Pulau Tenggol is a small island located 14 nautical miles in the South China Sea off the East Coast of Malaysia in the state of Terengganu. Pulau Tenggol also known as Tenggol Island is part of the gazetted Terengganu Marine Park and the island can be reached in approximately 45 minutes by boat from the jetty in Kuala Dungun. Pulau Tenggol is famous for its sandy beaches, tropical jungle, and rare species in marine life and the untouched coral gardens. These are the reasons that made Pulau Tenggol one of the best places for scuba diving and snorkelling in Malaysia. The size of the island is approximately 50 hectares and it is a little bit lesser than 3 kilometres in length and it is 2 kilometres at the widest point.
There is a total of more than 25 different diving spots that offer unforgettable underwater experiences for complete beginners and experienced divers. Some of the famous diving sites are Tokong Laut, The Mini Highway, Tokong Burung, Tokong Talang, Amazing Grace, Pulau Nyireh, Coral Garden, the two bays on the east side of Pulau Tenggol, Teluk Rajawali, Northerneastern Bay, Teluk Air Tawar, Tokong Timor and Drifting from Batu Chanchad to Tanjung Gemok. Divers are also able to choose their preferred type of diving experience ranging from relaxing to more demanding diving spots. Brand new diving equipment can be rented from the Watersports Centre and the experienced diving instructors can certify you with PADI Open Water Diver License as part of your holiday. Despite the aggressive promotions made by the Tourism Malaysia four years ago, Pulau Tenggol still remains one of the well-kept secrets among the diving community. As a result of this, the reefs are also in perfect condition and for people in the diving community, it is considered one of the best places to come for scuba diving in Peninsular Malaysia.
The tropical latitudes give the crystal-clear emerald coloured waters around Pulau Tenggol a great marine biodiversity and an extraordinary seabed. The underwater formations are also very impressive with giant boulders and rocks and this occasionally creates several exciting channels and swim-through. With more than over 25 different diving sites for scuba divers to choose from and a myriad of soft and hard corals, they will definitely provide different scuba diving experiences on various types of seascapes. In addition to that, you will be able to experience colourful marine life and it is the home to a large collection of nudibranchs, sea turtles, the giant double-headed parrotfish, napoleon fish, eagle rays, large barracudas, black-tipped reef sharks, yellowtail fusiliers and trevallies. If you are fortunate enough, you can also sight large pelagics, manta rays and whale sharks that will generally appear during the beginning and the ending of the diving season which is March, April, September and October. This period is ideally the best time to dive at Pulau Tenggol.
How to Get To Pulau Tenggol
Besides using a boat to get to Pulau Tenggol, ferry services can also be arranged from Kuala Dungun. Pulau Tenggol is not serviced by a regular or public transport. The nearest airports to Pulau Tenggol is Kerteh (30 minutes from Kuala Dungun), Kuantan (2 hours and 30 minutes) and Kuala Terengganu (1 hour). You can fly in from any of these airports and get a cab to Kuala Dungun.
Please see below for the list of rates by Tenggol Island Discovery Divers:
- Scuba Diving – RM150 inclusive of Discovery package, diving equipment, an experienced diving instructor and certification of completion
- Snorkelling – RM 50 inclusive of snorkelling equipment and life jacket
- Return Boat Transfer – RM 100 per person
Things to Do At Pulau Tenggol
As Pulau Tenggol is more a less a heaven for scuba diving and snorkelling activities, there are very limited amnesties and there are not many attractions on land. There are also no restaurants on the streets so you will have to dine in the resort that you are staying in. It is also advisable not to walk on the beach during the day as it is lurking with sand flies and these sand flies are said to be more annoying than mosquitoes. You are only able to go out for a walk at the beach during the night.
Pulau Tenggol only has 2 resorts on the island and they are Tenggol Island Resort and Tenggol Island Beach Resort. Tenggol Island Resort was formerly known as Tenggol Aqua Resort and it is the largest resort operator on the island. Types of accommodations offered at Tenggol Island Resort are in the form of bungalows and chalets with fully attached bathrooms and toilet facilities. It is a family business and it is the only resort that has a decent collection of fully-equipped diving equipment. Tenggol Island Beach Resort comprises of 8 units of semi-detached timber chalets with basic rooms and attached bathrooms with hot shower.