Thursday, September 23, 2010

Tenggol Island (Pulau Tenggol)

Pulau Tenggol - divers paradise

Cited  as "The best diving in peninsular Malaysia" by the Asian Diver Magazine 2002 annual edition, Pulau Tenggol lies 14 nautical miles (26km) off  the coast of  Kuala Dungun. This rocky islands is about 50 hectares in size, although small in size, Pulau Tenggol  is one of the most beautiful island in the peninsular Malaysia that offers excellent dive sites.




Pulau Tenggol has been gazetted as part of the Terengganu marine park as such much of the reef remains intact as fishing, spearfishing and harvesting marine life for decorative purpose or as food are strictly prohibited.


 As such, the pristine coral formations and the rich marine life here ranging from turtles, stingrays, whalesharks, sea anemones and  barracudas makes Tenggol island a divers haven. The diversity in the structure of seabed aswell as the strong currents offers divers a great diving experience ranging from deep diving, drift diving  and wreck dive for the more advanced and experienced divers. Watch this video and be amazed by the fascinating and spectacular sight that lies beneath Tenggol Island.

    Pulau Tenggol dive sites
    Tenggol island dive sites as described by the Tenggol Aqua Resort :
    Tokong Talang
    • Depth : 90 - 110 feet 
    • Level : Advance Open Water and above 
    • On Tokong Talang you will find quite strong surface current. If you like drift dives - this is your dive spot. As for the the fish life we find here black stingrays, big schools of jacks, cave dwellers and nudibranchs.
    Tokong Burung
    • Depth : 80 - 100 feet 
    • Level : Advance Open Water and above 
    • It is possible to do a drift-dive at 80 feet from Tokong Kamudi to Tokong Burong. The condition is generally calm, with surface and deep water currents. The surface can get choppy after bad weather. Schools of barracudas, jacks, fusiliers, snappers and tunas have been sighted here. This site is also a nudibranch haven. Slope rocky corals will be found at 85 feet. Excellent dive site for the months April to November.
    Tokong Kamudi
    • Depth : 50 - 100 feet 
    • Level : Open Water and above 
    • A wall extends down to 100 feet. There is a good covering of soft, encrusting and stony corals, sponges and christmas tree worms. In deeper waters, you will find soft tree corals, sea anemones and nudibranchs. Fish here include angelfish, butterfly fish, surgeon fish, wrasses, snappers etc. Most of the fish sighted are mainly small corals fish but it happened to be a feeding area for sharks too. This appears to be a nudibranch haven. On the south side you can dive into several caves.
    The Highway, Pulau Nyireh
    • Depth : 70 - 100 feet 
    • Level : Advance Open Water and above 
    • A favourite site of many repeat divers, it's also known as "The Highway" as schools of pelagic fish are ply along this "highway". Divers may experience strong currents in this area. The terrain is generally rocky with huge boulders forming walls, tunnels and swim throughs. A photographers haven as there are interesting coral formations to be found on the walls of these boulders and there are also a few interesting variety of the smaller creatures too.
    Fishbowl, Pulau Nyireh
    • Depth : 120 feet 
    • Level : Advance Open Water and above 
    • You will find at this dive site beautiful corals covering a nice pinnacle. Nudibranchs in different colors and various shapes will be a highlight for divers who enjoy the smaller fish life.
    Amazing Graze, Pulau Nyireh
    • Depth : 90 - 120 feet 
    • Level : This dive site offers a excellent visibility. Divers as well as snorkelers will enjoy the variety of fish life here. At 2 m depth the snorkelers will see baby sharks, where as the divers will find nice coral formations at 15 - 17 m intercepted by sandy areas. Literally "tons" of gubies and blue spotted stingrays have made their home here.
    Gua Rajawali, Pulau Tengool
    • Depth : 20 - 60 feet 
    • Level : Advance Open Water and above 
    • The best time in the year to dive here is in March and April. Lots of small colorful fish can be found here cruising between soft corals.
    Rajawali Reef, Pulau Tenggol
    • Depth : 90 feet 
    • Level : Advance Open Water and above 
    • This dive site offers a "easy Sunday afternoon dive". With no current at all novices will easily pass their check-out dive. 3 pinnacles, 2 holes to dive in and lots and lots of fish, what more can a diver expect?.
    Coral Garden, Pulau Tenggol
    • Depth : 20 - 60 feet 
    • Level : Open Water and above
    • The gradients of the bays are gentle with sandy bottoms, rock outcrops and many coral heads. A favourite spot for coral lovers. At an average dept of 40 feet, the area has soft and hard corals, Christmas tree worms, sponges, sea anemones etc. A one-foot length Christmas tree worm can be found in this site.
    Teluk Air Tawar
    • Depth : 20 - 90 feet 
    • Level : Open Water and above 
    • This is a well sheltered bay and the waters is generally calm. Considered the house reef of the resorts which is about 200 meters from shore, its slopes from 10 to 40 feet with sand bottom covers with hard and soft corals. Other marine life includes garden eels, our resident turtle, moray eel, box fist and even lion fish. There are three wrecks located in this bay. Two at 60 feet and the other is at 90 feet. Doing a dawn dive here is like visiting Raffles Place MRT station during the morning peak hours. Jump into our house reef right in front of your chalet and enjoy a close encounter with one of the resident turtles and a chance upon a herd of grazing hump head parrot fish as shallow as a few feet of the bay water. Night dive here are gratifying with exquisite black and white spotted baby barramundi cod and our favorite little resident baby torpedo ray, a mere 15 cm long.
    Tanjung Gemok
    • Depth : 148 ft. Highest point Bridge Wing at 120 Ft.


    • Level : Open Water and above
      • The Cement Wreck (Name: Unknown)
      • Nationality: Indonesian
      • Type: Cargo (Cement)
      • The ship lies on its starboard with its bow facing NE (Note: UK hydrographic survey states that it is lying on the port side). The wrech is known locally as the "Indonesian Cement Wreck". It is about 235 ft. in length and was built in 1955 by the Japanese. The exact date of its sinking is unknown. But it was suspected before 1965 (most likely between 1963 and 1965). The Malaysian flag taken from the wreck showed 14 strips. It was the flag used when Singapore was still part of the Federation.
    • Article from The Decom Stop by Paul Tan .
    Tanjung Sarong Lang, Pulau Tenggol
    • Depth : 90 - 125 feet 
    • Level : Advance Open Water and above 
    • This dive site consists actually of two dive spots. The "wall" and the "edge" or "rock". Both places can be dived in one go. In the morning you will find sharks feeding here. On the rest of the day you will see barracudas, yellow tale fish and schools of fish.
    Ratu Chachang, Pulau Tenggol
    • Depth : 60 - 100 feet 
    • Level : Open Water and above 
    • A high concentration of fish life - jacks, trevilies, fusiliers, barracudas, tunas, hump heads and eagle rays. The bottom of this area houses an interesting collection of rock outcrops covered with soft and hard corals, sea anemonies and sponges. 

How to get there :

Ferry services have to be arranged from Kuala Dungun as Pulau Tenggol is not serviced by public or regular transport. Tenggol Aqua Resort provides ferry services between the island and Kuala Dungun.

The nearest airport are the Kerteh (30mins. From Kuala Dungun), Kuala Terengganu (1hr) and Kuantan (2hr 30mins). Visitors can fly in and hire a taxi to Kuala Dungun.

Air-conditioned coaches from Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Terengganu also stop at Kuala Dungun. Or you can drive to Kuala Dungun, park at the office of Tenggol Aqua Resort, and take the resort ferry to Pulau Tenggol. From Kuala Lumpur, it is a leisurely and scenic 7hr 30mins drive to Kuala Dungun.

Tune in to more exciting  travel facts about Terengganu on the next issue of  Terengganu Travel Guide

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