Peninsular Malaysia’s “mini-Sipadan”?
Tucked in the coast of Terengganu’s Marine Park, Tenggol Island is lesser known compared to its neighbours Redang, Perhentian and Tioman. It is arguably one of Peninsular Malaysia’s best kept secrets.
The island was previously uninhabited until three resorts were set up on the main stretch of its shores. Touted by some locals as Peninsular Malaysia’s answer to a “mini” Sipadan, Tenggol Island offers pristine hard and soft corals teeming with marine life.
Tenggol Island is home to an abundant collection of nudibranchs, sea turtles, parrot fish, yellowtail fusiliers, trevallies, napoleon fish, to name a few. Sightings of eagle rays, black-tip reef sharks and barracudas are common. Pelagics, whale sharks, mobula rays and manta rays have also been sighted in its waters (psst, the island is located along the whale shark migratory route – typically August to October)
Oh, the landscape beneath the surface… the underwater formations at Tenggol are impressive with virtually untouched coral gardens, giant rocks and boulders, sometimes creating exciting swim-through paths and channels.
Tenggol Island is a diver’s location through and through: secluded, quiet. With no-frills, backpacker style chalet resorts. Meals are all provided for, typically buffet style, but you may be in for a BBQ or steamboat treat every now and then (no promises there).
Sadly, there are no non-diving activities apart from snorkelling or basking in the sun between dives and, sand flies abound – so you might want to forgo the moonlight strolls along the shore if you forget to bring repellant. Nonetheless, the joy of diving in this little known gem absolutely makes up for it.
How to get there
A’King Jetty (Dungun) is the closest jetty and driving there (from Kuala Lumpur) is a relaxing 3.5 to 4hour drive and only 30mins away from the mainland by speedboat and it’s perfect for a quick weekend gateway.
Why we love Tenggol
With over 20 sites to discover, diving in Tenggol cannot get any more diverse from getting your diving-mojo back (if you have been on a hiatus) at Turtle Point, to an action-packed drift dive at Mini Highway, or exploring wrecks at 5 sisters.
For more information on Tenggol Island, click here.