Updated: Dec 19, 2021
Malaysia is a land of contradictions, and none more so than its diving. This vibrant nation offers a hugely varied selection of dive sites and destinations from the clear, comfortable waters of the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia to the dramatic big ocean sites of Malaysian Borneo. Diving here has to be experienced to be fully appreciated, with a wide range of options to suit all tastes and abilities.
Here are some of the best spots to dive in Malaysia:
Diving in Malaysian Borneo is characterized by small, exclusive resort islands with pristine reefs and access to fantastic pelagic sightings. Offshore retreats such as Layang Layang, Lankayan, and Mataking offer the best access to Borneo's unspoiled oceans and rarely-visited dive sites.
A household name, the island of Sipadan is a restricted marine life haven that few divers will be lucky enough to explore. The surrounding nutrient-rich waters abound with all shapes and sizes of tropical reef fish, reef sharks, turtles, and critters galore.
One of the busier east coast islands, and a popular choice for scuba divers, Redang offers varied diving and excellent marine biodiversity. Visitors can dive anything from coral gardens to deep walls, drift dives, deep sites, and some fantastic muck diving.
This well-known tropical archipelago boasts stunning sandy beaches that draw the crowds during peak season. Rich and diverse marine life is protected within Terengganu Marine Park, and divers can discover plentiful tropical reef fish, turtles, reef sharks, and some pelagic visitors.
Lang Tengah Island
A peaceful retreat, this small island boasts at least a dozen unspoiled dive sites, home to leopard sharks, turtles, and schooling jack and barracuda.
This remote cluster of rocky outcrops offers some of the best unspoiled reefs in Malaysia. Giant coral heads, tunnels, and swim-throughs offer plenty of interest, as well as spectacular marine life and abundant macro.
Less developed than some other areas, Tioman offers fascinating underwater granite formations, healthy reefs, and some fascinating shipwrecks to explore. Fish life is abundant and there is also plenty of macro to discover.
This west coast tourist hotspot is a great setting-off point for visiting the Palau Payar Marine Park. The shallow reefs are great for snorkelers and novice divers, with colorful corals, lively fish life, and the occasional passing pelagic.
One of the best macro destinations in the world, Malaysia is listed by the Underwater Photography guide in their article here.
Check out these mirrorless camera packages from the Bluewater Photo Store.
Cebu in the Philippines also offers some fantastic dive resort areas.