During the 6 days I spent there, I loved sitting on the deck sipping cold beer, working on my tan and gazing at turtles and rays swimming right under the bungalows. The ocean was in the hue of green, aqua and blue, the water was so clear that you can see the coral reefs and the sea animals below. You can just relax and look at the clouds drifting by – with no care in the world.
I thought that was great but when I jumped right into the water, it got even better.
- We stayed at Sipadan Water Village (SWV) on Mabul Island (15 km. from Sipadan). The facility was ok but the food was not that impressive.
- By the end of the trip, I got rashes from neck to toes… which I suspected was from the underground water we used to shower.
- For the next visit, I would love to try Sea Venture – a converted oil platform 500 meters off the beach, or the Sipadan-Kapalai Dive Resort. The facility and the food at Sipadan-Kapalai are supposed to be much better than SWV with a more expensive package. There is no accommodation on Sipadan Island itself.
- Diving in Sipadan is a must (bumphead parrotfish, barracuda, whitetip sharks). There is a permit system for Sipadan that restricts the number of visitors per day. The dive resort will arrange this for you but it is better to book way in advance.
- Exploring the fisherman village on Mabul Island.
- Kayaking near the resorts.
- Flight to Tawau Airport – the nearest airport to Mabul. You can fly to Tawau from Kota Kinabalu (55 mins) or from Kuala Lumpur (2.5 hours).
- From Tawau – take a bus, taxi or van to Semporna to board your boat to Mabul. The dive resorts can arrange pick-up from Tawau Airport.