Open Water Diving at Pulau Perhentian

Finally took the chance to take my Open Water Diver License this year. I haven't been thinking of diving until I saw a few of my friends posting up pictures of their diving trips. I'll always liked the feeling to be submerged in the water but not swim. Did I make any sense there? Some how, it made me felt like I'm actually flying.. but of course, in reality, I'm just floating in the water. 

For my Open Water Diving Trip, I took my course at Seahorse Dive Centre, Pulau Perhentian. 
I'll note down all my expenses right here first...

One-way direct bus trip from Penang Island to Kuala Besut - Around RM50

Seahorse Dive Centre prices
Round trip boat to Pulau Perhentian - RM50
Open Water Diving Course - RM980
Wreck Dive - RM150
Accommodation (queen size bed with fan only) - RM80 per night
Prepared food from Dive Centre - RM40 per day

I've booked my boat trip from Seahorse Dive Centre as they gave me a discounted price. If you buy the ticket yourself, it will normally cost you RM60. I've also took an extra Wreck Dive just for the fun of it. It is NOT needed for your Open Water Diving Course. All materials and equipments are all inclusive in the course itself. There will be 4 diving trips to be done. As for the accommodation, since we were on a budget trip, all 4 of us shared a room. An extra bed cost RM10 per night. The room has no room service or whatsoever. It is simply a room with a queen-sized bed, a wardrobe, and a fan only. Our room has a toilet too but the door couldn't be locked because it was faulty. If you asked me to rate the condition of the room, I'll probably answer you this, 2/10. Because it was humid in there, the floor is occupied by sand and the toilet is just... blergh.  
If you're interested in staying at a better place, there is also a dorm nearby the Dive Centre called D'Ayumni Chalet which has air-cond and it cost only RM45-55 per person. As for us, the room we stayed was okay, just a simple place for us to sleep. Some nights were super hot, some were just nice. It depends on the weather and the location of the room but it's still doable for us. We survived, didn't we?
As for the food, at first I ordered the food from the Dive Centre but in the end, we changed our mind as we thought it would be better and more flexible to just explore and find food ourselves. Most of the food there will basically cost you an average of RM15-20 per meal. The portion of the food were quite big so I think it was still okay.  

There's only two bus trips every day to choose from. I took my bus from Sungai Dua's bus station and I bought my ticket from Perdana Express which offered a direct bus trip to Kuala Besut. I bought the 9pm bus trip and it cost me RM50.50. The trip actually took around 9 hours. I reached Kuala Besut around 6am. It is a double-deckered bus and has solo seatings to choose from. 
Oh, a side story. I found out the bus has sockets to use. Wow, I feel like a jakun right now. I didn't know that until I sat on the bus. 

I advise you to buy some chocolate bars or cookies beforehand as it would come in handy when you're hungry and you need an energy booster. The island have them too but they are overpriced. As for mineral water, a big one cost RM3 but of course it would be impossible to ask you to bring them from home. So, buying them there is still reasonable. 

Upon arrival, I was very hungry and luckily there was a restaurant nearby serving simple breakfast like half-boiled egg and kaya butter toast. I forgot how much it cost but I think a set of 2 egg and 2 toast cost around RM8. Sorry, my memory is a little foggy. Unfortunately I didn't take any photo of the place. But you'll easily find it when you exit the bus.

Waited for the KL group to arrive around 7am and ready to leave via the 8am boat. 

A brand new day with a twist, happy to be greeted by the crisp scent of the ocean in the early morning. The boat trip took around 45 minutes and it was exhilarating. Trust me, it WAS. 

Weng Seng photobombing! He looks like a monkey though in the pictures. Hahaha!

Noob tourist-y poses. 

Upon arrival, we were greeted by.........

PADI book. Straight to the action after arrival. image
But luckily our instructor is a pretty hot babe so it wasn't that bad. We did theory studying for few hours by watching the videos and answering questions.  

The scorching sun by noon.
Took a lunch break in the middle of our theory review. We went to Cocohut which was nearby. It's to the left (when you're facing the building) of Seahorse Dive Centre. 

wtf, Xiao Le being chok as always. 

Portion was quite big as you can see. 

After our lunch, we continued our studies and by 4pm we did our confined water training near the shore and did some basic stuff and learning some signs languages. We also did our 200m swimming test after that. There's also a 10 minutes float test to be done too. 

For those who can't swim very well, it is fine if you can manage to float yourself without any help. You can use whatever swimming style you want, you just need to get there without any time limit. It will all be fine if you're comfortable with the water. One of us was having difficulty in diving so she took a introductory course instead and it costs RM150 for a short training in confine water. No books or dive trip will be included in this short course. Some people says that you can still dive without any knowledge of swimming but honestly, I think it is best to learn swimming before diving (even our instructor said so). Else it will be a very difficult task especially if you're afraid of the water. Diving needs to be done in a relaxed manner instead of panic since it is quite a dangerous activity if you can't keep calm. 

Selfie with Meg, our instructor! 

Continued our knowledge review after the short practice in the water. 

Awesome sunset view from our place. Thanks to Weng Seng for the picture! #GoPro

Any time is always a good time for selfies. 

And here's more selfies! 

And MORE selfies!

Woke up at 7am to prepare for our very first dive trip! Super duper excited!

Though some may look sleepy....


Setting up our equipments. Everyone has to set up and rinse their own equipments before and after using them. 

Suit up!

Megan is practically a half local there. Her Malay was impressive!

The tank was super heavy! I think I need to improve my overall strength in order to lift them up easier. I was having difficulty in walking with them on my back and also while getting into the boat after the dive. My upper strength sucks. Time to hit the gym and train some biceps. 

First dive trip over. We saw lots of fishies and the corals were breathtaking. It was only our first dive site and I can't believe what we saw was just a small portion of the sea. 

For lunch, we walked to a farther place. Need to walk around 5 mins to the right (facing the building) of the dive centre. It's a small little hut place that serves amazing ice blended mango! Trust me, after you taste it for the first time, you'll want it for every single meal. That's what we did anyway when we were there. It goes perfectly with the beach. 

If you ask me, I think the food is better at Cocohut but the mango blended at Nia Cafe is cheaper and it is to die for. 
After lunch, we went to another dive and came back tired.

Just chillin'

Accompanied with another round of selfies

Another awesome shot by Weng Seng via #GoPro

For dinner, we went to a much farther place which is the same direction as Nia Cafe but a bit farther for some BBQ!

Free flow rice and salad! 

I ordered beef and the sauce was delicious! My mouth kept wanting more of them. Definitely a must eat place at least once if you're there. 

And again, woke up early in the morning for our next dive trip! For this trip, I got some pretty amazing underwater shot from Wan. So, you'll see some amazing photos instead of our shameless selfies for this part. But first, some sexy pictures.  

Oops, some candid shots

Ladies, feast your eyes on the sexiest photo I think SoonEn has ever posed for. 
You're welcome. 

Suit up once again!

Could you spot the difference between our wet suits?

Ta-da! The unlucky one with a lobang. Hahaha!

I lol-ed at the person behind us. 

Now,for some underwater pictures!!

'Tis me, doing a full mask clearing. It's a scary move but it's a super useful skill.

Meg has amazing hovering skills, while I was doing a funky move behind her back. I don't know what I was doing in this picture. I just know I was being awkward. 

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming swimming swimming~~


Tokong Laut is the most popular and best dive site to go to if you're at Pulau Perhentian. Photo credits to Wan. Thank you for all the amazing pictures and videos! They were just so so so beautiful and breathtaking. Ladies and gentleman, this will be the perfect reason for you to take up diving. 

Super tired!??!

A short photo session before the sun sets. 

Yez, i haz no azz

A photo of me that looks like I'm grabbing my boobs while in actuality I'm preparing for a jump shot. 

And also pattern banyak-ing with some hair-flipping action

And on the third day, Xiao Le, me and Soon En are officially certified Open Water Divers!
Weng Seng is now an Advanced Diver!
Hip hip hurrah!!!

The fourth day is for relaxing day. You can also take up extra dives if you want to. 

Snacking up my Mars bar. 

Taking a dip 

I took a morning wreck dive with Xiao Le. Wreck dive is a little different as it's more challenging than the normal dives because we need to swim near the wreck and there's a lot of sea urchin lying around. It was probably the worst dive ever because the visibility that day was just 2m (usually it's 10-15m). I kept looking for my buddy, Xiao Le when we were diving. Not to mention, with our luck, we had to dive with two bigger ang mo divers which couldn't stop waving their giant hands around. One even smacked my regulator (breathing equipment) real hard on my face because he wasn't looking at where he was waving his hand around. 
We had to swim real close because of the bad visibility. I even accidentally kicked off some of the sea creatures because I couldn't balance myself. 

It was definitely quite stressful but I guess not every dive will be easy-going especially when the weather is THIS bad. 

Of course, we didn't waste anytime after that. We went snorkelling before we went back!

There's a lot of things to see near the shore! I didn't expected this at all. Even if you're not diving, you can still see a lot of stuff with just your snorkelling mask. 

Swimming with the fishes

It is as if I was a food source for the fishes in this picture

My attempt to free dive... Who am I kidding, I can't even last for 20 seconds. 

We spotted a huge trigger fish! Can you spot it??

Zerg rush.. oh lol..

And again, the huge trigger fish can be found in this picture too. 

Photo credits to Weng Seng! Thank you thank you!

A piece of advice to all my readers. Be sure to look out for your friends especially if they do not really know how to swim. It's super dangerous to leave them alone! We had to learn our lesson the hard way though. It's also a good idea to rent a life jacket too, because it will help you float around effortlessly. Please keep in mind, this is very important! It may save a person's life. Luckily for us, there were some expert foreigner nurses around the area because the local first aid clinic has basically zero use. There's no doctor around the island and the staffs in the clinic are useless, absolutely no first aid knowledge at all. The best thing they could do is to send the patients to the mainland hospital and that's it. 

Be sure to put on sunscreen especially if you're out and about! Or else you'll get burn like a chicken wing on a barbeque grill. 

And that is basically the end of my diving trip. 

Oh! I got to try the nasi kerabu too. It was a tad bit dry for me but I think it was kind of unique and nice in a way. Would love to try them again some day! 

Thank for reading and finally I'm done with this post! 

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