My second time back in Tenggol Island for another round of diving. There were many sites I missed the first time round– so I decided to head back to explore some more! You can read about the island and how to get to it in my previous post:- Scuba Diving in Malaysia’s Pulau Tenggol. I was with a smaller group for this trip, and some of the dives were lead by the resident Dive Master and Instructor from the Tenggol Island Beach Resort Dive Center.
I was visiting in September, and it can be considered the tail end of the dive season on the East Coast of Malaysia. By the time the fourth quarter of the year kicks in; the monsoon season begins and most of the resorts will close. During my visit, I was surprised to find that the secluded Tenggol Island had quite a number of visitors– there were lots of divers, as well as families on vacation. I rather enjoyed the presence of the many divers congregated at the resort; it meant more conversations on the joys of diving, more interesting stories from experienced divers, and more outlets for me to gather knowledge about the underwater world.
However, being a relatively tiny island with only three small resorts, the atmosphere was still relaxed and quiet.
The visibility around Tenggol Island is much better in September (compared to my previous visit in June). Due to the coming monsoon season, the seas can be a little rough with a slight current; but that also meant that on this second visit to the island, I was able to spot an abundance of big fishes. Trigger fishes were happily swimming around nibbling on corals; and stingrays, moray eels, black tip reef sharks, jellyfishes and colorful nudibranches were a common sight.
I am getting a little more confident with my diving– so I was able to visit the slightly more difficult sites (i.e with current, deeper). Here are some of them:-
Coral Garden (15-20m) –
This dive site is located on the East side of Tenggol Island; which is on the other side of the resort. Coral Garden is as its name suggests– this site is filled with beautiful collections of corals. From fan corals and soft corals to anemones, the place is just brimming with them.
Tanjung Gemok (15-20m) –
There is a slight current at this dive site as it is located just outside the bay of the resort. I absolutely enjoyed this dive as I spotted the most things here– big fishes like groupers, batfishes, and this place was filled with trigger fishes! I also managed to spot several moray eels and stingrays. The corals here are pretty too; they get denser as they rise up on the side of the cliff walls.
Sarang Lang (20-25m) –
Located along the cliff walls on the South-Western part of Tenggol Island, I have to say that the corals at this dive site are absolutely stunning. Soft corals, hard corals, fan corals, flat corals, trumpet corals, anemones; and in all sorts of colors. This place looks like a fish’s playground; and looking at the large school of small fishes swimming about, I think they agree with me.
Tokong Timur (Depth: 25-30m) –
This dive site is located near a small island on the Southern end of Tenggol Island. It is a pretty deep dive– straight down to a sandy bottom at about 28m. The corals here are scarce; but there are opportunities to spot the larger fishes, like the groupers and the barracudas.
The Tenggol Island Beach Resort helps with the conservation of sea turtles around the island. The beach where the resort is located is a hot-spot for turtles laying eggs– and because of the constant arrival of visitors that could be a threat to them, these eggs are taken by the resort to be protected. Once they hatch, the baby turtles are observed and cared for until they are strong enough to be released into the ocean.
During my visit, the baby turtles were ready to spread their flippers and swim away– so on one of the nights, the visitors of the resort were given the opportunity to set them free. It was a great feeling watching the little ones swim into the open sea. Hopefully the next time I come back to dive again, I’ll be able to spot one of them, all grown and healthy!
This is my second time returning to Tenggol Island to dive, but it was a completely different experience as I visited new sites, saw new things– and the weather and sea conditions were different too.
When I first got my license, I told myself that I would try not to dive at the same place twice. However, coming back to the island again just showed me that each visit will always present something new… so I should never stop myself from returning and gaining new experiences. And I have logged in 28 dives now!