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The Travel Journal of Jacqui and Lars


Diving in Malaysia - Summer 2001


We were able to make two dive trips in Malaysia this summer - both to Lang Tengah, a small island off the the coast of Terengganu on the east coast of Malaysia.  We made the first trip in July and the second trip in August.


Lang Tengah is a small island that is reached by speed boat from the kampung of Merang.  We would stay at the Sting Ray Resort the night before, and then catch an early morning boat out to the island.  Lang Tengah has two resorts on it - we stayed at Square Point Resort and dived with East Marine.


The resort is quite nice - great value for the price.  We would have our own room with bath.  They have a large dining hall, where the serve three meals a day with all you can eat buffets.  For nightly entertainment, there is a bar with music, dancing and a pool table.


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Lang Tengah, 20 - 23 July, 2001

We made six dives on this three day trip.  The weather was quite good - some clouds, but usually sunny.  One of the best dives of this series was our dive on Karam Nibong Laut - this spot is further off-shore and is a jumble of rocks that sticks up from the sea floor.  Even as we descended, we started seeing lots of fish around us.  There were fish everywhere - large schools of them.  We saw quite a few juvenile nurse sharks amongst the rocks.  Lars popped over one rock and and came right over a large black-blotched ray just laying on the rocks.  He elegantly swam away like an angel in flight.  Other things that we saw included a blue spotted ray, moray eels, red banded cleaner shrimp (a couple of really big ones), lots of smaller shrimp, star puffer fish, two spotted porcupine fish, emperor angelfish, a crown of thorns (the bad guys of the reef - they eat and kill the coral), blue ringed angelfish, and parrot fish.  As we started to ascend, we swam through a large school of jacks.  And then, when we were about half way to the surface and we looked down, we saw the huge shovel-nose ray (the locals call him a guitar shark).  What a sight to see this ray, the size of a small boat, cruising around amongst the rocks.  He apparently lives on this reef and is most easily seen from above.  


Lang Tengah, 28 - 31 August, 2001

Our second visit was timed to be just before National Day so that we would miss the crowds, and it worked.  Except for only one dive, we were the only two divers on the island (there are lots of other guests, but they do not dive).  The first day, we dove around the island of Lang Tengah itself.


The second day we headed up to Redang, where we made two dives off on two smaller outlying islands.  The second dive was the most interesting - we were almost able to swim all around the island - it was like one huge aquarium.  There were fish everywhere - below, above and all around us.  We saw quite a few blue spotted rays, a large school of cuttle fish, jacks, titan triggerfish and three turtles.  We were able to get quite close to the turtles as they lay on the sea floor.  We even found an aggressive clown fish that would "attack" us - he bit Lars' fingers a few times.


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On the third day we head over to Pulau Perhentian - this island is much further away and we enjoy the boat ride sitting in the sun.  The first dive is on a small island and once we are in the water we feel the strong current.  This is Jacqui's first dive in a strong current, so it is a great experience for her.  At times there was also a strong surge, so we would rock back and forth under water.  The dive site was full of soft coral - some of the best that we have seen in Malaysia. Lots and lots of small fish swimming everywhere.  We would glide in and out of the large schools, scattering the fish here and there.  It was amazing how they could move as one large group with what appears to me no central control.


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The second dive was on a small rock outcropping.  The visibility was not fantastic, but we had a great time swimming in and amongst the many rock formations and tunnels.  We would swim through some of these tunnels - once disturbing a large ray that was hanging out in there.  While swimming under another rock overhang, Lars found two rays and two sharks hanging out.  We spent some time checking them out.


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