Malaysia is fast becoming one of the leading
dive destinations of the world with the richest marine environment in
the Indo-Pacific Basin. The incredible bio-diversity of marine life
coupled with beautiful islands with white sandy beaches and clear warm
waters keep the divers coming back for more.
schooling hammerhead sharks, huge schools of barracudas and various
turtles to the bizarre frogfish or ghost pipefish, there is always
something to fascinate the diver. In Malaysia, the coral reef ecosystem
is reported to support aquatic organism numbering more than 50 genera of
coral and more than 200 species of fish. Each time a marine
bio-diversity survey is conducted in the Malaysian tropical sea, the
species list increases.
Dive centers in Malaysia are well
equipped and are certified by relevant agencies for maintaining their
standards of safety and professionalism. Scuba diving courses endorsed
by certifying agencies like PADI, NAUI, SSI and BSAC. Some of the
courses available include the initial 'Open Water Course', 'Diving
Instructor Course' or even a 'Re-breather Course'. Upon completion of
your scuba course you can be outfitted with the latest scuba equipment
of most international brands available from dive centers in Malaysia.
Almost all the islands in Malaysia cater
for divers of all levels of experience - be it easy shore diving to
advance wreck diving or technical diving. Operators engaged with
technical diving are well equipped with portable emergency oxygen kits,
special tank refilling equipment and other necessary facilities.
Top dive sites around Malaysia include
diving along gentle sloping reefs, submerged reefs, coral blocks, wall
dives, deep dives, drift dives and wreck dives. Dive operators, like any
other around the world, will insist on seeing your certification for the
type of diving that you wish to do and to undergo a check-out dive. To
advance your skills in scuba diving, dive centers are able to offer
further scuba courses at competitive and affordable rates.
Malaysia's tropical forests and seas are the ancient homes to a
staggering diversity of animal and plant life that has evolved through
the years. The rainforests are reputed to be among the oldest in the
region, estimated to be about 130 million years old. A trek into the
rainforest is an encounter with diverse animal life. Similarly, a dip
below the warm sea's surface guarantees an astounding experience with a
spectrum of marine life, rivaling anything found in the forests.
spectacular tropical reefs boast of encounters with unique macro animals
and large pelagic within a single destination. Macro animal life is
scarce in areas where larger predators are present
for obvious reasons. Only a handful of diving sites in the world can
offer both these sights in one diving holiday.
Comprising of the Peninsular Malaysia and
the states of Sabah and Sarawak, Malaysia rests on the continental shelf
of Southeast Asia, with the western coast of the Peninsular Malaysia
separated from Sumatra by the Straits of Malacca. The South China Sea
separates the peninsular Malaysia from Sabah and Sarawak.
Along the western Peninsular Malaysia
coast, the diversity of marine life around the waters of Pulau Pangkor
and Pulau Payar differ from those observed in the waters of the eastern
coast of the Peninsular Malaysia. Pulau Perhentian, Pulau Lang Tengah,
Pulau Redang, Pulau Kapas, Pulau Tenggol and the Pulau Tioman group of
islands feature good coral growth and abundant fish life.
Surrounded by the
nutrient-rich South China Sea and the Sulawesi Sea, the state of Sabah
are the true oceanic depths of
600 meters to more than 1000 meters, different from the waters of
Peninsular Malaysia islands. Located some 300 nautical miles from
mainland Kota Kinabalu, Pulau Layang Layang is blessed with the best
water visibility from 20 to 50 meters. The Tunku Abdul Rahman Park
islands are popular for training and easy dives, whereas to fully savour
Pulau Sipadan one should be an advance diver. Pulau Lankayan, Pulau
Mabul and Pulau Kapalai are famous for their 'muck dives' (that is
diving in the coral rubble areas seeking out macro animals).
Pulau Talang Talang
and Turtle Rock off Sarawak feature reef diving and further away from
the mainland, divers can engage in wreck diving Katori Maru (a World War
ll Japanese troop carrier).
Malaysia located in
the heart of the Indo-Pacific basin is in the heart of one of the
world's richest marine bio-diversity area, where scientists believe the
marine life of the pacific ocean evolved.
DO'S & DON'TS
Observing Proper Reef
Etiquette Coral reefs are home
to many beautiful, fascinating creatures. Snorkeling or diving is a
great way to explore this spectacular undersea world but must be done
carefully as reefs are very fragile and easily damaged.
Avoid Touching The Coral A
single kick can break coral and destroy years of growth. Even a light
touch can rub off the coral's protective mucus covering, leaving it
vulnerable to infection and disease.
Never stand on coral.
Ensure that your body and
fins do not touch the reef.
Avoid finning close to the
sea bed as this kicks up silt that can smother the coral.
Scuba divers should
maintain neutral buoyancy and secure gauges/octopus rigs so that they
do not drag on the reef.
Reef Life Reef animals are
easily stressed and harassing them can disrupt feeding or mating.
Souvenirs Even dead coral
plays an important role in the reef ecosystem and should not be taken.
Litter endangers marine life
and spoils the reefs natural beauty. Throw litter in a bin or take it
back with you.
on the Reef Anchors smash
coral, damaging large areas of the reef.
Ensure that your boat uses a
mooring buoy instead.
learn as much as you can about coral reefs and their inhabitants. Tell
others about the fragility and value of coral reefs. Let's all be
responsible for conserving our coral reefs.
Climate & Water
Malaysia has an equatorial climate with fairly uniform temperatures
ranging from 32 Celsius during the day to 22 Celsius at night. Humidity
is about 85 to 95 per cent.
Water temperature is 27 - 28 Celsius and
during the dry months the temperature may rise to 30 - 31 Celsius.
Divers will not require thick wet suits.
Anything between 1.5 to 3 millimeter wet suit
Best Time to Dive
West coast Peninsular Malaysia
• December - May
East coast Peninsular Malaysia
• March - October
The islands of east Malaysia are reasonably well protected and are
diveable all year round. However, water visibility is better during the
months of April to August.
Dive Equipment Rental
Dive equipment is readily available for rent at almost all dive centers.
But it would be wise to give prior notice to the operators, as sizes
could be limited.
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