Malaysia consists of two separated lands which are the Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia. A peninsula is a land surrounded mostly but not fully by water. Altogether, Malaysia is encircled by 48,000 km of coastline with the straits of Malacca on the west, the South China Sea on the east and the Andaman sea to the northwest.
With around 800 islands in Malaysia, water activities including diving are easily accessible on many islands via speedboats and don’t require liveaboard vessels.
PADI, short for Professional Association of Diving Instructors, is an international organisation that provides dive training in 186 countries and territories for over 50 years. In Malaysia, while you’re not legally required to have a licence to dive, many diving sites will require a diving certification when you want to rent equipment or dive for safety reasons.
Popular PADI Diving Courses And Fees
In Malaysia, PADI diving courses are conducted at dive centres as well as the open sea. There are many types of diving courses and refreshers for all levels of expertise. Some of these courses are a combination of e-learning and face-to-face learning. The course fees and duration differ depending on the provider and location. The courses usually last around 2 to 5 days.
|Open Water Diver||From 1,150 to 1,800|
|Advanced Open Water Diver||From 1,050 to 1,590|
|Rescue Diver||From 1,200 to 1,600|
|Discover Scuba Diving||150|
|Open Water Diver||1,300|
Miscellaneous Costs To Be Taken Into Consideration
Some diving training packages are inclusive of rental fees for scuba equipment. But just in case, you can always check with your provider if you need to bring your own mask, fins and snorkels.
You can purchase such equipment at some dive centres. The Flow Dive Centre sells the Mares Pure Wire Mask for RM285 and the Mares Chroma Up Mask for RM360 that comes with a silicone skirt. You can also buy fins here priced from RM375 to RM742 while snorkels will cost RM93.
A part of your diving course will be conducted in open sea and you might have to travel to an island. So, there may be further costs incurred from land transfers and ferry island transfers. You might also want to take into account accommodation costs as well.
Other charges such as entrance to national parks might also need to be paid separately. Tourists will need to pay a conversation fee when they enter marine parks.
What Do You Learn At PADI Diving Courses?
There are many types of diving courses offered by PADI. Here are some of the common ones in Malaysia.
Open Water Diver: The Open Water Diver course is the first scuba certification level. So, you don’t need to have any prior experience to join. It is divided into three phases of learning which begins with the acquisition of some basic techniques, diving terminologies and safety procedures.
Training is provided in pool-like conditions and that provides a safe environment for students to learn. A big part of the course is the open water dives where students will practise skills both on the surface and underwater while being observed by their instructors in the open ocean. After thorough evaluation, your instructor will determine if you’ve passed the course and be a certified PADI Open Water Diver.
As a certified Open Water Diver, you can rent dive equipments and make dives as deep as 18 metres in most places. You can also enhance your diving skills with an Advance Open Water Diver course.
Advanced Open Water Diver: The Advanced Open Water Diver course lets you hone your skills in strategising your dives in a way that will optimise your body for deeper dives and navigating the ocean with kick-cycles and recognising visual landmarks.
Aside from this, you also get to explore myriad of diving skills depending on your interest such as photography, night diving, identification of underwater fish, swimming around wrecks and more.
Getting the Advanced Open Water Diver course certification means you get to dive down to 30 metres and explore more parts of the underwater.
Rescue Diver: Reserved only for those with an Advanced Open Water Diver certification, the Rescue Diver course is a more challenging one. To join the course, you will also need to have First Aid training including Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) in the last 2 years.
Skills you will learn as a rescue diver includes:
- Self-rescue during diving (i.e. cramps, out of air, entanglement etc)
- Recognising and managing stress in other divers
- Emergency management and equipment
- Rescuing others on the surface (i.e. panicked divers, tired divers etc)
- Rescuing unresponsive divers on the surface and under water
- Finding a missing diver
Discover Scuba Diving: This course prepares divers with lessons on using the scuba equipment, breathing underwater and other skills useful for scuba diving. Beginners can take this course before starting their Open Water Diver course to get a feel of what’s ahead.
From beginners to experienced divers, there are plenty of diving attractions for you in Malaysia. Beginners can enjoy a dive among coral reefs in calm waters. Meanwhile, diving enthusiasts can visit Layang-Layang Island in Sabah, known for deep diving of up to 40 metres.
PADI’s diving courses are well-known around the world and accepted by many as the industry standard for diving training. Aside from leisure purposes, a PADI course can lead to possible careers as well such as diving instructor, guide, underwater photographer and more.
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