Snorkeling in Malaysia

Snorkeling in Malaysia is popular amongst marine life lovers and adventure enthusiasts for its crystal clear water, exotic reefs, and plenty of colorful marine creatures. Home to over 350 coral species and rare marine species, Malaysia proves to be a paradise for snorkelers. Here, you can easily spot jackfish, bumphead parrotfish, angelfish in almost all snorkeling sites, and a variety of green sea turtles, clownfish, reef sharks, manta rays, and many other rare sea species in well-preserved areas.

Malaysia offers a wealth of magnificent snorkeling spots, while some are on the eastern coast, a few are at the western side. However, the small islands offshore from Borneo are perfect for snorkeling in remote places. The Perhentian Island offers an abundance of snorkeling sites that are great locations to spot sea turtles and blacktip sharks. Pulau Tenggol, Pulau Tioman, and the surrounding smaller islands are some other east coast destinations to enjoy great underwater views and experiences.

Sipadan Island, known as an “Untouched Piece of Art” boasts several exquisite spots for Malaysia snorkeling and see beautiful living corals and aquatic creatures. But contrary to the east coast, the western coast of the peninsula, Malaysia has only a few snorkeling destinations like Langkawi Island, where snorkeling is decent. But if you want to revel in a secluded beach outing along with the best underwater sites, Layang Layang Island offers the ideal opportunities. Malaysia provides an immense collection of snorkeling places and indeed great opportunities to witness some of the amazing marine life on earth.

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Malaysia Snorkeling FAQs

Which are the best places for snorkeling in Malaysia?

1. Sipadan Island: Known as a paradise for Snorkeling in Malaysia, Sipadan Island offers plenty of beautiful sights that one can explore underwater. Here, you can see the school of thousands of jackfish, bumphead parrotfish, several sea turtles, reef sharks, and many more varieties of colorful fish.

Here, you will see stunning coral gardens in the shallow areas that are considered being the best around the island. At Sipadan Island, you can snorkel by booking a minimum of 4 D & 3 N packages that will include scheduled return transfers, 3 boat snorkeling daily, accommodation, and full-board meals.

Price: MYR 2,720 to MYR 1430 (INR 47637 to 25044) depending upon the package

2. Langkawi Island: Offering a collection of 99 gorgeous islands surrounded by azure waters, Langkawi offers some of the best Malaysia snorkeling opportunities for all water sports and marine life lovers. While Datai Beach is one of the main island beaches in Langkawi, it offers a great snorkeling setting.

Pulau Payar Marine Park, Pulau Beras Basah, Pulau Timun, and several other offshore islands feature the sparkling, turquoise blue sea, plenty of coral reefs, and vivid marine life that make them ideal for indulging in snorkeling.

Price: MYR 180 to MYR 330 (INR 3152 to INR 5780) depending upon the package

3. Redang Island: A cluster of nine islands, Redang Island is a tropical paradise for snorkeling in Malaysia and nature enthusiasts. Snorkeling on Redang Island is one of the most popular activities for its clear crystal water, colorful coral reefs, and diverse marine life. Tanjung Tengah, Marine Park Centre, Tanjung Mak Catik are a few of the best sites at Redang Island known for their excellent snorkeling opportunities.

Even most of the resorts at Redang Island offer snorkeling trips as part of their vacation packages. They even provide snorkeling equipment like masks, snorkel, life jackets, etc. on rent.

Price: Starts from MYR 100 (INR 1764) excluding the rents of the snorkeling equipment

4. Tioman Island: Water sports lovers prefer Tioman Island for its cheap rates and luxurious natural beauty. It is one of the most beautiful islands in the country to enjoy snorkeling in Malaysia and see diverse marine life from up & close. There are several sites like Renggis Island, Coral Island & Malang rocks, Salang beach, and plenty of others where you can enjoy the splendid views of the aquatic life and a variety of fishes. Tioman Island is a perfect place to hang out with family as its snorkeling sites are safe even for kids.

Price: Starts from MYR 300 (INR 5254), including the stay, transfers, meals, and snorkeling trips

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5. Perhentian Island: Perhentian Island is a secluded budget tropical island option with nice beaches and good snorkeling & diving opportunities. Here, you will not find many luxuries, but will definitely enjoy the best Snorkeling in Malaysia experiences as the water here is shallow & crystalline, and marine life is diverse and colorful.

You can either book a snorkeling package with the operators or enjoy the experience on your own. Pulau Perhentian Kecil is amongst the best sites where you can see blacktip sharks, bumphead parrotfish, stingrays, needlefish, barracudas, yellow boxfish, sea cucumbers, and much more.

Price: Starts from MYR 40 (INR 700), including the equipment rental

6. Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park: Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park (TAR Marine Park) is a group of five beautiful islands; Sulug, Gaya, Sapi, Manukan, and Mamutik. These islands are great for snorkeling, and only a short boat ride away from Kota Kinabalu. The sites around Manukan Island and Sapi Island are some of the best for Malaysia Snorkeling.

Here, you can either book a snorkeling package with local scuba dive operators or enjoy the experience directly from any of the many public beaches. However, the snorkeling experience is the best at the offshore islands.

Price: Starts from MYR 105 (INR 1840), including the equipment rental and boat transfers

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7. Layang Layang Island: Layang Layang Island is a remote destination on the northern side of Sabah and is about 300 km away from the mainland. It is one of the most beautiful destinations in Malaysia to enjoy diving and snorkeling and see the schools of angelfish, batfish, sunfish, parrotfish, and many other sea creatures.

The crystal clear water, exotic coral reefs, and diverse marine life of the Layang Layang Island make it ideal for Malaysia snorkeling. Some of the snorkeling sites here are Crack Reef, Navigator Lane, Gorgonian Forest, Snapper Ledge, etc.

Price: Starts from MYR 5,130 (INR 89,900), including the 6 D & 5 N stays, food, equipment rental, etc.

8. Kapas Island: Kapas Island is one of the least known islands in Asia, but is home to some of the best snorkeling sites. Along with clear waters, easy access, colorful corals, it lets you see lots of little nemos, rays, and even sharks.

Unlike other Malaysia snorkeling destinations, here you can see the coral reef just a few meters from the shore. You need not book a speed boat to reach any offshore sites to do snorkeling. Just rent a snorkeling life jacket for RM 10 to 20 per day and swim through the water to see the amazing underwater life. The island is unquestionably pristine, as its beauty is still unexplored and raw.

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9. Mabul Island: Mabul Island is known for its sandy beaches and a large 200-hectare reef. The reef lies on the edge of the continental shelf and is about 25 to 30m deep. The chief attraction of snorkeling in Mabul Island is the presence of an array of macro life that is not found anywhere else in Asia.

The underwater world of Mabul Island is the marine life lover’s and photographer’s dream location. Here, you can see a variety of rare ecological species like cuttlefish, frogfish, blue-ringed octopus, moray eels, spike-fin gobies, etc., making it one of the best sites for Malaysia snorkeling.

Price: Starts from MYR 180 (INR 3152), including transfers, lunch, two snorkeling sessions, equipment rental, etc.

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What is the best time for snorkeling in Malaysia?

The best time for snorkeling in Malaysia depends on the coastal area you are heading to. For the western coasts, the best time is between January and February, for the eastern coasts, the best time is between June and July. Whereas, forSabah and the islands of Malaysian Borneo, the best time is April month.

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Is Malaysia good for snorkeling?

Malaysia is unquestionably a paradise for snorkeling. It is part of the Coral Triangle, which boasts the greatest underwater biodiversity in the world. As per studies, over 30% of the coral reefs and over 35% of the reef fish species on earth are found here. An icing on the cake is that plenty of these live reefs are close to the water surface, making them effortlessly accessible for snorkelers.

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What is the approx price of snorkeling in Malaysia?

The approx price of snorkeling in Malaysia is between RM 100 and RM 150. However, it depends on the location and the package chosen.

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What is the difference between snorkeling and scuba diving?

The major difference between snorkeling and scuba diving is that while snorkeling allows you to see the underwater world from the water’s surface, scuba diving lets you go deep into the sea, see marine creatures from up & close, and swim with the exotic fishes.

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