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11 Best Diving Spots In Malaysia

11 Best Diving Spots In Malaysia You Must Visit In 2024

Malaysia, a tropical paradise in Southeast Asia, is not only renowned for its lush rainforests and cultural diversity but also for its spectacular diving spots. With coastlines along the South China Sea, the Sulu Sea, and the Andaman Sea, Malaysia offers a diverse underwater world waiting to be explored.

If you like to seek vibrant coral gardens, thrilling drift dives, or underwater photography opportunities, diving spots in Malaysia offer you a world of aquatic wonder.

The country is home to vibrant coral reefs, teeming marine life, and intriguing shipwrecks, making it a haven for divers of all levels. From the crystal-clear waters of the Perhentian Islands to world-class diving in Sipadan, Malaysia provides an array of underwater adventures.

In the Perhentian Islands, you'll discover calm, shallow reefs perfect for beginners. Meanwhile, Sipadan Island is a renowned hotspot for experienced divers, offering encounters with hammerhead sharks and giant schools of barracuda. The iconic wreck of the USS Liberty in Tulamben, Borneo, is a magnet for wreck diving enthusiasts.

Malaysia's diving sites not only boast natural beauty but also hold cultural significance, like the historic Pulau Payar Marine Park. With a range of dive centres, it's easy to arrange trips and dive courses for enthusiasts.

List Of Top 11 Diving Spots In Malaysia

Now that you have decided to wet your feet make sure to get some tips for diving in Malaysia for a smooth experience. Here is the list of the top 11 diving spots in Malaysia.

  • Sipadan Island | Ocean Wonderland
  • Mabul Island | Macro Diving Paradise
  • Layang-Layang | Wall Diving Extravaganza
  • Lang Tengah Island | Coral Gardens
  • Redang Island | Crystal Clear Waters
  • Perhentian Islands | Island Paradise
  • Tioman Island | Dive into History
  • Kapalai Island | Overwater Delight
  • Tenggol Island | Pristine Wilderness
  • Pom Pom Island | Turtle Paradise
  • Pulau Weh | Aceh's Hidden Gem

1. Sipadan Island | Ocean Wonderland

Considered one of the best scuba diving sites in Malaysia, Sipadan, located off the coast of Sabah, is renowned for its pristine waters and is often regarded as one of the world's top dive sites. It boasts diverse marine life, including reef sharks, green and hawksbill turtles, and colourful coral gardens. The island has strict regulations to protect its ecosystem.

  • Location: Off the coast of Sabah.
  • Highlights: Pristine waters, diverse marine life, underwater landscapes.
  • Best Time to Visit: Year-round.
  • Best Time to Dive: April to December.

2. Mabul Island | Macro Diving Paradise

Mabul, near Sipadan, is celebrated for macro diving, making it a paradise for underwater photographers. The reef is teeming with intriguing critters, such as pygmy seahorses, flamboyant cuttlefish, and various nudibranchs. The island also offers muck diving opportunities. When you are planning your next diving expedition look for affordable diving packages in Malaysia on the internet and save some money.

  • Location: Near Sipadan, Sabah.
  • Highlights: Macro diving, colourful critters like pygmy seahorses.
  • Best Time to Visit: Year-round.
  • Best Time to Dive: Year-round.

3. Layang-Layang | Wall Diving Extravaganza

This is among the top underwater attractions in Malaysia. Layang-Layang, a remote atoll in the South China Sea, is known for its dramatic wall dives that plunge into the abyss. Divers can encounter schools of hammerhead sharks, manta rays, and other pelagic species. It's a destination for advanced divers seeking exhilarating underwater encounters.

  • Location: South China Sea.
  • Highlights: Thrilling wall dives, hammerhead shark encounters.
  • Best Time to Visit: March to October (resort season).
  • Best Time to Dive: March to August.

4. Lang Tengah Island | Coral Gardens

Lang Tengah, situated on Malaysia's east coast, features thriving coral gardens and clear waters. Divers can explore vibrant reefs inhabited by a wide array of marine life, including colourful reef fish, rays, and occasional turtles. It's an excellent destination for underwater photography.

  • Location: Malaysia's east coast.
  • Highlights: Vibrant coral gardens, clear waters, marine biodiversity.
  • Best Time to Visit: March to October.
  • Best Time to Dive: March to October.

5. Redang Island | Crystal Clear Waters

Redang, also located on the east coast, is known for its crystal-clear waters and is an excellent choice for both snorkelers and divers. The island offers diverse dive sites, including coral gardens, and the chance to spot various reef creatures and small marine species.

  • Location: Malaysia's east coast.
  • Highlights: Crystal-clear waters, ideal for snorkelling and diving.
  • Best Time to Visit: March to October.
  • Best Time to Dive: March to October.

    6. Perhentian Islands | Island Paradise

    The Perhentian Islands, consisting of Perhentian Besar and Perhentian Kecil, are known for their stunning coral reefs and easy access to colourful marine life. The islands provide fantastic dive sites suitable for both beginners and experienced divers. You can also look for Scuba diving certification courses in Malaysia that can surely enhance your underwater experience.

    • Location: East coast of Malaysia.
    • Highlights: Colourful reefs, abundant marine life, access to dive sites.
    • Best Time to Visit: March to October.
    • Best Time to Dive: March to October.

    7. Tioman Island | Dive into History

    Tioman's waters hide the wrecks of several ships, making it a compelling destination for history and marine enthusiasts alike. Divers can explore these artificial reefs, along with vibrant coral gardens and a variety of marine creatures. You will find lesser-known dive spots in Malaysia at Tioman Island that will surely amaze you.

    • Location: West coast of Peninsular Malaysia.
    • Highlights: Shipwrecks, coral gardens, marine diversity.
    • Best Time to Visit: March to October.
    • Best Time to Dive: March to October.

    8. Kapalai Island | Overwater Delight

    Kapalai, situated off Sipadan, offers a unique experience with its overwater bungalows and muck diving opportunities. Divers can expect to encounter rare and unusual critters like flamboyant cuttlefish, mimic octopuses, and ghost pipefish, so before going in make sure to look for diving equipment rental in Malaysia for a perfect experience. Also, the island is perfect for macro photography.

    • Location: Off Sabah's coast
    • Highlights: Overwater bungalows, muck diving, unique critters.
    • Best Time to Visit: Year-round.
    • Best Time to Dive: Year-round.

    9. Tenggol Island | Pristine Wilderness