Diving In Sembilan

Diving in Sembilan gives divers a chance to see different types of this enchanting marine creature along with other fishes, both big and small.

Marine Life Highlights in Sembilan

blue-ringed-angelfish | Diving in Sembilan | Dive Sembilan | Marine life in Sembilan | Sembilan Marinelife
moorish-idol | Diving in Sembilan | Dive Sembilan | Marine life in Sembilan | Sembilan Marinelife
Morish Idol
triggerfish | Diving in Sembilan | Dive Sembilan | Marine life in Sembilan | Sembilan Marinelife

Dive Sites In Sembilan

White Rock | Diving In Sembilan | Dive Sembilan | Sembilan Dive Sites

White Rock

The most unique and visited dive site in Sembilan is White Rock, as the name itself says, can easily be spotted because of the towering white rock formation with a lighthouse built on it. More massive boulders can be found once under water along with steep walls that go all the way down to 40 metres reaching the seabed. The walls are covered with Tube Coral, Whip Coral, Sea Fans, Barrel Sponges, and Anemones that host different marine species.

A mix of small and large fishes are here including Juvenile Moray Eels, Juvenile Boxfish, and Scorpionfish with a possible sighting of Seahorses, schools of pelagics like Chevron Barracuda, huge Tuna, Snappers, Groupers, Solitary Great Barracudas, and Golden Trevallies. Visibility is best when dived with slight currents at and Black Rock can be reached by a boat from Lumut or Pangkor, or by a Liveaboard.

Access: Boat Entry
Average Depth: –
Maximum Depth: 40m
Average Visibility: 20m-30m

Black Rock | Diving In Sembilan | Dive Sembilan | Sembilan Dive Sites

Black Rock

Lying northwest of Pulau Saga and a little distance from White Rock, this dive site has small boulders surrounded by water at the shallows. It leads to a sandy bottom dotted with coral formations at a depth of 30 metres with school of fishes following divers along the way. Hard and soft coral trees make the picture more alive as schools of Batfish, Queenfish, Moorish Idols, Trevallies, Solitary Great Barracudas, and Long-finned Bannerfish pass by.

Seahorses can be seen too within the soft corals and Nudibranchs on the other hand, can be found by the shallow boulders, with a chance to see Turtles. Diver can get to Black Rock by boat or by Liveaboard with average visibility of 10 metres which depends on the current that goes from mild to strong.

Access: Boat Entry
Average Depth: –
Maximum Depth: 30m
Average Visibility: 10m

Pulau Buluh | Diving In Sembilan | Dive Sembilan | Sembilan Dive Sites

Pulau Buluh

Pulau Buluh is one of Sembilan’s small islands on the southern coast of the archipelago. Rocky boulders and a sandy bottom make up the scene with a lot of  hard green Staghorn Corals, Anemones, Whip corals, and Barrel Sponges. Aside from the corals, fish life is not bad either as divers can spot Nudibranchs, Seahorse, Brownbanded Bamboo Shark, Porcupinefish, Pufferfish, Grouper, Yellowback Fusiliers, Boxfish, Sea urchins,  and small Sea Eel.

Visibility ranges from 5 to 10 metres with some strong currents and maximum depth of 20 metres. Pulau Buluh is accessible by a boat from Pulau Pangkor and Lumut Jetty, or by a Liveaboard and is suitable for all divers.

Access: Boat Entry
Average Depth: –
Maximum Depth: 20m
Average Visibility: 5m – 10m

Pulau Rumbia | Diving In Sembilan | Dive Sembilan | Sembilan Dive Sites

Pulau Rumbia

The largest island amongst the Sembilan islands, Pulau Rumbia features muck diving with interesting creatures on its sandy bottom. Situated just off the west coast of Pulau Rumbia is a dive site that has rocky shallow areas with beautiful Sea Fans and upon going down the sandy bottom, small rock formations can be seen used as hiding place by its marine inhabitants.

One example is a juvenile Bamboo Shark resting under the rocks with other notable sightings of Seahorses, Mimic Octopus, Crabs, Catfish, Stonefish, and Huge Parrotfish, with Nudibranchs and amazing Blue-spotted Ray. Maximum depth is 13 metres and visibility of 3 to 10 metres depending on the currents and weather conditions but suitable for all divers. As all the other sites, it is usually offered on Liveaboard itineraries or by boat from Lumut or Pangkor.

Access: Boat Entry
Average Depth: –
Maximum Depth: 13m
Average Visibility: 3m – 10m

Pulau Saga | Diving In Sembilan | Dive Sembilan | Sembilan Dive Sites

Pulau Saga

Pulau Saga lies west of Pulau Lalang and north of Pulau Buluh, all three are part of the Sembilan Islands. Sloping down to more than 24 metres a little far from the island, Pulau Saga consists of anemones in the shallows and a rocky and sandy bottom in the depths. However, the diveable depth depends on weather conditions as strong currents are common in this area with average visibility of 5 to 10 metres.

Regular sightings are Anemonefish, juvenile Yellow Boxfish, juvenile Blue-ringed Angelfish, Porcupine fish, Moorish Idol, Triggerfish, Razorfish, Blue-spotted Lagoon Ray and possible sightings of Common Seahorses and 3 species of Nudibranchs: Jorunna funebris, Pustulosa Nudibranch and Varicose Wart Slug. Divers can reach Pulau Saga by boat or Liveaboard.

Access: Boat Entry
Average Depth: 15m
Maximum Depth: 24m
Average Visibility: 5m – 10m

Pulau Pangkor | Diving In Sembilan | Dive Sembilan | Sembilan Dive Sites

Pulau Pangkor

Located north of the Sembilan Islands and off the coast of Lumut, Pulau Pangkor is a resort island with white sandy beaches where divers can stay for their dive holiday as Sembilan has no accommodation. It is a site for both snorkeling and diving for having very shallow fringing reefs, hard corals proliferating the background with a number of large boulders decorated with sponges.

Blennies can be spotted living in the crevices of the reefs with other colorful reef residents like Anthias, Moray Eels, Lobster, and Shrimp with occasional Seahorse sightings, and pelagics roaming around including Groupers, Fusiliers, Jacks, Barracudas, Hump Head Wrasses and Stingrays. There are some strong currents in the area with visibility of 7 to 15 metres. Pulau Pangkor can be reached by a boat ride from Lumut jetty or by a Liveaboard.

Access: Boat Entry
Average Depth: –
Maximum Depth: –
Average Visibility: 7m – 15m

Pulau Jarak | Diving In Sembilan | Dive Sembilan | Sembilan Dive Sites

Pulau Jarak

An island west of Sembilan and in the middle of the Strait of Malacca lies Pulau Jarak, a recently discovered diving destination that is quite isolated and uninhabited leaving the seascape mostly pristine. A rock rising 50 metres above sea level can be seen at the water’s surface, which is overgrown with lush vegetation, and slopes down to the seabed covered with soft corals that is teeming with life with pelagic reef residents such Reef Shark, Big-eyed Jacks, Barracudas, Tuna, Triggerfish, Angelfish, and Moray Eels.

If lucky, divers can also have a chance to see Seahorses that are almost 5 inches long, Dolphins and Sailfish. There are swift currents in the area with visibility of 2 to 3 metres and depth of 15 to 20 metres making it a challenging dive and suitable for experienced divers. Access to Pulau Jarak is by boat from Lumut Jetty/Pangkor Island or by a Liveaboard.

Access: Boat Entry
Average Depth: 15m
Maximum Depth: 20m
Average Visibility: 2m – 3m

Diving In Sembilan

Sembilan or nine islands, though located in in west coast Malaysia, is derived from the name Similan which is also a group of famous islands in Thailand. Located south of Pangkor island and southwest of Lumut, the easiest route to Sembilan is by a bus ride or a 2.5-hour drive from Kuala Lumpur to Lumut, and from Lumut, take a 1-hour ferry ride from the jetty to the islands. The nearest dive shop is at Lumut located at Marina island while Pangkor Island is the nearest destination for accommodation as the islands are uninhabited. The nine islands of Sembilan are Pulau Agas, Pulau Payong, Pulau Nipis, Pulau Rumbia, Pulau Lalang, Pulau Saga, Pulau Buluh, Black Rock and White Rock.

Being located at Malaysia’s west coast, Sembilan has a different climate from the east coast and has an opposite season for diving. Its climate is tropical with a typical temperature that ranges from 24 to 32 degrees Celsius. The driest month is February, while the heaviest rainfall occurs during October. Best time to dive Sembilan is from November to March with a visibility ranging from 5 to 15 metres and currents from mild to strong making it a challenging dive. Diving depth is between 5 to 40 metres that is suitable from Beginner to Experienced divers.

Coral reefs in Sembilan are incredibly in good condition as the islands are uninhabited. Despite its neighboring islands’ having fishing villages, the reefs in Sembilan are not spoiled by fishing malpractices. Hard and soft corals are present in its walls and boulders such as Tube Corals, Staghorn Corals, Whip Corals, Sea fans, Barrel Sponges, and Anemones. As a result, a vibrant underwater spectacle teeming with marine life.

With corals in good condition, it only follows that there are marine life hanging around the reefs. Though not a marine park, Sembilan still features a variety of species that abound its waters. Most common and rare in other parts of Malaysia is the Seahorse. Every dive site gives divers a chance to see different types of this enchanting marine creature along with other fishes, both big and small. Common sightings are Barracudas, Trevallies, Bamboo Shark and Blue-spotted Ray for pelagics, and Scorpionfish, Pufferfish, Parrotfish, and Blue-ringed Angelfish for the smaller fishes.

Best Diving Season: March to October
Weather:  February (Dry Season) October (Wet Season)
Water Temperature: 24°C – 32°C
Marine Animal Highlights:  Angelfish, Morish Idol, Triggerfish, Anemones, Barracuda, Trevallies, and Bamboo Shark
Recommended Thermal Protection:
Water Visibility:  5m – 15m
Transportation: -Domestic flights from Kuala Lumpur or Kota Kinabalu

Love exploring and diving in Asia?
Book your next trip with us

Where to Find Us

Dive Asia Now Pte Ltd
Global Operations Centre
Blk 465 Crawford Lane #02-18, DAN-HQ
S190465, Singapore