Friday, September 28, 2012

Scuba Vacation - Bidong Island, Terengganu, Malaysia








Bidong Island is at the southeast of Redang Island and it is known in the Malaysian history as the site of a Vietnamese refugee camp from 1978 to 1991.  Nowadays, it is increasingly developed for scuba vacation destination.  It has excellent muck dive sites.  The Bidong archipelago consists of Yu Besar Island, Yu Kechil Island, Gelok Island, Karah Island, Batu Tengkorak Island and Bidong Island.  Bidong Island is located about 5 miles southeast of Redang Island, a 15 - 20 minutes speedboat ride away.

In the previous blog you have read about the beautiful reefs and corals of Redang Island, Terengganu, Malaysia.  Bidong Island offers a new adventure to muck scuba divers.  At present, Bidong Island will only consider allowing a limited number of tourists to make day visits during the 'Visit Terengganu Year 2013'.  Visitors must seek permission from the University of Malaysia, Terengganu to enjoy scuba diving around the waters of Bidong Island. This is due to the government's firm stand on protecting the natural heritage around the island.

There are several fantastic diving spots and huge underwater wrecks like buses and boats, which are covered with colorful corals.  Among the dive sites to explore are the Heritage Reef, Midway Reef and at the site of Universiti Malaysia Terengganu Research Center.  At these dive sites there are rich in marine life like parrotfish, stone fish , moray eel, squirrelfish, blue-spotted stingray and hermit crab.  The sea beds are covered with beautiful hard corals such as potato coral, staghorn coral and brain coral.

At the submerged reefs between Yu Besar and Yu Kechil Islands there is good visibility, making this one of the better dive sites providing common encouters with schooling batfish and other reef life such as whale shark. The shallow depth of around 14 mwters at Batu Tengkorak Island you will find the opportunities to encounter schooling barracudas and trevallies.  For an excellent snorkeling, head for Gelok and Karah Island with its gently sloping coral reef off the beach, providing chance encounters with black tipped sharks.  The low current and clear water at Karah you will find all kinds of coral from the diversified christmas tree to many beautiful reef life. 

The Bidong Island and the surrounding archipelago makes an ideal scuba vacation at Malaysia and it will surely to enthrall you with the fascinating  dive sites rich in marine life.