There are many places in the world to go diving, but rarely are they able to beat the beauty, richness and diversity of the Southeast Asian seas. Looking at the murky Singaporean waters, would you believe there is diving near Singapore? It might surprise you that tropical paradises can be found just around the corner. Without even having to take a flight, you can enjoy yourself surrounded by palm trees and world-class dive spots after a short drive. Where? Read on to find out.
Where should I go diving?
Let's be honest: Singapore is not the perfect place for scuba diving. Enjoy this bustling and multi-cultural city popular with expats for its sights instead. If you're looking to dive somewhere else than in a pool, you might want to leave the country. Good news is that whatever direction you're heading into, there'll be excellent dive sites with plenty of marine life and coral. Doesn't matter if you head to Malaysia, Thailand or Indonesia - the possibilities are almost endless. Let's break it up for you:
Following the compass needle, you'll end up in beautiful Malaysia or even Thailand. Follow the eastern coast of peninsular Malaysia upwards to find dive sites worth visiting. Want an example? Check out the Perhentian Islands or Tioman. Both of these places can be reached without taking a flight - just a ferry ride from peninsular Malaysia needed.
Or come diving with us on Rawa Island, a secluded island boasting extraordinary dive sites. With a door-to-door travel time of less than half a day from Singapore, this is one of the best options to go for. You don't have a scuba certification yet? We've got you covered with our PADI dive courses.
Heading further up, you'll soon find yourself in Thailand where picturesque beaches and popular dive sites await. Destinations like Phuket or Koh Tao are known all around the world for scuba diving - and live up to their promise.
Not far away from Singapore, the extensive island of Sumatra is a hidden gem for divers, but has a lot more to offer too. Don't miss out on the beautiful scenery and discover mysterious volcanoes of Sumatra. For scuba diving, the tiny island of Pulau Weh in the northwest might be your best option. Excellent visibility and remarkable marine life will certainly make up for the not-so-easy journey to these dive sites.
Further down the island, Padang and the Riau Archipelago are options worth considering. One thing is for sure: wherever you're diving on Sumatra, you'll be far away from any hustle and bustle.
Only a short flight away from Singapore, southern Sumatra and the rest of Indonesia opens the door for some world-class diving. From Bali to Komodo, Indonesia's islands are many divers' first thought for diving in Southeast Asia. With good reason: the local biota found underwater is nothing short of astounding. And once you're back on land, you'll immediately be immersed into the vibrant and colourful Indonesian culture. This combination makes up for a great scuba diving holiday.
We like to recommend Bali as a perfect place for exciting Mola Mola and close Manta Ray encounters. There's an endless amount of dive sites to choose from all around the island - and all of them are worth a dive. But don't think of Bali as purely a diving destination, it's got a ton of other highlights worth exploring too.
While the same can be said about Komodo, seasoned divers travel far only to experience the spectacular diving in the Komodo National Park. Indonesia is home to 15% of the world's fish species, and we wouldn't be surprised if you could find most of them in Komodo. No debate needed: the waters of Komodo are a diver's wet dream.
After reading through the lines above, you might wonder if it can get even better. It does! Borneo is not just a fascinating rainforest island, but home to marvellous diving too. Sipadan might be for you if you're looking for shark action and schools of Barracuda. Sabah enjoys an exceptional reputation for diving too.
But we wouldn't have told you the whole story without mentioning the Bawah Reserve. This tiny paradise is hidden in the Riau Province, which includes a whopping 1796 islands. Located around 300km east from Singapore, the Bawah Reserve is only accessible by seaplane. Flee from the Singaporean crowds in only four hours and explore pristine coral reefs in no time. Some say that diving in Bawah might even match Raja Ampat - which is often referred to as the world's best place to dive.
What should I expect from diving in Southeast Asia?
In short: a lot! Southeast Asia is home to a diversity of marine life that might be unmatched by any other part of the world. As you might have already figured out by reading this article, each region has its own highlights. Whether you're an expat new to Southeast Asia or a local, you won't run out of interesting dive sites. Marine life varies wildly between the different countries and even regions. This makes Southeast Asia a hotspot travellers keep coming back to for more dives.
Generally, diving might be a bit easier in the north or east of Singapore. Indonesia is known for great diving conditions and visibility, but tricky currents too. Take this into account when booking your dive vacation. But be assured: wherever you go, the diving won't be a disappointing experience.
What are my best options for a weekend diving getaway?
It's a difficult task to find the perfect place to dive, relax and unwind at the same time. Based in Singapore, there are countless destinations to choose from. To make things easier, we recommend booking dives together with your accommodation. Time is precious during a short weekend getaway, and not having to bother with transfers is worth a lot. Instead, spend the time at the beach with your loved ones - it'll be worth it.
Convinced? We might have exactly what you're looking for. Whether you're looking to get your scuba diving licence or just planning on fun dives - we are the one-stop-shop for your next scuba getaway. Pick your diving destination in Southeast Asia and let us care about the rest.
Rawa Island might be the perfect holiday island for your family close to Singapore. The Bawah Reserve offers some of the most private and untouched dive sites you'll ever find. And Komodo is the perfect place for some thrilling dives featuring the best our oceans have to offer. See our options to find the scuba diving getaway of your dreams.
Article by Christian Buergi
If you want to find out more about diving Singapore, please contact our customer experience team and they will be happy to provide you with information.