If you are planning to dive in Malaysia, you are in for a treat! Malaysia is home to some of the most iconic diving regions in South East Asia including Sipadan and Mabul, the Perhentian Islands, Tioman and both the Tunku Abdul Rahman and Terengganu Marine Parks.

With such a wide variety of conditions and marine life on offer, it’s well worth taking advantage of the opportunity to develop your skills and learn the specific techniques that will enhance your diving experience in each region.

Check out the list of PADI Specialty courses on offer below and which regions in Malaysia are best suited to each. Why just dive in Malaysia when you can pick up additional certifications along the way, increase your skill set and get so much more from every dive site? That’s not all, every specialty certification you pick up puts you one step closer to becoming a PADI Master Scuba Diverthe Black Belt of scuba divers!

PADI Deep Diver Exploring a deep reef

Deep Diver

Best Sites: Sipadan and Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park.

Pre-Requisites: You must be at least 15 years old and have your PADI Adventure Diver rating or higher.

Once you are certified as a PADI Deep Diver you’ll be able to dive to a maximum depth of 40 meters (130 feet), so it’s essential that you practice deep diving procedures during your course. In the theory section you’ll take a more in depth look at decompression issues as well as nitrogen narcosis, managing your gas supply, dive computers and specialized deep diving equipment. You’ll also learn how to plan dives before making one for yourself and discovering the amazing depths of scuba diving in Malaysia.

Deep diving is exciting and it allows you to explore even more dive sites and meet a greater variety of marine species. Once you’ve completed the Deep Diver Specialty you’ll confidentially and safely be able to plan and make deeper dives around the world!

Underwater Navigator

Best Sites: Perhentian Islands

Pre-Requisites: If you’re a PADI (Junior) Open Water Diver who is at least 10 years old, you can enrol in the PADI Underwater Navigator Specialty course.

Remember the compass skills from your open water course dives? The Underwater Navigator Specialty course takes your compass navigation skills to the next level, fine tunes your underwater observation, helps you better navigate and measure distance using a variety of methods. You’ll also learn how to relocate submerged items and how to make your own underwater maps.

Never underestimate how difficult it can be to navigate underwater, by developing these skills you’ll substantially reduce stress and anxiety underwater, leading to increased comfort and better air efficiency.

Peak Performance Buoyancy - Blue Water - Scuba Diving

Peak Performance Buoyancy

Best Sites: Mataking, Pom and Sibuan Islands

Pre-Requisites: PADI (Junior) Open Water Divers or higher, who are at least 10 years old, are eligible to take the Peak Performance Buoyancy Specialty course.

Are you still going up and down more than you’d like to? Do you use your air faster than your buddies? Do you have trouble staying still underwater? In the Peak Performance Buoyancy Specialty course you’ll learn how to gauge the weights you need for diving and how to trim them for fine-tuning and positioning, how to hover in any position, how to use breath control to move with ease, how to kick efficiently and ultimately how to be more streamlined, comfortable and efficient underwater.

As a Peak Performance Buoyancy Diver you’ll be confident in your abilities, enabling you to get up close to marine life without anxiety or stress. You’ll dive while maintaining a careful distance from the reef, be in control of your movements, and as you reduce wasted effort, you’ll see your air efficiency increase too!

Image provided by Mohd Syukri Mazlan

Drift Diver

Best Sites: Tenggoland Sipadan

Pre-Requisites: If you’re a PADI (Junior) Open Water Diver who is at least 12 years old, you can enrol in the Drift Diver Specialty course.

Malaysia has no shortage of stunning coral reefs which thrive due to the rich nutrients which are delivered to them by virtue of the oceans currents. Drift diving is easy when you know how and it opens up a range of new dive sites. You’ll learn how to plan a drift dive and how to (literally) go with the flow. After making a drift diving entry and descent you’ll explore some of Malaysia’s best dive sites and learn how to ‘read’ the currents along the way. At the end of the dive you’ll make a controlled ascent before being picked up by the boat.

Night Diver

Best Sites: Mabul

Pre-Requisites: PADI (Junior) Open Water Divers or higher, who are at least 12 years old, can enrol in the Night Diver Specialty course.

Why limit yourself to seeing only the marine life that are active during the day? As the sun goes down so many of Malaysia’s most cryptic critters come to life, and in Mabul you’ll see some of the most bizarre, unusual and down right weird species around!

You’ll learn how to plan a night dive, communicate with your buddy during a night dive, identify nocturnal marine species, as well as mastering navigation at night. Be aware though that night diving can become strangely addictive!

Digital Underwater Photographer - Camera - Underwater - Diver

Digital Underwater Photographer

Best Sites: Mabul

Pre-Requisites: PADI (Junior) Open Water Divers or higher, who are at least 10 years old, are eligible to take the Digital Underwater Photographer Specialty course.

It’s hard to think of a better Instagram moment than when you are swimming over stunning reefs, getting up close with turtles or observing unique critters – all of which is definitely possible when you are diving in Malaysia.

Say goodbye to blurry and blue images and say hello to crisper focus and colour! In this specialty course you’ll put into practice the SEA method (shoot, evaluate, adjust) and you’ll learn camera and housing preparation for dives, how to use underwater lights, camera settings, how to read histograms and invaluable underwater shooting techniques for capturing even the flightiest of fish!

Enriched Air

Enriched Air Diver (Nitrox)

Best Sites: Study at home with e-Learning

Pre-Requisites: PADI Open Water Divers or higher, who are at least 12 years old, are eligible to take the Enriched Air Diver Specialty course.

You’ll learn why diving with air that has higher oxygen and lower nitrogen content gives you more bottom time, along with enriched air equipment considerations. During the eLearning component you’ll take a look at managing oxygen exposure, practice analysing oxygen content in your scuba tank, set your dive computer for diving with enriched air nitrox.

Take your Enriched Air Diver eLearning from home and you’ll only need to take a short practical session in Malaysia before being eligible to rent Nitrox tanks during the remainder of your trip.

Whether you want to develop more skills or gain more experience and qualifications, the possibilities in Malaysia are limitless. Locate a PADI dive shop in Malaysia and start your next scuba course from home with PADI eLearning.

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