Diving Destinations

A friend from Hong Kong asked me for advice on booking a diving trip to Pulau Redang for a holiday. Here is my response.

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I agree that Pulau Redang is the best diving site in Peninsular Malaysia.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Redang_Island

But only within Peninsular Malaysia.

It is popular with Malaysians because it is near to Kuala Lumpur so people can take a weekend trip there (and they don’t need to pay airfare, just pack up the kids and drive to the jetty).

For visitors from overseas who are going to fly anyway and can afford more than a US$200 package holiday, there are more beautiful beaches and waters at world class locations like:

Pulau Sipadan, East Malaysia (but probably not within your budget and time)
In his film Borneo: The Ghost of the Sea Turtle (1989) Jacques Cousteau said, “I have seen other places like Sipadan, years ago, but now no more. Now we have found an untouched piece of art.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sipadan
http://adventure4ever.photoshelter.com/gallery/Sipadan-Island-Malaysia-Top-10-Dive-Sites-Worldwide/G0000zh3lEIs9xz0/

Nusa Lembongan / Nusa Penida, Bali, Indonesia

http://wikitravel.org/en/Nusa_Lembongan
http://wikitravel.org/en/Nusa_Penida
http://www.nusapenida.com/

Manado, North Sulawesi, Indonesia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manado
One of the only places in the world where the prehistoric Coelacanth still exists
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coelacanth
I have dived there before – absolutely breathtaking and therapeutic.

Lombok, Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lombok
http://lombokdiving.com/

Lombok and Manado are available by direct flight from Singapore via Silkair.
http://www.silkair.com/mbe/en_UK/content/destinations/id_manado_orientate.jsp
http://www.silkair.com/mbe/en_UK/content/destinations/id_lombok_orientate.jsp

Bali is accessible by direct flight from Singapore by Singapore Airlines, Garuda and Air Asia (I went there in Jan 2012 and Nov 2011).