Getting A PADI Diving License In Malaysia
Have you always dreamt of exploring the beauty of the underwater world and swim alongside gentle sea turtles, schools of brilliantly-coloured fishes, beautiful corals, and even sharks? With the generally calm waters and great choice of beautiful islands all over Malaysia, diving is an exciting activity that's thankfully easily-accessible for Malaysians.
If you're looking to becoming a certified diver and wish to find out more about the process of getting your diving license, you're looking in the right place! We've simplified all the information you need to prep you towards becoming a certified diver, from the process of getting your license to the best spots and packages available for you.
PADI is a popular scuba diving course certification that is recognized worldwide, offering unparalleled educational programs that will equip you with dive knowledge that will allow you to explore the underwater world safely. Popular PADI courses include:
- PADI Open Water Diver Course (for beginners)
- PADI Advanced Open Water Diver Course
- PADI Enriched Air Diver Course
For the benefit of beginner divers, this article will cover information for the PADI Open Water Diver Course that is the first step to your diving journey. As a PADI Open Water Diver, you will be trained to a maximum depth of 18 metres/60 feet!
Requirements To Get A PADI Diving License
To get a diving license, you have to be:
- Aged 10 years or older (in most places)
- Medically fit for diving (you will be required to fill up a scuba medical questionnaire before beginning your course - check out the questionnaire here)
- Know the basics of swimming (you will have to demonstrate your ability to swim during the course. Note: you do not have to be a very good swimmer to get a diving license - but you'll have to possess basic swimming skills and be able to comfortably maintain yourself in the water!)
The Process Of Becoming A Certified Diver
The PADI Open Water Diver Course consists of 3 main phases:
1. Knowledge Development - Students usually go through this independently (e-learning/home study) or in a classroom and will be exposed to the basic principles of scuba diving. Complete quizzes to test your learning progress throughout this stage!
2. Confined Water Dives - During this stage, you will get to practice your scuba diving skills in a pool/water with pool-like conditions (e.g: off a calm beach). This is your chance to get comfortable in water and with the diving equipment!
3. Open Water Dives - Practice, apply, and demonstrate what you've learnt in the first 2 phases during this phase with a total of four open water dives (usually over two days).
The course typically takes 4 days to complete, but duration is also somewhat flexible and performance-based. Focus on becoming a confident and comfortable diver and not try to rush things through!
How Much Does It Cost?
Scuba diving courses in Malaysia cost between RM1000 - RM2000 depending on the package you sign up for. Many packages come inclusive of the essentials like accommodation, meals, and other fees so you don't have to worry about planning your trip!
Courses typically come inclusive of your course materials/book, theory sessions, confined open water sessions, open water dives, and instructor fees.
Best Places To Get Your PADI Diving License
1. Pulau Perhentian
Known for its beautiful reef, massive diversity of fish, and calm waters, Pulau Perhentian is perfect for diving beginners as the water conditions are pleasant, with great underwater visibility. Book your 4D3N Open Water Diver Course at Pulau Perhentian for only RM1061 here!
2. Pulau Tioman
Pulau Tioman provides great diving opportunities and over 25 dive sites suitable for divers of all ranges of capabilities and experiences. Its one of the most popular spots for diving lessons in Peninsular Malaysia! Book your 4D3N diving course in Pulau Tioman that comes inclusive of 3-night accommodation here!
3. Semporna, Sabah
The region of Semporna in Sabah is home to some of the most beautiful diving sites in the world. You'll be surrounded by all sorts of marine life at the variety of islands here.
Explore the beauty of islands in Semporna such as Timba-Timba, Pom Pom, and Mataking Island while being guided by a professional certified PADI diving instructor! Book a 3 Day PADI Open Water Course at Semporna that comes inclusive of all licensing fees, teaching materials, boat fees, lunch, and more.
4. KL + Tioman/Langkawi/Perhentian
Another increasingly popular way to get your diving certification is by completing your theory and confined water dives in Kuala Lumpur before heading off to an island of your choice for the rest of your certificate completion! This option is perfect for those who're more comfortable with practicing your skills in a safe pool before jumping into the ocean.
Best Time To Dive
Islands in the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia (e.g: Redang, Perhentian, Tioman) are affected by the annual monsoon season and are great for diving between the months of March - September.
Islands on Peninsular Malaysia's west coast (including Langkawi!) as well as those in East Malaysia are however great for diving all year round! The states of Sabah and Sarawak are home to some of the best diving sites in the world waiting to be explored.
Packing For Your Diving Trip
Diving trips can be very tiring and you may also potentially get sunburnt, dehydrated, and even seasick if you're not properly prepared for the conditions. Here's a packing checklist for you to prep yourself for your diving trip! Though dive centres typically provide some of these, it doesn't hurt to pack your own just in case:
- Seasick pills
- Light and comfortable clothing (preferably dri-fit material)
- Sunscreen (look for reef-safe ones, please!)
- Snacks (get some mini snacks in case you get hungry in between)
Try Diving Before Deciding Whether To Get A License
Did you know that you can actually try diving before deciding whether to sign up for a course? Experience diving under the guidance of internationally qualified divers who will hold on to you and guide you throughout the whole process! This experience is perfect for non-certified scuba divers who just wish to try out how its like plunging to the depths of the ocean. If you're planning a trip to Semporna, Sabah, add try diving onto your trip itinerary:
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