Parts of the southern tip of the Malay Peninsular and Borneo provide some of the most exclusive diving locations in South East Asia (SEA).
This section contains a list of dive spots in Malaysia with extra information about the marine life that attracts scuba divers and snorkelers to this sun-drenched country.
The Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur is the capital city of the country affectionately called 'Magnificent Malaysia'.
Yet, you need to travel some distance from KL to explore the best dive sites Malaysia can offer its visitors.
By and large, the waters in this region of Southeast Asia are calm, with some protection against ripping currents.
As a result, scuba divers and snorkelers can get easy access to most of the shallow coral reef structures using a small motorboat.
Plus, the top dive sites suit almost all levels of scuba certifications. The islands off the east coast of the peninsular have healthy corals, some underwater pinnacles, and scattered vestiges of sunken shipwrecks.
The two regions have different land masses and cultures. Peninsular Malaysia is close to many of the best Thailand dive sites near its northern border and it shares a small border with Singapore in the south.
Whereas, the Borneo states of East Malaysia (e.g. Sabah, Sarawak) share borders with Brunei and many of the top Indonesia dive sites south of the equator and North Sulawesi to the east of Borneo Island.
For the most part, you should expect to have balmy water temperatures to dive in for most of the year, averaging 29° Celsius (84° Fahrenheit).
You can experience year-round scuba diving at the popular destinations in East Malaysia (e.g. Borneo Island). But, the best time to go diving around the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia is from early March through to the end of September.
The tropical waters in this part of the world are packed with marine life diversity and vibrant macro fauna. You can find various vertebrates and invertebrates clambering for shelter in the coral reef formations that exist around the coastlines, especially:
Pro Tip: Underwater locales where no-one has yet dived still remain undiscovered. But, you will get better access to the top dive sites if you already have a Drift Diving certification and Wreck Diver experience.
Pro Tip: This video [1:01 seconds] presented by "PADI" contains footage of the underwater landscapes, pinnacles, and coral gardens while scuba diving around Malaysia dive sites.
If you make an international flight into Kuala Lumpur you will be able to get connecting flights on several of the major airlines, including AirAsia. You can fly direct to Sabah from most of the nearby countries, such as Hong Kong and Singapore.