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Semporna, Malaysia

Scuba Dive Sipadan Island in Malaysia

Out-and-Back Trail

Originally added by Ashlee Smith

Considered one of the top 5 dive destinations in the world, Sipadan Water Village, should be one of the places on every scuba divers bucket list!

Only allowing 15 people to arrive/ dive a day, Sipadan Island in Malaysia, is a little drop of diver Heaven. It is only about an hour boat ride away from the Mabul Water Bungalows (where I stayed) and from there, only about 1.5 hours away (by boat) from the city of Semporna. Mabul and Kapalai Islands are also nearby for local dives.

Mabul Water Bungalows is a luxury floating resort situated next to sister resort SMART on the southeastern side of Mabul island and overlooking Sipadan island.

Once you arrive, you will be greeted by an amazing staff (fluent in English) to provide you with some paperwork to fill out in their outdoor pavilion/lobby area. This is where your scuba gear will be provided if you're staying in the village and need a gear set up. If you're staying in the bungalows, you will be transported (with your luggage) across the island by golf cart after check-in.

The bungalows are amazing and beautiful. If you get the chance to stay here please do! My girlfriends and I (since we are all Miss Scuba's for our respective countries and know the resort owner) were upgraded to stay in the Royal Villa Suite. There is a glass floor in the living room area, huge bathroom and rain shower area, jacuzzi on the outside lounge porch and a stairway to decend right into the water.

Beyond the Royal Villa Suite, the resort has 15 luxury wooden chalets and 4 more exclusive Villa Suites built over the water.

My trip was in December, so we had an overnight storm or two. Don't let this discourage you to visit during this time of year. It is part of the bungalow experience to feel and hear the water under and all around you. The feeling that you'll get swept away out to sea is completely normal.

For scuba divers, Mabul Water Bungalows dive center is an awarded PADI and NAUI Dive Resort. It is listed in the 50 places to dive before you die book. 

In addition to daily boat dives, Mabul Water Bungalows offers unlimited dives in front of the Resort's jetty (inclusive of night dives). Mabul is known for their 'Muck' diving. Little creatures can be found all over. This is the place I got to see a Pigme Sea Horse.

Facilities at Mabul Water Bungalows include a large open air pavillion restaurant for dining (and drinking), a souvenirs shop, broadband internet (internet only worked well near the pavilion), the dive center, and a health spa. 

Each chalet is beautifuly furnished, equipped with a private and spacious balcony (bicycles available upon request; super handy), air-conditioning, ceiling fan, private bathroom with hot and cold shower, a Satellite TV, a mini-bar, electric point (220V) and safety box.

I would go back in a heartbeat. The flight getting there was tough, but well worth it. 

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