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Scuba Diving Locations - Palau Tenggol Malaysia

Where Is Tenggol!? Thats What I Said!

Pulau Tenggol or Tenggol Island as it is known, may as well be Jurassic Park!

Go diving Tenggol if you are definitely looking for a lost paradise and possibly the best diving and snorkeling in east Malaysia. First of all, Tenggol can be found as the last island off the coast of Terengganu in a line of islands that include Pulau Perhentian and Pulau Redang. Secondly, it's only a tiny small island connected by ferry to Dungun close to Terengganu. While Tenggol island is a protected national park it is largely unvisited, internationally at least. Finding thi splace was lucky! Given that it's so small, it boasts an impressive 26 scuba diving sites and many snorkeling spots. However, Tenggol's season's only runs from march to around the first week of November and then closes as the monsoon season sets in and the waters become simply too choppy for the dive boats. From afar the island resembles a person perching 'Tenggak' in Bahasa Malaysia means 'to perch' but is pronounced as 'tenggol' in Terengganu's local dialect. For many, many years this deserted island retained its secret whereabouts. Apart from local fishermen waiting out the weather - Pulau Tenggol was pretty much left to nature.

About Tenggol Island

Pulau Tenggol is approx 3km long and only 2km across at the widest point. While all the resorts reside on one side of the island, the main beach area of Tenggol bay is truly beautiful. The beach is pristine with soft white powdered sands and the coral reef grows vibrantly just 20m from where the waves lap at your feet, this beautiful reef is very shallow making it perfect for snorkeling and then is quickly banks down into the deep right inside the bay where scuba divers can descend down to 18m with ease and deeper. Down in the deeper waters of Tenggol bay more reefs and soft coral outcrops can be found as well as three house wreck dives, 1) The Fisherman's Wreck, 2) The Sawadee Wreck and #) The Vietnamese Wreck . Not 10min by boat more wreck diving can be found at 5 sisters Wrecks which were sank and an artificial reef project, however this site has taken its toll from the monsoon weather and the wrecks are slowly breaking up.

Tenggol Aquatic Life

In Fact, Tenggol is a national park. The protected aquatic life is healthy and plentiful. When Diving in Tenggol you can observe the full spectrum of aquatic life from the tiniest micro organisms such as shrimp and nudibranch in addition to seeing large schools of happy fish thriving from the reefs.

Fish Species

The diversity of fish is amazing such as: Angel fish, Trigger fish, Travally, Puffers, Jacks, chubs and porgy’s with baby and adult barracuda alike. Hiding amongst the reefs are Butterfly fish, squirrel fish, parrot fish, wrasse and damsels within every little coral head. The eco system here support a lot of larger pelagic life also such as Big Rays, Sharks and its famous Whale sharks!

Tenggol Dive Sites

Officially 26 Dives sites ( although more are unlisted) It's hard to believe how easy it was to get to the dive spots. You can make shore or boat diving in Tenggol, although boat dives are really where its at. Scuba divers can choose their type of diving, ranging from the calm and relaxing shallow reefs of Tenggol bay in addition to more demanding deeper drift diving sites.

Equally If you like to fly along with an adrenaline rush and glide effortlessly through clear deep blue waters, then tenggol serves to please. namely Amazing grace and also Mini highway are famous for the drift. By the same token, dive sites such as "Tokong Timur" and "Tokong Laut" indeed tick the current box as well at times, yet are explicitly different dive experiences and without doubt are what you are looking for! Pelagic life prevails here. Tenggols famous for it Whale Sharks, namely at these two dive sites!

If you are hunting out an experience with the bigger fish of the oceans you’ll be pleased to know that Pulau Tenggol has plenty of them! Given that the whale sharks migratory route (August to October every year.) runs right past Tenggol island, their presence is frequently anticipated by divers! In 3 weeks I had six encounters! Thats not too shabby! Not many places in the world you can get this kind of frequency.

Whats Lurking In The Deep?

The waters of Tenggol run deep, I always ponder whats down there off the beaten tracks of the reef lines. On a number of deeper exploration dives I found many more reefs and soft coral outcrops. Within the bay itself there are two house wreck dives, 1) The Fisherman's Wreck, 2) The Sawadee Wreck but with navigation skills and the right guide you can find the Vietnamese Wrecks which there are 3 of them laying next to each other. No more than mins by boat from the beach, even more wreck diving can be found at 5 Sisters Wrecks which were sank and an artificial reef project, however this site has taken its toll from the monsoon weather and the wrecks are slowly breaking up not to mention lay in 35m of water so experienced and advanced deep divers only get the pleasure of exploring these.

Tenggol Island Has Marine Diversity!

The surroundings dive sites of Pulau Tenggol are so rich and diverse in marine life and coral haven that they also support a lot of other larger aquatic life such as Sharks, Giant humphead parrot fish, giant barracuda, giant morays as well as big eagle rays. If you are an underwater photographer these dive sites will really keep you busy, especially "Tanjung Api" where Nudibranch are everywhere!

Here's a Selection Of Our Underwater Photography
From Diving Koh Tao, Enjoy!

Have your Dived Tenggol Island? Did You Meet Their Famous Pet Whaleshark?

Share Your Experiences, Tips and Memories Right Here in a Comment!

Andrew Jennings
Andrew Jennings
You host and creator of underwater clicks.