Subject to permit approval, spend the day diving around Sipadan Island, considered by many divers to be the top diving spot in all of Asia and among the best on the planet. Once called “an untouched piece of art” by legendary maritime cinematographer Jacques Cousteau, the amazing turquoise waters here are home to spectacular reefs and a dizzying array of marine life, including dolphins, giant turtles, sharks and just about every tropical fish you can imagine.
Kapalai Island is a great destination for macro underwater photography. This ‘muck diving’ site plays host to unusual creatures including colorful nudibranch, frog fish and mantis shrimp, who prefer this sedimentary habitat with small wrecks.
There are at least a dozen dive sites around Mabul Island, and many more farther afield. Just offshore from Mabul Water Bungalows is Lobster Wall, where divers can find the eponymous crustaceans as well as a number of hawksbill and greenback turtles, octupuses and eels.