations. The diversity of marine life and prolific coral reef growth often attracts many divers to these sites. Other islands such as Pulau Perhentian, Pulau Redang and Pulau Tioman are well known regionally as well.

During monsoon seasons, the east coast of Malaysia Peninsular usually are closed for offshore tourism and fishing. Strong winds are fairly uncommon in this area. The climate in Malaysia is generally humid and warm throughout the year. Temperatures tends to keep around 28 to 30 Degree Celsius in the day.

Highlights

The emergence of Sipadan Island, off the east coast of Borneo, has put Malaysia in the spotlight as an international diving destination. The island is formed by living coral growing on top of an extinct volcano over thousands of years. It is the main reason why thongs of divers with various experience level all over the world flock to Sipadan Island each year to experience diving there! It has one of the richest and diverse marine habitats in the world.

Lankayan Island or Layang Layang is also a popular diving destination in the Sulu Sea. Being rich in biomarine diversity, it boasts a diverse and wide range of marine life consisting of abundance of fish species and healthy corals along the reefs.

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Best Time To Dive

Scuba diving in Malaysia is generally good all the year round although seasons do vary across various dive sites.

In Layang Layang, off Sabah's west coast, the peak diving period generally runs from March to August. One of the marquee marine sea creature – the scalloped hammerhead is present during the period of March to May. Sea conditions may be rough due to constant current over the island’s reefs all year round but this is a factor that brings in the marine life as well. Expect visibility to be around 10 to 40m, averaging about 30m+.

Sipadan is a destination that is comfortable to dive all year round, although the recommended period is from April to December as it will give you optimum dive conditions. The best months are around July and August with very good visibility sometimes exceeding 40m. Due to its popularity especially during holiday seasons, it is advisable to pre-book your dive in advance.

The months of January and February are the start of the raining season in Sabah. Hence, it can result in the water and air temperature being cooler and lower visibility during this period even though it might not experience much rain. Weather and sea tide may be a little unsettled during this period and there are generally fewer divers as well.

Getting There

The main gateway to Peninsular Malaysia is via Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), which serves international as well as domestic flights to other destinations in Malaysia. The KLIA airport is easily accessible by express highways and major roads which links major cities and towns in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.

Additional Information

Currency Malaysian Ringgit
Language Bahasa Melayu
Capital Kuala Lumpur
Electricity Three-Square UK Plug
Timezone UTC +8
Calling Code (+60)
Network Providers Celcom, Maxis, DiGi, UMobile, TuneTalk
National Airline Malaysia Airlines

Dive Sites In Malaysia

Tenggol

Tenggol was once touted as the “Best Diving in Peninsular Malaysia” in Asian Diver Magazine.It has many fascinating coral reef coupled with the splendid rocky cliff formation while being home to many of the world’s unique marine species.

Perhentian Islands

Perhentian Islands comprise of a cluster of 2 main inhibited islands - Pehentian Besar and Perhentian Kecil while being surrounded by a few other smaller islands. It is located 20km north east along the West Malaysia coastline. 

Sipadan

Sipadan is ranked as one of the Top Ten diving destinations in the world. Being an internationally known marine paradise, it is famous for its rich biodiversity and immaculate coral reefs. It is located off Borneo Malaysia in Celebes Sea.

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