When the following pictures popped up on a Japanese news site, we found ourselves enraptured by the breathtaking and surreal scenery depicted within. In the photo above, the water is so transparent that the children seem to float over an endless cloud of seaweed. But it’s not an optical illusion. That is indeed water, and it is in fact actually part of the ocean. Can you figure out which country this gorgeous photo was taken in? Here’s a hint: it’s somewhere in southeast Asia. The answer is after the jump.

Have you figured it out yet? The gorgeous photo was taken in the sea off of Semporna, Malaysia. As you may or may not know, the nation of Malaysia is divided into two main regions. Semporna is located to the east on the island of Borneo, which also shares territory with Indonesia and Brunei. Peninsular Malaysia to the west shares a land border with Thailand and is also the site of Kuala Lumpur, the nation’s capital.

▼The two main parts of Malaysia, with Semporna circled in red m2

After gazing in awe at the following additional pictures, we can clearly see why Semporna is a world-famous destination for scuba diving and snorkeling. Sipadan Island is also a short trip away, boasting one of the world’s most ecologically diverse ecosystems.

▼Are they paddling or levitating??



▼Sure looks a lot different from where I played as a kid



▼The water is easier to recognize as the ocean with larger boats in the same picture.


▼Breathtaking blues




▼Because the water isn’t very deep, even people who aren’t strong swimmers can easily enjoy snorkeling.


If these pictures have convinced anyone to take a sudden tropical vacation to Semporna, be sure to send us your pictures!

Source/Images: LabaQ