Text by Jennifer Dawson
PADI requires that students are at least 10 years of age to enroll in and complete entry-level courses such as the PADI Discover Scuba Diving and the PADI Open Water Course, making scuba diving an activity that the whole family can enjoy as long as your children aren’t toddlers anymore. Not only is scuba diving a great way to stay active and explore the beautiful oceans of Malaysia, but it’s also an excellent way to allow children to experience a side of nature that will open their world for many years to come.
Planning an Ocean-Oriented Family Vacation
Diving in Malaysia is suitable for all levels of divers as the waters are generally calm and the reefs are protected. PADI notes that, if you are going to be taking novice children divers out into the waters, that you should definitely explore the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia as well as islands like Redang, Perhentian, Lang Tengah, Tenggol and Tioman, as they are all suitable for new divers. In East Malaysia, however, you can access world-class diving at Sipadan Island, but it is important to book your trip far in advance in order to secure a permit as they only issue 120 permits a day.
Tips for a Diving Holiday with Kids
Before diving with your family, you will want to ensure that everybody understands how to safely navigate the waters and enjoy the dive. If you can, try to find a dive destination that offers other activities near the beach so your family can take frequent breaks on the shore when you’re not diving. This will help keep your children entertained and is especially helpful if you have smaller children that can’t dive yet. If your children are a bit older, however, you can look for a dive destination that allows you to snorkel from the beach in order to reach the dive, as this will enhance the experience and allow you to create even more memories.
Getting Certified in Malaysia
If you or your children aren’t yet certified to scuba dive, you can take advantage of a Malaysian adventure and get certified to dive while on a family trip. Redang Island, which is actually inside the Terengganu Marine Park zone, offers great dive sites and perfect dive conditions to learn in, especially if you have some little ones who are particularly new to diving. On Redang Island, prices of a 4-day PADI course are very affordable and can be completed as a family. It’s important to note, however, that Redang cannot be visited between October and March due to heavy rains.
A Challenging Family Experience
Image credit: Jeff Dunham
Some of the best memories you create as a family come from moments that required you to get out of your comfort zone and challenge yourselves. Scuba diving is not only a great way to engage in an active endeavor with your whole family while exploring the depths of beautifully tranquil waters in Malaysia, but it is also a great way to open the minds of your little ones while crafting memories that will last a lifetime.