Malaysia is the jewel of our planed that is divided in two by the South China Sea. It attracts with its authentic culture and pristine wilderness. The underwater diversity is impressive. A diver can meet anglers, hammerhead sharks, barracudas and other exotic underwater dwellers. Malaysia is one of the leaders in the rating of the best countries for diving. There is the Redang archipelago, which includes ten islands, and Payar Island with its marine reserve, as well as a number of other, just as picturesque places. When diving at the Redang archipelago, you will see an extraordinary coral formation shaped like a mushroom. Payar is a Malaysian marine park. There, you can meet groupers, kitefin sharks and rockfish.
Sipadan is the only oceanic island in Malaysia. Diving near its shores will take you to a completely different world with dive sites which are known all over the world. One of them is a limestone cave called Turtle Tomb. The island's highlight is a steep wall of the coral reef that goes down 860 meters. At the Barracuda Reef, you will see these marine predators hunting for fish. And you should not overlook the picturesque Hanging Gardens, formed by soft corals.
The island of Mabul is another beautiful diving site. The place is home to great white sharks and hawksbill marine turtles. Besides that, there are mystical caves and tunnels which you can explore.
The biggest part of dive shops are located in the cities of Kuala Lumpur (Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur) and Langkawi on the island of Borneo. They offer various services, such as arranging dive tours, wreck diving, diving with sharks, cave and wall diving, as well as trips to other diving sites of Malaysia. All the shops are certified and have the right to train newbies and would-be instructors.
In September, the rains stop in the northeast and the tourist season starts. The air and water warm up to +33 °С and +30 °С, respectively. Rain comes to the west coast starting from April.
Summer is the ideal season for diving in Malaysia. There is no rainfall or strong winds at this time of year. June is the driest month of the year, and the air temperature in July is a steady 31 °С. The water warms up to 30 °С.
The tourist season is still open on the west coast in September and October. November brings with it the first rain. This is the rainiest month of the year. The water temperature doesn't go below 30 °С, and water becomes a couple of degrees colder.
The air temperature doesn't go below +23 °С during the Malaysian winter, and air humidity reaches 80%. Monsoons blow in the northeast. It often rains. The water temperature is +20… 23 °С.
Near Layang Layang island, you can find the Gorgonian Forest with "blossoming" black and ribbon corals, colorful Dendronephthya and sponges. The location is inhabitated by parrotfish, butterflyfish, angelsharks, turtles, moray eels and manta rays.
Near the Sharks' Cave, divers will surely meet zebra sharks that are often seen here. And baby sharks live at the back of the cave.
Malaysia has one of the best healthcare systems in Asia. State and private hospitals offer medical help of any complexity. It is recommended that you get a vaccination against tetanus, poliomyelitis, hepatitis A and typhoid fever. Malaysia is know for being one of the safest countries in South-East Asia because serious crimes are rare here. However, it is better to remain vigilant and avoid going out alone at night. Local Police are often negligent in their duties. In case of emergency, you will have to come to a police station on your own.
The coastal waters of Malaysia are full of dangerous dwellers. Among jellyfish, be careful of Portuguese man o' war and box jellyfish. Dangerous gastropods are represented by venomous cone snails. The rocky bottom is covered with venomous sea urchins, starfish and devilfish disguised as rocks, and killer sharks live in the depths.
The Malaysian cuisine is a mix of Chinese, Thai, Indonesian and Portuguese recipes. Rice is the main ingredient here. Other foods go under the name of "Lauk", which translates as "addition to rice".
Nasi lemak is a rice dish cooked with coconut milk. It can be served with hard boiled eggs, anchovies and cucumbers. Roti canai is a flatbread with cucumber. It can have various fillings — meat, vegetables or fruit. The traditional beverages are tea and coffee. Tap water is not really drinkable, so it is better to boil it first.