Chebeh Island

In Tulai or Coral Island Dive Sites by Grahame Massicks

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Chebeh lies just to the north of Coral Island and is a huge dive site. It is impossible to see it all in one dive. To the north there are massive granite boulders dropping sharply to over 30 meters.

<img src="padi-diving-chebeh-tioman-island-malaysia.jpg" alt="PADI diving, Chebeh, Tioman Island, Malaysia" />

Girl + gorgonian, at Chebeh, Tioman Island

These continue down the west side with a more gradual slope and a greater variety of size to the boulders. Here you can find swim throughs and hidey holes where a whole range of creatures hang out. To the east is a more gentle slope with a landscape that is not as dramatic, but still an invigorating dive. To the south of the island is a vast stag horn coral garden, given contour and contrast by some of the biggest and most colourful plate coral I have ever seen.

We normally begin the dive on the north side and drop down close to the rocks to the maximum depth for the dive. I frequently bring my Advanced Open Water students here for their Deep Adventure dive. The landscape is dramatic. The boulders are well encrusted with soft corals while Gorgonian sea fans add beauty and variety.

<img src="padi-diving-chebeh-tioman-island-malaysia.jpg" alt="PADI diving, Chebeh, Tioman Island, Malaysia" />

Green moray eel at Chebeh.

It was in this area that I had my one and only encounter with a manta ray underwater at Tioman. It was also in this area that a friend of mine showing me a swim through that was new to me spotted a whale shark above us. As I emerged from the passage I looked up to see this huge and magnificent creature surrounded by four Open Water students and their instructor! Needless to say that the boat was full of happy and awestruck divers when we got back to it.

On more normal days Chebeh can be relied upon for sightings of batfish, schools of yellow fined barracuda, antheas, and snappers. Moray eels, blue spotted stingrays, nudibranchs and groupers are also frequently found. There is a gentle slope towards the end of the dive with a where I sometimes find scorpion fish, and there is an old anchor nearby that is covered in so much marine growth that it is barely recognisable.

Chebeh is definitely one of the jewels of Tioman’s offerings.
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