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Kuantan Wreck (Nichi Asu Maru), north of Tioman Island, Malaysia
Kuantan Wreck (Nichi Asu Maru), north of Tioman Island, Malaysia

Gosh, time is running. It's been more or less four years since we have been to Kuantan and Varella wrecks north of Tioman Island. Both areas are rarely dived by Singapore dive boats and we made used of a long weekend to go there again. We were joined by one of our friends in Singapore and had a rather splendid small group of independent divers. Thankfully and despite all illegal salvaging in the South China Sea both wrecks were  still intact. Kuantan Wreck or Nichi Asu Maru is a Japanese freighter that sank in the 1960s. It is an extremely picturesque wreck overgrown with soft coral and surrounded by fish resting at about 24 meters. Varella Wreck or  Gyoshin Maru sank earlier in 1944 and was an armed Japanese freight ship. Only a few structures remain including two mighty AA guns towers today covered in coral. Visibility is limited and we were lucky to find the markers left by a previous dive group. Add a few relaxing dive off the coast of Tioman on the way back to Singapore and you have a perfect weekend.