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Following the Perhentian Islands (in northeastern Malaysia in the state of Terengganu) Dive Trip last August, I was skeptical of diving in Malaysian waters due to the serve coral bleaching situation. The sea water temperature rose by 2°C to between 28°C and 29°C. At least 70% of the corals were affected by the change in water temperature due to global warming and turned ash white.

Dennis returned for a dive around the region at the opening of the dive season this year, he gave a thumbs up to the water conditions. Having dived since my teens, I figured that it was finally time for me to take diving to another level - it was time to embark on my Advanced Open Waters certification. The certification will certify me to dive deeper to 40m, perform night dives and be trained in underwater navigation (I wasn't exaggerating when I commented that navigation might cause my failure in the cert!).

I've never been on a live onboard dive. Besides for the seasickness on the 1st night departing Singapore, the live onboard experience was pretty awesome. Your life for the next 3 days surround everything on the boat. You pretty much just eat, sleep, shit and dive. It's extremely relaxing between dives and as usual you're likely to find me on the deck tanning away. Life is good!

Dive buddy for the Open Water Advance was Trina Swee with Lionel Lim (boss of DiveRace) as Dive Instructor. I was in very good hands. Did a total of 7 dives covering:
Tioman Pulau Renggis

Simple 1st dive practicing buoyancy control and frog kick fining. Tioman Ranggis had overall good visibility spotting Black and Yellow Fin Barracudas, Puffer Fishes, 2 sightings of Black Tip Shark (those suckers swam real fast!) and a Shopping Cart Ship Wreck Site. The eastern side the rocks are covered in corals, Gorgonian Seafans and Barrel Sponges. Anemones are home to various anemone fish species including Clark's Anemonefish and the Western Clownfish (Nemo). Anthias and Damsel Fish dance around coral heads. Schools of snapper and fusilier are grouped over the reef.

Diving video - I'm the one with the white snorkel

Tioman Malang Rock

From a distance, Malang Rock is easily recognized by a huge protruding boulder. Sheltered on one side by Tulai Island and with deeper water on the other, Malang Rock provides two contrasting environments. On the sheltered side is the interesting coral reef formation with extensive Potato Corals and Pavona Cactuses. On the other side, there are large rocks with a variety of soft and hard corals (Staghorn Coral and Tabletop Coral). Within the shallow caves are sightings of Reef Sharks!

Tioman Marine Park HQ
Deep dive to sandy bottoms. Area is conserved by Malaysian Government as a Marine Park sinking eight wrecks that are close but varies in depths. Coral covers the wrecks and a large amount of marine life breed.

Tioman Tumuk Bay
Night dive experience swimming against strong currents. Waters were sandy with little to see except for a rather peculiar car wreck in the middle of the ocean floor.

Tioman Bahara Rock (Tokong Bahara)
Early morning dive of the spectacular underwater garden that includes soft and hard colorful corals with nice formations, huge Barrel Sponges, Sheer Rock Pinnacles, Sea Fans, and many attractive underwater species. Spotted Eels, super fat Puffer Fish and a humongous 18m Garoupa Fish! Also fish net traps from local fishermen.

Jack Rock

Cliff diving with relatively poor visibility and strong warm/cold currents. Sightings of Bamboo Sharks, Cat Sharks and Stingrays.

Before I ended the course, my 1st try inflating the Surface Marker Buoy (SMB). Did not have enough air for the inflation!

The weekend trip had marine life galore with interesting wrecks and coral gardens. And most importantly... I'm officially now an Advanced Open Water diver! WoOt!

Pulau Perhentian Scuba Diving 2010
Gone Surfing - FlowRider Wave House Sentosa
Touched by Gracie (the Dugong)
Swimming with the Quicksilver Synchro Hyperstretch Wetsuit

More Tioman MV DiveRace Dive Pictures


  1. I am fond of scuba diving.Really nice posting , I will keep visiting your blog for next update. Diving Tioman

  2. Thanks for liking the post. Tioman is a great place for diving. Definitely a place to re-visit!

  3. If it's awesome diving, beautiful beaches and exquisite lounging you're after, yes, Tioman will deliver. In spades.

    But just a quick note to repeat Tioman visitors, or those wishing to go there in the future.

    Since we go to Tioman quite regularly, we're seeing more and more travellers, especially from overseas, arriving at the Mersing jetty too late to catch their ferry, because it's full. Some even told us they had to stay the night in Mersing. Obviously a bummer if your resort room is waiting for you in Tioman.

    I think the reasons for the full ferries are:

    1) The recent popularity boom Tioman has been enjoying.
    2) The recent rule prohibiting passengers from sitting on the ferry sun-deck.
    3) All other ferry types have discontinued, including the fast-ferries and the slow ferries, as well as the catamaran from Singapore

    All of this has resulted in a higher chance of passengers left stranded during the busy holiday spells and weekends.

    In light of this, my advice to those who've booked a Tioman resort, or want to go to Tioman during the weekend or a public holiday: book your ferry tickets in advance so you won't need to worry about being stranded at the departure jetty due to the ferry for that day being already full.

    You can get tickets from the ferry operators direct, "Blue Water", or from "Tioman Ferry Tickets".

  4. Hello, my name is Pavel, I handed over the certificate in March 2011, 18 March 2011 passed the certificate open water diver, was already 3 months, but the certificate I have not come. How to solve this problem, you may be mistaken address, or some other problem, one way or another certificate I have and I do not know whether he will … My blog is on Scuba Diving Jobs

  5. Hi Umair, the delay is over a year now. You should contact your dive school to identify the long overdue delay.


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