Scuba Diving in Pulau Redang

discovery diving in Redang

中文版 | Versi Melayu
The ‘coral triangle’ is an area spanning from the Phillipines to Indonesia to Papua New Guinea and is known to possess the greatest number of aquatic species on Earth. Up to 80% of these species can be found in Pulau Redang – making Redang one of Peninsular Malaysia’s top dive sites. More than thirty dive sites, suiting all skill levels from beach dives to challenging deep dives, are located in close proximity to the island. There are also coral gardens and wall dives along with sandy bottoms – perfect for macro photography enthusiasts. All of these sites are easily accessible via speedboat.

Leisure dives and PADI dive certification courses are offered by dive centres at most of the resorts. A 4d3n stay is sufficient to complete the theory classes of PADI open water course and open water sessions. Despite that, it is recommended to stay a minimum of 5d4n to allow for a more leisurely pace as well as time for several leisure dives after finishing the course.

Divers can choose to use any of the dive centres, although it is more convenient for them to use the one at the resort they are staying at. Charges of these dive centres differ from one resort to the other. However, be rest assured as the prices do not differ much due to stiff competition between dive centres. The prices for a shore dive and a boat dive are RM60 and RM90 respectively. However, 2- or 3-dive packages are offered by many dive centres. So, a dive would turn out to be comparatively cheaper when included in these packages. Guests are charged about RM160 for one of the ‘discovery dives’.

Popular Dive Sites in Pulau Redang’s Northern Region

There are three dive sites in the northern region of Pulau Redang. The waters at Tanjung Tokong and Tunnel Point, up to 30 metres deep at the deepest point, teem with an abundance of fishes, making them the two most popular sites in that region. The site with the shallowest waters, only 18 metres deep at the deepest point, is Tanjung Lang and Whips, fans and other corals can be found here. These northern spots are located away from the majority of the resorts as well as being very near to Chagar Hutang’s protected beach, which does not allow the entry of visitors due to conservation activities of turtles carried out by SEATRU. As a result, sites in the northern region have among the healthiest corals in Redang.

Tunnel Point

Tunnel Point is named such because structures shaped like a tunnel are formed by the piling up of big boulders. Divers are able to swim through these tunnel-esque structures, offering a unique diving experience not found at other diving sites. Furthermore, divers who pay attention can hear an interesting sound at one point in the structures: a creak sound emitted by a boulder when it is pushed by surf and comes into contact with other boulders. A variety of aquatic life can be found in these structures. Bumphead parrotfish, jacks, nudibranch and small barracudas, as well as gorgonian fans clinging to walls surrounded by reefs covered by soft and hard corals.

Tanjung Tokong (North Point)

Tanjung Tokong is in close proximity to Chagar Hutang’s Turtle Bay. This is an ideal place to be on the lookout for hawksbill and green turtles as it is where the field station of SEATRU is located. Though the waters in this region can tend to get quite choppy at certain times, divers get to feast their eyes upon the large diversity of marine species here, which include snappers, napoleon wrasse, nudibranch, flatworms, jacks, fusiliers and sometimes sharks. Soft coral, sea fans and sponges cover the majority of the boulders in this region. By making sure that the reef is to the left of their swimming direction, divers can swim towards Turtle Bay where there is an abundance of vividly coloured hard and soft corals.

Tanjung Gua Kawah

Tanjung Gua Kawah, sitting at the tip of northeastern Redang, should be avoided by novice divers due to its rough currents on the surface as well as deep-water. Rocks and boulders sink to the approximately 15-metre deep sandy bottom. This site offers an ideal opportunity to see pelagics in the open seas as well as other species of fishes lurking within caves and beneath the overhangs due to currents found in this location. Despite that, it should be noted that the growth of corals here is only mediocre at best.

Popular Dive Sites around Long Beach of Pulau Redang

Pasir Panjang’s Tanjung Tengah and Tanjung Mak Cantik offer house reefs which are suitable for day and night beach dives and discovery dives as well as snorkelling because they are easily accessible to divers/snorkellers. Waters here are less than 15 metres at the deepest point. Here, divers usually get to see baby and sometimes adult blacktip sharks. Besides that, divers peeking beneath table coral and rocks might catch the occasional Jenkins whipray.

Pulau Paku Besar and Pulau Paku Kecil

The twin islands known as Pulau Paku Besar and Pulau Paku Kecil, located quite near to Pasir Panjang, are famous sites of snorkelling. Areas with sandy bottom around these islands also offer divers a good diving experience as pipefish, schooling razorfish and other bottom dwellers can be found here.

Chek Isa (Mini Mount)

Being a reef submerged under the water, which begins at 8 metres and grows all the way down to a 20-metre deep sandy bottom, Chek Isa is distinctly marked by two gigantic boulders covered by various species of hydroids, sponges and soft corals. An astonishing variety of marine life call this reef home. Examples include angelfish, cowries, colourful Christmas tree worms, groupers, parrotfish, schooling batfish, spidershells, wrasses, as well as other reef dwellers.

Divers should keep an eye out for devil scorpionfish as these creatures can camouflage very well on the sandy bottom. The occasional currents, which range from mild to moderate, might provide divers with an opportunity to see pelagics. Divers should also inspect the waters beyond the reefs as adult blacktip sharks can sometimes be spotted there.

Diving here at night is an amazing experience as the waters serve as a habitat to many marine creatures which are only active at night, such as cowries, crabs, eels , spiny lobsters, squids and urchins.

Mak Cantik (Maxi Mount)

Mak Cantik, a mountain rising from the seafloor which is submerged in a water depth of 12-18 metres, is located in close proximity to Chek Isa. Literally translated as ‘beautiful mother’ in Malay, Mak Cantik has a big garden of corals consisting of a large number of hard and soft corals. Mak Cantik is preferred to Chek Isa by many divers because the coral gardens of Mak Cantik are more beautiful and some of them even have captivating coral anemone gardens. Similar to Chek Isa, currents ranging from mild to moderate occasionally sweep through Mak Cantik, and this phenomenon presents divers with an opportunity to see pelagics.

The fish life here is almost the same as that found around Chek Isa since both are quite near to each other. Various different types of fish are found here like rays, snappers and batfish, puffers, schooling yellowtail barracudas, as well as the common ones such as angelfish, blacktip reef sharks, butterfly fish, damselfish, parrotfish and wrasses. As on Chek Isa, divers should inspect the waters towards the reef fringes as sometimes larger rays and white-tip sharks can be spotted.

Popular Dive Sites around Teluk Kalong of Pulau Redang

Tanjung Cina Terjun

Tanjung Cina Terjun, one of the many sites on Redang that I like the most, is the only place in Redang which can rightfully earn the title of being a ‘photographer’s paradise’. It should also be named the ‘City of Eel and Lionfish’ as divers are bound to bump into one of these in this region.

A large number of stingrays inhabit the sandy bottom which encircles the reef. Scorpionfish and stonefish can also be found here, lying against the corals and well-camouflaged with their surroundings. On the other hand, lionfish and porcupine fish seek refuge among sea whips as shoals of large puffers drift about nearby. Various shark species, like small cat sharks, bamboo sharks and leopard sharks, slumber beneath rocks.

Tanjung Cina Terjun provides divers with a marvelous diving experience. The waters here are quite calm and are only a maximum of 18 metres deep so even beginner divers can dive here during the day and at night. There is a fairly high chance of seeing an eel at night if you shine your flashlight into a hole or crevice.

Pulau Kerengga

Two islands known as Pulau Kerengga Besar and Pulau Kerengga Kecil lie to the northwest of Tanjung Cina Terjun. There is an expansive reef here, which is an excellent place for snorkellers and divers with little experience as the waters here are fairly shallow. Whereas Tanjung Cina Terjun is nicknamed as the ‘City of Eel and Lionfish’, Kerengga is more suitably named ‘Ray City’ as the shallow sandy bottom surrounding it is a habitat of many rays and some sharks. Diving should be suitable for novice divers since the waters around Kerengga Besar are fairly calm and shallow and are only up to 15 metres deep. The area between the two islands has a coral garden that consists of hard and soft corals. Divers at the reef may get the chance to see humphead parrots, jacks, tuna, snappers and trevallies. Night divers should be able to find various species of shrimp and crab.

Pulau Lima

Pulau Lima and the seamounts around it are the most valued entity in the marine park of Redang, as indicated in a research conducted in 1976, because the reefs in this region are representative of all of Redang’s reef environments. In other words, the reefs here are considered a ‘Mini Redang’ as it is a condensed version of the entire marine environment in the park.

Pulau Lima, which translates to 5 islets in Malay, can be reached easily from Pasir Panjang’s resorts. Excellent diving sites can be found on the northern, southern, eastern and western tips of Pulau Lima. Big Mount, which lies to the north and Black Coral Garden at the western tip, with wide fields of anemone and other soft corals, are two of the most famous diving sites in Pulau Lima.

Pulau Lima South

A row of big boulders carpeted by sea anemones, hard and soft corals and other invertebrates makes up the southern end of Pulau Lima. Hideouts for lots of reef fishes, formed by caves and grottos, can be found at the foundation of these boulders. On the eastern side, steep walls lined by corals plunge to around 13 metres before gradually sloping away to 30 metres. Whips and sea fans thrive in the deeper waters. Other than fishes that are commonly found in reefs, divers can also keep an eye out for blacktip reef sharks, lionfish, moray eels and puffer fish.

Pulau Lima North

A lot of divers rate “Big Mount” as the best dive site in the area surrounding Pulau Lima. It is situated approximately 50 to 100 metres away from Pulau Lima’s northern tip. “Big Mount” is likely to be around 35 metres deep, making it one of the deeper sites for diving.

A highly reviewed diving destination, “Big Mount” provides divers with an opportunity to catch a glimpse of various types of pelagics like barracudas, blacktip sharks, groupers, tuna and also the elusive whale shark. An encounter with the whale shark would definitely provide divers with an eventful diving experience. The boulder terrain begins at around 20 metres and plunges to more than 30 metres. The terrain is covered with a large variety of gorgonian fans, hard and soft corals, whip coral gardens and sea anemones.

Popular Dive Sites in Pulau Redang’s Southern Region

Terumbu Kili (South Point)

Located at Pulau Pinang’s southern tip and rated by divers as one of the best dives sites at Redang, Terumbu Kili is a rocky outcrop which breaks through the surface of the water and gradually forms a slope downwards to a sandy bottom. It has a depth of roughly 20 metres.

Be cautious of the vigorous surface currents that segregate Pulau Pinang from Terumbu Kili. As such, this site should be best avoided by novice divers. Divers here get to view barracudas, fusiliers, jacks, jellyfish, snappers, shoals of yellowtail and also the occasional blacktip sharks. A number of ledges found on the slope front are carpeted by a coral garden consisting of fans, leather corals, soft corals and whips. Divers are also likely to encounter hawksbill turtles here.

Pulau Ling & Batu Chipor

A tiny rocky outcrop without a beach, Pulau Ling used to be a bustling diving site in Redang in the past. It has two gigantic coral heads shaped like a mushroom. Estimates put these heads at around hundreds of years old. Among the biggest structures of coral off Peninsular Malaysia’s East Coast, the bigger and smaller heads measure 24.5 metres and 23.2 metres around the circumference of their base respectively. Divers can explore these corals as they are submerged in fairly shallow waters of only 10 to 20 metres. Caves situated at the two heads’ bases are a thriving habitat for angelfishes, cardinal fish and moorish idols. Bright orange daisy corals encrust the overhangs of the caves.

Batu Chipor is located at Pulau Ling’s north. A buoy placed 20 metres away from a small rocky outcrop, hardly exposed when tides are high, marks Batu Chipor’s location. Diving should be avoided by novice divers, despite it being a dive that is quite shallow (only 8-15 metres deep), because the currents here can get rough. Fans, leather corals and soft tree corals carpet the rocky wall while lettuce and boulder corals as well as hard staghorn cover the sandy bottom.

Both diving sites receive fewer divers nowadays as boat traffic in these areas has significantly increased.

Pulau Ekor Tebu

Steep boulders of granite, plunging to 24 metres where it meets the sandy bottom, are the main components of Pulau Ekor Tebu’s northeastern tip. There is a cave underwater at a depth of around 20 metres. Expect to see barracuda, batfish, blacktip sharks, pompano, trevallies and sometimes eagle rays, particularly when currents are present. There are also giant clams as well as other shells here.


Popular Redang Resorts

[columns] [span3]

Redang Beach Resort

[/span3][span3]

Redang Laguna Resort

Laguna Redang Island Resort

[/span3][span3]

Coral Redang Island Resort

[/span3][span3]

Redang Holiday Beach Villa

[/span3][/columns]