Superb diving at Tanjong Jara Resort

At the Tanjong Jara Resort, the beaches are dreamy, backed by coconut palms and dotted with sleepy fishing villages. There’s a nearby river brimming with wildlife, and plenty of tropical waterfalls for a cooling dip. However, Tanjong Jara Resort’s real draw is the diving. Forty-five minutes offshore, you’ll find one of Malaysia’s best kept diving secrets - Pulau Tenggol. Part of the Terengganu Marine Park, the island’s coral reef has been beautifully preserved and provides a home for a colourful host of marine life.

What to expect at Tanjong Jara Resort...

Regarded by those ‘in the know’ as Peninsular Malaysia’s top dive site, the clear blue waters surrounding Pulau Tenggol are excellent for beginners and veteran divers alike. A tiny island in the South China Sea, it offers a remarkable underwater world, its rich seabed carpeted in diverse corals - hard, soft, brain, sponge, leather and lobed pore corals. Huge Gorgonian gardens and staghorn criss-cross the oceanfloor, adding to the magic of the scene.

But that’s not all. Hundreds of exotic sea creatures sweep in and out of the coral reefs, including sea turtles, giant double-headed parrotfish, napoleon fish and yellowtail fusiliers. From March to October, there are regular sightings of both manta rays and whale sharks. Deep beneath the waves, you’ll find all kinds of channels and swim-throughs, as well as huge reef formations. Even better, you’re likely to be escorted by curious batfish as you explore.

The resort offers PADI Open Water courses for guests new to diving, and there are more than 20 unique dive sites in the area surrounding Pulau Tenggol. ‘Amazing Grace’ is famed for the diversity of its sealife, ‘Turtle Point’ is ideal for beginners, and ‘Moonraker’ takes you through an underwater V-shaped gap into an area that looks like the moon. The dive sites range from gentle to challenging, so there’s certain to be something that meets your own confidence and skill levels. 

Above the water, Pulau Tenggol is equally stunning, with white sandy beaches and thick jungle. Between dives, you can stretch out in the sunshine or trek through the island’s wild interior. Back on the mainland, the resort offers activities ranging from cycle paths to cooking classes, batik courses, jungle walks, waterfall picnics and eco-river trips. The rooms are spacious and comfortable with traditional Malaysian touches and views over the tropical gardens or the South China Sea. 

Location: between Kuala Terengganu and Kuantan on the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia

Duration: as long as you like

Accommodation: tropical diving resort in the South China Sea

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Karl says...

'One of those places you can be genuinely relaxed and playful, with superb diving and luxurious accommodation when it's time to rest.'

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