With their abundant marine life and average visibilities ranging from 12–40m, Malaysian waters offer superlative diving, whatever your ability level. For serious enthusiasts, the eastern state of Sabah, on Borneo, is the destination of choice. Sipadan, a tiny islet off its northeast shore, is world famous for its spiralling shoals of barracuda, congregations of turtles and lumphead parrotfish, but nearby Mabul and Mataking are no less enthralling thanks to their spectacular wall dives, colourful coral gardens and labyrinthine cave systems.
Underwater life off the coast of Peninsular Malaysia is only marginally less rich. Boasting a wealth of caves, reefs, twisting channels and sponge-encrusted pinnacles, Tioman and Redang both hold sites to suit a wide span of experience, while the Perhentians are ideal for learners, thanks to their shallow reefs.