Thursday, August 06, 2009

Snorkeling in Sibu Island, Malaysia

Sibu Island is not a bad place for snorkeling, and was especially fun for the first-timers who were with us. I have been snorkeling quite often, though, and didn't find the marine life in the area to be especially diverse, though it was quite easy to see the normal types of fish you will see in the region. We saw plenty of clown fish in the coral (like Nemo), and some parrot fish, angel fish, and other varieties that you'll often see in the waters around the islands off of Malaysia's east coast. We didn't see any of the really exotic things, but then, we had some members in the group who weren't up to going in deeper waters, so all of our snorkeling was along the coast. That is one really good thing about the location — you don't have to take inexperienced (or young) swimmers into deep waters to see lots of activity. In our group that included very small kids, this was a big plus.

The down side of Sibu is the jelly fish that often pass through the waters there. One of our group members got stung, and I've read reports from other visitors to the area saying that they met with the same problem. It is certainly something to be aware of.

The big draw to us for Sibu Island is that we could stay on the mainland rather than the island itself. If that is a high priority for you too, then I think that Sibu is a good spot for a day trip with the snorkel. If you are looking for more, though, and don't mind whatever accommodations you can find on one of the bigger islands, then snorkeling in Redang and Perhentian, way up north, is much better. Of the southern islands I've visited, Tioman has better snorkeling, but gets very crowded.

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