Scuba diving is a sport unlike any other, as it transports you to a magical underwater world of serene beauty and eternal wonder. When it comes to stunning and diverse dive sites, Malaysia is one of the best diving spots on earth. Located in the awesome Coral Triangle of Southeast Asia, Malaysia is teeming with biodiversity and natural beauty, both above and below the surface of the water.
Malaysia’s biodiversity is truly breathtaking, as thousands of different species of flora and fauna thrive there year round. This abundance and diversity of life has earned the country the number 12 spot on the National Biodiversity index. Malaysia is home to one of the largest nesting sea turtle populations in the world, and seeing and interacting with these peaceful majestic creatures is a once in a lifetime experience.
What sets Malaysia apart from other renowned diving locations is its abundance of dive sites that are ideal for beginners. If you are a first time diver, there simply is no better place to start your scuba journey. There is an abundance of easily accessible shore dive sites that allow easy access to depths starting from just three meters deep and are the ideal location to comfortably get acquainted with the basics of diving. Kapalai Island, in Malaysian Borneo, is renowned for its shallow dives, as is Tioman Island off Peninsula Malaysia. Shallow waters are a great thriving environment for macro fauna, and these warm waters are home to blue-ringed octopuses, lionfish, crocodilefish, ghost pipefish, stonefish, scorpionfish, and many others.
If you are looking for a deep sea dive experience, it does not get much better than Sipadan Island. This marine paradise is Malaysia’s only oceanic island, which means that it rises straight up from the ocean floor and not from the continental shelf. This means that there are many stunning deep water locations, with drops straight to the ocean floor as deep as 600 meters. Sipadan is a true melting pot of biodiversity with more than three thousand species of marine life, and hundreds of coral species. Sharks, angel fish, giant turtles, moray eels, triggerfish and schools of barracuda, as well as countless other marine life all share this stunning underwater paradise.
Apart from the natural underwater beauty, there are also numerous specialty dive sites to explore and enjoy. Many ships were sunk off Malaysia’s coast during World War II, and have since become exciting and popular dive sites. A coveted wreck dive is the Usukan Wreck site – three huge Japanese ships that were sunk by American submarines in 1944. Sipadan’s Turtle Tomb is another specialty site worth mentioning. Exploring this labyrinth of stalactite filled tunnels is an adrenaline filled experience, culminating in a cavern known as the tomb, where turtles travel to die.
Whether you’re a seasoned diver or a complete beginner, you are sure to find your dream diving experience in Malaysia. The wildlife and natural beauty are unsurpassed, but so are the hospitality and friendliness of the locals.
‘The Mystery of Underwater Paradise’ was written by guest blogger Ivana Craft