Brunei is a tiny country on the island of Borneo, divided into two distinct sections. It is surrounded by Malaysia and sits on the South China Sea. Brunei is best known for its stunning beaches and protected rain forests. There are over 50 dive sites to choose from and of which many are completely secluded and untouched. The dry season in Brunei is between March to November and the best visibility is between May to June, often topping 30m. Average water temperature ranges from 25 to 30ºC.
So, what is there to see? Brunei appeals to two very different types of divers, the macro enthusiast and the adventurous wreck diver. Brunei’s reefs and corals are teeming with small life, a macro photographer’s dream. And there are more than 30 shipwrecks to choose from, representing different eras and ranging in depth of 14m to 70m.
Abana Reef is large and features a vast array of coral and marine life. It evokes an underwater garden, with vibrantly colored soft corals, hard corals and whip corals. Look closely to spot the rare macro critters, such as whip coral crabs, harlequin shrimp and several species of cowries. Venture off to the edge of the reef into the whip coral field across the sand and you may come across a group of seahorses. Dive sites starts at about 9m and slopes down to a maximum of 24m. Warm waters with visibility of up to 20m. It is perfect for beginners or advanced divers.
Pelong Rock is made up of a vast array of hard corals that makes up the reef. You’ll see plenty of small reef fish alongside moray eels, stonefish and pipefish. Common residents like Clownfish, Gobies, Angelfish, Butterflyfish, Parrotfish and Blue Spotted Ray can also be found there. A great dive site for novice divers or even snorkelers. It is a very shallow dive site, ranging from 3m to a maximum of 18m. Like most dive sites in Brunei, you’ll find warm water, good visibility and very little to no current.
The most popular wreck sites to dive are the Aussie wreck, American wreck, Bolkiah wreck and Dolphin wreck. They are great for history lovers, as each ship has its own story and each has become an artificial reef teeming with marine life. The Bolkiah and Dolphin wrecks are suitable for open water certified divers, while the American and Aussie wrecks are suited for advanced divers. There are also a few wrecks only accessible to technical divers, including the Baiei Maru and Yuho Maru, both sitting at depths of 60+ meters. There’s also an oil rig which was purposely sunk by the Brunei government. Now it has become an artificial reef and it is accessible to open water divers.