The Perhentian Islands offer good scuba diving. They belong to the Terengganu Marine Park. There are about 20 dive sites around the small archipelago accessible within a short boat ride.
In this page you will find more detailed information about scuba diving in Perhentian Islands.
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There is a good wreck dive called the Sugar Wreck. It is easy and shallow and will offer you good underwater photography opportunities. However the site is close to the mainland and visibility is not always good. Another wreck is the Vietnamese wreck which is upside down. Another popular dive site is the Pinnacle also called Tokong Laut.
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The marine life is rich with all the usual reef fishes of Southeast Asia. You can also spot pelagic fishes, lots of turtles and reef sharks. If you are very lucky it is possible to encounter Manta rays and even the tail of a Whale Shark!
The best scuba diving occurs around Redang Island situated a bit further south. The water there is usually much clearer and the coral more beautiful and rich. It is possible to dive Redang from the Perhentians on a day trip.
Where to stay?
I usually use this website to book in advance my hotels in Perhentian Islands, Malaysia as they usually have the lowest rates I find. I like it because it's free to cancel and change the dates.
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Best time to dive in Perhentian Islands
The Perhentians islands are almost completely closed from November to March with irregular boats, and most of the hotels, resorts and diving centres closed. In the other months the Islands are fully booming with nice tropical weather.
- Dry season from April to October, average temperature of 27°C.
- Rainy season from November to March, average temperature of 29°C.
- Peak touristic season runs from July to August
The diving season is also from April to October. The best visibility is generally around summer time. The water temperature is between 27°C to 32°C year round.
- During the peak season and local holidays prices tend to rise sharply. You should book in advance.
- During the rest of the year, you can negotiate the room rates. Lots of budget resorts do not accept reservations in advance so you will need to go there directly to look for a room.
- There are no ATMs on the islands so bring enough cash for your stay. However, diving centres and resorts tend to accept credit card.
Scuba Diving conditions
Most of the dive sites are easy and are accessible by all divers. The current is generally very gentle. It is a good place to take cheap scuba diving lessons and night diving for example in D’Lagoon.
The visibility is good but not excellent. It ranges from 8m to 20m depending on the season and where you dive.
You will have the dive sites for your own most of the time, except during peak seasons and long weekends when popular dive sites can get crowded.
There are many dive operators on the islands with strong competition. Thus, diving is cheap, ranging from RM 60 to RM 80 depending on how many dives you do.
Snorkelling in Perhentian Islands
Snorkelling around the islands is excellent. You will have the rare chance to easily see many harmless Blacktip reef sharks. Don’t worry they are not dangerous. You will also see giant greet turtles from very close as they are really not shy.
The best way is to arrange a snorkelling day trip with a local guide. He will take you to the best spots around the islands. You can rent your snorkelling gears on many places but better to take yours if you want good quality ones.
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If you are planning an upcoming dive trip or travelling to Perhentian Islands, it is a really good idea to invest in travel insurance for scuba diving, because you never know what could happen and when you might need it (because accidents do happen!). I recommend this diving insurance as they offer worldwide coverage and focus on providing scuba divers a quality insurance and medical assistance service.
Now that you know all about the underwater world, you might want to start planning your scuba holiday! Check out our Perhentian Islands Travel Review for information about how to get there, activities and excursions, where to stay, and more.