Scuba Diving in Malaysia
Scuba Diving Malaysia

Scuba Diving in Malaysia

Malaysia is a Southeast Asian country, with its northern parts bordering to Thailand. The country consists of to different geographical regions, divided by the large South China Sea. West Malaysia is also known as Peninsular Malaysia. Thailand borders to West Malaysia’s northern area and Singapore borders to West Malaysia’s southern tip. East Malaysia is a part of the well known island Borneo and borders to Indonesia and Brunei. This part of Malaysia is sometimes referred to as the Sabah and Sarawak region.

West and East Malaysia share a similar equatorial climate and environment, characterised by regular monsoons. The west coast experience a rainy season from September to the end of December, while the east coast is affected a little later, with rains from October through February. The official language in Malaysia is Bahasa Melayu, but several other languages are also spoken including English, Chineses dialects and indigenous languages. The South Chinese Sea offers great scuba diving opportunities along both Malaysian coastlines. The temperatures are ideal for a prolific marine ecosystem with coral reefs functioning as a supreme breeding ground for many species. The abundance of life found in this region is often compared to that of the Pacific Islands.

One of the most highly acclaimed scuba diving destinations in Malaysia is Sipadan Island outside the Sabah coast. The water is deep and the coral reefs very lush and healthy. Jacques Cousteau described it as an underwater haven. One other popular dive site in the Sabah area is Pulau Layang-Layang, which means Island of the Swallows. Pulau Layang-Layang is one of the 600 islands, reefs and shoals known as “The Spratly’s”. Layang Layang is an atoll consisting of 13 linked coral reefs surrounded by 2000 metre (1.2 mile) deep water! The atoll is only 14 square kilometres (5.4 square miles) and is to be found about 300 km (186 miles) from the coast of Borneo. The extraordinary depth creates outstanding wall diving and you will often encounter really large pelagic fish here. Whale sharks sometimes frequent this area and scalloped hammerhead sharks meet here in April and May to carry out their mating rituals. Surface conditions are usually calm but currents can be strong and Layang Layang is recommended for intermediate and advanced scuba divers. Water temperatures are usually 26 - 30°C (79 - 86°F) and the visibility varies from 20 to more than 50 metres (66 to more than 164 feet). If you are used to poorer visibility, be careful since scuba divers sometimes become confused by the extreme visibility here. Always check your depth and no-decompression times frequently. March to August is considered the best diving months. It is unadvisable to dive in the Sabah region during November, December and January since the monsoon can make the sea too rough.

Scuba divers fond of manta rays or turtles usually prefer to go to the small Malaysian island called Sangalaki. A large number of manta rays live here year round. Turtle lovers can witness every stage of the turtle life cycle at Sangalaki, from the mating rituals and egg laying to the tiny turtles very first instinctive run into the ocean. At nearby Kakaban Lake you can also try the somewhat eccentric joy of swimming in the middle of an enormous amount of stingless jellyfish

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Scuba Diving in Malaysia