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Diving Borneo's Aquatic Treasures: Sipadan & Mabul

Start your six-day diving adventure with a huge splash. Explore the waters around the renowned Sipadan Island. The dive sites around this remote island are considered some of the world’s best. From bright, colorful reefs, to the sand bottomed sites of Mabul, get a taste for “muck-diving” in the place where the term originated. Mabul offers a different world of diving opportunities, a macro diver’s paradise. Spot rare macro world inhabitants and flirt with the bizarre and unusual side of marine life. Moving on to Kepalai, dive five small wrecks bursting with marine life, just off the island’s jetty. Come face-to-face with frog and leaf fish, or even the incredibly rare and colorful mandarin fish. With three diverse dive sites in just six days, this action-packed adventure will satiate every diver’s desire for underwater adventure.

Highlights   Pricing
  • Explore the world-famous dive sites of Sipadan
  • Venture to the depths surrounding Mabul Island, one of the world’s richest macro dive sites
  • Spot a rare blue-ringed octopus or ghost pipefish while diving in Kepalai
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Day by Day Itinerary

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Day 1

A driver will be waiting for you when you arrive in Kota Kinabalu. Enjoy this first day relaxing at the Shangri-La’s, Tanjung Aru Beach Resort. If you are curious, you could explore the picturesque town of Kota Belud and its open market. Grab a bite at Coco-Joe’s Bar and Grill and take in a sunset. Rest up for the days ahead!

Day 2

Rise and shine with sun this morning. Grab an early flight and boat ride to Mabul. Check into the Mabul Water Bungalows, a new floating dive resort. There is lots to see and do around this unique resort that overlooks the world-renowned Sipadan Island, just 15 minutes away.

Day 3

Today you will dive the world famous Sipadan, considered by many to be the best diving in Malaysia, and amongst the best in the world. The only oceanic island in Malaysia, rising 2,000 feet from the seabed, it was formed over thousands of years, when living corals grew on top of an extinct volcano. Enjoy amazing underwater sights such as hawksbill and greenback turtles, manta rays, eagle rays, reef, hammerhead and whale sharks and schools of barracudas in tornado-like formation.

Day 4

It’s back to Sipadan today. Allow your Divemaster to guide you towards new and exciting finds. With over 15 dive sites, there’s plenty to see. Check out the Coral Gardens site for a fabulous window into the vibrant commotion that is reef life. This dive begins with a deep wall dive and continues on the shallow coral reef.

Day 5

Today you will dive Mabul, the yin to Sipadan’s yang. While Sipadan is all about large pelagics and schools of thousands of fish, Mabul is the spot for the peculiar and minute. A macro diver’s paradise, Mabul is where the term “muck-diving” is believed to have originated. Mabul is mostly sand bottomed, where the curious diver will find a variety of fascinating life forms. This site is considered one of the world’s richest destinations for exotic small marine life.

Day 6

Discover Kepalai on day five, another of the world’s premier macro dive sites. Kepalai is home to the blue-ringed octopus, stonefish and ghost pipefish among plenty of other rare aquatic creatures. With over 20 dive sites surrounding the island, divers have plenty to choose from. From colorful coral reefs and swirling schools of fish to wrecked boats filled with strange hidden creatures, this dive site has something for everyone.

Day 7
Tawau - Departure

Enjoy a peaceful, relaxing morning at the floating resort, and take in your surroundings before bidding the islands farewell. Catch an afternoon flight out of Tawau, or take an extra day of rest and relaxation to adjust from your diving adventure, in preparation for your flight.


Suggested Accommodations

Mabul Water Bungalow

Mabul Water Bungalow

Situated at Mabul Island, the Mabul Water Bungalow is a floating dive resort overlooking Sipadan Island. The property features 15 wooden bungalows built entirely over water, each furnished with contemporary decor. Amenities include a spacious private balcony, a private bathroom, TV with satellite channels and air-conditioning.

Facilities include a large and airy restaurant, a souvenir shop, a business center with internet services, a dive center and a spa. This basic property also features diving excursions to nearby Sipadan Island.

Meet An Asia Expert
From Travelogues
Our General Manager Victoria Hilley lived in Malaysia for many years, and loved the wildlife, particularly orangutans and pygmy elephants.
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