Seeking Adventure in Malaysia’s Perhentian Islands

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The gorgeous Perhentian Islands are situated roughly 20 kilometers (12.four miles) off the north east coast of Malaysia, very near Thailand. As you'd anticipate from distant islands on this area of South East Asia, the coral reefs are awash with color, marine life is plentiful and there are numerous dive websites to discover.

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The 2 most important islands of the Perhentian Archipelago are the large island, Pulau Perhentian Besar, and the small island, Pulau Perhentian Kecil. Every island has their very own character, distinctive allure and highlights. Pulau Perhentian Kecil is the extra developed island with a wider vary of lodging for all budgets, making it a well-liked selection with backpackers who're attracted by the white sand seashores, chilled out vibe and reasonably priced choices.

Pulau Perhentian Besar is much less developed however with greater finish lodging choices, which make it a well-liked selection for honeymooners and people in search of romantic getaways.

Whichever island you select, they share one factor in widespread – unimaginable scuba diving!

Perhentian Dive Circumstances

The Perhentian Islands are really a diving vacation spot for all ranges and they'll greater than fulfill the cravings of wreck divers, reef seekers and underwater photographers.

Visibility is sweet all season spherical, starting from 10 to 20 meters (33 to 66 ft) and sometimes above. Water temperature is persistently round 28 to 30 levels Celsius (82 to 86 Fahrenheit) and there are sheltered websites with swimming pool like circumstances in addition to some which supply extra present and nice drifts. Dive websites are situated near the islands and boat rides are brief and usually clean.

The reefs across the Perhentian Islands are vibrant, productive and residential to a myriad of marine species. There's a large variety of reef fish, some pelagic fish and sharks, and all kinds of macro life and critters in addition!

Observe: From November to March there's little diving across the Perhentian Islands because of seasonal sea and climate circumstances.

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Dive Websites

Listed here are a few of our favorite Perhentian dive websites to offer you a style of diving on this marine-rich Malaysian Archipelago.

  1. Tokong Laut

This pinnacle dive website is likely one of the greatest recognized dive websites in Perhentian and lots of common Perhentian divers declare this as their favorite website. Referred to as “the Temple of the Sea”, this website is residence to a powerful listing of reef species from big puffers, moray eels and trevally by means of to bamboo sharks and education snappers. In case you are in search of critters then boxfish, squid and nudibranch are amongst a number of the common sightings right here.

This website could be dived time and time once more and also you’ll by no means have the identical dive twice. The top itself boasts a stupendous array of exhausting and smooth corals and there are infinite crevices, ledges and nooks for resting sharks and macro life. Maintain an eye fixed out to the blue for passing faculties of silver fish and passing predators.

  1. Terumbu Tiga (T3)

Terumbu Tiga (additionally referred to as the Three Brothers or T3 for brief) takes its identify from the three giant boulders that dominate the location. That is one other fashionable scorching spot in Perhentian, and arguably one of the crucial numerous. Terumbu Tiga options small swim throughs, kaleidoscopic gentle corals, rocky reef, wholesome onerous corals and rubble patches. This numerous vary of substrate leads to an equally eclectic mixture of reef life. The primary attraction with diving right here is the prospect to see a few of the Perhentian’s bigger guests together with barracuda, passing reef and bamboo sharks and searching predators.

Underwater photographers are spoilt for selection between spectacular wide-angle reef surroundings photographs and macro alternatives which embrace numerous nudibranch, shrimps and pipefish. (Macro Tip: take time to examine the anemones for anemone shrimps and porcelain crabs).


  1. Tanjung Betong

Situated on the north of the small island, this website consists largely of a set of boulders and it’s an excellent place to see pelagics together with barracuda and blue fin trevally. There's a part of the location often known as ‘Set off Alley’ the place you’ll encounter dozens of titan set off fish – strategy with warning throughout nesting season!

Tanjung Betong has a fantastic reef; sturdy desk corals, gorgonian followers, staghorn and mind corals, and anemones are scattered throughout the reef. This wholesome reef attracts lots of South East Asia’s generally noticed reef fish together with parrotfish, wrasse, lionfish, butterflyfish, anemonefish, angelfish, moray eels and sting rays. Extra notable reef fish encountered right here embrace the bearded scorpionfish, pipefish, uncommon nudibranch and occasional sea turtles.

  1. Sugar Wreck (MV Union Star 17)

Undoubtedly the preferred wreck dive in Perhentian, this 90 meter (295 foot) cargo ship lies on its aspect in round 18 meters (60 ft) of water. The MV Union Star 17 was a big sugar hauler which sank in a monsoon in 2000. This wreck’s accessible depth makes it best for all ranges of divers from these making their first wreck dives to extra skilled wreck divers on the lookout for penetration alternatives.

The wreck is a thriving dwelling reef and marine life flocks to the world. Cobias, coral cat sharks, bamboo sharks, scorpionfish, lionfish, big puffers and boxfish are all regularly noticed right here and mackerels and barracuda come to hunt. Look out for the faculties of snapper, jacks and trevally which might be typically circling the hull.

  1. Vietnamese Wreck

Sunk within the 1970’s, the Vietnamese Wreck provides tougher circumstances as currents typically sweep by means of the location. Resting at 24 meters (79 ft) this can be a comparatively small wreck so that you’ll need to go sluggish and take your time. The primary attraction of diving right here is the uncommon critters which inhabit the sand and delicate corals together with nudibranch, seahorses and the blue-ringed octopus.


  1. Batu Layar

Also referred to as “Sail Rock”, this submerged reef website provides frequent sightings of blacktips and hawksbill turtles. From the shallow reef prime right down to 18 meters/60 ft you’ll discover wholesome, vibrant corals and a large mixture of reef fish together with giant puffers, angelfish, butterflyfish, boxfish, Moorish Idols and batfish. Highlights listed here are the massive faculties of snapper and barracuda and look out for bamboo sharks.

  1. Shark Level

In case you are hoping to see sharks (because the identify suggests), Shark Level is likely one of the greatest websites for a sighting as blacktip reef sharks are sometimes noticed searching right here. It’s not solely sharks that may be noticed right here, that is additionally a terrific place for turtle sightings, barracuda and batfish.

With greater than twenty dive websites to discover within the Perhentian Islands it’s not potential to listing all of them right here, nevertheless, different notable websites embrace: D’Lagoon for critters, Jenkins stingrays and passing blacktips; Batu Nisan for turtles, morays and wonderful circumstances for learners; Police Wreck provides three police boats in a row and plentiful marine life upwards of 18 meters (60 ft); Tanjung Basi for variety; and Seabell Rock for fascinating topography and weird backside dwellers.

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Is diving in Malaysia in your listing of must-visit locations? Whether it is then a visit to the Perhentian Islands ought to undoubtedly be included in your journey itinerary. Find a PADI dive shop and begin planning your Malaysian diving journey!

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