Tenggol Island is a Malaysian island off the coast of Terengganu. This island can be thin, measuring just three by two kilometers/1.8 by 1.24 miles, but it has a huge underwater personality. This South China Sea Island offers over twenty dive sites and is well worth visiting. If you want to dive tenggol, this is the best place to do so. The dive sites around Tenggol Island have it all, from plentiful sloping fringing reefs to drop offs, cliffs, and large boulder formations. There are sheltered areas with environments similar to a swimming pool, as well as harsh rocky sites where currents rush in and a strong surge shakes the shallows.
These are just a few of our favourite Tenggol Dive locations.
This dive site is first on our list because it is one of the island’s most well-known dive sites and the perfect location to see whale sharks from August to October. This action-packed place is situated just off the tiny rock island to the south of Tenggol Island. If you want to see whale sharks, go to the south side of the island, where the shallows are teeming with colourful corals and the deeper stretches (up to 30 meters/100 feet) have interesting boulders. The winds are a bit heavier here, but it’s the plankton-rich water that draws the whale sharks.
There is also plenty to see if you dive outside of whale shark season, such as lone hunting great barracuda, schools of batfish, moray eels in crevices, and hordes of colourful damsels and tropical coral fish in the shallows.
Tanjung Api is situated on the tip of a protrusion on the west coast of Tenggol Island, to the north of the island. Because of the shape of the island and the water that flows around the point, there is always current here, making for a great drift dive. Be prepared to ‘go with the flow’ and enjoy the scenery along the way!
The land is rocky here, with wall sections and deeper rock formations, some of which are huge. Strong and delicate corals, reef fans, and sea whips adorn these massive boulders. Look for macro life among the branches of the fans and nudibranch on the rocks if you have good eyesight. Other highlights are bumphead parrotfish, angelfish, puffers, moray eels, schools of batfish, and it’s not rare to see a passing manta or eagle ray!
The ‘Rajawali’ dive sites, also known as Rajawali Coral, Tanjung Rajawali, and Teluk Rajawali, are situated on the very northern tip of Tenggol Island. The names correspond to numerous access points around the island’s tip. In the shallows, the Rajawali sites all have a plethora of sea species and colourful reef gardens.
A large area of reef on the east side of the point is densely populated with a variety of corals. Clownfish, angelfish, lionfish, Moorish idols, and a host of parrotfish species are only a handful of the reef fish that call this colourful patchwork of hard and soft corals, sponges, barrels, whips, and anemones home.
Schools of snappers, triggerfish, moray eels, and scorpionfish can be found on the shallow reef and sandy bottom to the west of the point. Keep an eye out for the blue on the very tip of the point and you never know what could pop up out of nowhere. Manta rays, eagle rays, and coral sharks have also been seen here. For more articles like this one, click here.