Monday, July 15, 2013

Diving on Pulau Tioman



The Malaysian island of Pulau Tioman is visited by scores of tourists every year. Sun worshippers, island hoppers, snorkelers and scuba-divers, all tend to head out to this scenic Malaysian island resort, which features regularly on the list of ‘The Most Beautiful Islands in the World’.
Pulau Tioman is located about 35km off the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, in the midst of the  crystal waters of the South China Sea. Visitors gain access to the island via a ferry service that operates from the port town of Mersing, located on the north-east coast of Johor, the southernmost state in Peninsular Malaysia.  The island, which encompasses a total area of about 130sq.km and whose structure resembles an inverted apostrophe, is the largest island located off the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia.
Like on various other Malaysian islands, the marine areas that surround Tioman and other neighboring islands have been designated as marine parks, in an effort to conserve and protect the area’s rich marine life from harmful practices like unregulated fishing. These marine parks around Pulau Tioman encompass a total area of approximately two nautical miles and host a number of stunning dive spots. These dive spots offer much opportunity for sightings of various spectacular marine treasures like whale sharks, manta rays, napoleon wrasses, barracudas, stingrays, cuttlefish, reef sharks, bumphead parrot fish, hawksbill and green sea turtles and dazzling, multi-hued nudibranchs.  
Pulau Tioman is bestowed with year round amiable weather. Sunny skies and gentle winds are almost omnipresent year round on the island. Average temperatures on the island tend to hover around 32̊ C all year long, while  average water temperatures, similarly register readings between 27̊C and 29̊C throughout the year. These agreeable temperatures make for an extended diving season on the island, and the dive season on Pulau Tioman typically stretches from the end of January until the end of November. December and January, are monsoon months on the island and strong winds during this time make diving difficult. The best visibility in the waters around Tioman (15m to 30m) can be expected during the months of March until May and then again during the months of September until November.
Pulau Tioman and its surrounding islets abound with enthralling dive sites which offer many diverse challenges for both novice and experienced divers. Favored dive sites around Pulau Tioman include Chebeh( offers sighting of gorgonian fans), Bahara Rock(home to anemone gardens) and Renggis island.

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