Malaysia is a Southeast Asian country occupying parts of the Malay Peninsula and the island of Borneo. Especially known for scuba diving is the Celebes and South China Seas. Similarly, It's recognized for its beaches, rainforests and food. Culturally, it's a mix of Malay, Chinese, Indian and European influences. After Malaysian, English remains an active second language.
Borneo dive areas include Sipadan, Mabul and Kapalai islands. Their location in the Celebes Sea lies off the east coast of Sabah, Malaysia. Divers can encounter over 2000 species of fish and hundreds of coral species.
Sipadan is a small island, covered with rain forest. The isolated island actually the peak of a steep underwater mountain. Most dives are on steep walls with ledges at various depths with a larger shelf at around 100 feet. Therefore, scuba diving in Sipadan expect deeper dives with lots of pelagic species and turtles. Dive Turtle Cavern which has stalagmites and stalactites and is the skeletal tomb of many lost turtles. Barracuda Point dive site is home to thousands of barracudas. Also, multitudes of turtles, batfishes, jacks, nudibranchs, parrotfishes, eagle rays, hammerheads and whitetip sharks. South Point is home to an astonishing wall. In addition to manta rays, scalloped hammerhead sharks and possible whale shark; watch for the blue ringed octopus.
Mabul offers some of the finest Malaysia muck diving in the area. Subsequently, expect shallow dives with interesting critters. There are also rare marine species of fish, invertebrates, crustaceans and nudibranchs. Namely, flamboyant cuttlefish, blue-ringed octopus, mimic octopus, bobtail squids, mandarin fish, seahorses, eels and frogfish. Froggy Lair dive site with its ornate ghost pipefish will excite every macro underwater photographer. Crocodile Avenue is a sandy slope with some rock formations. Here among many critters is a rare species of crocodile fish and snake eels.
Kapalai has abundant small peculiar looking marine creatures. Thus, this means it’s a premier macro dive destination in Malaysia. Mandarin Valley is a famous dive site for harlequin ghost pipefish, frogfish, leaf fish. Especially lucky divers will see the mating dance of colorful mandarin fish. Mantis Ground dive site is packed with nudibranchs, anemone crabs and the rare ferocious looking mantis shrimp. Mid Reef is a deeper scuba diving site that has currents. However, this dive site is a must see for pygmy seahorses living among the branches of lush coral reefs.
Tioman Island lies off the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, in the South China Sea. It is within the Mersing Marine Park and suitable for all diver levels. Coupled with abundant larger marine species, there is a good variety of hard and soft coral. Also, the topography of the dive sites includes swim-throughs, small caves and canyons. Teluk Kador dive site reef with impressive coral and marine life! This is one of the best places to dive in Tioman Island. Ordinarily, turtles, blacktip sharks, moray eels and crustaceans are seen before ending in a shallow coral garden. Similarly, the pinnacle site Tiger Reef has boulders covered in hard and soft corals, barrel sponges and seasonally, whale sharks. Lastly, the Soyak Wreck is two fishing boats covered by corals with many nudibranchs, sea snakes and giant grouper. Usually, it’s a good night dive and rewards underwater photographers.
Accommodations, Attractions, Activities
Dive resorts and liveaboards are the way to dive this destination. Especially true for Borneo diving as the number of divers allowed is controlled by the Malaysia government. Visit Sabah Museum and see a large collection of historical artifacts. Tour Mount Trusmadi for its flora and fauna. Tioman island has an 18 hole golf course. Besides scuba diving, enjoy the famous beaches, easy snorkeling, motorized watersports, hiking and natural beauty of these areas.