My recent diving trip to Tenggol island marked the 3rd time I attempted underwater photography. This post is more on some of the better photos I took with the limited equipments I currently operate while breathing compressed air – Canon S90 with Ikelite Underwater casing.

Pulau Tenggol, May 2010
Paradise with beach, crystal clear water, and sun, right here in Malaysia

Looking through the photos make me want to have underwater strobes and a couple Inon wet lenses so much. It’s a wish that can be answered by a few dozens RM 100 bills I can’t really afford to part with at this moment.

There’s always a delicate balance on splitting the limited amount of dough between gears and diving itself. Oh well, soon, soon…

Anyway, here are some of the better photos that serves a good summary from the 3 day trip.

Nemo and friends
nemo in anemone

Nemo, the artist formally known as clown fish, is quite abundant at coral reefs around Tenggol.

In one instance, Haze was talking to our dive master Charlie and used the word “nemo” before correcting herself and address it as “clown fish”. Charlie had to tell her that nobody uses clown fish anymore, not even the .. ahem.. older generations. Pixar is really that influential.

blue spotted stingray
blue spotted stingray

Ikan bakar never looked so pretty. I found this blue spotted stingray (the colors are gone when you .. bakar them :S) hidden under some corals, these bottom dwellers usually like to hide under boulders, which makes this quite an opportunistic capture. I like how the blue spots turned out.

haze, KY, dave, and rich
Haze, KY, Dave, and Rich

First pic was when we just arrived, the second on one of our normal boat dives with me and my full set of gears, and the last one just before the night dive on second day.

By the way I think that was the only pair of jeans on the whole island.

crab, during night dive
this crab is probably quite yummy on dinner plate

A lot of crustaceans come out to play and prey at night, Rich spotted this fancy crab amongst the rock and I was able to snap a pretty decent photo with the built in flash. I so wanted to have this on the dinner table, but alas, Tenggol is a marine park.

spiny lobster, even more yums!

Also known as rock lobster, this decapod would probably taste even better than the crab mentioned above! This thing was huge, at least 2 feet in length. But then looking through sea water amplifies your vision by around 30%.. emm..

the 5 sisters at Tenggol
the 5 sisters of Tenggol

This is one of the five sisters of Tenggol. They are five Vietnamese ship wrecks laying at the bottom peacefully at over 30 meters depth, there’s another wreck on slightly shallower water in the middle of the lagoon too.

We went to the wrecks every morning for 3 days straight. The slightly murky water, low light condition, and the quietness of being underwater gives this site a pretty ghastly feel. One can only imagine what went through the refugees’ minds from the moment the board the boat with all their belongings to feel the war torn country to the point when they reached Tenggol and had to sink their boat to make sure they weren’t gonna be towed out and left alone drifting in open sea.

A wide angle converter would do me good at this site.

green sea turtle
look ma, a green turtle!

This was the only green turtle spotted over 8 dives. A shy little one about 2 feet in length.

Turtles aren’t very common in this part of the world anymore, this probably has something to do with the fact that they’re still selling turtle eggs at Kota Bharu and Kuala Terengganu, with the authority turning a blind eye on the grotesque abuse on animal conservation effort in this country. It’s just sad.

giant barracuda
Giant barracuda, smile!

Schools of juvenile barracudas are pretty common at Tenggol, but the big ones less so. This was one of the two giant barracudas we spotted during the last dive. They’re some 3 feet across and can look downright scary, this photo doesn’t do justice to the awesomeness of this fish though.

starlit sky at Pulau Tenggol
look at the stars, look how they shine for you

Other than going underwater and enjoying the beach, the other thing that I absolutely love about being on an island is the stars. They are absolutely brilliant at night, thousands and thousands of stars when the sky is clear.

We were just chilling on the beach, under the star, and sipping some whisky at night. It was awesome, I want to be back there now!

Under the Stars of Tenggol Island
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26 thoughts on “Under the Stars of Tenggol Island

  • May 7, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    wah i like the nemo picture! very nice shots u have!

  • May 7, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    im sked of deep water.

  • May 7, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    Oh Barracuda! ‘Deng deng deng deng x20’

    Those Blue Spot stingray are really those that we ate at Ikan Bakar stalls?

  • May 7, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    Geeze, I know this is a food blog sometimes, but cari makan sampai dalam laut is the first I read 🙂


  • May 7, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    haze doesnt look anyhow geared for the beach lol

  • May 7, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    thank you!

    go shallower water then 😛

    you play guitar hero? hahahaha, yes we eat those stingrays 😛

    hahaha why not? 😛

    yah, it’s really awesome, sky full of stars.

    Jaclyn Chew,
    LOL yah cos she went to movies!

  • May 7, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    I was wondering how you dive at night. Do you carry torchlight or just using the moonlight?
    Don’t the creatures get distracted by the camera flash?

  • May 7, 2010 at 10:59 pm

    movies in tenggol????

  • May 8, 2010 at 1:39 am

    yah we carry torch lights and disturb the hell outta the creatures 😛

    haha no movies!

  • May 8, 2010 at 10:03 am

    I love watching stars… so relaxing. Great that you managed to capture that on your camera!

  • May 8, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    Great stuff KY, been following your foodie trip for awhile, now diving pulak. I’m a diver too and looking to buy the ikelite or canon housing for my S90 too. How’s the pics without strobe though?

  • May 8, 2010 at 8:51 pm

    u have a nice set of pictures anyway you are so lucky to get these…

  • May 9, 2010 at 10:32 am

    yaa, it’s a shame we never get to do that in the cities

    thank youuu :D. All these pics are without strobes!

    Argentina Tours,
    Thanks 😉

  • May 9, 2010 at 11:52 am

    Bestnya!! I could REALLY use a break right now… >.<

    Love your nemo picture lar… 🙂

  • May 9, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    Came across ur page when looking for korean food nearby.. Like ur diving pictures very much. Like Inspiration to me! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • May 9, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    haze got nice abs!!! not ps-ed right?

  • May 9, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    do it! hehe thanks, nemo was cooperating

    you’re welcome! 😀

    it’s all real. lol, she’ll be happy

  • May 12, 2010 at 1:06 am


  • May 12, 2010 at 1:35 am

    so why didn’t u come? you went fishing instead you noob!

  • May 19, 2010 at 9:17 am


    I never heard of tengol island b4 but the pics looks very nice

  • May 19, 2010 at 9:29 am

    now you have. 😀

  • September 24, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    Hey nice pics ~ Looks like a very nice diving spot! Which resort you stayed?

    • September 24, 2010 at 3:44 pm

      krishing: tenggol beach!


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