Singapore is one of the best locations in the world for diving, and shares the surrounding Malay and Thai regions’ reputation for clear waters, and extensive coral reefs. Diving around Singapore itself is, however, offset by the need to travel twenty to thirty minutes off the island to smaller inlets and sites. Closer to Singapore itself, the best diving can arguably be found within the controlled environment of Underwater World at tourist resort Sentosa Island. More experienced divers can explore surrounding islands via boat and plane rides. Some of the best dive sites in Singapore, in no particular order, consequently include:
1. Ghost Island
Otherwise known as Pulau Hantu, this small island is South West of Sentosa Island, and attracts a range of different divers. Visibility is up to about 12m, and the area contains a wide range of maritime life around the Straits and shallow lagoons of the sea. Diving can take place around and between the islets of Big and Little Ghost Island, which both offer camping and walking adventures. The coral reefs themselves include distinctive examples of mushroom coral formations and clown fish, as well as octopi. It takes about 40 minutes to reach the site from mainland Singapore, and diving is offered year round.
2. Pulau Aur
Ideal for wreck diving, the small island of Pulau Aur is accessible by yacht and boat ride from Singapore. Technically in the South China Sea, the island itself is one of the more remote for diving, and has a small rural populations. The seas include coral gardens and a number of preserved wrecks, as well as distinctive formations like Elephant Rock and Rayner’s Roc, as well as Captain Point. Drift diving is also possible around the nearby islands.
3. Underwater World, Sentosa Island
Singapore’s premier diving resort, albeit one that is located within one of its busiest tourist islands, Underwater World contains controlled diving for multiple levels. The site delves underwater for an 83m reef and colonies, and brings together over 250 species of marine life. Specialised tours are also provided for diving with dolphins, as well as diving with sharks. Tank diving around the oceanarium is also included as part of a visit, as are viewing platforms and observation of species.
4. Pulau Satumu
Southwest of Sentosa Island, Pulau Satumu is one of the best places in the region to see clown fish and other rare marine life, which include barracuda, eels and sharks. Also known as ‘One Tree,’ the island contains Raffles Lighthouse, which acts as a useful starting point for exploring the coral reefs. However, visits out to the island are somewhat limited by it being near to a military firing range. Divers are advised to book ahead to avoid being unable to swim.
5. Pulau Salu
North of Sudong, Pulau Salu is a small island that can be reached in about 20 minutes by boat. Like other diving ranges in the area, trips are limited by the activity of a local military firing range. The island’s oceans are distinguished by the calmness of its water, as well as by its strong currents, making the site more suited to experienced divers. Coral reefs and wrecks form the main attractions, as do sharks, barracudas and dolphins.