Best time to visit Malaysia

Diving near Borneo Island in Malaysia

Dare to challenge a famous sea Drop Off

Best time: April–October

Diving near Borneo Island
Diving near Borneo Island
Diving near Borneo Island
Diving near Borneo Island
Diving near Borneo Island

Malaysia is a must go place for every diver, as it contains some great spots for muck diving, macro diving, wreck diving, and diving with sharks.

Both the East and West coasts of Malaysia are suitable for exploration, but seasonality is what really makes the difference between them. If you plan to visit between April and October, then head to the Eastern part, specifically, Borneo island.

This region attracts divers who love meeting really big fish. Hammerhead Sharks, Box Jellyfish, Stingrays, Bull Sharks—there are plenty of them, especially near Sipadan Island and Layang-Layang Island, also known as the Swallow Reef.

Also, the sea near Borneo is a favourite place for muck divers. They explore its bottom in search of rare critters, tiny weird fish, and others descend for macro photography.

Several spots near Borneo are especially popular among tourists, as they reveal the beauty and power of the deep water—oceanic Gardens, Barracuda Point, Turtle Cavern and, of course, the famous Drop Off, where knee-high water suddenly becomes a 600-meter deep hole.

Practical info

What is the reason why muck diving is popular in Borneo?

Muck diving is a diving practice that involves exploring the muddy or sandy ocean floor to discover rare aquatic species like seahorses, nudibranchs, and octopus. Borneo is well-known for its variety of muck dives as these waters offer so many opportunities for seeing unique creatures that are not found anywhere in the world. Photographers and divers can take pleasure in capturing every single detail of these amazing animals with macro lenses. Show more

What is the prime time of the year to go diving near Borneo?

The optimal time to plan a diving trip to Borneo is between April and October when the weather conditions are favorable with calm and clear waters. There is a monsoon season in Malaysia, so the months to avoid are November-March when the weather is terrible and the waters are less transparent. Visibility is affected at this time of year due to choppier seas, so the experience is not as enjoyable as it should be. Show more

What are the top macro photography spots around Borneo?

Mabul Island, Kapalai Island, and Kudat Bay are among the famous dive spots around Borneo's East Coast that offer excellent opportunities for macro photography. Underwater photographers and divers can capture striking marine life and vibrant seascapes in these waters. Sipadan Island is a wonderland for photographers as it features stunning aquatic creatures like green sea turtles, Bumphead parrotfish, and hundreds of other fish species. Show more

What is the depth of The Drop Off that is near Borneo?

The Drop Off near Borneo is an outstanding diving location adored by divers and photographers. The depth of the wall ranges from 600 meters to over 2,000 meters, making it suitable for advanced divers and underwater photographers. The wall is home to vibrant coral gardens, and it's common to see barracudas, jacks, and hammerhead sharks swimming around. Nurse sharks and turtles are also known to rest on the sandy base of the wall. Show more

What types of sharks are found near Sipadan and Layang-Layang Islands?

Sipadan and Layang-Layang Islands have numerous shark species including hammerheads, grey reef sharks, and whitetip reef sharks. The spotlight is on hammerhead sharks, a highly sought-after species among divers who come from around the world to see them. Grey reef sharks are commonly found around the reef, and visitors can watch them swim. Whitetip sharks rest on the sandy ocean bottom during the day to conceal themselves from predators. Show more

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