Possible vacation idea: learning to dive in Malaysia

When I was in high school I wanted to join the Navy. I graduated at 17 and my parents would not give me permission so I never did but at the time I was taking some photography classes in high school and dreaming of being an underwater photographer. I figured the Navy needed someone to take pictures of ships’ hulls that were underwater, docks, and so on. I don’t think I ever learned for sure if that was true. I remember meeting with a recruiter for either the Navy or Marine Corps and he was agreeable but most of my friends in the armed forces say that recruiters don’t tell the whole story.

Anyway, to get back on topic I was thinking about my summer vacation. Since my wife went to Hawaii while I stayed home to watch the dogs, this summer I’ll go somewhere while she watches the dogs here at home. I’m thinking it’ll be a good opportunity to do something she’s less likely to do with me. Trekking, camping, and swimming / snorkeling came to mind (along with the discussion on travelling without your spouse we had here almost 3 years ago).

I remembered that a friend of mine has a sister in law that does snorkeling or diving in Malaysia so I called him up and got her website. Turns out she does scuba diving and one of their courses is in underwater digital photography (2 days, 470 RM). I guess I’d also learn how to scuba which seems to be from 850 (scuba diver) to 1150 (open water).

Since they’re on an island I’m not sure I understand the difference between scuba diver and open water diver – once you get out of the practice pool wouldn’t it become open water?

Anyhow, I asked my friend if he had been there. He says it’s great. The Perhentian Islands are supposed to be nice for diving and the people there are doing their best to conserve the coral. You stay in a bungalow with a fan, have a big fish BBQ every Friday, dive during the day, and watch the moon and stars at night.

Honestly, the most appealing part to me is watching the moon and stars – I’m not 100% sure I still want to dive and take photos down there. If you ask my wife I can’t even take a good picture on dry land!

Apparently these islands are not too far from one of the oldest rain forests in the world, Teman Negara. Trekking through the rain forest is something else I might be better off doing alone.

On the other hand it would be nice to kind of revisit a dream from 15 years ago. I’m also considering teaching at a summer English camp in Italy with a friend, taking a bike tour around Angkor Wat (I can’t just rent a bike and go off on my own because I have no sense of direction), visiting a friend in Japan (I want to hang out in Shinjuku and people watch plus visit Kyoto), or maybe something else. And I have my sister coming to visit me in Korea.

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  1. Mike Spengel says:

    Go for the scuba diving. It will open a whole new world for you and create an addiction. Go for the open water course. The other is just an introductory course.

  2. Polly P says:

    All those place you mentioned are great places to visit, especially Taman Negara. I mean one cannot replicate another place like that. Also, I think you can do it all, visit Angkor Wat which is spectacular and go to Japan, too. Air Asia flies into all these places and it costs almost nothing to fly Air Asia. BTW – I’m from M’sia and have live here in Portland OR for awhile now. Good Luck and happy travels.

  3. Kevin says:

    This is a great idea for getting two incredible adventures in awesome natural settings….diving in the Perhentians and jungle trekking in Teman Negara. While I have only done the former, I do look forward to getting back to the peninsula and doing the rain forest!

    My time in the Perhentians was just blissful. Beautiful beaches to do morning strolls, comfortable lodging right there on the beach, great food, and plenty of snorkeling and diving all up and down the coast. You’ll see everything from coral to schools of tuna, to sharks, to eels, to rays, and anythings else you can imagine.

    Flora Bay Divers has very solid equipment and most everyone speaks very good English. You won’t be sorry.

    Yep, gotta get back to the jungle though!! I’ve heard it has the greatest bio-diveristy in the world…better see it while you can!

  4. Phil says:

    Whay did this guy get married for? This sounds like his trips should be shared with a mate.

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  6. […] articles she has been writing for us. Also, I’ll add my comment on this one – despite what I wrote before about childhood dreams of a career in underwater photography, I’m not ready to change careers […]

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