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 favorite 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 travelers 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 (7-8 hours)
From Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Besut Jetty. Take a bus from TBS bus terminal to Kuala Besut. It will take about 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. You can easily book tickets online.
Flight to Perhentian Islands from Kuala Lumpur (60-70 minutes)
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 (50-60 minutes)
To buy ferry tickets for Perhentian island there are many options. You can buy the ticket once you arrive in the jetty, alternatively, you can contact Seven Seas Transport Service.
Best time to visit Perhentian Islands
April to September are the best times to visit the Perhentian Islands. June till August is when the Perhentian islands experience the most number of visitors. November until February is monsoon season and most dive centers 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 centers in Perhentian, however, during peak seasons most dive centers are fully booked. It is advisable to book in advance both hotel and scuba diving packages in Perhentian.
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.
Perhentian Scuba Diving Packages
PADI Discover Scuba Diving in Perhentian for first time scuba divers
Scuba diving in Perhentian 3 days 2 nights 5 dives including hotelRM575.00 – RM1,275.00
Scuba diving in Perhentian 2 days 1 night 3 dives including hotelRM390.00 – RM755.00
PADI Open water course in Perhentian 4 days 3 nightsRM1,395.00 – RM2,250.00
PADI Advanced open water course in Perhentian 3 days 2 nights including hotelRM1,120.00 – RM1,780.00
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.
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)
You can take a direct flight from Subang Airport (SBZ) to Kerteh Airport (KTE) which is operated by Malindoair. From the airport take a taxi to Dungun jetty which is about an hour’s drive from the airport. To get a boat from the jetty to Tenggol islands, you will need to contact one of the resorts that operate on Tenggol island.
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.
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 centers stop operation during monsoon.
Tenggol Scuba Diving Packages
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 centers 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.
Bus to Tioman Island from Kuala Lumpur (4-5 hours)
Take a bus from the TBS bus terminal to Tanjung Gemuk or Mersing jetty which will take about 4 – 5 hours. It is best to book ferry tickets prior to the travel dates. The ferry stops at multiple stops, so make sure to alight at the correct stop.
Flight to Tioman Islands from Kuala Lumpur (55-60 minutes)
You can take a direct flight to Johor, Senai International Airport. From the airport, you can take a taxi to the Mersing Jetty which is about and 1.5 to 2 hours’ drive away.
Boats to Tioman Islands (1.5-2 hours)
Ferry operators take passengers from both Tanjung Gemuk jetty and Mersing jetty to the Tioman island. To book in advance contact either of the following companies
Depending on your resort make sure to alight at the correct stop, since these ferries stop at multiple points of the island.
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.
Tioman Scuba Diving Packages
PADI Advanced open water course in Tioman 3 days 2 nights including hotelRM1,350.00 – RM1,790.00
Scuba diving in Tioman 2 days 1 night 3 dives including hotelRM445.00 – RM690.00
PADI Open water course in Tioman 4 days 3 nights including hotelRM1,690.00 – RM2,290.00
Scuba diving in Tioman 3 days 2 nights 6 dives including hotelRM890.00 – RM1,350.00
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 snorkeling as one of the water activities, there are many dive centers that can take you to any of the 20+ dive spots in Redang. Dive centers 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.