Malaysia: Scuba Diving
Asia's Rising Star
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. From 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. Malaysia's 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.