Divesites in Malaysia
East Coast Wrecks:
The seas around West Malaysia are the busiest waterways in the
world, and a number of world class wrecks are accessible for diving. However the
wrecks are deep between 40-70 m and there can be strong current and big waves,
so these are dives for the experienced. The fish life is plenty and out here in
the open ocean the fish are bigger. Expect to see big
jackfish and on the decompression
stops the ever present
(*****): This 240 m long English battleship was sunk in 1942 by Japanese
bombers. Lying on the side at 57 m. the damage from bombs and torpedoes are
apparent but mostly the ship is in good condition. The two forward gun turrets
and the bridge are impressive sights. Big fish such as
marble rays and cobias live around the wreck.
The ship is so big it takes several dives to explore. This is definitely the
best wreck dive I have had in Asia.
Banka (***): A Dutch minelayer sunk during WW2. Standing upright at 60m
on the sandy bottom the wreck is quite damaged. There are allot of ammunition
and dept charges on board. You can easily swim around the wreck in one
dive, but it will require at least two dives to fully explore the ship.
Redang is the premier divespot on the East Coast of
Peninsula Malaysia. The trip from Kuala Terengganu takes about 1-2
hours, but Terengganu province is fairly secluded and is best reached
by plane from Kuala Lumpur. Redang comprises nine islands. While Redang
itself is covered by jungle and has beautiful white sandy beaches, the
smaller islands are mostly rocks.
Black Coral, Pulau Lima
(***): The hard corals
here are nice and varied and plenty of smaller fish. Expect to see
snappers, some of the larger
batfish. However there are no
big fish or pelagics here.
Mini Mount (****): A small mount extending from the sandy bottom
at 30 meter to around 10 meter. You can swim around the mount in one
dive. The hard corals
are nice and there are plenty of fish. Schools of
snappers and fusiliers
circle the pinnacle. Expect to see lionfish,
stingrays on the sandy bottom. I was
lucky to see two courting
cuttlefishes and a
Redang Bay House Reef (***):
This site is good for a nightdive and probably snorkeling. On a
nightdive I saw
moray eels and
Parrotfishes sleep among
the corals inside secreted mocus cocoons.
Tanjung Tokong (***/****): A lot of big fishes can be seen at
this site, but the current can be very strong. Big
snappers hang around in the
current. Some spots have nice hard
corals, but the site is mostly dominated by huge boulders.
Mak Can Tik (****): The current can be fierce, but that is what
attracts the big fish. Schools of bigeye
trevally, bigeye barracuda,
bigeye snappers and
fusiliers hang around this
site. A number of pinnacles with nice
hard corals extends
around 10 meters over the sandy bottom (at 20 meters). The pinnacles
can be circled in one dive. Goatfishes
gobies rests on the sandy bottom. I
crawling on the sand. When I had circled the pinnacle one of
devilfishes was on
top of the other, maybe they were mating.
Sharon Stone (***/****): This site is a number of rocks spread
over the sandy bottom. A lot of
stingrays of several different
species and flatheads are
hiding in the sand and under the rocks. Several moray eels of different species
are living among the rocks. Schools of
star pufferfish was
swimming a few meters above the bottom. These are probably mating
formations and only to be seen at certain times of the year.
The two Perhentian islands (Besar & Kecil) are situated 50 km.
north of Redang. The islands arecovered by jungle and has beautiful white sandy beaches.
small island is a popular destination for backpackers.
(***/****): This small freighter (~60m) is lying on the side on the sandy
bottom in 18-20m of water. The wreck is in good condition. On the sandy bottom
lives pipefish, big
murex shells and
helmet shells are everywhere. Expect to see
Vietnamese Wreck (**/***): A small freighter (~40m) lying upside down on
the sandy bottom
at 23m. You can swim under the deck, but not inside the wreck . The top of the
wreck is covered in nice soft corals.
The wreck is inhabited by a school of
barracuda as well as jackfish and
(**): Three small pinnacles and some boulders has some interest. The corals
and fish life is nothing special.
Seabell Rock (**/***): Nice corals in the shallow. The corals gradually
give way to a sandy bottom at 10 meters.
Blue-spotted stingrays, flounders and gobies
live in the sand, while the corals are home to allot of smaller fish
(**/***): Similar to Seabell Rock but marginally deeper and a few
larger fish like jackfish and
Tokong Laut (****): The best divesite in Perhentian Islands. Nice
soft corals and many species of
nudibranches. All the small
reeffish as well as some of the bigger ones like
moray eels and
Titan triggerfish are abundant.
(***): An easy beach dive on Perhentian Besar. This area has many
blacktip reefsharks, but you are just as
likely to see them while snorkeling. Some nice
hard corals in the shallow giving
way to a sandy bottom at 5 meters. Big solitary
bluespotted stingrays and
groupers live here.
A popular holiday destination for
Malaysians and Singaporeans. In season a direct catamaran ferry links
Tioman with Singapore. The island has mist shrouded jungle claid
mountains, white sandy beaches and beautiful coral reefs. Tioman is
fairly developed, but more pleasant and organised than similar plases
Aur and Dayang are similar to Pulau
Tioman, but much smaller and far less developed. The primitive resorts
here only charters to divers. Its more difficult to get to Aur as you
will have to book the trip in Mersing or trough a diveshop in
Singapore. Expect 4 hours Singapore-Mersing and 4-5 hours Mersing-Aur.
Tulai Bay (**/***): The hard corals in the shallow are nice, but nothing special. These
could just as well be seen while snorkeling.
and titan triggerfishes
live among the corals. Below 7 meters the sandy bottom only has
sporadic coral cower. I was lucky to see a conch shell and a
top shell in the sand and a
green turtle and some
orange spotted trevally
Tulai Rock (****): Good site for a nightdive, but could be
disappointing during the day. The corals are nothing special and below
10 meters they gradually give way to a sandy bottom. In one nightdive I
saw hunting barracudas, a
big squid, a small
octopus, shrimps, crabs, stingrays, batfish and a bamboo shark.
Marang (***): This site also has nice
hard corals in the
shallow which just as well could be seen while snorkeling or
orangespotted trevally and
batfish pass by, but otherwise
not much fish life. I saw two mating
Soyak Wreck (**/***): The
wreck of a wooden malay fishing boat standing upright on the sandy
bottom at a dept of 23 meters. The wreck is totally encrusted in
soft coral and a few
winged oysters. The wreck is
inhabited by a few larger angelfishes
jackfish cruise by. You can
swim inside the wreck, but its not really worth it.
Soyak (**): This site is nothing special, only worth visiting in
combination with Soyak Wreck.
Expect to see a few nudibranches
filefish and smaller fish.
The corals in the shallow could just as well be seen while snorkeling.
Renggis (***/****): I have done a few nightdives here, which was
excellent, but the day dives here are nothing special. I saw a big
green turtle twice, squids,
batfish, stingrays, moray eels, up to 120 cm
hermit crabs and
flatworms. What more could
you expect from a nightdive? The hard corals on the north
side are nice but apart from the odd turtle and occational chevron barracudas and usual
batfishes, the site havent much
to offer during the day. However this place is very good for snorkeling
as its quite shallow.
Chebeh (***/****): This site is dominated by big boulders and seafans. Schools of
bigeye snappers and
fusiliers cruise by while moray eels and nudibranches can be
seen among the rocks. Larger species of angelfish,
coral groupers and
baramundis are common. Its fun
to swim around the boulders in the shallow, but be aware of the swell.
Labas (***): Another site dominated by boulders and
seafans. Schools of bigeye
snappers and fusiliers
are common while
moray eels and
among the rocks.
Larger species of angelfish and
coral groupers and the occational green
swim around but otherwise not many big fish.
Malang Rock (***): The
shallower part of this site is dotted with big rocks and boulders. Its
fun to swimm trough the crevices, but be aware of the swell. Below 15
meters its mostly sandy bottom with sporadic coral cover. A lot of bluespotted stingrays are found hiding
under the staghorn coral
and shrimp gobies in their
holes. Goatfishes are
stirring up the sand with their barbels in search for food.
Bahara (***): The top 7 meters of corals have been fairly damaged.
However below 20 some nice soft
corals can be found. Around 25-27 meters the corals give way to a
sandy bottom where bluespotted stingrays
can be found.
Jahat (**): Nothing special.
Apart from the usual batfish
this site havent much to offer.
Malini wreck (***):
This is an old Thai wreck probably a freighter at a dept of 43 meters. The wreck
is about 90 meters long but very broken up. A lot of big
batfish live around the wreck. Be aware
of the lion,
Sawadee wrecks (***): Another
site with two traditional Malaysian fishing boats at around 30 meters.
These wrecks only have sporadic coral cover, but scorpionfish and moray eels make their home
here. Snappers, groupers and schools of fusiliers cruise by.
(*): Very shallow dive, better for
snorkeling. A few nice corals on a sandy bottom. The usual bluespotted
stingrays, batfish, and nudibranches. I was
lucky to see a flathead
hiding in the sand.
(****): One of the best divesites around Tioman. Many fan corals and nice hard- and soft corals. Moray eels, stingrays and nudibranches hides
among the rocks and corals. Expect to see batfish, groupers, sweetlips, angelfish, schools of snappers and fusiliers.
The Marine Park (***/****): This site has 21 traditional
Malaysian fishing boats at around 25 meters. The wrecks have sporadic
coral cover and a few winged
oysters have attached to some of the wrecks. Scorpionfish
eels hide in the wrecks while snappers,
angelfish and schools of fusiliers
cruise by. Fish feeding around the jetty attracts schools of jackfish, rabbitfish, batfish and occational barracudas.
Pulau Lang (***/****): The corals here are
nothing special, but its the big fish that makes this a good divesite.
angelfishes, lobsters and a few turtles lives here. The bottom
gently slopes down below 40 meter. Below 10 meters its sandy bottom. If
you go deep expect to see barracuda
jackfish cruising by.
Dayang Tip (***): Similar to Pulau Lang, but with fewer big
fish. However the corals are nicer.
Sebukang Bay (**): Nothing special. Expect to see e few batfish and some
Nothing special, but OK for a nightdive. Expect to see
moray eels and
among the corals inside secreted mocus cocoons. I have been lucky to
see a seahorse and hunting
barracudas here. There is a lot of coral eating crown of thorns starfish.
Telok Kador (**):
The corals here are nothing special, and neither is the fish life. I
have seen a few pufferfishes,
titan triggerfish and
some larger species of angelfish,
but no other big fish. Apart from a few nudibranches the
macrolife is disapointing too.
Rainers Rock (***/****): This site is dominated by big boulders
and in places the
soft corals are prolific.
There could be strong current, but this brings inn the big fish. Expect
to see schools of bigeye trevally,
fusiliers, solitary blackfin barracuda.
lionfish and scorpionfish hide among