Malaysia Diving News
Here you’ll find any Malaysia diving news we find. Anything from environmental news to launches of new boats, dive site news, marine life sightings, trip reports and more.
Useful Malaysia Diving Links
- Malaysia Diving – Special Offers and Last Minute Deals
- Malaysia Scuba Diving Videos
- Malaysia Dive Destinations
Scroll down to read all Dive The World’s current Malaysia dive news in chronological order.
Business as Usual in Sabah
Dive The World would like to keep all of our customers who’ve booked or are thinking of booking a dive trip to Malaysia informed on the situation in Sabah. Our “man on the ground” in Kota Kinabalu has assured us that life is proceeding as normal and the Sabah Tourism Board has released the below statement:
“The Sabah Tourism Board wish to assure our visitors and partners worldwide that the tourism industry, hotels, island resorts, river, jungle and mountain lodges and activities throughout Sabah including the east coast, are operating business as usual.
The various dive destinations of Sipadan, Mabul, Kapalai, Mataking, Pom Pom, Pandanan, Lankayan and Selingan (popularly known as Turtle Island) are open for business and visitors. In the past few years the Malaysian Government has installed armed national security personnel on these islands and this week, security are further beefed up. The National Security Council (NSC) confirmed there is no prohibition to visit the resort islands. All activities continue as usual.
The Malaysian security forces have cordoned the remote coastal village Kampung Tanduo areas where the intruders are holed in. The area is more than 150 km from Lahad Datu town and is NOT in the tourist route.
The state government and people of Sabah welcome the Prime Minister’s announcement of the setting up of the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM) along the entire east coast of Sabah from Kudat in the north to Sandakan, Lahad Datu, Semporna and Tawau in the southeast. This is timely to prevent intrusions, illegal entry and smuggling from neighbouring countries. The mobilisation of additional battalions comprising the army, police and maritime to these areas including the islands enhance the safety and security of the whole east coast, boosting local and international confidence. With ESSCOM greater security measures, the Foreign Travel Advisories should be revised favourably.
Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar assured the public, visitors and tourists their safety. “I would like to assure tourists that it is safe to travel to Sabah.” Ismail said.
Datuk Irene Benggon Charuruks
General Manager/Board Director
Source : Sabah Tourism Board
Website : sabahtourism.com
For further information contact Dive The World on +66 (0)83 505 7794 or send us an email.
Dive The World Offers You More Possibilities To Dive Sipadan
Sipadan – the diving legend of Borneo is ranked as one of the top scuba diving destinations in the world, and it’s not difficult to see why. This tiny island boasts an amazing diversity of marine life, big fish and abundant walls making it a true diver’s paradise.
Our resorts offer a guaranteed visit to Sipadan Island with 3-4 dives when you book a minimum number of nights dive package.
And now it is possible to pre-book extra permits by filling in an entry permit purchase order when you book the resort through us. By filling in the form, you are more likely to obtain extra permits.
Mabul Water Bungalows and Sipadan Mabul Resort offer a guaranteed visit to Sipadan Island with a minimum 7 days / 6 nights dive package. Borneo Divers Mabul Resort offers a guaranteed visit to Sipadan Island with a minimum 5 days / 4 nights dive package.
The above resorts also offer the opportunity to purchase Sipadan diving permits for shorter packages or for diving Sipadan more often. All you have to do is ask us when you make your booking.
Get a taste of the encounters you can expect during your trip by watching our Sipadan diving video footage.
If you’d like to ensure you are kept up-to-date with the latest diving news and special offers subscribe to our e-news now!
Borneo Divers Mabul Resort New Facilities And Chalets
The resort is constantly improving and already has an excellent swimming pool, 3 bars and wireless internet. Now the owners are in the process of constructing a new facilites building which will incorporate a boutique shop, reflexology and massage centre, a beach bar and restaurant, and also a dive training area. All these new facilities will be at your disposal by the beginning of 2012.
Borneo Divers Mabul Resort is only 25 minutes from Sipadan Island – a world-class wall diving destination pioneered by Borneo Divers. You can enjoy daily dives at Sipadan as well as experience the underwater macro-delights of Mabul Island and Kapalai.
The resort is also currently upgrading their chalets to offer a whole new experience of an even better quality and standard.
On top of this, all these new upgrades and improvements won’t affect the cost of your 2012 stay. You will pay the same price as the current published rates if you book your 2012 stay before 31 March 2012!
Shark Hunting Ban For Malaysia’s Sabah State
In a bid to protect their declining shark population, Malaysia’s Sabah state has proposed a complete ban on shark hunting for their fins.
This is fantastic news for conservationists and diving enthusiasts alike!
Sabah, Malaysian Borneo boasts some of the richest waters in the world and contains the impressive dive sites of Sipadan Island, Kapalai and Mabul, Mataking, Lankayan Island and Layang Layang.
Some of the delights they offer are; vast numbers of hammerhead sharks, turtles, barracuda and bumphead parrotfish, as well as diverse corals and some of the best macro diving in the world.
The propsed ban, the first of its kind in Malaysia, comes as a result of the steady decline of sharks in the area in recent years. State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun says the situation is becoming critical and only 20% of the original population of this creature now remains. There are still fours areas where sharks can be readily spotted but something has to be done to prevent any further decline.
The state government aims to introduce the ban by the end of the year. It is also working with non-governmental groups to help educate the public on the need to protect sharks and to stop eating shark fin soup. The dish has already been taken off the menu of the government’s official functions and airport bar retailers have been urged to ban it’s sale too.
So the future looks bright for the shark population in Sabah state. If you’ve not experienced the fabulous diving this area has to offer yet, then take the plunge now – you wont be disappointed!
Would you like to experience diving in Sabah? Then contact Dive The World to find out more about the dive resort options or you may prefer to maximise your dive time with a liveaboard cruise. Please send us an email or call us on +66 (0)83 505 7794.
Layang Layang Underwater Photo Shoot-Out
The charming Layang Layang Island Resort off the coast of Malaysian Borneo is scheduling another of its popular underwater photo shoot-outs from 20 – 26 July 2011. This exciting event attracts lots of eager competitiors and there are prizes worth over US$30,000 to be won!
The Layang Layang Island Resort was built out of tropical hardwood in the traditional long-house design making it unique among dive resorts and a little quirky. The rooms are clean and comfortable and provide all the modern conveniences in a gorgeous tropical setting. All this and fabulous scuba diving too!
Whether you are a novice underwater photographer or a professional, Layang Layang Island diving offers fantastic photo opportunities with its vast array of fish species and coral diversity, as well as pelagics galore!
So don’t delay, take advantage of the great price on offer for this special week and you could win a prize and see your photo published too!
Dive The World has the following special offers for you:
Layang Layang Island Resort – special offer!
7 Days 6 Nights 12 Boat Dives
Price: US$ 1,000 per person sharing
Includes: Bed, breakfast, lunch and dinner, Layang Layang airport – resort return transfers, dives, boat rides, unlimited beach diving (with own buddy only), experienced English-speaking divemaster(s) for maximum 12 divers (max. 12 divers per boat), tanks, weights and weightbelts. Prices are based on twin share accommodation. If you are a single diver you can share with another diver or pay single supplement to get your own bungalow.
Excludes: Scuba equipment. (Can be rented on arrival.)
The competition is open to all participants Free of Charge with a maximum of 3 submission per category.(wide angle and micro).
All submissions must be taken with a digital camera during the shoot-out 20 – 26 July 2011 at Layang Layang Island Resort.
Winning entries will be unveiled at the resort and published in all major dive magazines.
Note: All prices quoted are per diver sharing and are subject to availability and currency fluctuations. Currency rate is correct at time of publishing. Special offers apply to new bookings only.
Protecting the Pygmy Seahorse in Malaysia
Could this unique species of seahorse, an inhabitant of Sabah’s east coast islands, be under threat because of the actions of over-enthusiastic divers?
The pygmy seahorse (Hippocampus bargibanti) is found at coral reefs at diving havens such as Sipadan and Mabul in Malaysia as well as Papua New Guinea, the Philippines and Indonesia.
Most species of these creatures have only been discovered in the last 10 years. This is due partly to their tiny size – up to just 2.5 cm long, and the fact that they have evolved to perfectly resemble their host gorgonian fan in both form and colour.
Since their discovery in Malaysia, these tiny creatures have become a popular attraction for divers. Enthusiasm to view these creatures means as many as 100 divers a day congregate on their habitat
Malaysian marine biologist Yeong Yee Ling who has been researching the creatures for the past three years is concerned. The pygmy seahorse, which is on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals, is sensitive to stress and bright lights and the use of camera flashes and torch lights could cause shock and injury. However there are no marine park regulations in place in Malaysia that rule this practice as potentially harmful.
Out of concern for their protection, a two-day Pygmy Seahorse Seminar was held recently at Pulau Mabul to discuss the care needed in approaching them and their habitat.
The discussions held during the seminar which involved Sabah Parks and most of the dive operators in the area, will be synthesised into a Code of Conduct For Divers .
It is hoped that this will put a stop to irresponsible underwater photography and direct physical contact and aid in protecting and preserving the Malaysian pygmy seahorse population for many years to come.
Are you planning to dive in Malaysia? Contact Dive The World to discuss arranging a top-class Malaysian dive resort holiday. Alternatively, if yoiu want to maiximise your dive time, how about a liveaboard holiday? Call us on +66 (0)83 505 7794 or you can send us an email.
New Restaurant For Lankayan Island Resort
Are you planning to visit Lankayan Island Dive Resort anytime soon? Then we’d like to give you a heads up – they are in the process of building a new restaurant.
Situated 600m from the last chalet, the restaurant is designed to take in the marvellous views at Lankayan. Take a look at the plans here:
The staff assure us that guests will be inconvenienced as little as possible with all construction taking place during the day when you are most likely to be out scuba diving in Lankayan.
SIPD Reintroduces Giant Clams in Semporna
Have you ever had the marvellous fortune of gazing into the electric blue colours of a giant clam while diving in Sipadan? These truly unbelievable creatures are dwindling in number and The Semporna Islands Darwin Project (SIDP) is taking outstanding steps to re-introduce the giant clams into the Tun Sakaran Marine Park in Sabah, Malaysia.
The Tun Sakaran Marine Park is home to 7 species of giant clams, but the rare southern giant clams ‘Tridacna Derasa‘ have been extensively harvested for their meat and vibrant shells, leaving behind very few mature adults for the propogation of the species.
Over the past year SIDP have successfully raised 1,000′s of these clams as well as the ‘Tridacna Gigas’ in their hatchery. They are now almost ready to be ‘planted out’ on the reef. This is an ongoing project to turn the tide and constructively contribute towards the survival of these exquisite clams. Well done SIDP!
Yet another excellent reason to take your next holiday diving in Sipadan don’t you think? Contact Dive The World for more information about 1 of our Malaysian Dive Resorts. You could send us an email or call us on +66 (0)83 505 7794.
Guests Give Kapalai Dive Resort 2 Thumbs Up
Are you considering escaping for a Sipadan diving holiday at Sipadan Kapalai Dive Resort? Here are a few honest reviews from guests who have been there. They will give you an idea of the good, the bad and the fantastic.
Recent Guest Reviews:
- 08 July 2010
“We spent 4 nights in Kapalai to dive the local sites and especially to dive Sipadan – which is amazing! The resort is beautiful, clean and efficiently run and the food (buffet style) was simple but tasty, abundant and varied. Our room was spacious with a private balcony with a lovely view of the blue sea. Kapalai is a water bungalow resort so there is no natural beach however there is an artificial sand “pod” that can be reached over a boardwalk and plenty of shallow water a few steps away for swimming or snorkelling.
Great place to watch the sunset at the end of the day (if you are not doing a sunset dive, that is). The local reef where unlimited diving is available is a nice underwater patch with lots of interesting macro life as well as an artificial park of sunken vessels and steel towers that attract a lot of life and make the landscape quite interesting. All the local dives were very good. On a 4-night stay they guaranteed only 1 day diving in Sipadan (4 dives) as permits are limited and allocated on a rotation basis. If you want to do more you need to stay longer.
The diving operation was good and well organized however they insist on helping with setting up your equipment. Nothing bad with it if you don’t mind someone else fumbling with your own equipment. I reluctantly let them do it the first day with the result that the tank came off the BCD exiting the water at the end of the dive and they flooded my regs. on the very first day!! If you let them do it make sure you detach the first stage and replace the dust-cap yourself at the end of each diving day. It annoyed me a bit that every time I went to adjust my equipment so that it was the way I wanted it their general help staff would stick their hands in the way to assist even though I told them several times that I needed no assistance. That’s the only minor thing; but the resort is well maintained, beautiful & the staff is courteous so it is a great diving base.”
- 25 June 2010
“My husband and I almost fell in love with Kapalai on the first sight! It’s really a paradise on the sea!
We’re non-divers, but we like snorkeling very much. The snorkeling is quite good there, a lot of colorful fishes and healthy coral reefs. There’s coral reef garden just outside our balcony, we can see a lot fishes, even turtles, just by the window of our bungalow.
The bungalow is spacious and well maintained. The buffet is Asian style and acceptable.
We stayed 3 nights and we wished we could stay longer! We’ll be back again in the near future! Thank you all, the nice staffs in Kapalai!”
- 01 June 2010
“Just returned from a 4 day stay at Sipadan Kapalai Resort. First, let’s make it very clear that this resort is recommended only for divers. The whole resort is built over water and while there is an artificial beach (round plot of sand suspended over water) and places to lounge in the sun (i.e. to watch the sunset…) if you are a non-diver you will get bored very quickly.
There are no phones or TV’s in the rooms, internet is available only in the dining room – and even that service was spotty. However, now that we get the shortcomings out of the way, let me say, this was one of the most relaxing vacations I have had in a while! Perhaps largely due to the fact that we were so isolated from modern communication technology.
The rooms are very spacious, very private (though noise will carry) and very airy. No airconditioning on the whole resort with the exception of the business office, souvenir shop, and movie room. However, this was not a problem as opening all the windows and balcony/terrace doors kept the temperatures at comfortable levels (nevertheless, in the peak summer months, people who cannot stand heat should beware). Our room had one large king and a smaller twin bed. For two nights I dragged the twin mattress out onto our private terrace balcony and slept under the stars! It was great! Highly recommended!!
The buffet-style dining is “all-inclusive” and while we began to feel the lack of variety after four straight days we were pleasantly surprised by the Saturday night BBQ – chicken and beef satay. There is a small bar where you can purchase (charge to your room) beer, chocolate, soft drinks, etc (if you are a snack or chocolate lover it would be a good idea to bring your own to the resort). Other than that (and the gift shop) everything is included in your accomodation price. There is a large “hole” in the floor in the middle of the dining room through which you could see pools of fish – mainly swordfish. They serve an interesting “juice” concoction which grows on you as days go by. Note that since this resort is built away from land in the middle of the sea, all drinking water is tanked in by large “watebarges.” There is a hydroponic system and waste water is treated before release.
To get to the main reason why anyone comes to this resort – the Diving. Much has been written about limited access to Sipadan island. During our 3 days diving we got to go to Sipadan once (4 dives). The other 2 days were spent diving at the points right off the resort and at Mabul. While there is reasonably plenty to see diving at Kapalai and Mabul (plenty of jackfish, batfish, even barracudas, etc.) the real diving experience is to be had at Sipadan. I noticed if you go in a large group you are limited to only 1 day of diving in Sipadan. However, if you are solo or a couple you may be able to squeeze in an extra day of diving at Sipadan if persistent enough. It seems that all the resorts in the area have certain quotas and occasionally there will be last minute cancellations that can be taken advantage of by a solo diver with a flexible schedule.
Finally, while the dive center is large and spacious and reasonably well-equipped, I would highly recommend bringing your own dive equipment as there are many stories of faulty rental equipment on this site. Also, take note that there is NO DIVE SHOP. So you cannot buy anti-fog, masks, fins, etc. on site. Make sure you bring what you need!
All in all, we had a great time and I would rate this a great divers resort! Two thumbs up!”
You can find more information on Sipadan Kapalai Dive Resort here:
Lankayan Featured in Top 1001 Escapes
Highlighted in the feature is the remote privacy and beauty you will find on the island; the clarity of the azure waters where “the dive sites boast unbelievably colorful macrofauna … and regular sightings of whale sharks”