Malaysia is one of the most sought-after destinations in Southeast Asia, and once you read through this article, you won’t be hard pressed to see why. Here are the top five destinations in Malaysia for SCUBA diving that have people coming from around the world to see paradise on Earth with their own eyes.
The most famous of numerous diving destinations in Malaysia, Sipadan Island ranks as one of the most popular and best known places to go. Sipadan Island is heavily protected by a local government that wants to prevent overfishing, pollution, coral bleaching, and seabed dredging from impacting the fragile ecosystem. It boasts far more coral and fish diversity than the Caribbean, making this dive a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Smaller and less famous than Sipadan Island, Lankayan Island appeals most to muck divers and big fish enthusiasts, boasting no less than 20 dive sites made up of wrecks and small reefs. Fish range in variety from tiny nudibranches to the enormous whale shark.
Layang-Layang Island, also known as Swallows Reef, might not be much to look at aboveground, but its claim to fame is the preservation of an underwater world almost entirely untouched by humans. Hammerhead sharks, hawksbill turtles and manta rays can all be seen swimming through its waters, which also house coral walls that plunge to 2000 feet below surface. The only resort on the island is open from March to August.
Mataking Island might not maintain conditions as pristine as Swallows Reef, but for the diver who wants to enjoy luxury both below and above the surface, it makes an excellent home base with a total of 30 dive sites in the area. Mataking also has offers some of the most unique sites out of all the diving destinations in Malaysia, with a fully functioning underwater post office that doubles as an artificial reef and a site named after the Garden of Eden for its staggering marine life diversity.
Located within the Terengganu Marine Park, Redang Island offers perfect dive conditions and its warm waters and gentle currents make it perfect for beginners and experts alike. Its waters are ideal for coral growth, while the prohibition on fishing and aquaculture collection allows for underwater life to flourish. The island is dotted with resorts offering dive packages that can be tailored to your skill level.