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Best Island for diving near Singapore

Wellington, New...
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Best Island for diving near Singapore

Hi everyone,

We are taking a 10 day break in Singapore in April next year. I'm travelling with my two six year old boys and husband. Now it's a kind of late 9th wedding anniversary trip for us and we've chosen Singapore as the kids first steps into Asia and away from the Pacific Rim travel we've done previously. My husband and I have always wanted to go to Singapore as we've done a lot of travel but always transited in Singapore and felt like we've missed out.

The big compromise for my husband is that he thinks he won't be able to dive. Now I've done a bit of reading on Trip Advisor and found that there are islands near Singapore that you can dive from. I thought I might surprise him with a two or three night break with the family on an island. The kids are happy as long as there is a safe swimming beach and a few shells to examine.

My husband is an extremely experienced diver and I have no clue which island would be good for him and the family? Does anyone have any ideas to help me? My budget is flexible for the right location.

Thanks for reading!

Singapore, Singapore
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1. Re: Best Island for diving near Singapore

Dear kapitibeach,

Glad you decided to make Singapore a complete stop this time round - am sure your taste buds will be completely thrilled by the wide variety of Chinese, Malay, Indian and Peranakan cuisines, not to mention great city sights, zoos etc! =)

For great dive sites (voted as one of the world's top ten dive sites), you may want to consider Sipadan in East Malaysia, fly to Singapore to Kota Kinabalu, then a domestic flight to Tawau. However, costs can be expensive there but comments I heard so far has been excellent!

Others around this region (and closer) would be Pulau Redang and Perhentian Islands, just to name a few. Note that these islands are off-limits to divers during the Oct - Feb/March seasons due to choppy waters.

Happy planning!

Singapore, Singapore
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2. Re: Best Island for diving near Singapore

U can try Dayang Island:

http://dayangisland.com/divesites/index.htm

amazingdive.com/dive-travel/…

Getting there

The travel time will take about 3 hours from Singapore to Mersing Jetty in Malaysia. From there, it will be another 3 to 4 hour journey on your dive boat to the resort.

Jakarta
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for Jakarta, Bandung, Singapore
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3. Re: Best Island for diving near Singapore

Get a short flight or bus and ferry over to Tioman island. You can get your diving there.

PADI Open Water courses are not conducted in SIN waters , the closest diving destinations are:

Dayang, Malaysia

Aur, Malaysia

Tioman, Malaysia

Bintan, Indonesia

Phuket, Thailand

Wellington, New...
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4. Re: Best Island for diving near Singapore

Oh thank you everyone. I'm going to have to have a look at every location mentioned over the next few days. It would be nice for my husband to get some diving in this trip, he's clocked well over 200 dives all over the world and the guides in Vanuatu a couple of months ago asked if he was a rescue diver due to his expertise level. Thank you all so much.

Jakarta
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5. Re: Best Island for diving near Singapore

you`re welcome... happy planning!

Singapore
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6. Re: Best Island for diving near Singapore

Sorry to disagree with above posters but the islands off Mersing (Dayang, Tioman, Redang, Etc) offer rather underwhelming diving. Those are places which are cheap to go to from Singapore for a quick weekend of diving but the effort to get there (approximately 10hours door to door after taking coach and boat) aren't justified by the rewards. As these are popular places for people learning to dive you will also be troubled by large groups of inexperienced divers doing very silly things underwater. Perhentian is not bad although when I last went about 3 years ago it was less exciting than my first trip about 10 years ago. Sipadan is a world-class site ( and no where else do you get the barracuda spirals) but the Malaysian govt is limiting access and at all resorts there you need to stay a minimum of 3 nights to get ONE day of diving in Sipadan. The other two days you are diving the adjacent islands and its amazing how close they are yet what a drop in quality you will experience.

Therefore being based in Singapore I tend to prefer places slightly further out to get better diving. This does however mean 3 days may be too tight. Tops for that season would be Layang Layang for the hammerheads although I think a week is required. Other decent options for that time of year are Malapascua (short flight to Cebu then 2 hours drive and 10 minute boat ride) for the thresher sharks, Bali (no mola-mola that time of year), Manado. Koh Samui in Thailand may be ok then, I've not checked their seasons. Finally, if you can manage expectations, I believe the White Manta is running that time of ear. It's the only liveaboard departing directly from Singapore going into Indonesian waters. They do the Seven Skies wreck where you can sometimes see whalesharks. I've never been that lucky and my one experience on board was also underwhelming but its the easiest option to get some diving in quickly. Yu might decide to forego diving this trip and go somewhere else for a week of really fantastic diving like Palau instead. That's my usual plan.

Edited: 10 August 2013, 10:37
Singapore, Singapore
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7. Re: Best Island for diving near Singapore

Hey BV

How did U get to Palau from Singapore? I am trying to avoid getting on a Ferry or boat :D......

Hong Kong, China
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8. Re: Best Island for diving near Singapore

Most people will travel out of singapore for diving. Nearest is Malaysia. Tioman island, pangkor island. Nearest to singapore would be Desaru in johor

Edited: 10 August 2013, 16:00
Singapore, Singapore
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9. Re: Best Island for diving near Singapore

Yes BornVivant is the man for questions on diving - and Sipadan and Palau are excellent places for dives!

There is no direct flight to Palau at this moment - did a check a few months back (after an excellent trip at Bunaken in Manado, Sulawesi) and craving for more sea life and was glad to

bump into BV in the forum! As i remember, the only way is Manila - Palau, Narita - Palau, HK-Palau, TPE-Palau (but heard the HK- Palau has been discounted due to low demands). Airfare can be crazily expensive even though on the map is not that far actually, including from SG (try Fiji- Palau and be blown away at the price)! Fortunately, this has the effects of keeping tourism numbers manageable, which I not sure if it was the intended outcome etc.

Another great site is of course Sipadan - a class of its own and best of all in E Malaysia. However, I heard from an ex-colleague who went there that her total dive trip cost S$1.5k per person from SGP. Pretty crazy for somewhere close to SGP - but her review has been terrific!

I was at Bunaken not too long ago and actually love it (did snorkelling instead of dives)! Very good marine life (amazing to see many fishes swimming past), corals were not badly bleached compared to other places I went (Phuket, Gili (between Bali / Lombok)) etc. Pretty awesome experience! However, is a good > 3 hours flight each way and not sure if OP would be keen to spend time traveling.

Therefore, if time is a major concern and money not an issue - Sipadan seems like the best bet!

Seriously - we need direct flights to the Fiji / Palau etc from SGP

- is ridiculous to be flying up to TPE or even

Tokyo when isactuallu not that far from SGP!

Whatever the case is - happy planning!

Singapore
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10. Re: Best Island for diving near Singapore

Me^Only you dive too? Dover is right Palau can be difficult to get to, but no ferries! ;) he's given the right details, the most convenient is SIN - Manila, Manila - Palau (ROR). It's on United and if you look far in advance (like one year) you can actually get it for around USD 500 (MNL - ROR). For convenience coupled with good diving Manado is the best bet. Sipadan is fantastic but as I mentioned above, out of 3 days there you will only be allowed one day of diving Sipadan itself and the other two days you'd be stuck doing the other islands which pale in comparison. If you are really really lucky you might get 2 days. I went in a large group last year and out of 30 of us 2 got to dive Sipadan 2 days out of 3.....