Freediver always choose freediving location with clear water visibility with endless depth, calm water, no current, with underwater marine life and colourful coral to swim, easy access to reach, healthy food to find and beautiful island scenery to relax and calm our mind. Either you want to train with line to get deeper or to do it leisurely to enjoy the beauty of tropical underwater, Malaysia also have good freedive site where you can enjoy for both purpose. Here is the list of freediving site in Malaysia where you can explore:
In East Malaysia, there are few island you can explore for freediving. Sabah is known for many beautiful island for diving/ snorkeling.
1.Sipadan / Mabul / Sibuan Island (Sabah)
Sipadan is definitely a must visit place for freediving. The island is unique because the only oceanic island rising from more than 600m from sea bed like an atoll in Malaysia. Around the island is full with different dive site where you can go for school of barracudas, trevally, jack fish, bumphead, sharks, and turtles. Sipadan also surrounded by wall of colourful coral and it will drop until sea bottom. We can only do daily trip to Sipadan, and you can choose to stay in Mabul or Semporna.
In Mabul, ideal for doing your freediving course, or go fortraining and also for recreational. The island surrounded by beautiful diving site with great depth for all level from beginner to master. You can also try freedive under the oil rig which turn to a resort.
If you stay in Semporna, Sibuan Island will be the best to do your freediving courses and training. With 40m depth we can find from the shore and good visibility all year round, it is definitely the best location for training.
2.Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park (Sabah)
If you travel to Kota Kinabalu, you can check Mamutik Island or Sepanggar with less than 10 minutes boat ride. If you have more time to travel, can check Mantanani island for more clear water and best island experience.
Recommended: Beginner level
Freedive Centre: Apnea Odyssey KK
Freediving Certification: SSI Freediving
In Peninsular Malaysia, there are many island you can go for freediving too. The east coast from north to South is full with white sandy beach and crystal clear water and beautiful island. However between November until February is monsoon season. You can plan your freediving activity between March to October.
Tioman Island one of favourite destinations for snorkelers and scuba divers. You can find beautiful coral and colourful fishes just from the shore or you can do boat hoping and explore thhe dive site around Tioman. Many of the dive site you can find swim through and many of topical marine life. If you never try freediving before, Tioman can be a good place to start. Just take short vacation while experience the island life with the sea or jungle view and complete your freedivng course. You can also go for training to go deeper as deep as 40m or just go for leisure and explore the beauty of Tioman’s underwater.
Recommended: Beginner to Master level
Freedive Centre: Freedive Tioman
Freediving certification: Aida/ Apnea Total/ Molchanovs
Aur and Dayang Island located in the south of Peninsular Malaysia is good site for freediving training and master course. Here you can find great depth more than 50m and there are many dive site for recreational too. The island is chosen to grow Giant Clam and you can find in few dive site around the island. You can also go hiking while you in the island and experience the top view of the island or watch sunrise.
Recommended : Beginner to Master level
Tenggol island is famour for whale shark sighting. For freediver, it has an ideal condition to train for master course as deep as 40m in the bay area and protected from wind. In Tenggol also you can find many ship wrecks to explore and many cave and swim through to explore.
Recommended: Beginner to Master level
If you stay in Merang, you can do daytrip to Bidong Island for snorkeling or freediving. You can also go for freediving course or training. Bidong is famous for the history of the island and also now become a research centre for local university. Bidong definitely best alternative for your freediving activity if you want to stay in mainland.
Agency: AIDA, Molchanov, PADI
7.Lang Tengah / Redang Island
Lang Tengah and Redang will be good location for your freediving photo or for your social media post for crystal clear water. Redang Island will be good location to start your freediving course with good visibility and accessible to swim from shore. In Lang tengah you can go for advanced level. There are house wreck from shore you can swim and freedive. It is advisable to take boat with the resort due to boat traffic.
Freedive Centre: Dolphin Lee Aquatic (Redang)
Agency: PADI Freediving
Freedive Centre: Lang Tengah Island Resort
Agency : AIDA and Padi freedive
Located in the North east coast peninsular Malaysia. You can easily travel by taking boat from Kuala Besut jetty. Perhentian always become attraction of snorkelers and scuba diving or travel destination to family and friends. You can go for freediving here and suitable for beginner to advanced level.
Freedive Centre: Freedive AndRasa
Located in the West coast of Peninsular Malaysia, is the easy access to travel from Langkawi or Penang. Payar always become destinations for snorkelers, scuba divers who visit Langkawi. During monsoon season in east coast is best to check this island for training and also for recreational. There are many underwater marine life you can see here like grouper and colourful coral. Payar island best for beginner level of freediver as you can easily get 15m depth from shore.
FULL ARTICLE CAN BE READ on EZDIVE Magazine March 2021
Azua Shafii is a Malaysian Female record holder for multiple discipines for freediving in Malaysia. She is also the first SSI Freediving Instructor for Singapore, Malaysia Brunei.