By Expedia Team, on August 11, 2017

A Diver’s Guide To Pulau Tioman: The Best Sites For An Underwater Adventure

Going underwater is like venturing into a whole different world, one full of beauty and mystery. One backward roll off the boat and there you are, beneath the water, slowly descending into a wreck, a hidden cave, or a reef chock-full of marine wildlife. The underwater world is full of surprises waiting to be discovered and Tioman Island is no exception. Join us as we unveil some of its greatest treasures.

Best Diving Sites in Pulau Tioman


Renggis Island, Tioman

Touted as one of the best diving sites in Tioman, this island offers diverse coral reefs — both hard and soft — in the eastern part of the island. If you dive further down to 20m, you will find two Thai fishing wrecks that are home to moray eels. But don’t stop there! Not far from the wrecks, you can find a “hidden reef” with a spectacular stretch of coral and tropical reef fish.

On the other side of the island, you will find quite a number of green turtles and a giant barracuda (nicknamed Boris) with tons of colourful Gorgonians. Get your underwater camera ready to take a snap of the resident black tip sharks that usually circle the island preying on little fish!

diving in tioman
Getting some exercise underwater! Photo Credit: @jodiejoox

The typical route is to enter the water from the eastern part of the island and to swim around the island when the current is not too strong. Renggis Island is always swarming with divers because its shallow waters and breathtaking views make it the perfect training ground for those taking up the open water diver course.

Depth: 5-20m

Suggested Certification: Open Water Divers and above

Pirate Reef and Pirate Wreck

Pirate Reef
Photo Credit: @rylmei

Besides Renggis Island, another turtle breeding ground in Pulau Tioman is Pirate Reef, which is well-liked for its night dives that allow divers to get close to curious bamboo sharks. Pirate Wreck is only a few minutes away from the Pirate Reef and is usually the starting point of the dive. The shallow waters and calm currents make it accessible to Open Water Divers and underwater photographers who want to capture the beauty of coral formations or to catch the turtle hatching season from March to May.

Depth: 8-18m

Suggested Certification: Open Water Divers and above

KM Sipadan & Sawadee Wreck

KM Sipadan & Sawadee Wreck
Photo Credit: @ziqilim

The latest to join the “wreck club” in Tioman, the former Royal Malaysian Navy Warship KM Sipadan was artificially sunk in 2012. It is a perfect site for wreck diving in Tioman, especially for Nitrox-certified divers who can penetrate the ship. There are also two wooden fishing boats nearby, which are populated by tons of juvenile fish, scorpion fish, lionfish, and batfish. It may not be the largest wreck in Tioman, but being the newest, it definitely gives you some bonus points!

Depth: 25-32m

Suggested Certification: Advanced Open Water Divers and above

Tiger Reef

tiger reef
Sea slug a.k.a. nudibranch. Photo Credit: @alifften

Those who are big fans of huge rocks, sponges, and Gorgonians will love this site! Tiger Reef is another photogenic site in Tioman with beautiful marine life such as lion fish, moray eels, golden trevally, rainbow runners, and nudibranchs. However, there is an unspoken reason why this site is so popular. Many divers cling to the hope of catching sight of whale sharks in Tioman waters, especially in Tiger Reef where such sightings have happened before.

Depth: 5-25m

Suggested Certification: Advanced Open Water Divers and above

Chebeh Island

Chebeh Island
Photo Credit: @divecleric

Another spot to catch the migration of manta rays and whale sharks in April and October! The most recommended sites on this island are the northeast and southeast sites where you can find huge granite boulders and volcanic rock formations. There is also a “Finding Nemo”-esque coral garden that will make your underwater photos doubly more attractive.

Depth: 10-30m

Suggested Certification: Advanced Open Water Divers and above

Magicians Rock

The pristine coral reef and dense biodiversity here are just beyond words! The site started to gain popularity from word of mouth when someone spotted a manta ray here — like whale sharks, another rare sight in the Tioman waters.

Magicians Rock
Photo Credit: Grahame Massicks
Magicians Rock
Blue-spotted Stingrays. Photo Credit: Grahame Massicks

The unpredictable currents and out-of-the-way location might put people off, but this is all the more why Magicians Rock is possibly the most pristine site in Tioman. You can only get to this hidden gem through more established diving centers. Though it means you have to pay a little more than usual, it is best to get an experienced instructor and boat captain to help you deal with the aggressive tides here. This site is best visited closer to the monsoon period to increase your chance of spotting whale sharks and manta rays swimming around.

Depth: 10-25m

Suggested Certification: Advanced Open Water Divers and above

There are plenty of accommodations in Tioman for different budgets. If you don’t mind spending more, Tioman Dive Resort will be an excellent choice. You can also book your diving trips through their dive shop to save you the hassle of finding another diving trip agent.

Tioman Dive Resort
Tioman Dive Resort

It is no exaggeration that Tioman is a diver’s paradise! The crystal clear waters and incredibly rich marine life can be found anywhere along the coastal area. Whether you are an amateur or professional diver, Tioman will be perfect for your next underwater adventure.