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Money: MYR
Bahasa Melayu,
English, Chinese
Time Zone:
GMT +8 hours
Tue 13:10:45
Phone Code: +60
Muslim, Buddhist,
Electricity: 240V
Malaysia Scuba Destination Info:
      Overall summary of Malaysia
Mabul is a tiny island located in Sabah, Malaysia and currently is the main gateway to Sipadan island as it is now no longer possible to stay in Sipadan. Sipadan can also be accessible from Semporna Town in Mainland Sabah but it is more convenience to stay in Mabul and dive in Sipadan rather than staying in Semporna and dive in Sipadan.

Diving in Mabul and Sipadan is just fantastic. The two islands are parted by a 30 minutes boat ride making diving at both islands in a same day conveniently possible. Me and my buddies TK Lim and Huzaine just went there from 17 to 22 of October 2007 and that is one of the best dive locations we have been so far.

There are many fabulous dive sites to choose from either near Mabul or Sipadan. The well-known Drop Off dive site in Sipadan is just fantastic. The drop is less than 10 meters away from Sipadan Island beach and yet drops as deep as 800 meters! On our first dive here, we saw a school of Jack fish in thousands and few bumphead parrot fish. On the next dive at the same spot, we saw thousand of barracudas – the experience is just magical! Not to mentions 4 black tip reef sharks hovering in front of us.

Mabul is also well know for it Pygmy Seahorse (Hippocampus Bargibanti), Mandarin Fish and also Harlequin Ghost Pipe Fish. Seeing all these rare creatures in its natural habitats is simply stunning! Nudibranch, ells (Moray and Garden), Mantis Shrimp, Soft and Hard Corals and reef fishes are also abundant here.

At some dive sites, current can go up to 3 knots and water temperatures are normally at 29 to 30 degrees Celsius. 3 mm wetsuit is advisable as the temperature can drop to 27 and due to some thermo cline down there.

In getting to Mabul, you need to land at Tawau Airport either from Kuala Lumpur, Kuching or Kota Kinabalu. From Tawau, get a ride by taxi or mini van to Semporna town which is about one and a halt hour journey. From Semporna town, take a boat to Mabul island, about an hour long journey and there are plenty of place to stay once you are in Mabul.

As a person who loves to travel and dive, Mabul and Sipadan are indeed a place not to be missed. Happy diving there!

Regards…. Mohdfitri

      How to get to Malaysia
To get to Sipadan, Borneo Malaysia fly to Singapore, sleep at the airport hotel for a 6 hour block of time or find the massage area in Changi airport and snooze on the lounge chairs (almost beds) until the flight to Kota Kinabalu. Next day fly to Tawau where you should be met by the resort/hotel you choose for the 1 1/2 hour drive to catch the boat to where you stay near Sipadan.
      Top travel tips for Malaysia
      What's the diving like in Malaysia
Sipadan, Mabul, Kapalai diving is incredible. From macro to giant . Lost count of turtles and shark. My favorite were the clownfish and nudibrachs. Disturbing to hear dynamite fishing. Clear warm water, drift diving, perfect temperature in a 3/2 suit. Beautiful wall diving. One word superb.
      Best wreck dives in Malaysia
      Chance of big fish in Malaysia
      Coral quality in Malaysia
      Best time to dive in Malaysia
The rainy season has just ended. Sipadan, Borneo is in the area known as the land below the wind as they do not get typhoons. They do get the occasional downpour even after the rainy season but they don't last too long. Visibility was great March 6-10. I recommend March and April as a good month to go between the two monsoon seasons, but if you have an opportunity to go at any time I say go.
      What to take to Malaysia

Big Blue Planet knows about the following locations in Malaysia:

Stayed on Kapalai 29th March to 6th April 2005. Fantastic location - houses built on stilts with walkway's between. The house reef is full of sealife and the variety is amazing from the small mandarin fish to huge green turtles. The night dives on...
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Kota Kinabalu
You can dive at the Tunka Abdul Rahman Park, where the small islands Mamutik, Manukan en Sapi are located. You can take a course (Open Water - Advanched, Resque Diver etc.) Kota Kinabalu have many good hotels, 2 good shopping malls, markets, bars an...
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Labuan Wrecks
There are four wrecks situated within 30 to 40 minutes from the Muara coastal district of Brunei or the island of Labuan. All are natural wrecks, i.e. not deliberately sunk. and lay in 29 to 35 metres of water, although more novice divers can have ...
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Paula & I went to Lankayan in March 2004. Wonderful base on a typical tropical island. Lived in individual beach huts with en-suite; and all ate together in communal dining room. Clean, cheerful & wonderful service. It was a nightmare to get to thou...
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Mabul is a tiny island located in Sabah, Malaysia and currently is the main gateway to Sipadan island as it is now no longer possible to stay in Sipadan. Sipadan can also be accessible from Semporna Town in Mainland Sabah but it is more convenience t...
See more info about this location...
Scuba Diver Australasia magazine describes Miri as the Underwater Jungle. Within the 150 sq.Km golden triangle off the City of Miri in the State of Sarawak, Malaysia lie some of the riches patch reefs profusely covered with soft and hard corals in th...
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There is no diving off Penang unless you 'go it alone'. The vizibility is very poor and the East side of the island is a very busy shipping area. Daily boats go to Pulau Payar to the North (see separate entry). If you decide to mount your own divi...
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Perhentian Besar
The Perhentian Islands are located on the north east of peninsular Malaysia. They are characterised by thick forest and stunning white beaches. The islands - Pulau Perhentian Besar (big) and Pulau Perhentian Kecil (small) - can only be reached by bo...
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Pulau Aur
A typical small, remote island. Beautiful setting and an ideal getaway location. Mobiles don't work and there is just enough electricity for lights, TV (for all those football matches) and the fridge. You can walk along the beachfront, but not tha...
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Pulau Kapas
The people love to take you to the beautiful divespots near Pulau Kapas. Check the internet for resorts on the island, or check Gem Island resort, the best resort nearby Pulau Kapas (10 minutes by boat). We have been to Gem Island resort and booked t...
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pulau payar marine park
pulau payar marine park, a nature paradise in andaman sea (south to phuket island) which embraces lush forestation, white sandy beaches, abundant sunshine and superb coral gardens that is home to a vast diversity of magnificent corals and colorful ma...
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Pulau Redang
Pulau Redang is a small island in the South China Sea of the coast of Terengganu, Malaysia. Getting to the island involves taking a Flight from Kualar Lumpa to Terengganu Airport with Malaysian Airlines or Air Asia, this takes around 1 hour (there i...
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My wife & I dove here the last week of December 1999 & it was the most amazing dive site we have ever been to! It is a 50 minute boat ride of the coast of Saba. At the time there were 5 resorts & we stayed at Borneo Divers as it was the only one whic...
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Tioman is a beautiful, remote island with some great diving in warm water. There are more than enough dive sites to last a week's uninterrupted diving. Sites are reached by day boat from the main villages around the coast. The most popular are S...
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