Malaysia is generally considered to be one of the leading dive destinations in Asia with all of its world-class diving located in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. The world-famous Sipadan is the jewel in Malaysia's crown but there are also other high quality destinations worth visiting. For those traveling to the Sipadan/Mabul area there are a number of resort choices, while those visiting other dive destinations will be staying in a place with only one resort in each destination.
Click on a resort area for information on accommodation and Malaysia scuba diving resort packages for high and low budget options:
• Sipadan - Mabul resorts
Diving Sipadan is a 'must-do' for any serious diver. It is famed for the incredible density of marine life that surrounds this tiny island. Any dive here is sure to mean many encounters with varied species of pelagics, huge schools of fish, as well as sharks and turtles galore.
The experience of diving in the area means staying at one of the resorts in nearby Mabul or Kapalai. The local diving here features excellent macro opportunities meaning that the experience of diving in the Sipadan and Mabul region will include everything from critters to sharks. Mix the best beach dive in the world and the huge numbers of big fish at Sipadan with the macro havens just metres from your chalet ...
The resorts on the legendary island of Sipadan are now closed to tourists but you can still easily dive its spectacular waters from the nearby resorts on Mabul Island or Kapalai, both within 15 to 20 minutes speedboat ride of Sipadan. The resorts vary in price and quality so your budget will be important in deciding where to stay.
Those on a higher budget can enjoy the stilted resorts of Mabul, where accommodation and service standards are high. These resorts are built over clear, shallow waters off the shoreline of the island with water lapping gently beneath your balcony.
Medium budget options include resorts built on the island of Mabul or over the shallows of the nearby Ligitan reefs. Budget conscious travelers can stay on a converted oil rig sitting offshore from Mabul. There is also a liveaboard option for those who wish to maximise their dive time and sacrifice the added comfort and facilities of a resort.
• More of the best Malaysia dive resorts
Malaysian Borneo boasts more fantastic spots such as Layang Layang, a tiny island on a distant atoll in the South China Sea, with big fish action including schools of scalloped hammerheads and manta rays. Layang Layang is home to a single resort and has a short season running from March to August each year.
The paradise island of Lankayan which is both romantic and fascinating underwater, and where the diving and snorkelling highlights include hundreds of baby black tip sharks. The island is offshore from Sandakan on Sabah's east coast and is another island with only one resort. This means small numbers of divers which is better for those who are less experienced or happy to do some easy dives with smaller creatures.
Sepilok is the area where you can experience the orangutans and other aspects of the rainforest with many creatures to spot and we recommend an add-on stay to your Borneo diving package at a beautiful tropical resort nearby.
We hope that you find, like we do, that our dive trips, with flights booked by yourself, almost always offer better value for money, than buying a 'dive and fly' package. Our offers are usually cheaper and allow greater flexibility in planning your vacation than comparable "off the shelf" packages.
All Malaysia diving package prices normally include:
Scuba diving and accommodation based on twin sharing. Dive resort stays include catering, non-alcoholic and non-carbonated drinks, transfers, weights and weight-belts, tanks, professional divemaster and all taxes. Your shortlist quote will include no 'hidden extras'.
[The number of dives is our best estimate in ideal circumstances. This may include an early morning check-in at the resort where diving is available on the day of arrival. Unused dives are not refundable].
We recommend that all our customers take out insurance to cover diving and travel activities, including trip cancellation. See our insurance programme for a competitive quote.
For visitors to Sipadan/Mabul, Tawau international airport in Sabah is the starting point. From here you will be picked up by the local diving company and transferred by land and sea to your resort or liveaboard. Tawau is accessible by short flight from Kota Kinabalu, the state capital, or direct from Kuala Lumpur and some other international airports.
For visitors to Layang Layang, Kota Kinabalu is the starting point, followed by a charter flight direct to the resort. If you are diving at Lankayan or visiting Sepilok you need to fly to Sandakan domestic airport, which is accessible by a short flight from Kota Kinabalu, or direct from Kuala Lumpur.
Dive The World rating system:
The customer rating displayed for each scuba operator is an indication of our customers satisfation. 5 star is excellent, 4 star is very good, 3 star is good, 2 star is average, and 1 star is below average. We ask each and everyone one of our customers to rate their adventure, and the rating earned by each operator is an average of the ratings received from our customers over the last season. That way, we ensure that our ratings and recommendations are truly impartial and reflect up to date performance based on the most important indicator - your satisfaction!