It really isn't that far away from Singapore being just a 1hr 30mins flight from Kuala Lumpur. Yet, I have not heard about Pulau Weh till my friend invited me on his dive trip. Pulau Weh is a little off the beaten path. Although only slightly smaller than Singapore, the island retains a rustic and nostalgic charm. We dived with Monster Divers, a dive centre with a name as random as the Spanish team that runs the operation. Crazy Spaniard divers they call them. I like crazy, because there wouldn't be fun without crazy.
Mun, a local dive guide was great as he knew the sites like his own backyard. Mun was always trying to find me 'nice photo taking places' as he would call them. I particularly appreciated his efforts to take me back to a rock near a jetty to re-shoot a photo of a pink bubble-tip sea anemone.
The diving in Pulau Weh exceeded my expectations. Well, I didn't have much expectations to begin with. I have always been under the illusion that dive sites that take less than 3 hrs of flying time to get to, can't be good. However, the rich biodiversity of marine life and the expansive fan coral gardens changed my mind about this easily accessible dive location. It wasn't quite Rajah Ampat, but it was no less enjoyable. The highlight of my dive trip was certainly spending 40 mins diving above an underwater volcano. The water temperature was 35 degree Celsius, with bubbles sizzling from the sulphuric cracks, it felt like swimming inside a giant jacuzzi tub.
Ah, the entire island was out of power for several hours over two days. That is one way to add to the rustic charm I was talking about, but it was somewhat frustrating putting my camera together using only an iphone light.