Sipadan, Marbul & Kaipalai, Borneo

Sipadan is consistently voted one of the world’s best dive sites. Here’s  7 amazing things  to see there, above AND under the water….

1) GIANT green turtles & hornbill turtles
Dozens of them just floating around magically at sites like Hanging Gardens & Lobster Wall. By far everyone’s secret favorite underwater animal. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTENLcLgWI8‎‎

2) Reef Sharks
Up to 40+ in one day is pretty average for Sipadan, which is just about enough to convince me they are friendly. Most of the time they are safely 10 – 20m down on the seabed, cruising around the cleaning stations using smaller fish to prune their sharkskin. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-mUAVi9iFQ8

3) Barracuda Tornado
You’d be hard pushed to out do a shark, but these guys manage it as shallow as 3 metres with their perfectly choreographed tornado swirl. They can be found at the aptly named Barracuda Point site. It’s pretty lucky to see them don their famous formation. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4JDt3-WDTc‎

4) Into the Blue Dive
Sidadan is famed for its 600 metre drop off – hence all the interesting Marina life that flocks towards it. This creates the opportunity for an daring (read petrifying) ‘Into the Blue’ dive, where you swim into the void of such deep  sea that you can’t tell left from right or up from down without a compass as frame of reference. I’ve never been more relieved to get back to a reef!

5) AWAS, Mabul Island
Everyone seems to love this site, just 50 metres off the Marbul jetty. It’s artificial house reef & mini wreks are cool to explore, as is surfacing just under the pier and being 30 seconds away from the nearest beer.

6) The Sea Gypsies of Sabah
Marbul island is shared by thousands of ‘stateless citizens’ displaced from Malaysia/Indonesia/The Philippines and known as Sea Gypsies. The kids have distinctive sun bleached streaked hair, plenty to say, and seem to cohabit in relative peace with the dive schools.

7) Scuba Junkie’s homemade pizza back on mainland Semporna. It’s not just desert island good, it’s world good.

How to get there: AirAsia fly from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur to Tawau for around $250 SGD even at Chinese New Year.

Diving: Scuba Junkie are one of the best dive operators.  3 day/2 night/10 dive packages are around $650 SGD. Book early as only 120 permits to Sipadan National park are issued a day.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. MaldivesDreamer
    Feb 07, 2014 @ 14:46:15

    Great pics!

    Reply

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An.an.tas.in : The Anantasin is the name of a shipwreck just of the coast of the Sensi Parasise, Mae Haad Bay, Koh Tao, Thailand. It’s one of my many favorite places.

Lit.tle: Just because it’s cute.

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