The day trip from Penang to Pulau Payar Marine Park for Scuba Diving was well worth it.
We dived with East Marine – they were professional and took good care of us. A driver picked us up from our hotel and took us to the Penang Ferry Terminal for the 8:15am Ferry and 2 hour ride to Pulau Payar. We did two dives – Glass Island (East Marine Garden) and Coral Garden. A modest lunch was provided and the return ferry had us back in Penang by 5:30pm.
There was only one other group diving and so we pretty much had our dives to ourselves.
Molly of left – Emily on Right
Coral Garden was beautiful with lots of soft coral. In fact we realised it was the first real soft coral we had seen and so we all really enjoyed it. Both sites had lots of fish including seeing us spending some time with a Moray Eel on the first dive.
One warning is that if you were planning to only go snorkelling then be prepared for large crowds. At times they said they can get over 1,000 people for snorkelling and try dives. The good news for us Scuba Divers is that the dive sites are away from the snorkelers and so still in good condition and empty of people.
Reviews on Trip Advisor for the ferry and Island are not the best but I think most of these are not divers and more recreational tourists expecting resort style. For us the ferry ride was clean and comfortable and we spent a lot of time on the deck enjoying the fresh air. The dives were great but we were not with the masses.
I made our reservation for East Marine via their Web Site. I highly recommend them. They were quick to confirm. English was good and they checked in to make sure we were all lined up.