The Perhentians offer some great diving and excellent snorkeling. In addition to coral and fish, the Perhentians are home to sea turtles and many species of shark — none of them dangerous unless provoked though. Visibility is usually in the 10 meter range (although it will temporarily go down after storms, as well as during the end-of-year monsoon seasons) and no wet suit is required, although you may wish to use a dive skin for protection from coral and the occasional jellyfish. Popular dive sites include the Pinnacle (aka Tokong Laut, “Temple of the Sea”), a pinnacle jutting out from the sea bed, and the Sugar Wreck, an easily accessible 3500-ton sugar hauler. The (more expensive) single-day trip to Redang Island, where the water visibility is considerably better, offers diving a notch above the local options, well worth every dime – but be prepared for a rough ride in a small speedboat.
Competition for divers is fierce and consequently diving is quite cheap, averaging out to RM60-80 per dive depending on how many dives you do and whether you bring your own gear. All dive shops also arrange introductory dives (no training required) and PADI training. If you want to try Diving for the first time, ask your Dive Center where did they do introductory dives and escape the ‘jetti’ trap.
Take care when choosing your dive center. Look closely at the state of the scuba equipment. Its not only about price, it’s also about safety. Some new Dive Centers don’t even have the equipment to repair regulators properly.
There are 7 dive centers on Kecil’s Long Beach and Coral Bay(from North to South): Sunlight Divers, Quiver Dive Team, Turtle Bay Divers, Seadragon Divers, Matahari (formerly Coral Sky) Divers, Spice Divers and Angel Divers.
- Sunlight Divers, (tel. +60179312630),. A dive centre which has earned its reputation from having friendly,professional members of staff, well maintained equipment and its frequent eco work. One of the smaller shops on the beach so dive groups are kept small. Has shops on Long Beach and Coral Bay, Kecil.
- Quiver Dive Team. Located on Kecil’s Long Beach, adjacent to the Bubu Long Beach resort.
- Turtle Bay Divers, (tel. 019 333 6647), (English, French and Malay). Another respectable, long-running outfit which has a nice chilled-out shop on Perhentian Kecil’s Long Beach. Currently offering very affordable prices for courses and fun dives. The staff are very enthusiastic, friendly and always up for a chat! Stop in to find out more about the island and diving.
- Angel Divers , (tel. +6010-576 65 64) (email:firstname.lastname@example.org)(French English Spanish Swedish Malay). Small, intimate shop with friendly staff, chillout atmosphere and small dive groups. When you are not diving you can hang out, use the internet (free for customers) and listen to your favorite music.
On the big island (Besar) are a number of dive centres, placed on different beaches.
- Alu Alu Divers, (tel. +60 9 6911 650), (email: email@example.com),. A small, friendly dive center on beautiful island of Besar which offers a personalised and unique diving experience.
- Flora Bay Divers, (email: firstname.lastname@example.org),. The only PADI 5 Star Gold Palm Instructor Development Centre on Perhentian. Offers courses from Open Water Diver right up to Master Instructor on top of diving & snorkelling trips. IDCs are run by highly rated PADI Course Director Azman Sulaiman.
- Perhentian Island Divers, (email: email@example.com), is a small and friendly dive centre situated on the same beach as Perhentian Island Resort. It has modern equipment and excellent service. Dive courses and boat diving are always on offer, and the beach diving is great as well. Huge sea turtles can be seen right off the beach.
- Turtle Bay Divers, (tel. 019 333 6647), (English, French and Malay). Another respectable, long-running outfit which has a relaxing shop on Perhentian Besar next to Mamma’s Chalet. Currently offering very affordable prices for courses and fun dives. The staff are very enthusiastic, friendly and always up for a chat! Please stop in to find out more about the island and diving. Great for family trips!
- ‘Watercolours, (email: firstname.lastname@example.org), is a small-mid sized centre that can get quite busy. They offer diving in small groups (maximum 4 divers) and excellent information on the marine life. As well as the usual courses and fun diving, they also offer Reef Check Eco-courses and the chance to participate in reef and beach cleans. They also give free presentations on the marine environment and conservation issues.