Langkawi in the northwest of Malaysia is one of the main tourist destinations in the country. It is known for its beautiful sandy beaches, stunning landscapes, duty-free shopping, water sports, and activities. So, when planning our trip to Malaysia, we knew we had to visit Langkawi and since we are scuba divers, diving in Langkawi was a must-try for us.

We did a bit of research about what to expect from diving in Langkawi and found mixed reviews and limited information. It wasn’t until we went on a dive trip in Langkawi that we understood more. If you're considering a diving experience in Langkawi and are unsure if it's worth it, this post is for you.

In this article, I’ll cover everything you need to know about scuba diving in Langkawi, and you can also watch my video on YouTube for a closer look.  For more information on the best things to do in Langkawi, make sure to check out my detailed guide.

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When is the best time for diving in Langkawi?

While diving in most parts of Malaysia is from March to September, the situation is different in Langkawi, you can dive here all year round. However, the best time to dive is outside the west monsoon season, from October until May.

When we found ourselves in Malaysia in December, heading east wasn’t an option due to the off-season. We decided to extend our visit to Langkawi for some fun diving experiences. Little did we know, the dive would turn into a total adventure.

How is the visibility of diving in Langkawi?

Langkawi's dive sites are known for their poor visibility. Typically, visibility ranges from 2 to 4 meters and on rare occasions, you might get as much as 6 meters. This limited visibility can make diving in Langkawi quite different from other popular diving destinations, adding an element of challenge and adventure to the experience.

The underwater world in Langkawi

To accommodate these conditions, local dive centres offer the PADI Night & Limited Visibility course for those interested. If you're not keen on additional training, you can still dive with an instructor. Due to the poor visibility, each instructor only takes two divers at a time, and all divers are attached to the instructor by a rope to avoid getting lost underwater. 

Believe me, this is a necessary measure. While Bruno and I were attached to our instructor, there were times during the dive when I couldn't see him even though he was only 1 or 2 meters away from me. This safety protocol ensures a secure and guided diving experience even in challenging conditions.

What to wear for diving in Langkawi?

The temperature of the water in Langkawi is between 28 to 30 degrees. It is warm enough to dive even without a thin wetsuit. But since there is a lot of plankton in the water, and due to lack of visibility you will get quite close to the corals, it is highly recommended to put on light rash vests to protect your skin.

Diving boat in Langkawi


Rash Vest: A light rash vest is essential to protect your skin from plankton and potential scrapes with corals. Long-sleeve rash vests are particularly effective in providing full coverage and protection.

Swimwear: Comfortable swimwear is necessary to wear under your rash vest. Choose something that stays in place and provides comfort during the dive.

Mask: A well-fitted and anti-fog mask is crucial for clear vision. You can get the anti-fog Tidal Mask with a 20% discount using the code "Mansoureh". 

Exclusively for our audience, enjoy a 20% discount on this game-changing dive mask by using the code "Mansoureh"


Fins: Diving fins will help you move efficiently through the water, making your dive more enjoyable.

Dive Boots: You should walk to the boat in Langkawi, so wearing dive boots gives your foot extra protection.

Dive Computer: A dive computer is highly recommended for monitoring your depth, bottom time, and decompression status. This is especially important in conditions with limited visibility to ensure your safety.

How is diving in Langkawi?

Diving in Langkawi is very different from any other diving destination around the world. Usually, in other places, you head directly to the dive site if the weather is okay, and the visibility can vary depending on the weather conditions. But in Langkawi, the visibility is always poor, and the currents are strong. As a result, dives can often be cancelled on the day.

Diving in Langkawi, white corals

For example, we signed up for two dives. On the day we went to the first dive site where one of the instructors checked the conditions, but it wasn't suitable for diving. We checked a few other dive sites, but they all had the same poor conditions. We took a break on a nearby small island and then headed to another dive site. There, we could actually dive, but the visibility was limited to half a meter. It was safe to dive but it was challenging and somehow a unique and fun experience. Our second dive got cancelled, and we received a refund.

This experience highlights the unpredictable nature of diving in Langkawi. The poor visibility and strong currents mean that dive conditions are often evaluated on the day, and flexibility is key. 

What marine life to see in Langkawi?

Langkawi's underwater world is home to a diverse array of marine life. The waters are teeming with beautiful white corals and a variety of micro marine life. If you’re lucky you might spot seahorses, octopuses, and even black frogfish.

Diving in Langkawi

On most of our dives, we tend to maintain a respectful distance from the corals and marine life to avoid disturbing their natural habitat. However, in Langkawi, getting close was the only way to see anything due to the limited visibility. Sometimes, I felt uncomfortable putting my face under the rocks, so I used my camera to get closer instead. This method not only protected my face from potential stings but also allowed me to capture marine life on film. For instance, I didn’t see the seahorse with my eyes, but I captured it on camera

Is diving in Langkawi worth it?

Diving in Langkawi might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it is definitely a unique experience that divers should try. So, to answer the question briefly, yes, diving in Langkawi is absolutely worth it.

One significant advantage of diving in Langkawi is that the dive sites are never crowded. Instructors typically take no more than two divers at a time, ensuring a more personalised and attentive diving experience. Plus, you might get lucky and encounter some amazing creatures. It was in Langkawi where I saw a seahorse for the first time.


However, it's important to remember that Langkawi has a lot more to offer beyond diving. The island is worth visiting for its beautiful beaches, stunning landscapes, and various other activities. Scuba diving should definitely be part of your itinerary. 

If diving in Langkawi is not for you, you can hop on a boat and go to Koh Lipe, a nearby island in Thailand.

Where to stay in Langkawi 

The RIYAZ Lavanya is a 5-star hotel located in Pantai Cenang, just 200 meters from Pantai Tengah Beach. 

PARKROYAL Langkawi Resort is another 5-star hotel in Pantai Cenang, featuring a restaurant, outdoor swimming pool and fitness centre.

The Bayou Hotel Langkawi is a 3-star hotel with an outdoor swimming pool, within 600 metres of Pantai Tengah Beach and 1 km of Cenang Beach. 

The Ritz-Carlton is a unique and luxurious resort in Langkawi, featuring contemporary decor with Malaysian accents. This resort offers an unparalleled level of luxury and service, ensuring a memorable stay.