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Asia > Southeast Asia > Malaysia > Diving in Malaysia

Diving in Malaysia

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This article is intended to provide the already qualified Scuba diver with information which will help to plan dives in the waters of Malaysia, whether as a local resident or a visitor. Information is provided without prejudice, and is not guaranteed accurate or complete. Use it at your own risk.


Malaysia is a country in Southeast Asia, on the Malay peninsula and northern Borneo. There are over 300 diving sites around Malaysia scattered across many of the islands on the East Coast of the Peninsula and Sabah.

Diving destinations include:

  • Perhentian Islands — home of sea turtles and many species of sharks on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Great diving deals because of fierce competition.
  • Redang
  • Pulau Tioman — Splendid coral, fish, turtles and reef sharks off the Malaysian East Coast
  • Sipadan in Malaysian Borneo — Large biodiversity with 3000 species of fish and reef diving on a wall that descends 600m into the ocean. Green and hawksbill turtles mate and nest at Sipadan, and large schools of barracuda and big-eye trevally, and bumphead parrotfish are seen. Pelagic species such as manta rays, eagle rays, scalloped hammerhead sharks and whale sharks also visit Sipidan. An underwater limestone cave with a labyrinth of tunnels and chambers that contains many skeletal remains of turtles that become lost and drown before finding the surface lies under the island.
  • Mabul in Sabah, East Malaysia. Muck diving ecosystem.
  • The Mantanani Islands — A group of three small islands off the north-west coast of Sabah, opposite the town of Kota Belud, in northern Borneo. Mantanani Besar is the largest island; the other two are Mantanani Kecil and Lungisan. There are three wrecks dating from the Second World War and the area is known for dugongs.
  • Pulau Dayang — A less touristy but good dive spot, which can be reached by dive boat from Mersing. Accommodation facilities are very basic. Many dive shops in Singapore organise weekend trips here.
  • Sarawak — Great new dive sites are being discovered off the coast of Sarawak
  • Tabawan Island, Tabauawan or Pulau Tabauwan is the highest and largest of a group of heavily wooded islands lying in the southwest quadrant of Darvel Bay (Teluk Lahad Datu), Sabah.
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