The green islands that make up the Indonesian
archipelago seem to spring from adventure books.
They include huge Sumatra, Java and Sulawesi,
as well as smaller Bali, Lombok and Komodo. The
waters around these islands seem to spring from
divers dreams, with their offerings only
now being discovered.
Off the coast of Borneo, the islands of Sangalaki,
Derawan and Kakaban are the home of pelagic
thrills. Here, you will meet Mantas and be
treated to numerous turtles. In shallower
waters the thriving coral reef will display
the best of Southeast Asian tropicals and
invertebrates, and cleaning stations, where
small wrasses pick parasites off their larger
neighbors. Kakaban is also known for Jellyfish
Lake. Here a landlocked saltwater lake is
home to three species of stingless jellyfish.
Off the upper tip of Sulawesi Island, the
waters offer everything from muck diving
to distant, live-aboard-accessed pinnacles.
Near shore diving brings close-up views
of small, brightly colored creatures, such
as seahorses, leaf fish, nudibranchs, Mimic
Octopus and frogfish. More distant, open
ocean areas in the Lembeh Straits harbor
barracuda, Horse-eye Jacks and other pelagics.
Famous for its green, volcanic scenery,
gentle people, music and dance, the island
of Bali also boasts some excellent underwater
offerings. Most of the thousands of Indonesian
fish species, including Lionfish, are found
here, and there is a bountiful supply of
exotic invertebrates. Macro photography
is a major attraction, and there are forests
of Staghorn Coral and gigantic formations
of plate corals
Beginning with Lombok, the islands east
of Bali take on a slightly different type
of flora and faunamore Australian.
The legendary Komodo Dragon also makes its
home here. The waters of both Lombok and
Komodo feature a coral wonderland, which
will dazzle the eyes with shape and color,
and a closer look will reveal creatures
from the imagination, including snake-like
East of Komodo and just off the southeastern
tip of Sulawesi, the island of Wakatobi
has only come on the dive scene in the last
year or so. That means its truly unspoiled.
Shore diving is the way to do things, and
the reefs are diverse and pristine, offering
varicolored soft corals, highways of lettuce
coral, immense wire corals and giant clams.
The reef fish are abundant.
|Southeast Asia has always
represented the remote, exotic and mysterious,
and one of the most exotic parts of this area
is Malaysia. However, the mystery is being
revealed more and more these days. Malaysia
is easy to reach, and the underwater wonders
are secrets no more.
Sipadan Island is probably the best known
of Malaysias dive areas. Off the coast
of Borneo, this tiny gem is a true oceanic
island, and thats why the diving is
so fantastic. The vibrant coral reefs feature
steep drop-offs and host turtles and a wealth
of fish, from Mandarin Gobies to Whitetip
Not far from Sipadan, Mabul Island rises
from the continental shelf. The reef slopes
gradually and the depths are mostly shallow.
Invertebrates are the highlights here, from
colorful nudibranchs, to cute Cuttlefish.
The bustling offshore banking island of
Labuan is known as the shipwreck capital
of Malaysia. There are broken up vessels
from WW II and newer, more intact wrecks.
One of the best sites for photography is
the Tun Huang. It lies upright in easy depths.
The water is usually clear and the wrecks
features make terrific photo backgrounds.
Around the upper tip of Borneo, the atoll
of Layang Layang is well known for its thrilling
big fish and wall diving. Encounters with
Manta Rays and schooling Hammerheads are
The Malay Peninsula is where most of the
countrys tourism takes place, and
the waters off its shores are one reason.
The waters around the archipelago of Pulau
Redang and Tioman Island are marine parks,
so the coral reefs are lush and fish are
plentiful. Wrecks are also a highlight off
Layang Layang Island
peerless as time as magnificent
as the rarest gem, the
atoll of Layang Layang,
off Sabah, is a dream
Surrounded by the cobalt
blue immensity of the
sea, the atoll of Layang
Layang lies like a precious
pearl embedded in turquoise.
Its enormous lagoon is
surrounded by sheer vertical
walls which attract both
colorful reef fish and
Layang is more than an
underwater treasure -
it is man's paradise here