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Terengganu Islands ~ Diving at Pulau Perhentian

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There are about 20 dive sites two ship wrecks, spread across the two islands. Depths at most sites are within reach of an open water diver. Diving mainly occur on the slopes of fringing reefs except for the ship wrecks and some outer reef pinnacles. The variety of habitats in the Perhentian waters boasts marine life that is abundant and diverse. Water temperature is between 25ΊC to 31ΊC depending on depth and season. Underwater visibility ranges from 5 to well over 20 meters depending on weather.


POPULAR DIVE SITES

Tukas Point - At Tukas Point the reef extends seaward with some rocky outcrop forming an arm from the headland. Branching corals colonized the upper reef slope and the fore reef consists of scattered coral heads. The reef crest consists of rubble and sand.

Batu Butuh - A series of swim through with interesting boulders formation.

Terumbu Tiga / Tiger Rock - Terumbu Tiga’ when translated from the Malay language means three coral blocks and is rated to be one of the top dive sites around Pulau Perhentian, together with Tokong Laut. Situated towards the east of Pulau Perhentian Besar, this dive site is usually washed by currents and makes an interesting drift dive. The boulder terrain slopes down to about 20 meters at the sandy bottom. Visibility fluctuates between 5 to 15 meters depending on the tidal changes. The granite boulders support various soft corals, sea fans and coral whips swaying with current. Schools of fusiliers, rainbow runners, jacks and batfishes swim about searching for a feed. Black tip sharks can occasionally be observe at the outer reaches of the reef. The dive site consists of 3 main boulders, thus creating many interesting rock chambers and perfect hiding place for many shy fish, namely Brown Marble Groupers. A paradise for nudibranch lovers.

Schools of jacks, barracudas, mackerels are common sightings. Beware of the Titan triggerfish, where during spawning period (typically April) can get very aggressive. Black and white tip reef sharks, leopard sharks, hawksbill turtles, bumphead parrot fish complete the party.

Tanjung Basi - The name Tanjung Basi means Cape Stale, the origin of the name is due to it's reach marine life, often fisherman caught so many fish that they forgotten to stop for their lunch, and thus all their food turned stale there. Probably have the healthiest carol one can find around this region, this site also house some special species that can be found easier here than the other sites , namely Orange-spine Unicornfish , Pinktail Triggerfish, Lined Sweetlips and Brown Marble Groupers.

Great for naturalist or Fish ID course - Large groupers, humpback wrasses, barracudas, hawksbill turtles, giant sweetlips and batfish are often spotted. Dives normally begin on the shallow reef slope at the west side. On ebbing tide the dive can be planned as a drift dive in moderate currents. At the end of the island the rocks form an extended arm (normally up stream) is where all the activities.

Batu Layar - A submerge reef, featuring beautiful hard coral garden, and yellowtail barracudas.

Gua Kambing - A unique dive site, it is located on the "high way" from the fishing village to Long Beach, therefore the boat traffic can he hazardous for those who do not know the site well. The highlight of this dive site is cleaning stations.

Teluk Pauh - Easy reef for beginners, healthy coral and a common place for turtle sighting. It is situated at one of the busiest snorkelling area, so normally there are many boats and snorkellers around the dive site.


Batu Nisan
- This is the dive site where the divers will definately be able to swim with Jenkin's Whiprays. It is the place where whiprays come in to be cleaned. If you are lucky, you will have meet the inquisitive resident hawksbill turtles. This dive site is lesser known to most dive operators, therefore there is little underwater traffic. This site is located just outside Long Beach it consists of a fringing reef and scattered rock outcrop extended out of the bay. The reef crest is rich with life. One organism that is almost guaranteed to encounter is the Blue Spotted Stingray. This applies to both day and night dives.

De Lagoon/ Teluk Kerma - One of the famous site of Perhentian Islands, this dive site features hard coral gardens, with sightings of both green and hawksbill turtles, brown marble grouper, Napoleon Wrasse, and Humphead Parrotfish. It is also a popular snorkelling site. A favorite playground of novice and open water students, this is a relaxing and easy dive

Kerma Laut - Schooling action can be expected if dive is made at the right tide. Vortexing Barracudas, Talang Queen fish and giant bloched head ray are amongst the
frequent visitors there. The boulders formation also offers a wide range of nudibranch for macro lovers.

Batu Tabir - Around the corner from Kerma Laut, further around the cape the shallow coral garden is ideal for photography and slow relaxing dive.

Batu Kuching / Secret Reef - A small dive site consist of a few boulders, it is Perhentian Islands' deep dive site. Max depth for this dive site is 30m, and the top of the reef is not shallow enough for planning a multilevel dive, therefore a short dive time will be planned.
The dive site is one of the richest in marine life site. You will see lionfish, lobster, puffer fish, nurse sharks and schooling jacks.

Tokong Laut (Temple of the Sea) - The super star of Perhentian Islands. Some call this the pinicale, or temple. It is ranked the most beautiful dive site of Perhentian Island. Characterized by rocky pinnacle covered with soft and hard corals. The abundance of marine life coupled with fantastic visibility makes this dive site highly sought after.
Situated on the northwest of Pulau Perhentian Kecil and is accessible by 30 minutes speedboat ride. It is a rocky pinnacle the raises from the sea bed at depth of 25 meters. The boulder like terrain gradually slopes down to about 30 meters. Strong to mild currents usually sweeps the boulders bringing plankton-rich nutrients and attracts anything from pelagic to the whale shark. You can easily cover the entire dive site without getting lost around the somewhat triangular boulder terrain. Soft corals in all colours and sizes carpet the seascape offering refuge for numerous small reef fish and mollusks. The presence of smaller reef animal attracts larger predators up the food chain.

You can expect to see bamboo sharks, nurse sharks, giant moral eels, big pufferfish, black tip reef sharks, lots and lots of trevallies, razorfish, angelfish, schools of jacks, barracudas and big Jenkins whiprays. Occasionally whale shark can be encountered at this dive site.

Vietnamese Wreck - Sunk in late 1970’s, this site is one of the must dives in Perhentian. Often a challenging dive due to the upswing currents, divers are rewarded with the sheer variety of marine life such as boxfish, devil scorpion fish, great barracudas, batfish, jacks, wrasses, giant groupers and stone fish. Easy to penetrate making this
wreck a fantastic experience.

Sugar Ship Wreck - Sugar Wreck is located in the open sea close to the mainland and marked by a large orange buoy. Sloping down from 5m to about 20m, strong current typifies this dive site. Although visibility can be challenging, the sheer number of fishes
that can be found are more than compensates. Schooling yellowtail barracudas, stonefish, lionfish, giant pufferfish, tiny boxfish, nurse sharks, crabs, bamboo sharks are lovely finds.

Shark Point - This reef is diverse and rich and somewhat underrated. Jumble of rocks support black corals, plentiful clown fishes housed in colorful sea anemones, as well as damsel fish, hawksbill turtle and true to its namesake, black tip reef sharks.

Tanjung Butung (East) & (West) - Tanjung Butong is located at an extended rocky headland which forms an arm on the northern side of Perhentian Kechil. Dives can be done at the fringing reef on both sides of the rocks. Further out and up stream are the outer reefs where few piles of boulders are shelter to Brown Marble Groupers. Healthy coral reef and abundant of reef fishes can be observed on the reef slopes. This jumble of rocks descending to sand offers a variety of fish life such as filefish, razorfish, groupers, trevallies, schooling barracudas and jacks. Whale sharks are sometimes spotted here.

Tokong Burung - The reef at Tokong Burung consists of shallow staghorn garden which is a gradual slope to 14 meters. At the edge of the reef crest are loose rubble and sandy bottom. There are several species of mollusks that can be found here including the large Queen Helmet Shell (Family Cassidae). Terebridae can also be found at this site. Schools of fusiliers, chromis and damsels can be seen on the reefs.

Tiga Ruang - Located south of Tanjung Basi is this shallow dive site that consists of scattered coral heads and sandy bottom. Staghorn and Table Corals colonized the shallower side of this reef, while massive Brain and Boulder Corals scattered along the reef edge in deeper side. This is a good site to observe reef fishes as there are plentiful of coral reef dwellers with the damsels which is the most conspicuous. The bottom slopes gently from 6 to 14 meters at the deepest point.

North of Pulau Susu Dara Besar and Kecil - To the north of Pulau Susu Dara Besar and Kecil, drift diving along the fringing reefs populated mainly by hard coral present opportunities to see trigger fishes, moray eels and other reef fish. You can dive close to the island along the reefs. The fringing reef gives way to sandy terrain at about 18 meters.

Pasir Kerangi - This artificial reef constructed of PVC pipes laid down by the Department of Fisheries is weighted down on the sandy bottom at about 18 meters depth. The reef is rich with nutrients borne on the gentle currents and gives rise to prolific growth of soft corals, some to heights exceeding 60 cm tall. These are best viewed in the presence of fair currents, as the corals retract during slack currents. Visibility here ranges from 5 to 8 meters. The reef is also home to many coral fishes like fusiliers, damsels, butterfly fish, lionfish, moray eels and groupers that inhabit the artificial structure.

 

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Islands of Terengganu ~ Perhentian Islands
Pulau Perhentians consists of two islands - Perhentian Besar (Big Perhentian island) and Perhentian Kecil (Small Perhentian Island), the two islands of Perhentian are a marine paradise and part of a marine national park.
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