Top Scuba Diving Locations Near Kuala Lumpur & How To Get There

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Malaysia is one of the best places in the world for scuba diving. The great underwater visibility, weather, and the marine parks make Malaysia a haven for scuba divers. If you live in Kuala Lumpur, your next underwater adventure is just a few short hours away. Here we have compiled a list of all the locations for diving near Kuala Lumpur.

1. PERHENTIAN ISLANDS

The Perhentian Islands is one of my personal favourite destinations not only because it’s extremely affordable but due to its ease of access from Kuala Lumpur. If you are on the lookout for convenient spots for diving near Kuala Lumpur than Perhentian Island is a must-visit. Perhentian Islands are divided into two parts Perhentian Kecil and Perhentian Besar which basically translates to Perhentian small and big island respectively. The big island is where mostly the local resides, and the small island is where most of the travellers decide to spend their time. This location is ideal for backpackers and you can find tourists from all over the world.

 

 

Bus to Perhentian Islands from Kuala Lumpur (6-7 hours)

From Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Besut Jetty. Take a bus from TBS bus terminal to Kuala Besut which will take about 6-7 hours. Best to take the night bus so that you can rest, and reach early morning in time for the ferry. Bus tickets cost about 50 RM.

 

 

Flight to Perhentian Islands from Kuala Lumpur (1 hour)

  • The nearest airport to the Perhentian islands is the Kota Bharu Airport (KBR) which is about 55 km away from the Kuala Besut Jetty.
  • The alternative option is to arrive at Kuala Terengganu airport (TGG) which is about 96 km away from Kuala Besut Jetty.
  • You will easily find taxi cabs outside both the airports, which can take you directly to the Kuala Besut Jetty. Both AirAsia & Malindoair operate a direct flight from Kuala Lumpur to both airports.

 

 

Boats to Perhentian Islands from Kuala Besut (1 hour)

To buy ferry tickets for Perhentian island there are a couple of options

  • Buy the ticket once you arrive in the jetty (not recommended during peak season)
  • Contact support@travlapp.com to arrange boat transfers along with scuba diving package.

Best time to visit Perhentian Islands

  • April to September are the best times to visit the Perhentian Islands.
  • June till August is the peak season, and Perhentian islands experience the most number of visitors.
  • November until February is monsoon season and most dive centres stop operation.

Perhentian island is a great place to visit for scuba diving. You can dive from both Perhentian Kecil (small island) or Perhentian Besar (big island). There are lots of dive centres in Perhentian, however, during peak seasons most dive centres are fully booked.

It is advisable to book in advance both hotel and scuba diving packages in Perhentian since most resorts are fully booked months in advance during peak seasons.

Hotels in Perhentian Island

There are multiple accommodation options that range from simple camping tents that cost 10 – 15$ per night all the way to 150 – 200$ per night.

2. TENGGOL ISLAND

Tenggol Island is famous for its untouched beach and fun dive spots. Many of the dive spots in Tenggol have a nice ocean current that draws various marine life. Whale Shark can be seen during certain times of the year, while year-round you can experience turtles, cuttlefish, manta rays, and various other species. Tenggol is known for its healthy coral reefs and home to some of the best underwater photography spots you can find at an easily accessible diving location near Kuala Lumpur. It is highly advisable to book in advance both accommodation and scuba diving packages in Tenggol. There are very limited options for a resort, food, and options to ferry from the mainland to Tenggol island.

tenggol scuba diving spot near kuala lumpur

Bus to Tenggol Island from Kuala Lumpur (3-4 hours)

Take a bus from the TBS bus terminal to Dungun jetty. This is where the speedboats leave for Tenggol Islands. Before booking the bus, make sure to check if it would be possible to get dropped off at Dungun. Very few buses terminate at Dungun jetty since most pass by Dungun and terminate at Kuala Terengganu for instance.

 

 

Flight to Tenggol Island from Kuala Lumpur (60-70 minutes)

  • Take a direct flight from KLIA 2 to Sultan Mahmud Airport (TGG)
  • Then you have two options
    • take a cab directly to Dungun Jetty (90 minutes)
    • take a cab to the bus station (Hentian Bus Majlis Bandaraya Kuala Terengganu) which about 20 minutes from TGG airport, and then take a bus ride to Dungun Jetty

 

 

Boats to Tenggol Island from Dungun (60-70 minutes)

You will need to contact one of the resorts in the Tenggol Islands to arrange for your boat transfers from mainland Dungun jetty to the island.

It is advisable to stay overnight at the island to enjoy the tranquillity. The telecom network is patchy on the island and does not have any ATMs. The island has few resorts and dive centres, however, they mostly operate only when they have guests who want to scuba dive. We work some of the best dive operators in Tenggol which has the option to book accommodation as well.

Best time to visit Tenggol Island

  • April to September are the best times to visit Tenggol Island.
  • June till August is when the Tenggol island experiences the most number of visitors.
  • November until February is monsoon season and most dive centres stop operation during monsoon.

 

 

3. TIOMAN ISLAND

Tioman islands are famous for many reasons, one of which is scuba diving. The island attracts divers from around the world and has been a top destination for scuba diving for years. While there are many dive spots and dive centres in Tioman it is highly advisable to book the hotel, ferry tickets, and scuba diving packages in Tioman in advance. Tioman has dive spots that cater to both novice and experienced divers.

If you are looking for diving activities near Kuala Lumpur to engage in a scuba diving course, underwater photography, or enjoy some fun dives with the diverse marine life, then you must travel to Tioman island. Apart from diving, Tioman also offers great hiking trails, fun nightlife, and unlimited love from nature. Check out this video by Puri & Sue to get a feel of the adventure that awaits you in Tioman.

 

Bus to Tioman Island from Kuala Lumpur (5-6 hours)

In order to reach Tioman island, you need to take a ferry/boat from either Mersing or Tanjung Gemok. You can reach Mersing or Tanjung Gemok via one of the following options:

  • By Bus

    • It takes about 6 hours to get from Kuala Lumpur to Mersing or Tanjung Gemok by bus.
    • You can book bus tickets online using websites such as CatchThatBus and EasyBook. Make sure you select the correct destination point.
  • By Car To Mersing

    • Remember to be an hour before ferry departure in Mersing
    • There are open-air long-term car parks at the jetty in Mersing (approx. MYR 12.00/day)

 

  • By Car To Tanjung Gemok

    • Remember to be at least half an hour before ferry departure in Tanjung Gemok
    • There is a gated open-air long-term car park at the jetty (approx. MYR 12.00/day).

 

Flight to Tioman Islands from Kuala Lumpur (55-60 minutes)

  • Take a direct flight to Johor, Senai International Airport
  • From the airport, take a taxi to the Mersing Jetty which is about and 1.5 to 2 hours’ drive away.

 

 

How To Book Ferry To Tioman Island

After reaching Mersing or Tanjung Gemok, you need to take the ferry to Tioman island. A two-way ferry ticket from Mersing will cost you about RM70, while the ticket from Tanjung Gemok is RM90. Drop us a message at support@travlapp.com if you would like us to book this for you.

 

There are few ferry services available from multiple jetty points.

  • Cataferry is slightly expensive but their service is pretty good. The ferry is very clean and well kept. There are multiple options available from economy to premium seats. You can visit the site to perform a booking online.

 

Cataferry

 

  • Blue Water Express Ferry is another ferry service that is popular among the locals and budget-friendly. You can book tickets from this site.

The schedules can vary depending on the timing of the tides. So please make sure to confirm the timings during your booking.

 

Blue Water Express Speed Ferry

 

The ferries make multiple stops at the following villages. Take note of the name of your destination village and get off when you hear the ferry operator call the name. Embark according to the instructions provided by the dive centre.

  • Air Batang (also known as ABC)
  • Genting
  • Paya
  • Salang
  • Tekek (stop here if you’re going to Kampong Juara)

 

Tioman Island Ferry Schedules & Marine Park Fees

  • Mersing ferry times are bound by high tide and are changing daily
  • The ride from Mersing to Tioman takes some 2 1/2hrs.
  • Tanjung Gemok ferry times are more reliable and the journey takes around 2hrs.
  • Before getting on the ferry, you will need to pay an environmental fee. The fee is RM10 for Malaysians and for foreigners RM50 (from Mersing) or RM30 (from Tanjung Gemok).

 

Best time to visit Tioman Islands

  • Good time: Mid-February to mid-November
  • Not ideal: Mid-November to mid-February due to monsoon season
  • Peak time: Malaysia & Singapore public holidays, best to avoid those dates.

4. REDANG ISLAND

Bus to Redang Island from Kuala Lumpur (7-8 hours)

Take a bus from Kuala Lumpur (TBS) to Kuala Terengganu Bus Terminal (Hentian Bas MPKT). From the bus station, the Shahbandar jetty is about 10 – 15 minutes walking distance. There are multiple bus operators in the route, and it’s best to book in advance. The bus ticket ranges around 40 – 50 RM depending on the bus type.

Flight to Redang Islands from Kuala Lumpur (60-70 minutes)

You can take a direct flight from Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Terengganu airport. From the airport, you can take a taxi to the Shahbandar jetty which will take you about 30 minutes.

Boats to Redang Islands from Shahbandar Jetty (50-60 minutes)

The ferry schedule can change depending on the weather. The current schedule for the ferry to depart from jetty is at 9:00, 10:30, and 15: 00. Tickets can be purchased from the Shahbandar jetty but it’s best to ask the resort operator that you will be staying to book the ferry tickets for you.

 

 

Best time to visit Redang Islands

Good time: March to October
Not ideal: November to February, due to monsoon season.

Redang island draws lots of visitors every year. The crystal clear waters, white sandy beaches are undeniably one of the best you will come across in Malaysia. While most visitors try snorkelling as one of the water activities, there are many dive centres that can take you to any of the 20+ dive spots in Redang. Dive centres offer various scuba diving packages in Redang island, ranging from beginners PADI diving courses, advanced open water diving courses all the way to fun dives for licensed divers. 

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