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Malaysia is separated into two areas: peninsular Malaysia extending from Thailand down to Singapore, and Malaysian Borneo, occupying the north and west coasts of Borneo. The best diving can be found in Sabah, which is located at the tip of Borneo, and there are four main diving regions covering everything from macro to pelagic animals and novice to experienced divers. The region is known for its biodiversity, and the sheer numbers of species here will astound you.

On the land, Malaysia has a very interesting culture and history. Sabah is a true melting pot, where Chinese, Indian, Malay and local people all live together. All the associated religious festivals are observed, which means that Sabah has 20 public holidays a year! You may find yourself celebrating the Muslim Hari Raya Haji one day, and two weeks later celebrating Indian Deepavali (and if you lived in Kelantan, you’d also have two days in between for the Sultan’s birthday). The natural environment of Malaysia is diverse and beautiful, from towering mountains to long rivers to coral reefs.

Diving Destinations in Malaysia

Diving Liveaboards in Malaysia

General Information

Australian passport holders require validity for six months beyond your intended stay. Visas are not required for Australian citizens, who will be issued visitor permit valid for 90 days. Visitor permits issued in one Malaysian state are not automatically valid for entry into another so if visiting both Sabah and Kuala Lumpur, you will complete immigration twice. For more information and for holders of other passports, please refer to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website for the latest travel advice.

The Malaysian Ringgit (MYR) is the unit of currency. One Australian dollar buys approximately 3 MYR.

Bahasa Malay is the national language, and many local dialects are also spoken. English is widely spoken in tourist areas.

220-240V and uses the British plug type.

GMT+8 (2 hours behind Sydney).

Light, casual clothing is recommended. Women should dress modestly in public places.

Although near the equator, Malaysia does not suffer extremes of heat. Days are sunny and humid, the nights balmy. Monsoon weather affects most of the country during the winter and so Sabah can be very wet between November and January. The best time to visit is March to October.

Ranges from 26°C in July to 29°C in December.

None at 1 July 2012.

Tipping is not a frequent practice in Malaysia.

Region Map