Diving in Malaysia, South-east Asia

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Malaysia

Malaysia is a federal constitutional monarchy in Southeast Asia. It consists of thirteen states and three federal territories and has a total landmass of 329,847 square kilometres separated by the South China Sea into two similarly sized regions, Peninsular Malaysia and Malaysian Borneo. 

 

Diving in Malaysia

There are over 300 diving sites around Malaysia scattered across many of the islands on the East Coast of the Peninsula and Sabah.

If you are looking for sea turtles, the Perhentian Islands is where you should go. It is the home of sea  turtles and many sharks’ species. Moreover, there are great deals due to the high competition. 

Pulau Tioman is a beautiful place with splendid coral, fish, turtles and reef sharks. It is located on the Malaysian East Coast.

Sipadan, in Malaysian Borneo is also a great dive spot with more than 3000 fish species such as sharks, barracudas, manta rays. There is also an underwater limestone cave with a labyrinth of tunnels and chambers.

If you prefer less touristy dive spot, Pulau Dayang is where you should dive. It is a good spot which can be reached by boat from Mersing.

History

After World War II, the Federated Malay States, Unfederated Malay States and the Straits Settlements of Malacca and Penang were federated to form a single British colony known as the “Malayan Union”. Malaya gained independence from the British in 1957. The first Malayan flag was raised in the Merdeka Square on midnight 31st August 1957.

Six years later, Malaysia was formed on 16 September 1963 through a merging of Malaya and Singapore, as well as the East Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak on the northern coast of Borneo, with Brunei deciding not to join. Singapore was expelled from the federation on 9 August 1965 after several bloody racial riots.

Culture

Malaysia has a multi-ethnic, multicultural, and multilingual society. The original culture of the area stemmed from indigenous tribes that inhabited it, along with the Malays who later moved there. Substantial influence exists from Chinese and Indian culture, dating back to when foreign trade began. Other cultural influences include the Persian, Arabic, and British cultures.

 

What you should see

There are various beautiful national parks in Malaysia. If you enjoy visiting zoos with your children, there are several well-maintained zoos all over Malaysia that are worth a visit or two, most notably Taiping Zoo, Kuala Lumpur 's Zoo Negara and Malacca's Zoo. You should also see the Petronas Towers which were the tallest buildings in the world for 6 years. If you have time, you can visit the spectacular Batu Caves Indian temple in Kuala Lumpur.

Other activities

Visit Malaysia Formula One track, white-water rafting in many Malaysia’s national park, Orang-utan encounter in Borneo Island.

 
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Climate

The climate in Malaysia is tropical. The north-east monsoon, from October to February, deluges Borneo and the east coast in rain and often causes flooding. The milder south-west monsoon, from April to October, reverses the pattern. The southern parts of peninsular Malaysia are exposed to both but even during the rainy season, the showers tend to be intense but brief. Malaysia is close to the equator, therefore a warm weather is guaranteed.

How to get there

National carrier Malaysia Airlines has extensive worldwide network coverage and regularly ranks high in airline quality assessments.  Most international flights land at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

Elephant Trekking & Abuse

On a general note, while in Asia, please do not support Elephant abuse by riding Elephants or supporting Elephant performance.

In Thai culture, the Phajaan or ‘the crush', is the torture method elephants undergo to become a part of the tourism industry. Essentially this involves cruel physical and mental abuse over long periods of time to make the Elephants submissive to humans.
Asian Elephant spines cannot support the weight of people. Carrying people on their backs all day often leads to permanent spinal injuries.
There is responsible Elephant tourism in Thailand - a good rule to remember is that if a tourist outfit offers anything other than getting to spend time with elephants, it is not friendly to them. 
Any outfit that offers riding, circuses or paintings means they have undergone horrific abuse in order to get them to where they are
Please do not support Elephant torture and make your travel companions aware of what lies behind this industry.
  • The 'training' Elephants go through to become a part of the tourism industry involves cruel physical and mental abuse over long periods of time starting as a calf
  • Asian Elephant's spines cannot support the weight of people. Carrying people on their backs all day often leads to permanent spinal injuries.
  • That said, there is responsible Elephant tourism to be found in Asia, a good rule to remember is that if a tourist outfit offers anything other than getting to spend time with elephants, it is not friendly to them.
  • Remember; any outfit that offers riding, circuses or paintings it basically means the Elephants have undergone horrific abuse in order to get there

You can help these magnificent animals by making your travel companions aware of what lies behind this industry; the main problem is a lack of awareness.

Dive Report is committed to raising awareness to the abuse suffered by Elephants used in the tourist industry. If you want to know more you can find out more hereherehere and here. Also see a PETA documentary video here.

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