Miri Scuba Diving

Scuba Diving Miri
For anyone who is interested in Miri scuba diving, there are actually two dive operators located here. Miri is branded as a resort city in the north of Sarawak, next to Brunei and on the island of Borneo. 

Scuba diving in Miri has been very niche as not many people know that you can actually dive here. As for me, this article is to highlight that you can actually dive in Miri as there are some really beautiful dive sites found around here. 

The dive sites are part of the Miri-Sibuti Coral Reef National Park. Dive sites here range from around 7 to 30 meters deep while you can find over 800 species of hard and soft corals. Marine life is abundant with a variety of coral fishes, mid water fishes and on occasion, larger fishes. 

On a recent dive trip to Miri in May 2017, I had the opportunity to dive at three spots with Coco Dive. They will pick you up from your hotel and bring you to the on-site dive center, which is located at Marina Bay Jetty in Miri.

Miri Dive Shop Operator
My Miri diving trip with Coco Dive
After signing the appropriate documents and gearing up, you are led to the dive boat. From the marina, it takes about 20-30 minutes out into the open sea. The boats are medium sized and come with a roof. 

Originally, we were supposed to dive at the Siwah Reef dive site, but due to strong currents, we had to change our site. At the next site, the waters were much calmer and upon descending, we were greeted by decent visibility of around 7-10 meters.

Diving in Miri Sarawak
What the dive sites in Miri look like. Me in the photo, taken with a basic action camera.
The corals were thriving with rich marine life while colors stood out at about 17 meters deep. Nudibranches were easily spotted apart from the common coral fish. A very mild current in our direction made the dive much easier too. 

After our first dive, the surface interval was on route to the next site, which is about 15 minutes, plus the time we took to gear up, listen to the dive brief, checks and so on. Once everyone was cleared to dive, we quickly got into the water for the next dive.

Miri Scuba Diving
 A school of Jacks, which contributes to the rich undersea life in Miri
During the second dive at Batu Belias, the visibility was around 10 meters. A bonus halfway during the dive was that I encountered a lone Bumphead Parrotfish, banging away at the hard corals. It must have been at least 1.5 meters in size. Of course, I tried to get closer, but it eventually swam away. 

The final dive was at Eve's Garden dive site, which is relatively shallow and rich with abundance of corals. It is here where you can find lots of smaller critters. The occasional spotted blue ray will pass by, while at some holes, the common Morey Eel is seen with his head sticking out.

Miri Bumphead Parrotfish
The massive Bumphead Parrotfish which I encountered while diving in Miri
Miri Scuba Diving Information

For the first timer, you should know that Miri is well known as the gate way to some amazing national parks in Sarawak, namely Mulu National Park and Niah National Park.

The resort city is also home to the Borneo Jazz Festival that takes place every May, with top international jazz musicians performing here.

Siwah Rig Dive Site Miri
The decommissioned Siwah Oil Rig, where the Siwah dive site is located at
There is over 40 dives sites in Miri for you to choose from, and depending on what kind of diving you want to do. However, you need to consider the time of the year for some of the dives. 

All the dives in Miri are boat dives and each dive site is around 20 to 60 minutes boat rides. Usually, the nearer dive sites are the most popular, namely Eve's Garden, Belias Reef and Anemone Garden dive sites.

Miri underwater photography
A couple of divers photographing some corals in Miri during my dive.
For macro divers, there are plenty of dive sites in Miri with beautiful underwater landscapes which are rich in macro life, nudibranches and other small critters. You need to inform the dive operator what type of diving you want to experience here. 

For general divers, there are also a number of dive sites that cater to leisure diving and chances to spot larger fishes. Schools of barracudas and jacks are common and ff you are lucky enough, you can even spot a whale shark. 

Visibility for diving in Miri varies from around 5 meters to 20 meters, also depending on the time of the year and weather. In my three times diving in Miri, two were giving me 10-15 meters visibility, while one was just around 5-8 meters. 

For those who want to experience scuba diving in Miri, you can do DSD (Discover Scuba Diving) in Miri, where they give you a quick course at a swimming pool, before taking you out to the sea for a real time experience.

Coco Divers
The Coco Dive team assisting one of the divers to gear up.
Miri Scuba Diving Operators

There are two main dive operators in Miri currently, where one has been around for years, and the other, a new player here. Both dive shops in Miri are located in the town area too. 

Previously, there was another dive operator called Hoopa Dive, but apparently, they closed shop in 2016. Below are the dive centers in Miri with some basic information. 

Coco Dive Center

Coco Dive is the pioneer dive operator in Miri, having been here for more than 10 years now. They are located in Miri City while at the Marina Bay Jetty, they now have a mobile dive office and center in a container style shop.

Coco Dive has been very active in promoting diving in Miri over they years, as they have worked with numerous divers, media and me. I have dived with Coco Dive three times to date, and all dives have been pretty good. 

They offer PADI courses from beginners to instructors while you can do simple 2 dives, or even custom our dive package in Miri. For the dive courses, you can also choose to learn to be a divemaster, assistant instructor, master scuba diving trainer, IDC staff instructors, Emergency first response instructor and even doing an internship with them. 

Coco Dive Miri Address
Lot 2117, Block 9, Jalan Miri-Pujut, MCLD,
Sarawak, 98000 Miri, Malaysia
Hours: 7.00 AM to 8.00 PM
Phone: +60 85 414 433
Coco Dive Website: http://www.divemiri.com/

Borneo Dive Network
Borneo Dive Network team heading for a dive in Miri. Photo from www.tripadvisor.com
Borneo Dive Network 

The newest dive operator in Miri is no other than Borneo Dive Network, part of a travel agent based in Miri. They are also a dive school, offering PADI courses for anyone wanting to learn scuba diving. 

Apart from that, they do leisure dives to over 30 dive sites in Miri. I am yet to experience diving with Borneo Dive Network, but hopefully I get to do so, and I can give you a much better review of them.

Borneo Dive Network Address
Lot 1084, First Floor, Jalan Merpati,
Miri 98000, Malaysia
Phone: +60 85 417 751
BDN Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BorneoDiveNetwork/

Diving in Miri Sarawak
One of the divers spots a school of fish passing by in Miri
Best Time for Miri Scuba Diving

The best time to dive in Miri is from April to October, and this is weather pending. You can dive during the other months, but the weather poses an issue, especially the rainy season and choppy seas. 

However, there has been reports of divers going in November and December, and having excellent dives with great visibility. This is pure luck as some may say. For me, I usually dive around May, which has been great. 

For more information, you can also see the Sarawak Tourism website as they have diving and other tourism related info about Miri and Sarawak.

Diving with David Hogan Jr
Me diving in Miri, just had to include this underwater selfie. 
Other Than Diving in Miri

For anyone planning to visit Miri, there are many hotels and resorts available here. For those on a budget, there are guest houses and backpacker lodges available as well. I wrote an article on the many things to do in Miri, especially if you are a first time visitor here. 

As a resort city, Miri also offers some interesting exploration, if you love old cities. The old part of Miri town is worth a visit, especially to the markets, temples and local coffee shops. 

For the modern day traveler, Miri offers some interesting and modern shopping malls with cafes, fast food chains and cinemas. 

For divers, if you have been looking for a new place to dive and experience, I would highly recommend Miri as one of the new diving destinations in Malaysia. The dives here are peaceful and most of the time, it is usually one boat going out to sea.

Miri Diving
The interesting underwater landscape of Miri. This is just one of them.
This means, it is not high traffic like other dive sites in Malaysia. I am sure you have experienced diving at peak areas, where you see multiple dive boats at one dive sites. When you descend below, you will see many groups of divers versus marine life. 

One of the places which I would like to dive in Miri is no other than the Luconia Shoals. This dive site is said to be one of the most beautiful dive sites in Malaysia, and yet one of the most difficult places to get to. 

Luconia Shoals requires a live on board boat as the distance is over 100 kilometers from Miri, out in the South China Sea. Having seen photos of this amazing dive site, it is now my mission to have a dive here, and hopefully one day.

Miri Scubadiving
Scuba diving in Miri is highly recommended for any diver.
For those planning to explore the largest state in Malaysia, here is a list of dive sites in Sarawak for you to consider. If you are a wreck diver, there are plenty of wrecks found in Miri and also in Kuching. 

Scuba diving in Miri is growing at a slow pace, and for now, it is considered as a beautiful place to dive, especially if you are looking for a peaceful dive without many other divers at the same time in the water. I also recommend you experience it fast, before it becomes commercial. 

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