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Malaysia Seas & Underwater Activities

Malaysia is divided into two main parts, Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia (Borneo).
Peninsular Malaysia is flanked by the Straits of Malacca on its West Coast and the South China Sea on its East Coast.

South of Peninsular Malaysia, the Johor Straits separates Malaysia and Singapore.
The coasts of Sarawak in East Malaysia faces the South China Sea to the west and north of Borneo Island.

Sabah’s (Borneo) northern shore also faces the South China Sea, but the Eastern coast looks out to the Sulu Sea (north-east) and the Celebes Sea (south-east).

Fishing, boating, cruising, diving, snorkelling and jet-skiing are but some of the activities that you can do at and in Malaysia seas.

This tropical region is rich with marine life and the coral reefs here are some of the most beautiful in the world. The South China Sea that lies between West and East Malaysia is not only a source for fish, prawns and other seafood but also has petroleum and gas reserves.

The seas surrounding Malaysian islands are usually the most popular tourist spots, especially for snorkelling and diving. There are many places on these islands that offer sea tours and island-hopping activities. Equipment for snorkelling and diving can also be rented locally.

Coastal towns and villages are where you should get seafood as it’s fresh and cheap. Coastal areas in Terengganu, Kelantan, Sarawak and Sabah are some of the best places to get fresh prawns, squids, clams and fish.

– Above: Map of Malaysia, from CIA World Factbook website –

List of Activities you can do at Malaysia Seas:

Seas & Underwater Activities in West Malaysia (Peninsular)

West Coast Malaysia
-overlooking the Straits of Malacca.
The Straits of Malacca (Selat Melaka) lies between Peninsular Malaysia and Sumatera, Indonesia. This sea is a busy shipping area, as ships and tankers pass through the straits daily from Europe, the Middle-East and West Asia to reach Malaysia, Indonesia, the Phillippines, China, Japan, Australia and beyond.

Snorkelling and Diving areas:
1.) Pulau Langkawi
2.) Pulau Pangkor

Wind-surfing areas:
1.) All the islands mentioned above.

Fresh Seafood
1.) Port Kelang
2.) Morib
3.) Pulau Pinang (Penang)
4.) Melaka
5.) Kukup Fishing Village, Johor (west of Johor Bharu city).
6.) Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan

East Coast Malaysia
-overlooking the South China Sea.
The sea conditions are rougher here than in the Straits of Malacca as it is not sheltered by land mass and the sea basin is very deep. The sea water tend to be very clean and has an interesting hue of blue-green to it. This is where some of the best fresh seafood comes from.

Snorkelling and Diving areas:
2.) Pulau Rawa (east of Johor)
4.) Pulau Kapas (Terengganu)
2.) Pulau Perhentian (Terengganu)
3.) Pulau Redang (Terengganu)
1.) Pulau Tioman (Pahang)

Wind-surfing areas:
1.) Pantai Cherating (Pahang)
2.) Pantai Chendor (Pahang)
3.) Desaru (Johor)
4.) All the islands mentioned in the snorkelling and diving section above.

Fresh Seafood
1.) Coastal towns and vilages in Pahang, Terengganu and Kelantan. In Terengganu, check out Kerteh (near McDonald’s there is a route to the local NIGHT seafood eateries).

Seas & Underwater Activities in East Malaysia (Borneo)

State: Sabah
-overlooking the South China Sea, Sulu Sea and Celebes Sea.
The sea condition varies considerably in some areas. The seas near the Eastern shores are the best, especially around the local islands, as it’s very beautiful and has plenty of sea-life. The seas around Sabah has one of the best marine ecology in the world.

Snorkelling and Diving areas:
1.)Pulau Sipadan and the islands surrounding it.
2.)Pulau Tiga National Park
3.)Taman Tunku Abdul Rahman

Wind-surfing areas:
4.)All the islands mentioned above.

Fresh Seafood
1.)Coastal towns and vilages in Sabah.
2.)Near Kota Kinabalu Sea Terminal & Philippines Market.

State: Sarawak
-overlooking the South China Sea.
The sea condition is quite similar to the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia. The sea can get rough during rainy seasons and there is plenty of fresh seafood around the coastal areas.

Fresh Seafood
1.)Coastal towns and vilages in Sarawak.

Pulau Labuan
-off the coast of Sabah and Brunei Darussalam. Overlooking the South China Sea.
Activities: snorkelling, shipwreck diving, sailing.
Try seafood at the Mawilla II restaurant near the Labuan Sports Center area. Alternatively, BBQ buffet with seafood is available at the Waterfront Hotel, Labuan every Saturday evening.

As mentioned in the other sections on this website, PLEASE:

1.) DO NOT throw rubbish or pollute Malaysia Seas.

2.) Make sure you go diving or snorkelling with a trained instructor or guide.

3.) Check out with the local marine police / authorities on sea conditions, local weather reports and restrictions on going out to sea.

4.) Don’t go boating or fishing alone. Ensure that you’ve informed the relevant authorities and have a permit (for fishing). Do check your boat and its navigational instruments (GPS, etc) to make sure everything works fine. Wear a life-jacket. Make sure you are with an experienced boatsman / navigator if you are an amateur.

5.) Use your common sense and good judgment. If you see bad weather ahead, don’t go out to sea. Malaysia Seas can be unpredictable.

6.) Please ensure that children wear proper life-jackets when getting on a boat. You should be wearing life-jackets as well.

7.) Supervise your children eventhough they’re swimming close to the beach. High tide can occur suddenly and when least expected.

8.) Don’t forget to apply sunblock with a high SPF and do so often as your SPF cream can wash off after prolong swimming and soaking in the sea.

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