Malaysiaborneo

QUICK! SCATTER!

1. Joining a school of bigeye trevallies.

2. A small overwater bungalow resort on Mabul. 3. Zebra-snout seahorse. 4. A green sea turtle on full

There are dive sites in Malaysia and Borneo where you can swim with turtles and then ascend through swirling cylinders of silver barracuda. There are pristine coral atolls, schools of undulating, scalloped hammerhead sharks and caverns here, including one spooky cavern where, it is said, sea turtles go to die. Wrecks, walls, macro muck and coral gardens: this is one part of the world where you can literally find it all.

Situated between Thailand and Singapore, Malaysia is equatorial and exotic, a nation of more than 22.5 million people and home to the Petronas Towers (the world's tallest skyscraper), yet it is also a natural area with deserted beaches, high mountain ranges and exotic natural diver-

DESTINATION PRIMER

AVERAGE WATER TEMP: 78-88°F WHAT TO WEAR: Swimsuit or dive skin in warmer water; 1.5-3 mm elsewhere. AVERAGE VIZ: 40-100+ feet WHEN TO GO: April-September to see green sea turtles in greatest numbers. WHAT TO EXPECT: Drop-offs, walls, hammerheads and green sea turtles, a dozen dive options for every day of the year. Little wonder that some consider this the greatest diving on earth. ELECTRICITY: 220-240 V, 50 cycles; pack the adaptor. LANGUAGE: Bahasa Malaysia (official) and Chinese. TAXES: 10 percent sales tax (15 percent on alcohol and tobacco) TIME ZONE: GMT +8.

sity that includes the rafflesia (the world's largest flower) and the rhinocerus hornbill (Malaysia's national bird).

The cloud-crowned island of Borneo, the third-largest island in the world, lies just west of Sulawesi and contains two states and one territory of Malaysia, four provinces of Indonesia, and the independent sultanate of Brunei Darussalam. Many consider it the capital of Malaysia-area diving, with the legendary areas of Sipadan Island, Layang Layang and Mabul all lying within Borneo waters.

This is an area with stunning sea vistas, more than 3,000 marine species and amazing over-water resorts. Those who think they've seen it all can come here and emerge renewed.

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