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Sanctuary Of Love

November 23, 2013 Destination ASEAN No Comments Email Email

The waters off the shores of Malaysa breathe life into one’s underwater world vacation. It accentuates the immaculate beauty of crystal clear seas, allowing one to explore and embrace the spectacular islands, beaches and marine habitats.

The sea knows no limits and has no boundaries. The picturesque coral islands in the South China Sea feature a diverse marine life of over 1200 fish species and 600 coral species. It is no surprise than to know that one of the world best diving sites is in Malaysia and is located in the southeastern region of Sabah, on the island of Borneo.

Warwick Hotel San FranciscoSipadan Island, Mabul Island and Kapalai Island

These three islands offer one of the best forms of marine biodiversity where one can experience the wonders of wreck, macro and muck diving. The Sipadan Island, the only oceanic island in Malaysia, has been acclaimed by divers from around the world as the most ideal site for scuba diving on the planet.

It rises to 600 metres (2,000 ft) from the seabed and is located in the Celebes Sea off the east coast of Sabah, as what is referred to as the island of Borneo. As one dives and submerges oneself into the ocean, one will be charmed and amazed by the underwater vista that unfolds in front of you, a natural pristine undersea scape that was formed eons ago by living corals growing on top of an extinct underwater volcano.

The up-close view of the marine life is truly breathtaking. Divers will get to explore and if you are lucky, witness the mating of the greenback turtles and hawksbill turtles. You may also catch the sight of schools of barracuda; plus the big-eye trevally whirling in circular formation as if they were dancing or resembling an underwater tornado. Be patient and you will be further rewarded with photo opportunities with the gentle but huge manta rays, eagle rays, and rare scalloped hammerhead sharks and whale sharks.

For the more experienced and adventurous divers, check out the mysterious undersea turtle tomb near the island, that was probably formed by an underwater limestone cave with a labyrinth of tunnels and chambers that contain many skeletal remains of turtles.

Moreover, Sipadan Island managed to top the Rodale’s Scuba Diving Magazine Gold List for ‘The Top Dive Destination in the World’

Not too far away from the Sipadan Island is Mabul Island, a fishing village in the 1970s but one that became popular to divers in the 1990s due to its close proximity to Sipadan. It is a favourite diving location for muck divers. The undersea marine community consists of exotic small marine life such as flamboyant cuttlefish, blue-ringed octopus, mimic octopus and bobtail squids.

Within these islands, there are six popular resorts that offer a respite to divers, with attractive diving packages.

Another must-explore diving destination is Kapalai Island that is nestled a few hours away from the eastern shores of Borneo. On the island is a quaint village and this is where one can find the Ligitan Reefs. Look closely at the village and you would find that the village is built on stilts that rest on the reefs. Kapalai Island is located along the North-Eastern beachfront of Sipadan Island and trravellers can take a 40 minute speedboat ride from the port of Semporna to reach this island.

AWARD-WINNING BEACH

Along the coast of Malaysian Peninsula, the Juara Beach in Tioman Island was awarded by CNN as one of the World’s 100 Best Beaches, positioned at number 21. The area itself is known as one of the havens for divers.

Two other beaches in Malaysia also named by CNN in the same list are Pulau Perhentian Kecil in Terengganu at number 13 and Tanjung Rhu in Langkawi at number 49.

Do note that to experience the bio-diversity of the Malaysian seas, it is advised that you arrange to book for diving packages at least a month in advance and also take note that the monsoon season in this region is between October and March where some diving spots will cease operations temporarily.

Malaysia is more than just a venue for simple holiday-makers. It truly offers many other interesting activities that fulfill every visitor’s dream vacation according to your needs and desires. Happy Diving!

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