Our first international scuba diving trip was to Sipadan and Mabul in Sabah, Malaysia. After arriving at Tawau, it took us another 30-min speedboat ride before we arrived at our accommodation for the trip, Sipadan-Mabul Resort aka SMART.
Rather than our usual and more comfortable liveaboard diving trip, the resort dive trip meant that we would have to carry our diving gear back and forth to the boat each day for our dives. Fortunately, the resort employed many good hands to help carrying those oxygen tanks, making it easier for the women on our group.
The differences of Sipadan from Similan would be the fact that the corals reefs might not be as colorful, but with the Malaysian government efforts to preserve the marine life around Sipadan through the implementation of limiting diver and boat access per hour, we could still see abundance of marine creatures such as huge schools of giant barracudas, turtles, hammerhead sharks, hump-head parrot fish among others while diving in the area.
Taking time off from diving, we visited the local fishing village, as well as the resort nearby, the Sipadan Water Village, built on stilts above the water.
Riding on the speedboat each morning to our different dive sites and back to the resort proved to be a memorable experience for all of us. In addition, the preserved marine environment is still rich and abundant of little critters such as different types of nudibranch, pygmy seahorse and even the Mandarin fish. Unfortunately, we could not photographed all of them as beautiful as we would have like to include them here. Nonetheless, we have included some beautiful images for your viewing pleasure.
I highly recommended a visit to Sipadan and Mabul as one of your dive destinations in your wishlist.