Sibuan Island & Mantabuan Island
Sibuan is seen as one of the best muck diving (macro divers paradise) spots in Malaysia. Here you can enjoy encounters with many amazing underwater creatures; like pygmy seahorses, nudibranches, mandarin fish, crocodile fish, lion fish, scorpion fish and frog fish. There are a few nice dive sites around Sibuan Island, the most popular are; Left Shoulder, Mandarin Point, Mandarin Bay, Froggy’s and the Drop-Off. Nearby Sibuan you can find Mantabuan Island; with a couple of fabulous dive sites.
Though most of the dive sites around Sibuan are good for all types of divers, some other sites are a bit more challenging because of the currents.
Mabul & Kapalai Island
Kapalai Island is larger and just as appealing with its wide stretches of white sand, resort facilities, and dive centre. Mabul has made a name for itself with “muck diving”, a fascinating exploration of silt and mudflat habitats.
There are more than a dozen different dive sites around Mabul Island that are home to a vast variety of species of fish and other marine life. There are also several ships and even a small motorcycle-truck that were purposely sunk here a few years back – already they are turning into an lively artificial reef. Massive schools of fish and giant sea turtles can be found hanging around all day.
Great for beginners, visitors to Mabul should watch out for the blue-ringed octopus, scorpion fish, and nudibranchs.
Mataking Island has many diving sites that attract both professional and amateur divers each year. While most of all are perfectly suitable for beginners, some (such as North Point) should only be visited by experienced divers.
Divers can have a chance to spot Manta Rays, Eagle Rays or Grey Reef Sharks. Large Green Turtles that are thought to be the biggest in the area are quite common. The macro and muck diving is also very good with great chances of spotting rare critters like Frog Fishes and Nudibranchs.
Pandanan Island used to behome to a small lodge for several years and its reefs are in excellent condition. While turtles can be seen in numbers other frequent sights include blue ribbon eels, moray eels, barracudas, large coral trout and snappers. Knowing where to look is the mean of finding the rare mandarin fish that are common here, especially in the later afternoon.
The first island on our list of “must-visits” lies the incredible Timba-Timba Island. Barely 1km long from end to end, this gorgeous island has an incredibly tranquil sand spit at its northern end, which is exposed at low tide in a similar vein to that of nearby Mataking.
An equally exhilarating scuba dive can be found off Timba -Timba at the Sting Ray City dive site. Aptly named, this site never fails the scuba diver to find the shy and beautiful Blue-spot stingrays resting under the coral beds and rock formations. Watch in wonder as they try to conceal themselves under the white sands, or try to spot the camouflage skills of the giant frogfish that also frequent the black corals. This is a truly awesome dive site that will keep you coming back for more.