Tenggol Scuba diving Trip with Deep Blue Scuba (DBS) was indeed one of the best choices I did in my life. I was just scrolling through facebook and I chanced upon the post by them at the special promo rate! (Being a typical Singaporean, cheap means must take right? HAHA).
Really appreciate the prompt reply by DBS Crews, Marcus, Francis and Kenneth. They assisted me with the trip preparation and liaising too! Thank you for answering my never-ending questions!
Pre-trip preparation was done by DBS staff, they packed our rental gear and all we have to do is to check our gears before we set off to Tenggol! All thanks to the Onediver webpage, all the sizes are found over there and it helped them to pack our gears properly! *Tips for you – Do really ensure that you sizes are filled up correctly and accurately! This will ease all your troubles and you can enjoy your trip right from the start!*
Just some background about Tenggol Island!
Pulau Tenggol or Tenggol Island is an island off the coast of Terengganu, Malaysia. It is the last string of islands that include Pulau Perhentian and Pulau Redang. The island was traditionally uninhabited. Pulau Tenggol lies 14 nautical miles off the coast of quiet fishing town of Kuala Dungun, Terengganu, Malaysia. This rocky island about 50 hectares in size, spans less than 3 kilometres in length and 2 kilometres at its widest point, is one of the most beautiful and serene islands off Peninsular Malaysia’s east coast, with spectacular rocky cliffs that offer many excellent dive sites.
Let the trip begin!
Tenggol Scuba Diving trip – Day 1:
We met up at York Hill to collect our equipment and to board the bus to Malaysia Custom where we change into another comfortable coach. The seat is spacious, I kid you not. It’s really one of the best coach I have taken with Dive Centres and it’s so comfortable for the 9 hours bus ride. The bus ride is overnight, do bring along some personal entertainment or neck pillow to really enjoy the ride! For me, I chose to sleep so that I am truly recharged for the dives in the morning!
At 8:45 am, the boatman from Tenggol Coral Beach Resort came and pick us up via the diveboat/speed boat. The boat ride is about 45mins and I enjoyed seeing the vast ocean and admire the beauty (hoping to see mermaid during this trip hehehe). Suddenly, it started to drizzle and we were quite all hoping that it does not rain in Tenggol Island itself.
As we passed the rain cloud, we saw rainbow!! (It’s a sign! Will share with you later in the post!) Check in the resort was done smoothly! Really kudos to DBS and the resort for such swift check in. We had our first dive at 11 am.
The first dive we went to Tanjong Gemuk. First time in my life I tried back roll from a small boat like this, it is only a short 7mins boat ride. So we had to gear up once we get on the boat! I am amazed with the visibility of the water and the diversity of the marine life. It’s truly amazing!
We saw Moray Eel, Grouper and at that time it is also near to lunch time. (heh, Cantonese-style Grouper maybe?) The corals were not damaged from divers and it is so good.
Is it time for lunch? No! One more dive before lunch said our divemaster. I guessed food can wait, dive cannot wait! Most of us come with the expectation to see whaleshark! Well, that’s the highlight of the trip and the star of the trip right? Our funny divemaster from Tenggol told us that there will be chances to see whaleshark at Turtle Point. But sadly no.
Turtle Point is located about 5 mins away from the Resort and it is easy to find! The dive site is at an average depth of 15 meters and there are no current here! Making it easy for Open Waters learners to get comfortable with your gears and it really makes learning very enjoyable!
What you can spot here: Hawksbill Turtle, Butterfly Fish, Grouper, Blue Ringed Angelfish, and Moorish Idol!
Scrumptious lunch you can expect from the resort. It’s really authentic Nasi Padang. (Imagine, you paying so much in Singapore for Nasi Padang and you get a buffet spread of such good food. #yumyuminmytumtum)
After such delicious lunch, I almost had food coma. No joke. But no, still going to dive! This time we went to Rajawali Reef. I thought Turtle Point is good but this dive site will blow your mind. This is really next level. This dive site is good for both novice and experienced scuba divers. The maximum depth is about 30m and average depth is about 15m. Nudibranch lovers, this is your paradise. Larger boulders can be found here, many corals choose to reside over here, making it perfect for micro shots.
What you can find here are: Yellowtails, school of Yellow Snapper, Blue Ringed Angelfish, Batfish, Grouper, a lot of Sea Star, Trevally and the list really goes on.
Thankful for my dive buddies who are willing to go for Night Dive with me. This night dive is not provided in the package but it is recommended! We went to the Fishermen’s Wreck. This is one of the Vietnamese Fishing Boat and it is still intact. We went around the boat for three rounds and we really saw quite a lot. I was quite taken away by the marine life at night too. Playing with the cleaning shrimps can be quite therapeutic too!
What you can spot here are Decorated Crab, Zanzibar Coral Shrimp, Nudibranch, Blue Dragon, Flatworm, Durban Dancing Shrimp.
After our dive, we had our dinner and we wanted to rest early for the night. In Tenggol Island it is one of the best place to chill with your friends over drinks at the restaurant. Away from all the network, it is serene and you can spend quality time with them! *Tips for you, bring board games or any entertainment to play with your friends because there is nothing for you to do at night but to spend time and chill!*
Tenggol Scuba Diving trip – Day 2 #Leggo!
We woke up at 7 am and we had our breakfast. After breakfast, we moved on to have our dive brief!
We went to Tokong Timur. It is about 15mins boat ride away from Tenggol Coral Beach Resort. This dive site is pretty challenging as the current is a little strong on the surface. But I guessed we just need to back roll fast, gather and go down! (No worry, there’s no current or surge at the bottom.)
While I was feeling tired over the lack of sleep, because sleep is never enough HAHA, I was greeted by school of Batfish and school of Yellowtail Snapper. The dive site is so rich in marine life it is like you watching Animal Planet in 4K. I’m not even kidding. I am mesmerized by that dive site and I thought all that I have seen in day 1 was great. Apparently I have not seen enough.
What you can see here: Schooling Yellow Snapper, School Batfish, Bumphead Parrotfish and Nudibranch.
School of Bumphead parrot fish
Posted by Kenneth Song on Sunday, October 30, 2016
After Tokong Timur, we went to the highlight of the trip. We went Tokong Laut. According to the locals that it was one of the “last seen” of whale shark. I was already lamenting to myself, “I paid so much yet haven’t see whale shark. WHYYYY”
This place is truly “Tokong” (Tokong, in Hokkien terms it means Very Good!). There is a swim through at about 12metres and it leads you to the end at around 18m. Not really recommended for Open Water Divers but for those with good buoyancy, it is a good place to train your buoyancy. At the end of the swim through, there is a vast soft coral area. Sea Anemone can be easily found there!
Suddenly, one of the divers in my group shouted “WHALE SHARK” through her regulator, I really thought she was hallucinating. When I looked at her and the direction that she was pointing to, I saw nothing. But Kenneth and she decided to swim towards the general direction. I decided to be typical Singaporean. Good thing just followed only.
Lo and behold, I saw the majestic whale shark and all of us were swimming towards it, to grab hold of its majestic. It is indeed one of the memorable experience. The whale shark turned and swam towards us, I had chills and really it is one of the best memory. Such moment is short-lived and it swam away. We were all super excited when we saw whale shark. All the fist-bumped and hi-5s with my buddies underwater to celebrate this moment. (Apparently, we were the only group who saw whaleshark, indeed, we been through rain cloud and see rainbow to see whale shark HAHA)
Posted by Kenneth Song on Sunday, October 30, 2016
Shared our wonderful experience and excited feelings over lunch. We had lunch early because the Resort was preparing the tanks for us.
Last dive, we went to Tanjung Api. This dive site is located to the northeast of Pulau Tenggol. It is about 10mins boat ride away and it is a drop-off/wall dive. The dive was good as we ascended and really the superb, magnificent view of soft and hard coral is something that you will never imagine. Fish species, there were a healthy dose of them. We saw Mobula Ray and it is simply breath-taking. (Seems that our group have seen everything that Tenggol can provide). We even saw a School of Bumphead Parrotfish, it is about 22 of them! There is a turtle munching to corals too!
Ended the entire dive with a good BBQ dinner, not the best that we can ever taste but it is the best in Tenggol Island. (Beggers can’t be choosers right?) HAHA, but it is the exciting and fun games that the crew was playing makes the dinner night interesting. We chilled and talk about our dreams and favourite dive. Then strong wind became to sweep through the restaurant at 10 pm and we know that a storm is brewing. Indeed, the monsoon rain is here!!
The night seems too young but we were exhausted from all the dives and chasing after the whale shark. Hence, we decide that we should rest early and snuggle in bed. The room is so comfortable that we feel right to lalaland once we were on the bed. Perhaps we were too happy and tired!
We started to make our way back to Singapore after taking a group photo in front of Tenggol Coral Beach resort and we reached Singapore about 10 pm due to the massive jam due to Deepavali long weekend!
Verdict: For all the micro enthusiastic, Tenggol is your paradise! There are really a lot of micro marine life for you. Nudibranchs are almost easily found! It is truly a good place for both novice and advanced divers. Novice you will get to experience the clear water and healthy marine life to make your dives very interesting. Advanced divers you will gain more confidence in current condition and also you will get to experience the slightly challenging dive sites where there is abundance of marine life. 10/10 if I have to vote. It is really good for long weekend trip in Malaysia. No doubt.
Really thank you Deep Blue Scuba for organizing this trip and I guess I can tick off “Whale shark” and “Mobula Ray” off my want-to-see list and I truly enjoyed my trip to Tenggol! You should try Tenggol Island! It is a better alternative to Tioman Island and it is not as far as Redang Island.
Tenggol Island offers great diving experiences, ranging from deep diving and wreck dives for the advanced divers or experienced divers. The wonderful shallow dives are great for the least experienced divers.
Deep Blue Scuba offers trip to Tenggol Island. Do check out with them about trips to Tenggol Island. You will love the family warmth that DBS provides, excellent customer service and the awestruck dive sites Tenggol has. Wait no more, sign up with DBS the next Tenggol Trip on 24 – 27 Mar 2017!
For Tenggol Promotion Look Out On Our Facebook Page!
Sharing By Geoffrey Sin
Photo & Video credited to Kenneth Song (DBS Crew)